If New York is the city that never sleeps, the Philippines could very well claim the title as the country that never sleeps ? a somewhat twin complement to its current stature as call center capital of the world.
In a private research study done by Panos Ipeirotis, an associate professor at New York University, he found that while all other countries have natural patterns of being awake and asleep, Philippines stood out as an exception.
?We see that the minimum for Philippines rarely drops below 5,000 active workers! All other countries (combined!) in their downtime time cannot beat Philippines in their low time. The supply of work is very constant over time,? he enthused in his blog.
Ipeirotis stumbled on the finding as a result of his engagement with ?virtual assistants? from the Philippines using the online-based job marketplace oDesk.
The NYU professor was prompted by the fact that the Filipino workers were always online during the working hours in New York despite a 12-hour difference with Manila.
?When I asked them, they told me that most of the time they work for US-based clients, and their work is much easier when they are synchronized with a US-schedule (real-time interactions with the clients, and so on). So they tend to stay awake until late at night and then sleep during their morning in Philippines,? he wrote.
Ipeirotis pointed that one ?immediate benefit? of the Philippines being awake all the time is the fact the US-based outsourcers can be assured of the availability of labor for handling real-time tasks.
?Overall, Philippines seems to have a nice balance of availability throughout the day, and generally low prices. In terms of quality, things tend to be somewhere between US and India, so careful screening and quality control is important. But for many people experienced with managing crowds, it seems that Philippines is a great source of ?crowds?,? he said.
In a related news, a lawmaker said US-based financial holding JPMorgan Chase is likely to transfer more business support functions to its global in-house center (GIC) in Manila in the months ahead
?Under tremendous pressure to slash costs, we see JPMorgan moving more business support activities to its back office in Manila over the next 24 months,? said Pasig representative Roman Romulo said in a statement.
?This augurs well for our fresh college graduates and young professionals looking for gainful outsourcing service jobs,? Romulo added.
New York-based JPMorgan earlier bared plans to cut 17,000 jobs in America, or almost seven percent of its 258,965 global workforce by 2014, in a bid to generate at least $1 billion in annual operating cost-savings.
By revenue, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.?Philippine Global Center has emerged as Manila?s largest GIC of a global corporation.
Established in 2005, the center generated almost P10 billion in revenues in 2011, and has a staff of more than 10,000 at The Net Plaza in Taguig City and at The Asiatown IT Park in Cebu City.
The center provides strategic support, including voice-based customer services, to JPMorgan?s various lines of business 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It supports card services, retail financial services (home lending, auto finance, education finance, telephone banking, business banking), and treasury and securities services.
The center also assists in human resources, performance improvement, quality assurance, IT, accounting, account servicing, collections, operations management, project management, and risk and compliance.
The BPO industry is projected to produce $25 billion in revenues and directly employ 1.3 million Filipinos by 2016.
With a labor force of 780,000, the sector posted $13 billion in revenues in 2012, up by $2 billion, or 18 percent, from $11 billion in 2011.
This year, the industry is expected to generate $16 billion in revenues and add 146,000 full-time jobs, according to the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).