According to PeopleSupport CEO, Lance Rosenzweig, "As we have expanded our service offering in the past year, we have also made important moves to keep our costs in line. One has been to expand our offshore operation in Manila. In the past year, PeopleSupport has made significant investments in database technology with Siebel to make certain that our customers have the choice to be at the leading edge of eCRM."
But, beyond watching the bottom line, PeopleSupport says they had to address cultural, geographical and political issues as well. According to Rosenzweig, "Our choices were limited in finding the right offshore location. Our eReps understand American English and are university educated. Manila was one of the few places that met that requirement."
It's not unusual for tech companies to go offshore, but PeopleSupport says most of those moves are for systems development and IT support. The company says that, for these types of operations, having an American culture is not as acute an issue as it is with CRM management.
"Our business is technology driven, but it comes down to people relating to people," Rosenzweig added. "Our eReps need to understand the American consumer and business. An instant message chat requires instant knowledge about how to solve a customer's issue in Internet time American style. We found that Manila is the place for that."
"Our geographical considerations were not as tough a challenge because we have technical and staffing redundancy between our two main customer service centers in Manila and St. Louis. Additionally, we have generators at each location that can keep us up-and-running for up to 30 days. Our service centers are virtually interchangeable. As far as the political climate, Manila has welcomed us with open arms as we have created jobs and opportunities in the region. We have an incredibly enthusiastic workforce there," he said.
PeopleSupport says they expect to create dozens of jobs in Manila in the coming year.