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Jun 23 16, 2:31 am

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Automation to affect Philippines’ call center industry

by | TOP STORIES

Jun. 23, 16 | 2:31 am

MANILA: The Philippines’ call center industry, one of the biggest sources of revenue for the country, is threatened by automation.

In recent years, the Philippines, like India, has capitalized on its relatively large pool of English speakers to attract Western companies eager to cut costs by shifting customer service and other tasks to lower-wage countries, Business Daily reported.

However, improvement in technology means an increasing number of the Philippines’ 1.2 million call-centre workers, whose pay is modest by US standards, may soon be replaced by customer-service robots, the report said.

Robots already are starting to displace some humans from low-end tasks such as monitoring the performance of digital networks, according to Benedict Hernandez, an executive at the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, the industry trade group.

And, while robots are not yet smart enough to replace the human phone operators who do jobs like fielding calls from bank clients or helping people reset their modems, they will be within five years or so, according to Hernandez and other outsourcing specialists.

That means the industry needs to upgrade its skills — and fast. Automation has taken a significant toll on India’s outsourcing industry, which is heavily involved in networking and information-technology services, and industry executives fear the disruption will only increase.

Not long ago, some of those services, such as network monitoring, required dozens of human network engineers, but can now be done with a handful of people who oversee a largely automated system.

Those types of services account for just a small slice of the Philippines’ outsourcing business. But Hernandez’s group, fearing that call centres may be next, is mapping out a plan to move the industry more toward upscale services, such as health-care management, animation, game development and engineering. Some call-centres already provide these higher-end services, along with rivals in India and Vietnam, Business Daily reported.

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Observatory experts say Shawwal crescent moon might not show today

Observatory experts say Shawwal crescent moon might not show today

Saudi Arabia astronomers have confirmed that the Shawwal crescent moon will not show on May 22 (Ramadan 29), Saudi Gazette reported. Experts at the observatory of Majmaah University in Saudi said that the moon will set before the sun today and will not be...

Pakistan plane crashes with 107 on board

Pakistan plane crashes with 107 on board

An aircraft from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying 99 passengers and eight crew members crashed at a residential area in Karachi on Friday, May 22. Pakistan immediately mobilized paramilitary troops and civil administration authorities to aid and rescue...

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It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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