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Technology, AI to boost BPO sector


DAVAO CITY — Wider adoption of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to provide growth opportunities to the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, an official said.

George Michael “Mike” Hao Bian, president and CEO of SixEleven Global Services and Solutions, expects AI to transform the BPO industry and offer new opportunities and benefits to both service providers and clients.

“AI with ChatGPT is really popular. A lot of people are concerned about how AI will affect the industry. But the main thing that I’ve seen recently is that a lot of new things are coming, like new job opportunities,” he said in an interview.

SixEleven Global Services was launched in 2006 as the first locally-owned call center in Davao City and the entire Mindanao. It started as a small 16-seater call center and has since developed into a full-blown corporation, employing approximately over 2,500 employees.

Starting with just single-account outbound telemarketing in 2006, the call center is now providing voice and non-voice, 24-hour inbound and outbound online customer support to 12 accounts.

“In the past years, we’ve been doing primarily voice work, but recently we’ve been doing data work. One of our growth this year is back office jobs, meaning we do accounting, auditing, quality service monitoring,” Mr. Bian said.

He said one of the company’s projects is research and development and image annotation.

“And the point of image annotation is to feed office images towards the AI learning machines,” he said.

While there are some challenges to implementing AI in the BPO industry, Mr. Bian said AI will become an important tool for the company to improve its operations and offer more value to its clients.

“Yes, AI will come, it will happen. Things will change but there will always be opportunities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company is aiming to double its current agent count to 5,000 by 2025 through its expansion in Cagayan de Oro City, the official said.

“The Cagayan de Oro expansion is a step towards that goal. But year over year, SixEleven has shown that we are capable of growing the company and we are capable of finding clients who want to work with us. At the same time, we are capable of finding good people to join our organization. And on the side, our BPO is strengthening our corporate community programs,” Mr. Bian said.

He said the company aims to grow while helping provide better opportunities for their staff.

“On our end, we always intend to grow our company. Right now, we are going to Cagayan de Oro for our newest site and this will open a lot of our growth opportunities for our people. Because of this growth, our agents become team leaders and team leaders become operations managers. They have a clear, attainable career pathway,” he said.

Currently, SixEleven has 90 different clients covering 10 countries. Based on its latest census, the top industry it caters to is e-commerce.

“Wherein people are selling items online or transacting online. That is 30% of our business as of the moment,” Mr. Bian said. — Maya M. Padillo

Neil Banzuelo

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