My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Convergyns and Aegis Communications Call Centers Coming – FDI powered Call Center Renaissance in Jamaica thanks to our Good English


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Convergyns and Aegis Communications Call Centers Coming – FDI powered Call Center Renaissance in Jamaica thanks to our Good English

Folks it looks like a lot more happened at the JAMPRO (Jamaica Promotions Corporation) sponsored Jamaica Investment Forum recently held on Thursday March 1st 2012AD and on Friday March 2nd 2012AD at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James!

Media reports described the invitation only shindig dubbed “Invest in Jamaica: Invest in a Global Brand” as being oversubscribed, owing to the high level of interest and the profile of the speakers, mostly Government Ministers as noted in the article “Jamaica Investment conference oversubscribed”, published 2012-03-01 09:15:57, Rare to see them so directly involved, as they usually send Ministerial Members in their stead.

Four hundred (400) delegates from nearly sixteen (16) countries is definitely oversubscribed.

Roll call please:
  • Russia and China
  • Sweden
  • Scotland
  • Serbia
  • Japan
  • Grand Cayman
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA
  • Canada and the UK

But the other big news aside from the Russians coming to make BioEthanol for Sorghum as noted in my blog article entitled “Russians see potential in Ethanol Fuel Plant in Jamaica – From Russia With Love for sorghum”: Ohio-based company, Convergys and US-based Aegis Communications Ltd are coming to Jamaica to set up Call Centers.

Some quick facts about Convergys:

  • Employs nearly 75,000 employees worldwide
  • Various Clients in 70 countries including T-Mobile, Telefonica of Spain, Macy and Cisco to name a few
  • 85 Call Centers Worldwide

This was the company that was hinted in The Jamaica Observer in November 2011AD entitled “American firm to bring up to 3,000 ICT jobs”, published Wednesday, November 23, 2011 BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant business Co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer.

It was later revealed to be Convergys in subsequent articles “MoBay call centre to create 1000 jobs”, published Wednesday, December 07, 2011 BY PAUL ALLEN Observer staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer and the article “Call centre to employ 1,000 in MoBay”, published Thursday, December 08, 2011 by Paul Allen Business reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Convergys their target amount of employees as being between one thousand (1000) to three thousand (3000) employees in a Sector is significant in a rapidly expanding ICT (Information and Computer Technology) Sector that already employs some eleven thousand five hundred (11,500) people.

This are reported in the Press Release from the JIS (Jamaica Information Service) entitled “Russians Interested in Setting up Ethanol Plant”, published Sunday March 4th 2012 by Donna-Marie Rowe, Jamaica Information Service. It was also echoed by the Jamaica Observer today Tuesday March 6th 2012 in the article “Russians interested in setting up ethanol plant”, published Tuesday, March 06, 2012 by JIS via the Jamaica Observer.

The Russians are definitely interested in Jamaica as a place to invest in the making of BioEthanol using sugary-sweet sorghum. Possibly other BioFuels such as BioDiesel, a definite catalyst for the Liberalization of the Motor Vehicle Fuel Production Section of the Energy Sector as predicted in my blog article entitled “Russians see potential in Ethanol Fuel Plant in Jamaica – From Russia With Love for sorghum” may also be in the works, a spur for Local investment in the Sector.

This move by Convergys and US-based Aegis Communications Ltd is a clear and obvious follow-on of the 2009AD investment by printer maker Xerox in buying ACS (Affiliated Computer Services) Ltd

They had also purchased ACS’s  assets here in Jamaica for US$6.4 billion in cash and stock back in September 2009AD as stated in the article “Xerox buys E-Services parent, ACS - US$6B deal to expand tech services business” published Wednesday September 30, 2009, The Jamaica Gleaner.  E-Services, previously owned by Patrick Casserly and Partners, was an asset he parted with for US$85 million.

Now it would seem that Call Centers are slated to make their mark in Jamaica as well.

This with the success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire going as far as to take a bite out of Apple iPad 2 sales as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Amazon sells 5.5 million Kindle Fires in Fourth Quarter 2012 – Apple iPad sales drop and plans January Press Event” and my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 3 Launch on March 2012 - Amazon Kindle Fire is a Sweet Dream but a Beautiful Nightmare for Apple”.

The business it generated for ACS-Xerox is now well known and the investment in ACS is now being looked up on in Silicon Valley as a stroke of genius. With the looming possibility that Amazon may be launching a pair of smartphones in the Fourth Quarter of 2012AD as hinted in my blog article entitled “Amazon set to launch smartphone in Fourth Quarter of 2012AD - The App Economy and the Increasing Importance of Digical Content”, more business is definitely coming the way of the Jamaican operations for ACS-Xerox.

Best of all, Jamaica is now in the spotlight as the ideal Call Center destination. Hence the interest, as no doubt Convergys and US-based Aegis Communications are coming to Jamaica for the same reasons FDI (Foreign Direct Investor) Xerox getting into the Call Center Business via its acquisition of ACS (Affiliated Computer Services):

  • Call Center Business is an excellent form of diversification for Xerox, which has long been in the printing business now dominated by Hewlett-Packard
  • Jamaica speaks English as our First Language
  • We have excellent Fiber Optic Connectivity to the US and South America, making Jamaica the perfect place to Host Call Centers
  • Cheap, plentiful Labour willing and ready to work
  • Non-discriminatory workplaces employing people with various skill and education levels
  • The coming of Energy Sector Liberalization and large power company investors such as Canadian Solarmon Energy Corp and American-Based Green RG as stated in the article “Solamon Energy Corp & Green RG invest in Jamaica's Alternative Energy Future - Let the Cheaper Energy Hunger Games for Latin America Begin”, heralding cheaper electricity, a definite attraction of power-intensive ICT Sector Companies

Only this time, the Call Center Operators in question, Cincinnati, Ohio-based company, Convergys and US-based Aegis Communications Ltd, two (2) Fortune 500 companies hailing out of the US of A, are interested in more than just renting a building and using some slightly used Computers to run their Call Center, based on my first hand experience with working at ACS-Xerox.

Rather, Convergys is planning to build theirs [Call Center] from scratch in Montego Bay, with the intention to employ approximately one thousand (1000) CSA (Customer Service Agents) upon completion of their facility in the First Quarter of 2013AD.

They also have plans for more than three thousand (3000) eventually as stated in the article “New call centre for MoBayPublished Sunday March 4, 2012 by Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer, The Sunday Gleaner. Worth repeating that number again, folks; that is a lot of idle people off the streets and no longer thinking of committing crimes.

This culled from the words of JAMPRO President Sancia Templer, quote: “They will start construction this year and have decided that they want to have a strong presence here, developing their own ICT centre. When you put brick and mortar in a country it means you are in that country for the long haul”.

Clearly, the Jamaica Investment Forum had the direct interest of the Minister of Government, who now realizes, more than ever, that their long-term future rests in encouraging FDI to come and invert in Jamaica.

Whether they plan to use Jamaica as springboard to offer Call center services to Spanish–speaking countries in Latin America is not Jamaica’s concern. After all, we should be very grateful and feel extremely lucky that Cuba is still under an embargo sanctioned by the US Government, making Jamaica the ideal launching pad.

All this because we are an English-speaking country!!!! We seriously need to thank the British for chasing away the Spanish in 1655!

Moreover, the gain in terms of Taxes, Licenses and employment to unemployment has political benefits as well for the PNP (People’s National Party) currently in power and seeking to remain in power by being an arbiter of Growth and development. Even if this is really a follow-on of the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Macroeconomic Stabilization Policies………
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