The Philip­pines op­por­tu­nity

The Philip­pines of­fers up a num­ber of IT out­sourc­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for New Zealand tech com­pa­nies. The ben­e­fits are wor­thy of closer in­spec­tion, says Cather­ine Beard.

NZ Business - - EXPORT REPORT - For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact the trade com­mis­sioner in the Philip­pines, Her­nando Ba­nal her­nando.ba­nal@nzte.govt.nz. Cather­ine Beard is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ex­portNZ.

As glob­al­i­sa­tion con­tin­ues to surge, sell­ing New Zealand soft­ware in­ter­na­tion­ally is be­com­ing more im­por­tant for soft­ware com­pa­nies. Yet, with this con­tin­u­ing trend there are as­so­ci­ated ob­sta­cles that can limit the suc­cess of projects and gen­eral busi­ness oper­a­tions.

Work­ing with an off­shore team can bring dis­ci­plines to a lo­cal team and pro­vide greater per­spec­tive on global chal­lenges that all soft­ware com­pa­nies face. Fine tun­ing is­sues such as global func­tion­al­ity, cul­ture and lan­guage with your own off­shore team is a lot eas­ier than fire­fight­ing with a new over­seas cus­tomer.

On a re­cent trip to the Philip­pines via the trade com­mis­sioner and New Zealand Em­bassy, I spoke with Scott Dar­row, NZTE Beach­heads ad­vi­sor, about the IT out­sourc­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties there for Kiwi tech firms.

“Off­shore teams can help deal with cus­tomer sup­port and main­te­nance, QA (man­ual and au­to­ma­tion test­ing), release man­age­ment, tech­ni­cal writ­ing and project de­vel­op­ment. Hav­ing built sev­eral soft­ware teams in the Philip­pines, I was sur­prised how quickly we trusted Manila teams to the ex­tent that core ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment was shared be­tween New Zealand and tech­nol­ogy teams in Manila,” says Dar­row.

“Many tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies are re­al­is­ing the ben­e­fits of out­sourc­ing to the Philip­pines, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the cre­ative and ex­pres­sive na­ture of peo­ple.

“Un­like In­dia and China, the Philip­pines has a cul­ture that is very com­pat­i­ble with Western cul­tures. Af­ter be­ing a Span­ish colony, the Philip­pines was gov­erned by the US from 1899 to 1946 and the in­flu­ence is still very ev­i­dent to­day. English is the pri­mary lan­guage for busi­ness and ed­u­ca­tion in the Philip­pines.

“With the strong pres­ence of the US, the Philip­pines has de­vel­oped a gov­ern­ment that is some­what sim­i­lar to the US sys­tem. This makes Western com­pa­nies more com­fort­able do­ing busi­ness there.

“The Philip­pines has a very high lit­er­acy rate of about 92 per­cent, with ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion made avail­able to prac­ti­cally the en­tire pop­u­la­tion. The coun­try is the largest English speak­ing na­tion next to the US and UK, and pro­duces around 40,000 IT grad­u­ates per year.

“There are about 80,000-plus soft­ware de­vel­op­ers who work ex­clu­sively for ex­port, with around 200,000 IT and soft­ware per­son­nel cur­rently work­ing for multi­na­tional play­ers such as Ac­cen­ture, IBM, HP, AWS, Shell, Coke, Chevron, Safe­way, Mi­crosoft, Or­a­cle, and SAP,” says Dar­row.

“Ex­port rev­enue for IT busi­ness process man­age­ment was around US$18.9 bil­lion in 2014 with US$2.1 bil­lion in soft­ware ex­ports. Some 14 per­cent of Philip­pine soft­ware com­pa­nies have CMM/CMMI or ISO cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.”

As Ki­wis, we have a ten­dency to do it our­selves. If you’re in­ter­ested in IT out­sourc­ing, I would sug­gest talk­ing to NZTE in ad­vance to make sure you’re con­nected with the right peo­ple.

Dar­row is ADEC In­no­va­tions Global CTO, and CIO of ADEC In­no­va­tions, a global provider of en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and gov­er­nance so­lu­tions. He is a vi­sion­ary and goal-ori­ented tech­nol­ogy ex­ec­u­tive with 33 years of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in plan­ning, de­sign­ing, de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing in­no­va­tive ICT so­lu­tions that ad­dress busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges.

In 1994 he moved to the Philip­pines to set up Lo­gis­tic’s off­shore de­vel­op­ment cen­tre in the coun­try. In the Philip­pines, he co-owned IT-Commerce and founded PHINZA, which pro­duced a com­pre­hen­sive IT oper­a­tions man­age­ment sys­tem, im­ple­mented us­ing the lat­est web­browser-based tech­nol­ogy.

Dar­row serves as an ad­vi­sor to NZTE un­der the Beach­head pro­gram. Beach­heads con­nects par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies to a net­work of pri­vate sec­tor ad­vi­sors in New Zealand and around the world who can act as men­tors and pro­vide in­sights into the re­al­i­ties of grow­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally suc­cess­ful busi­nesses.

(Ed­i­tor’s note: this ar­ti­cle was mis­tak­enly left out of our Novem­ber is­sue.)

“Many tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies are re­al­is­ing the ben­e­fits of out­sourc­ing to the Philip­pines, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the cre­ative and ex­pres­sive na­ture of peo­ple.”

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