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Philippine call centers on the verge of change

Call centers and business process outsourcing companies are on the verge of change to meet the demands of the millennial generation, according to an industry expert who provides communications solutions for the IT-BPO industry.

“BPOs are evolving.  It is being customer-driven.  It is customers driving the change, the transformation,” Edgar Doctolero, country manager of Avaya Philippines Inc., says in an interview at Marriott Hotel Manila in Pasay City.

Doctolero is in charge of a 25-man team at Avaya Philippines’ sales and marketing operations.  Before joining Avaya, he held country sales positions in Cisco Systems and Datacraft.

“We in Avaya believe that for transformation to be successful, you have to put the customer first.  We already see that happening.  BPO customers are already talking to us,” Doctolero says, in announcing a new solution for the industry.

Avaya Philippines Inc. country manager Edgar Doctolero
“Businesses need to respond to those needs, otherwise they will be missing a lot,” he says, explaining that millennials, or those who were born between 1982 and 2002, now represent 46 percent of the Philippine population.

Doctolero says millennial customers are more demanding and want quick answers.  “When you call a bank, you have to enter 16-digit number.  What if there is a contact center, which has all the infrastructure at the back that will support analytics, big data, social channels and the moment when you call,  the call center agent already knows who you are, knows your name, knows your last transaction, your issues and your problems. Imagine how the experience would be if you are the customer.  The contact center agent at the other end knows everything about you, your transactions,” he says.

He says Avaya itself has transformed.  “”Before they would say Avaya was an IP-PBX company and it was a contact center company.  The messaging today is that we have transformed.  We are now a software and services company. About 73 percent of our business is software and services,” he says.

Doctolero says Avaya is introducing the next-generation technology platform that makes it easier for organizations to develop their own applications to achieve their digital transformation.

“We announced a product called Avaya Breeze, which we called the Avaya engagement development platform.  It basically helps our customers in the enterprise move, evolve from having a legacy infrastructure to the digital age,” Doctolero says.

Avaya organized a conference at Marriott Hotel attended by 158 enterprise customers, representing all the key verticals from banking and finance, hotel and gaming, education, BPO and government.

“We also shared with customers why Avaya is qualified to lead them to this transformation journey.  We have a complete end-to-end portfolio that would help them journey to an embedded, to mobile and to multi-platform communications that we can deliver. We can provide the applications across all devices. We can deliver to them via the web, or via the cloud either private, public or hybrid,” he says.

Doctolero says Avaya’s smart vertical solutions help businesses digitally transform their operations and customer experience. Almost two of five businesses in the Philippines identify innovation as key to driving business success, according to a report by International Data Corp.

“It is primarily customer driven.  It is the customers who are driving us. In the digital age and digital transformation, companies need to evolve.  If they do not evolve, as we said, there is a big cost to doing nothing,” he says.

Doctolero says Avaya Breeze provides an entirely new way to develop business communications applications, simplifying application development, while delivering built-in capabilities for enhanced mobile, customer-facing and hybrid/cloud requirements.

He says Avaya also now has an e-commerce app store called Avaya Snapp Store which makes it easier to create new customer experiences, allowing companies to find, access and download pre-built Snap-ins to quickly create unique applications.

Doctolero says companies need to embrace new technologies to be competitive, but the challenge is capital expenditure.  “That is why we offer it in public or private cloud. It is all about the customers and we listen to the customers,” he says.

“In order for digital transformation to be successful, business and enterprises must put  the customer at the front, at the center and at the back of everything,” he says.

“What we are saying is for business transformation to succeed, it must be a vision and a mission and everybody is connected to the vision and mission.  Only then will the transformation be successful 

because everybody is aligned to it and everybody wants to serve customers,” he says.

Doctolero says he remains optimistic about the prospects for Avaya and the IT-BPO sector in general. “ 

“We are growing.  We have double-digit growth year-on-year,” he says, referring to Avaya Philippines, which serves 70 percent of the largest call centers and BPO companies in the country.

Doctolero says BPO companies are expected to shift to the next-generation technology transform sooner than later.  “It is now a matter of when, not if. Customers are now in the driver seat and they are the ones demanding this change.  We have to do it soon, and fast.  There is a big cost to doing nothing,” he says.

Topics: Call centers , business process outsourcing , BPO , IT-BPO , Avaya Philippines Inc. , Edgar Doctolero
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