As the country has become the leading contact center outsourcing destination, players in this field have not only upskilled their workers but emerging technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), have been deployed in their systems to complement the workforce in handling massive workloads.


While the pandemic has caused disruptions to almost all industries, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has been resilient as it suffered no layoffs, according to former Trade secretary Ramon Lopez.

He even said last May that BPO companies have started bringing advanced technologies to complement their operations in the Philippines and address the growing demands of the international markets. Lopez said the Philippines had a 13% share in the global Information Technology-Business Process Management market, with 1.3 million direct jobs and 4.5 million jobs overall.

The country has over 700 BPO companies, the Department of Trade and Industry said.


As the Philippines seeks to further strengthen its position in the global market, BPO companies are seen to increase their investments in technologies such as RPA and artificial intelligence.


“In the next two to five years, these ongoing technological advancements will reshape the outsourcing industry in the Philippines and around the world. This will be a challenge, but if history is any indicator, the Philippines BPO industry can be expected to rise to the occasion,” said Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading mid-sized BPO in the Philippines.


Ellspermann acknowledged that the human touch in operations, like active listening, could not be automated, so BPO firms have to study how technologies can add value to the workforce.


So how can RPA, for instance, boost the BPO sector? 

RPA itself can be considered outsourcing as software robots are assigned to operate repetitive tasks previously managed by employees. RPA technologies automate the system, providing seamless workflows while ensuring accuracy, free from human errors.

While it is true that BPO companies can increase their capacity and offer faster services at a lower cost with RPA, the technology still cannot replace the skills of human agents, including collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking, and empathy, among others. But RPA can amplify the workflow as it can focus on mundane tasks, allowing organizations to modify their strategies and deploy their staff to handle more productive and relevant duties.

In addition, securing information should not be an issue once RPA is in place, as it has data encryption, making it the practical choice to handle sensitive data from one system to another.


Technology player Monstarlab Philippines, through RAX, provides RPA-powered solutions for BPO companies, including normalization and correction of data within a database, eliminating redundancy and erroneous information. Experts from RAX can also develop automated response tools to queries received.

With more regional clients setting their eyes on Philippine-based BPO firms, now is the right time to embrace RPA to remain competitive.


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