Freeman Cebu Business

Contact center and business process sector gathering set

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippines’ contact center and business process sector is set to hold its 18th Contact Island Conference in Cebu City on July 24-26, 2024. The conference will spotlight the opportunities presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI), and explore strategies for managing its transformative impact on the industry.

To be held at the Fili Hotel Nustar, the two-day event to be organized by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), will gather key leaders and representatives from the contact center and business process sector firms, local and national government, the academe, thought leaders and customer experience officers, among others.

CCAP, a 145-member organization, will lead the discussion about the influence of AI and other significant issues in local call center operations, acknowledging that AI continues to alter the landscape amid a dynamic global economy and evolving geopolitical climate.

Contact Islands 2024 is designed to bring about an unparalleled platform for showcasing innovations, highlighting best practices, and moderating dialogues as member companies unite in taking the path toward realizing the IT-BPM (Information Technology-Business Process Management) industry’s 2028 roadmap.

Based on data released by global research firm Everest Group, the sector posted an annual revenue of $29.5 billion in 2023. That accounts for almost 83 percent of the entire IT-BPM industry revenue of $35.5 billion.

The Philippine IT-BPM industry has set an annual revenue target of $59 billion by the

year 2028. The Contact Center Industry is expected to account for about 83 percent of that

amount, or around US$49 billion.

“We firmly assert that AI will continue to help make our industry more resilient and generate more revenue, contradicting the fears of some concerned parties,” said CCAP president Mickey Ocampo.

“People may not be fully aware, but AI has already been widely used through the chatbots we encounter online and even through the mobile features and applications we use daily. That usefulness can further strengthen our industry,” Ocampo added.

Ocampo reiterated that AI could logically boost productivity in the workplace by enabling contact center agents to focus on more important and complex transactions, which could ultimately make the overall experience much better—for agents and customers alike.

In the past several months, several legislators have called on the national government to regulate or even prevent the integration of AI into the IT-BPM industry. Those include Senators Imee Marcos and Risa Hontiveros— both coming from two opposing political inclinations—who think AI might eliminate jobs.

“Just like how we overcame data privacy challenges years ago, CCAP member companies are continuously re-skilling and upskilling our agents to update and upgrade them to the constantly changing demands of our clients and technology,” noted Ocampo adding that AI itself will create more jobs related to the engineering, maintenance, and upgrade of AI applications.

Employment in the local contact center sector grew 9.4percent year-on-year in 2023. This figure exceeded the overall growth rate of the IT-BPM industry of 8.6 percent.

About 1.51 million contact center agents were employed in 2023, accounting for 89% of the entire IT-BPM employment of 1.70 million full-time employees (FTEs).

CCAP remains steadfast in upholding its position that AI will bring about encouraging benefits and opportunities to stakeholders. Likewise, it continues to reiterate that generative AI generates a positive impact not just on contact center firms but also on the entire IT-BPM industry. — (FREEMAN)

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