My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel cuts 120 Call Center Jobs - Fullgram Solutions to benefit as Antonio Graham speaks of an AEPP future by the Ocean

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Digicel cuts 120 Call Center Jobs - Fullgram Solutions to benefit as Antonio Graham speaks of an AEPP future by the Ocean



The week ending on Saturday April 21st 2012AD has been one busy week for Telecom Providers indeed! Between the voluntary separation of about one hundred and twenty (120) workers from Telecom Provider Digicel, Digicel’s new Anywhere Plan and LIME’s New Data Packages, the news coming from the Telecoms world has been quite overwhelming.

It’s also a herald of more depressing news since news first broke that they’re losing money from Voice Services.So I’ll focus on the Voluntary Separations, which I know about personally, as the place I was working at previously up to April 1st 2012AD is set to be the beneficiary of this cost cutting measure: FullGram Solutions Limited. This as Telecom Provider braces for a worsening Global Recession, whose winds are sweeping across Jamaica!!!

Telecom Provider Digicel plans to outsource the Prepaid Account to FullGram Solutions Limited, the Call Center whose existence came to the fore with the advent of CLARO Jamaica. The company was started in 2008AD by Karl Graham and David Fullwood and as such the name “FullGram” is a concatenation of their last names.

They are of significance as Telecom Provider Digicel in acquiring CLARO Jamaica; they also acquired the CLARO Account, which happened to be run by FullGram Solutions Limited duo of President and Chief Executive Officer Karl Graham and Chief Information Officer, David Fullwood and their rather oddly dedicated Team
Rather than to waste this low-cost resource of CSA (Customer Service Agent), Telecom Provider Digicel then proceeded to convert the CLARO Account to a Digicel Prepaid Account and continue the relationship with FullGram Solutions Limited.  Thus realized that outsourcing their Call Center was Cheaper than running one themselves, which they had been doing since 2001AD

This one hundred and twenty (120) people to be offered Voluntary Redundancy is the same  one hundred and twenty (120) CSA’s  I kept hearing that FullGram Solutions Limited required but apparently had no terminals i.e. computers with headsets and Avaya VoIP . I know all this as I was employed as a CSA (Customer Service Agent) working on the Prepaid Digicel Account at FullGram Solutions Limited.

This thanks to a lucky break and a tip-off from a friend of mine named Sophia Tucker, a CSA who had been separated from the Amazon.com Account at ACS-Xerox Limited located in Naggo Head, Portmore. As such, after applying using their Online Application Form and a rather successful interview en masse, training began and over time I became privy to a lot of information relating to Telecom Provider Digicel.

Internal Information which I still have documented to this day and is the basis of many of my hugely popular “How to” series of articles on the Geezam blog.

For the record, I am no longer working at FullGram Solutions Limited, having found another job as an Electrical Process Engineer working with ACS Limited (Automatic and Computer Systems).

ACS Limited is the contractor of choice for Honeywell to maintain their TPS (Total Plant Solution) for our client ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America) and its main plant in Jamaica, JAMALCO. This amalgamation of ALCOA involving JAMALCO (Jamaica ALCOA Company), ACS Limited and Honeywell is called QUASAR (Quality Automation Solutions for Alumina Refining).

For the record, JAMALCO is a partnership between ALCOA and the GOJ (Government of Jamaica), a rare thing for a FDI (Foreign Direct Investor) to be a partner with a Government, but not strange if one considers the case of New Guinea and the People’s Republic of China.

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I’ve since left ACS and JAMALCO and since Monday 25th July 2012, I’m now working at ACCENT Marketing Jamaica Ltd as a TES (Technical Engagement Specialist) on the SHARP Account as described in the Geezam Blog article entitled “Kyoto University’s Water-powered Smartphone Batteries and SHARP’s IGZO power Efficient Screen for 2013”.

The experience working at two (2) Call Centers in Jamaica has peaked my interest in the Call CenterIndustry. So much so that I did an article on its emergence in Jamaica and the interest being taken by FDI (Foreign Direct Investor) Convergyns in setting up shop in Jamaica.

This phenomenon of Call Centers coming to Jamaica is mainly driven by our low cost, out-of-work English speaking labour force as stated in my blog article entitled “Convergys and Aegis Communications Call Centers Coming – FDI powered Call Center Renaissance in Jamaica thanks to our Good English

Quite a mouthful and a complex relationship at that!

But after having begun working on Monday April 10th 2012AD, it gives me yet another topic to write on, namely Process Engineering and alumina and aluminum Production, for which I had already written a blog article entitled “US Automobile Industry Resurgence and Jamaica's Bauxite Industry - Scrap Metal Industry Renaissance

The voluntary separation of one hundred and twenty (120) workers from Telecom Provider Digicelas stated in the article “Digicel expects to shed 120 jobs”, published Saturday April 14, 2012, The Jamaica Gleaner is simple enough: they’re losing money from Prepaid Voice Services as the uptake for Data services has not been as rapid as Telecom Provider Digicel or even any of the Telecom Providers had expected.

This as evidenced by the statistics provided by Jamaica Gleaner article entitled “More cells, but telecoms earn less”, published Wednesday March 21, 2012 by Steven Jackson, Business Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

My blog article entitled OUR Records Voice Decline for the Fourth Quarter of 2010 - Postpaid, Data Services and Fixed Line Mobile and Landline Saturday Night Fever for Telecom Providers” prescribes the solutions to all Telecom Provider inclusive of Telecom Provider Digicel: a more aggressive push for Fixed Line Mobile and Landline, Data Services and Postpaid.

This is especially true for Postpaid, which appears to undergoing a renaissance in Jamaica since Telecom Provider Digicel came to a Liberalized Telecom Sector in Jamaica to compete back in 2000AD.

Now this one hundred and twenty (120) workers is not from Engineering or Marketing but Customer Care and represents a little fewer than10% of Telecom Provider Digicel’s one thousand one hundred and seventy (1,170) employees complement.

Although Telecom Provider Digicel let go three hundred and fifty (350) employees in a voluntary separation upon acquiring CLARO Jamaica Voice and 3G Data Network and associated license as their 517,000 CLARO customers as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel to shut down CLARO's Voice Network in HSDPA+ Push - The Louisiana Purchase of Spectrum, Telecom Provider Digicel retained about sixty (60) CLARO employees permanently, mainly RF Technicians, IT and Networks Engineers.

Rather, it’s mainly from the Digicel Customer Care Department located in the RKA Building in New Kingston. Hence the words of Head of Digicel Group PR (Public Relations) Antonia Graham, quote: “As this is a voluntary separation programme, it is not possible to predict what volume of applications we will get. That said, based on our experience of offering a voluntary separation programme in 2009, we would expect around 10 per cent of our employees to apply”.

Head of Digicel Group PR (Public Relations) Antonia Graham has more to say on employees [read Digicel CSA’s] having to be forced to resign, quote: “Upon reviewing all applications, we will be in a position to better assess if any further action is required. Obviously we can’t predict the future but we do believe that this offer of the voluntary separation programme will result in us having the right people with the right skills in the right jobs and so being able to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead”.

This RKA Building, which is rented by Telecom Provider Digicel is soon to vacate later to go into their 11-storey tower 211,500 square foot mansion which consists of three (3) building covered with15,000 square feet of Solar Panels and Solar and Wind Turbines on Ocean Boulevard and indicated in my blog article entitled “Digicel adds on Green Power to future Corporate Building - Petula Clarke's Downtown Global Warming Crisis”.

Speculation abounds as whether Telecom Provider Digicel may actually use this opportunity to get into the AEPP (Alternative Energy Power Provider) game with an Electricity Generation license as speculated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel Jamaica’s Alternative Energy Future – Increased Electricity Bills and Energy Sector Opportunities collide”.

But one thing is for sure; my friend at FullGram Solutions Limited will be kept busy for the foreseeable future as Telecom Provider Digicel becomes more efficient by going to its new solar powered mansion by the Ocean and vacates the RKA Building.

But who will be the new Joint Tenants in the soon-to-be vacated RKA Building in New Kingston? Possibly ACCENT Marketing Jamaica Ltd, as they may be looking to rent the space due the current expansion in accounts and new accounts coming our way!

Only time and an official Press Release from Telecom Provider Digicel can confirm this, which I shall be surely be on the lookout for in the future as Head of Digicel Group PR (Public Relations) Antonia Graham intones.
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