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There is this typical norm wherein when we speak of BPO, many people immediately think about having to answer calls. To put it simply, when we say  BPO, what people only know is it’s a “call center,” but does it mean the same?

There is no doubt that Business Process Outsourcing in the Philippines is now one of the leading sources of job opportunities here in the country. More foreign companies give their trust in Filipinos to help them with their businesses. Currently, the BPO industry in the Philippines is continuously growing and has even expanded to different provinces.

Now that we are well aware of its existence and the vast growth of this industry in our country, I think it’s about time we educate ourselves on the real meaning of BPO.

outsourcing in the philippines

What is BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a practice in which a company hires an external service provider to carry out an important job or task. Businesses use a third party to help them carry out non-primary business tasks.

In simple terms, when a company thinks that another company can handle a specific business task better, it chooses to outsource its service to accomplish it.

Moreover, it transfers one or more IT-intensive business processes to a third party, who then owns, administers, and maintains the chosen process following predetermined and quantifiable performance goals. BPO services have two main groups: horizontal services (those that may be applied across different industries) and vertically-specific services (those that demand specific industry vertical process knowledge).

Outsourcing Meaning

Now let’s get into the meaning of outsourcing. It is where a company hires another organization to do some of its work instead of using its employees. Outsourcing in BPO is the business of hiring an outside company to provide services or create goods that have traditionally been performed by the company’s employees. 

One of the benefits of outsourcing is it helps businesses significantly reduce labor costs and accelerates the work process. When a company uses outsourcing, it enlists the help of external organizations not affiliated with the company to complete tasks. Further, external organizations typically set a different compensation structure for their employees than outsourcing companies, allowing them to get the job done for fewer costs. 

Outsourcing in the Philippines offers many types of work, from customer support to production to the back office.

call center outsourcing

What is the BPO Industry?

BPO is an industry that provides services to support companies. It is divided into two types of services: back office and front office. Back-office services provide internal business processes such as billing and purchasing. Meanwhile, marketing and technical support are examples of front-office services. These type of services have been helpful to many business companies in accomplishing their business works or projects

BPO is also known as information technology-enabled services (ITES) and is considered to be part of the technology industry because it relies on technology/infrastructure to enable external companies to perform their roles efficiently. The main work of BPO is to utilize the use of technology and use it as an advantage to make business operations more productive and effective.

Outsourcing in the Philippines

The industry of outsourcing in the Philippines has been around for over 25 years since 1992. Since then, industry-wide revenues have increased tenfold. At the beginning of outsourcing in the Philippines, one of the key pioneers that established this industry was Frank Holtz who developed the Accenture Global Resource Center in Manila, making the company a pioneer in the Information Technology (IT) and service outsourcing industry.

Since outsourcing in the Philippines began, it become one of the top outsourcing locations worldwide. Many foreign countries do outsource Filipinos’ services because of the workforce’s competency, its cultural affinities with Western nations, and general affordability. 

In 2001, former Department of Trade Secretary Mar Roxas during his tenure founded the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), which is the industry’s governing body in the country. It serves as a focal point for sectors that enable the Philippines to maintain its global leadership in the contact center industry. It also provides support and protection to those who work in outsourcing business in the Philippines.

Furthermore, CCAP grew from seven founders in 2001 to over a hundred member companies operating in various strategic locations throughout the country. These members account for more than 60% of the industry’s revenue and workforce.

The Outsourcing industry began to have a 46% yearly growth in 2006, and from that moment on it continued to grow and contribute largely to the country’s output.

BPO in the Philippines

When we say outsourcing in the Philippines, it is mostly known as BPO, it is the term used that refers to all contracts that grant permission to a third-party agent to handle specific non-core duties like managing human resources and providing customer support in return for payment. Outsourcing lowers the initial cost and increases productivity by allowing the company to focus on brand development, operational excellence, and other critical business functions.

Since its inception over 20 years ago, business process outsourcing companies in the Philippines have dominated the job market.

BPO Industry in the Philippines

Outsourcing in the Philippines has contributed 10.6% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021 and it is expected to grow more this year. BPO has provided job opportunities to 1.44 Million Filipinos as of June 2022.

In terms of revenue, the Philippine IT-BPM industry reached US$26.7 billion in 2020, with the possibility of reaching US$29 billion by 2022, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. BPO has been very helpful to the economic status of the country and the Filipinos, it was able to provide necessities to every Filipino family and has solved unemployment issues.

Call Center Meaning

Now that you know the meaning of important terms related to BPO, let’s address the common misconception that when the company is BPO then employees there are call center agents. It is a must to take note that, a call center is just one of the services that outsourcing in the Philippines offers.

In the Oxford Dictionary, a Call center refers to an office designed to handle a high volume of phone calls, particularly for order taking and customer service.

Moreover, a call center is a centralized department that responds to inbound and outbound from clients, both present and potential. Call centers can be found inside a company or are outsourced to another business that focuses on taking calls.

Call Center in the Philippines

Outsourcing in the Philippines began with call centers being the providers of email response and management services before expanding to industrial capabilities for almost all types of customer relations. This includes services like technical support, education, travel, customer care, financial services, online business-to-customer support, and online business-to-business support. The call center industry is one of the most significantly expanding in the country.

According to the 2020 report of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), there are 780 existing BPO companies in the country where 1.3 Million Filipinos are call center agents making BPOs the main driver of the country’s economy.

Some of the top call centers in the country are Concentrix, VXI Global, Teleperformance, Teletech Sutherland Global Services, Sitel, Telus, SixEleven, TaskUs, and IBM Solutions Delivery.

call center services

Is there a difference between a BPO and a Call Center?

BPO is a subset of outsourcing wherein businesses hire a third party to perform certain tasks. Mainly non-core responsibilities such as customer service and human resources management. Call center, on the other hand, is one type of service that the BPO industry offers. The Philippines is considered to be the world’s call center capital. 

However, outsourcing in the Philippines is not just focused on the call center. There are different types of services that the BPO industry may offer. Although the call center remains on top of the outsourced services by foreign companies, other services are also presently being outsourced:

1. Information Technology (IT) Services

This type of outsourcing is centered on computer and Internet-related work mainly, programming, software development, help desk support network administration, and data center management.

IT services are those that enable businesses to access the technical tools and information they require for their operational processes and daily tasks. These services are frequently managed by teams with expertise in IT or computer science for organizations across multiple industries.

2. Human Resource (HR) Services

Human resources (HR) is the department within a company that is in charge of all employee-related issues. This type of BPO service often handles the company’s recruitment, and payroll including employee management. Other tasks included are:

  • Wages and withholding income tax computation
  • Employee document administration and management
  • Searching and screening job candidates

3. Financial and Accounting Services

Accounting and financial services encompass a wide range of services used in businesses to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Consultation and planning to improve business performance and other necessary business needs are also incorporated into the services. This helps companies in mostly their financial and accounting tasks. Included in this type of service are:

  • Accounts payable and receivable management
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Auditing, reporting, and financial analysis
  • Tax reporting

4. Data Entry Services

Data entry services help companies handle their data capture, documentation, filing, and processing of forms, compilation, updating online catalogs, and creating a database.

There are various kinds of data entry services. Basic, online, formatting, conversion, and transcription are among them. A specialist reading a document and typing it into processing software is an example of basic data entry. The process of entering information into an online system or portal is known as online data entry.

These services also show the benefits of outsourcing in the Philippines. As companies choose to outsource these types of services, they are allowing themselves to focus on the more essential matters of growing their business.

Prime Outsourcing Services

Business Process Outsourcing is an outsourcing company in the Philippines that helps companies reduce their costs while receiving excellent and operative services. This remains true especially when foreign companies choose to do outsourcing in the Philippines consistently. One of the main reasons why foreign companies always choose the country is because of the quality of services and the lower costs.

With PrimeOutsourcing, you will have direct access to professional talents that are well-experienced in different types of industries. We have an array of services that will cater to your business needs. Contact us today to request a quote, for further inquiries, head over to our FAQs page. 

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About the Author: Seb Malupa