Call cen­ters face brave new world of au­to­ma­tion

Business World - - NEWS - By Victor V. Saulon Sub-Ed­i­tor Read the full story by scan­ning the QR code with your smart­phone or by typ­ing the link <https://goo.gl/tdVVhJ>

THE PHILIP­PINE con­tact cen­ter sec­tor will add at least 73,000 new jobs an­nu­ally un­til 2020 when to­tal em­ploy­ment is ex­pected to reach 1.2 mil­lion and work op­por­tu­ni­ties have shifted to­wards more com­plex jobs, of­fi­cials of an in­dus­try group said.

“Today as we speak, thou­sands of jobs are be­ing trans­formed through au­to­ma­tion,” said Bene­dict C. Her­nan­dez, chair­man of the Con­tact Cen­ter As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines ( CCAP), in a press con­fer­ence at the Makati Shangri-La ho­tel on Wed­nes­day.

He was cit­ing a study con­ducted for the sec­tor cov­er­ing the pre­vi­ous year, when the num­ber of con­tact cen­ter jobs to­taled 751,000, un­til 2022.

“Parts of what peo­ple used to do man­u­ally are now be­ing done by ma­chines and, when you do that, the jobs be­come dif­fer­ent,” he said.

Mr. Her­nan­dez, who also heads Ac­cen­ture’s lo­cal op­er­a­tions, cat­e­go­rized into three the type of tasks be­ing done by the sec­tor’s work­force: sim­ple, mid­com­plex and highly com­plex jobs.

In 2016, sim­ple tasks ac­counted for 47% of con­tact cen­ter work, but its share will shrink to 27% by 2022, largely be­cause of au­to­ma­tion and im­proved ef­fi­ciency.

He said there would still be growth year-on-year for sim­ple tasks, but the rate of growth will be out­stripped by the rate of au­to­ma­tion.

This means jobs in the mid- to highly com­plex tasks will grow from 53% of the in­dus­try to­tal last year to 73% by 2022.

“For us for­tu­nately, the global mar­ket will con­tinue to grow,” Mr. Her­nan­dez said.

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