Dell Computer, the Texas-based computer maker, announced last Friday it is selling one of the only two company-owned call center sites in the Philippines to call center operator, Teleperformance.
This could mean two things: Dell has been hit hard by the global economic crisis, and the BPO (business process outsourcing) officials may be right in saying the meltdown will actually be beneficial to the sector.
In Dell's statement, the company said French-owned call center operator Teleperformance will be taking over its call center facility at the SM Mall Asia in Pasay City for an undisclosed price.
However, the company said it is not completely pulling out of the country since its Quezon City site is not included in the transaction.
For those people like myself who went to its inauguration just three years back, the announcement comes as a surprise since it was Michael Dell himself, along with President Gloria Arroyo, who graced the site's opening.
The facility started out with about 700 employees, with a plan to double the headcount in a year's time. That, it seems, never happened as Teleperformance is expected to absorb just over 1,000 agents at the site.
Since the start of the global financial mess, local execs, particularly from the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), have stressed that effected U.S. firms are likely to outsource more of their requirements to BPO destinations like the Philippines to cut cost.
At first glance, Dell's case seems to be a unique one: it is outsourcing its consumer tech support work to the Philippines through Teleperformance, but only after it closed down its own call center facility.
On hindsight, however, it does appear that the local BPO sector is benefiting from the global financial crunch. As I write this blog post, another American-owned call center operator is set to open this week another site south of Metro Manila.
In reality, it is Dell which has been affected by the crisis and was therefore forced to give up one of its call centers in the Philippines.