Nearshore Americas has learned that global contact center giant Convergys, which serves half of the Fortune 50, is setting up a BPO service center in Bogota after receiving clearance to operate in a new free trade zone in the northern part of Bogota.
As many as 2,500 seats will occupied at the center within three years, according to two reliable sources. The center, which should be operational in June, will also offer financial back-office support services.
Colombia is without question one of the hottest outsourcing destinations in Latin America, and its transformation has been one of the biggest stories to hit the headlines in the Nearshore community in the last several months.
Convergys spokesperson John Pratt declined to comment late today on our report.
“This does not come as a surprise, really,” says lead BPO and call center analyst Peter Ryan, of DataMonitor, commenting on the development. “There is a lot of capacity in Colombia and the country has the potential to become the next big thing in South America,” said Ryan, comparing its rise to Chile and Argentina, which have become globally recognized outsourcing centers.
Pace of Growth: A Critical Question
Another major global BPO player to jump into the Colombian market is Teleperformance, which recently acquired Teledatos, which generated about $75 million in 2009. Teledatos operates six delivery centers in Bogotá and Medellín, employing over 5,000 workers.
The big question facing Colombia over the near term is whether BPO growth will come as a deluge or grow incrementally. If there is a huge spike in demand for call center services, for example, Ryan says this could trigger inflationary wages pressures. “It would be better if the growth is spread over the next 24 months,” he says.
The other question confronting the growing Colombia BPO sector is whether cities such as Medellin and Cartegna will be able to produce sufficient quantities of bi-lingual workers, says Ryan.
Convergys recently downsized in Canada, cutting over 800 workers, and shuttling those positions reportedly to the Philippines. The Cincinnati-based company says it expects to hire at least six thousand employees this year in the Philippines. The company employs over 20,000 workers in 12 sites in the Philippines.
Finally, Convergys also landed recently in Gartner’s Magic Quandrant, recognized for its service delivery in the CRM/Contact Center space.
“We believe that Convergys’ position in the Leaders quadrant for CRM Contact Center BPO providers is a positive validation of our leadership, execution abilities, and investments in our customer solutions portfolio. Our solutions, which include agent-assisted care, automation, self-service, and analytic services, enable our clients to stand ahead of their competitors based on the quality and consistency of the customer experiences we help them provide, and the customer intelligence we bring to them.” said Andrea Ayers, President, Customer Management, Convergys.