BPO News: Convergys to open September- first Mindanao site for batch 1 - 400 Seats in Davao City

Considered as the country's largest private employer, albeit unofficially, business process outsourcing firm Convergys sets out to clinch another milestone as it marks its 10th anniversary this year.

The company, which commenced to employ a maximum of 7,000 employees but has now approximately 36,000, is opening its first site in Mindanao next month. It said the new facility will initially hire 400 agents.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Convergys has 21 call center facilities in key cities nationwide, with Davao set to become the 22nd site. The Philippines is the largest geography for its global operations, with the bulk – about 44 percent — of its 80,000 employees based here in the country.

In fact, its local expansion is the main driver that is fuelling the company's global growth, according to Convergys CEO and president Andrea Ayers, who flew into the country to take part in the festivities marking a decade of local operations for Convergys.

"We've been growing in double digits since we started here," said Ayers in a press briefing. She was joined by Marife Zamora, senior vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (AP and EMEA) and Ivic Mueco, vice president and country manager for the Philippines.

Responding to a query, Ayers believed call centers are here to stay and far from being obsolete, at least in the near future. She said the industry just have to address the issues confronting it now.

Zamora, on the other hand, noted the top-quality work being done in the country; citing an incident wherein Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer commended one of its Cebu-based agents for providing exemplary service.

"Contrary to what critics say, the voice service being provided by Convergys is not low-level. It's actually complicated," added Mueco.

Mueco also revealed that the company's attrition rate has also gone down to 50 percent, which is better than the industry average of 70 percent. "We believe in diversity and equal opportunity. We don't look at lineage or age. We give chance to everybody," she said.

To cultivate the local talent pool, Mueco said the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), to which Convergys is a member, has partnered with the academe to develop a 21-unit course called the Service Management Program.

"CHED accredited this for offering in college last February, so it will be offered as part of the college curriculum or in Grades 11-12 under the new K-12 Program. The program includes a 400-hour immersion in a BPO," she said.

The Manila Standard Today

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