My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: September 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - 1500 Call Center Agents needed by Sutherland Global

Looks like my prediction of hundreds of Call Center Jobs in the month of September 2016 as predicted in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - A Brief Listing of Call Center Job Openings in New Kingston is coming to pass” is coming to pass

So for you workers in Advantage Call Center, Xerox Jamaica, Startek, IBEX and yes Sutherland Global, I’ve got news more interesting than Mother's Pork patty as I’d detailed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “Why Mother’s Pork Patty a hit in 2016 as Pork is now Popular” 

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Just when you thought the Call Center News train was over, Sutherland Global get into the mix. They're also looking to recruit some 1,500 Customer Services Representatives as reported in the article “Sutherland Global Recruiting 1,500”, published Wednesday September 28, 2016 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Here’s a picture of the ad which appeared in the Sunday Gleaner dated Sunday September 25th 2016.

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They're seeking full time and part time CSR, perfect for those high school leavers as well as those going to university but looking to work part-time. At 1,500, this is their largest recruitment drive since October 2012 when they were looking for some 3000 employees as reported in my blog article entitled “UWI opens Call Center to employ Students - Call Center Work before Six Degrees of Hell in the Working World”. 

They officially begun hiring non-UWI students a year later in November 2013, when it became clear that UWI students were not too interested as predicted in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Sutherland Global Service hiring Full-Time Customer Care for Mona Technology Park in Christmas”.

Since then, they opened up a Call Center in Mandeville, providing employment for nearly 5000 persons in that parish in 2015 as noted in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - 20000 Call Center Jobs at Sutherland Global in New Kingston and Mandeville”.

1000 employees later, their Mandeville Call Center was growing strong by 2015 as noted in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - 1000 workers for Sutherland Global at Ward Avenue Facility Mandeville might host two Call Centers”.

Still, don't get complacent; use the Call Centers to hunt for work, as it's the perfect springboard to either hunt for work or start your own business as explained in my blog article entitled “How 9-y-o and Millennials in Jamaica are becoming CEO Entrepreneurs to avoid the Cubicle Rat Race”.

So what are you waiting for? Apply at Sutherland Global today!!!!

Here’s the link:

Monday, September 26, 2016

How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - IBEX Global paying 400 Call Center Agents JA$400 per hour

Folks, looks like September 2016 is the month for Call Centers trying desperately to woo more school leavers to join their ranks. So for you workers in Advantage Call Center, Xerox Jamaica, Startek and yes IBEX, I’ve got news more interesting than Mother's Curry goat patty.

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This Sunday September 25th 2016, I looked in the Sunday Gleaner and beheld a marvel; IBEX Global is hiring 400 Call Center Agents and other staff and is willing to pay JA$400 per hour. So say this ad in the Sunday Gleaner dated Sunday September 26th 2016.

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Applications can be made here:

This is even more than Advantage Communication is paying me, which is about JA$380 per hour as noted in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - A Brief Listing of Call Center Job Openings in New Kingston”.  Heck, it’s way above even what Digicel’s Call Center offers!

So who is IBEX Global anyway?

IBEX Global hiring 400 Agents - 400 to be paid $400 to work in Google Styled Campus

IBEX Global came into the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) business thanks to CEO Robert Dechant who was instrumental in the launch of IBEX Jamaica and IBEX Nicaragua as noted in the article “The New CEO Whose Market Knowledge Led IBEX Global to Jamaica and Nicaragua”, published April 14, 2016 By Jared Wade, Nearshore Americas.

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After launching on Tuesday December 1st 2015, the currently have about 600 Call Center Agents, Quality, Supervisors and Administrative Staff combined. They should have passed some 1,000 workers in June 2016 and may potentially reach 3,500 to 5,000 people by 2017.

This latest ad may be a part of that ramp and they currently provide the following services:

1.      Teleservices
2.      Chat an Email Services
3.      Account Management
4.      Back Office solutions

Currently, IBEX Global headquarters is located in  Portmore Pines Plaza, occupying 10,000 sq ft spanning three (3) floors as reported in the article “Movie theatre out as IBEX Global chooses Portmore for new base”, published Friday, August 05, 2016 by Avia Collinder, The Jamaica Observer.

The complex, painted in IBEX Global colours of Red and white, is leased to them by Mount Royal Estate development company and represents a JA$300 million investment by IBEX Global. For an upstart to the Call Center world, they're not doing too badly.

As of the end of 2015, the company, which has headquarters in Washington in the USA, had revenues of US$230 million as noted in the article “IBEX Global to open BPO operation in Kingston”, published Wednesday, January 06, 2016, Avia Collinder, The Jamaica Observer.

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With some 18 call centres with 15,000 employees in five (5) countries, their launch in Jamaica has been quite modest. They have their eyes on having three (3) Call Centers located in Kingston on a 1.7 acre campus housing some 650 to 800 agents. The facilities they have planned are quite advanced; shared common areas with a day-care and a Google style cafeteria with food from around the world.

Whether this is all true of not isn't of interest to Jamaicans; what’s got my eye is the mention of the 400 permanent positions paying JS$400 per hour. To me, stating the fact that the salary is a certain value isn’t typical M.O (Modus operandi) for a call center, suggesting that they may actually be having difficulty attracting and retaining CSA.

After all, things have been changing in Jamaica; entrepreneurship is on the rise and Jamaican young adults now have the options of travelling abroad or starting their own business as noted in my blog article entitled “How 9-y-o and Millennials in Jamaica are becoming CEO Entrepreneurs to avoid the Cubicle Rat Race” 

Call Centers have gotten a bad rap due to their low salaries and lack of social freedoms, tantamount to being called a form of modern day slavery. Many Jamaican who work there aren’t comfortable and so leave, telling others of the problems they’ve faced.

This is making it harder for Call Center to get experienced employees, as they constantly have to be training new people and the experienced that remain only do Call Center work to make ends meet and may not view it as a career option. Thus the fact that they’d state the salary and present such wonderful images of a Google-esque workplace, suggests not only is this problem real, but their client must be a foreign multinational willing to pay for their services.

This may have many Advantage Call Center Agents grumbling over overtime pay thinking to jump ship and become Team leads and Supervisor in order to advance their career in the Call Center World......and make a more liveable wage without having to do overtime.

Here's the link:

Friday, September 23, 2016

How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - Xerox Job Fair for 2500 Amazon Agents on September 24th 2016

“Our open house events are a great opportunity to visit a Xerox site and find out more about our organisation and the various job opportunities. Candidates will have the opportunity to interact with the operations team in order to learn more about the culture, scope of work, and expectations of the job roles.”

Vice-president and country leader for Xerox in Jamaica, Leroy Reid, commenting on the Open House Hiring by Xerox Jamaica

Jamaican high school leavers and Call Center workers at Xerox, Advantage Call Center and yes Startek, I’ve got Call Center news that's more interesting than this remote for Women. Well maybe not, as I’d like to have this remote!

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Xerox Jamaica is having a job fair on Saturday September 24th 2016 as reported in the article “Xerox seeks to hire 2,500 in Mobay, Kingston, Portmore”, published Sunday, September 18, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

Specifically the job fair will be at Naggo Head, St Catherine on Saturday, September 24th 2016 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The minimum requirements for employment at Xerox are:

1.      School leaving certificate at the secondary level
2.      HEART Level II certificate

Here are some fresh new details in point form for those of you who didn't read:

1.      2,500 Jamaican Call Center Agents needed
2.      1500 Call Center Agents for Montego Bay
3.      1000 Call Center Agents for Kingston Portmore

They're not just looking for Call Center Agents, as positions exist for persons possessing advanced qualifications, such as Degrees and Diplomas from tertiary institutions:

1.      Customer care associates
2.      Operations manager
3.      Supervisors
4.      Trainers
5.      Workforce analysts
6.      Quality analysts

I’d mentioned that Xerox Jamaica was recruiting for Amazon as a ramp up for the Christmas 2016 period as explained in my blog article entitled “How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers - 1500 Amazon Call Center Agents for Xerox Jamaica for Christmas Holidays”. 

I know this as I'd gotten my break into the Call Center world back in 2011 at Xerox, when the Amazon Kindle Fire had been launched as I’d reported in my Geezam blog article entitled “Amazon lights a Kindle Fire as a Gladiator worthy of the Apple iPad”. 

Back then I lived in a little hut, not much different from the one below; I learned a lot and that knowledge guides me to this day!

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They're looking for a total of 2500 people as reported in the article “Xerox announces 2,500 new jobs for Jamaicans”, published Sunday, September 11, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

Xerox, which has been in Jamaica since 2000, now has almost 11 locations in Jamaica, employing some 6,500 employees, making them the largest private sector employer in Jamaica. Their 130,000-strong workforce is spread over several countries, with Jamaica being ranked 4th in terms of personnel employed behind the following countries:

1.      United States of America
2.      India
3.      Philippines

So what are you waiting for? Get your portfolio together and head on over to Naggo Head, St Catherine on Saturday September 24th 2016 from 10:00am to 2:00pm for Xerox Jamaica Job fair!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

BGLC and Internet Gambling and How Mobile Money makes Illegal Online Gambling flourish in Jamaica

“Internet gambling and the fantasy/virtual sports betting phenomenon, which is quickly gaining interest in Jamaica, will be explored in detail during the BGLC's upcoming Gaming Industry Summit on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, beginning at 8:30 a.m.”

BGLC (Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission) commenting on the state of Internet Gambling in Jamaica

Is Internet Gambling in Jamaica already?

That may be the case, as the BGLC (Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission) is looking to regulate Internet gambling in Jamaica as reported in “BGLC Tackles Latest  trend In Internet Gambling”, published Monday September 19, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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The BGLC has begun looking into this possibility. They’re examining other countries where online and mobile gambling is popular such as:

1.      United States
2.      India
3.      China

Thought they're examination and analysis, they are formulating a position for review by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in 2017- 2018 Financial Year. 

They'll also have more to say at their Gaming Industry Summit come Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

So back to the question; Is Internet Gambling in Jamaica already?

Internet Gambling in Jamaica - Internet Gambling via Apps will be very lucrative

First, a quick look at gambling in Jamaica.

Gambling overall is very lucrative as noted in the article “$119.67b Spent On Gambling By Jamaicans Last Financial Year”, published Tuesday May 24, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

According to the 2015 annual report of Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission:

1.      JA$119.67 billion spent by Jamaicans on betting, gaming and lottery sectors in 2015
2.      JA$97.7 billion spent by Jamaicans on betting, gaming and lottery sectors in 2014
3.      JA$103.15 billion paid out to Jamaicans on betting, gaming and lottery games in 2015

This represents a 22% increase when year 2014 is compared to year 2015. When the calculations are done for sales, basically a subtraction of money spent vs money paid out to Jamaicans who won:

1.      JA$75.1 billion in sales made from Gambling in Jamaica in 2015
2.      JA$57.9 billion in sales made from Gambling in Jamaica in 2014

This is also an increase of approximately 30%, when year 2014 is compared to year 2015. If 2015 was broken down in terms of sectors:

1.      JA$36.1 billion in sales for Lottery Sector
2.      JA$4.3 billion in sales for Horse Racing
3.      JA$4 billion in sales for Betting by bookmakers

So clearly, putting betting online would make Gambling in Jamaica even more lucrative, provided safeguards against underage gambling are in place.

BGLC and Mobile Money - Legally making Illegal Online Gambling flourish in Jamaica

So short answer is yes, Internet Gambling is in Jamaica, once you have access to Internet.

Also you'll need a Scotia VISA Debit or CIBC VISA Debit Card to place bets as these cards can be used for online purchases as noted in my blog article entitled “How to purchase items and subscribe to Magazines online and ship them to Jamaica”.

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Even a Paypal account will work, mainly to receive winnings from placing bets online as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can make money online – Setting up a Paypal Account”.

It's also very easy to place bets via Mobile Money Platforms and accept Financial Transactions via NCB Quisk as noted in my blog article entitled “How Quisk and AIS Mobile Money 2.0 heralds Cashless Society in Jamaica in July 2016”.

Already Supreme Ventures has upgraded their Gaming Platform to process mobile money transactions, paving the way to use Mobile Money to place bets in the future as predicted in my blog article entitled “Supreme Ventures Limited IFLEX Betting Platform Upgrade - How Mobile Gambling via Smartphone is finally coming to Jamaica”.

However, they're late; Island Bet, operated by Sizzling Slots, a gaming company co-owned by Gassan Azan and business partner Adam Epstein has already launched since January 2016 as reported in the article “Sizzling Slots First To Market With Island Bet Mobile Betting Platform”, published Friday January 22, 2016 by Tameka Gordon, The Jamaica Gleaner.

They handle upwards of 1,000 users and do transactions for 50 international sports betting markets around the world. However, they still don't have an App, just a website and a WAP (Web Application Protocol).

A simple upgrade that includes having a phone number for quisk transactions on their website would make them able to do Quisk Transactions. It’s only a matter of time before Illegal versions of Online Gambling begin popping up in Jamaica by clever entrepreneurs using Mobile Money and cashing in on the smartphone and phablet craze!

So the BGLC has its work cut out for them, as Mobile Money will legally make Illegal and Legal Internet Gambling flourish in Jamaica!    

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How OUR can fund FLOW Jamaica Emergency operator service using Stay Alert App, Mobile Money and Advertising

“[FLOW Jamaica is] currently providing this service for all other public telecoms service providers at a loss. In other words, we have been subsidising the service with no additional funding”

FLOW Jamaica comments on their desire to cease being the host of the centralised emergency operator service

Calling 110, 112, 119 and 911 may be soon run by Public or Private Sector Interests. And it may come with a side serving of advertising!

This as FLOW Jamaica has declared their intention to the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) to stop acting as the host of the centralised emergency operator service as reported in the article “Flow Wants To Drop Emergency Operator Service”, published Sunday September 18, 2016 by Tameka Gordon, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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For those of you who don't own a Telephone Director and hardly make calls anyway:

1.      110 - Emergency Contact for Police
2.      112 - Emergency Contact for Police
3.      115 - Repair Services
4.      116 - Hurricane Update
5.      117 - Time and Date
6.      119 - Direct Contact to the Police
7.      811 - King Fish
8.      911 - Fire or Ambulance Services

These Services, hosted by FLOW Jamaica, are free of charge. All calls to these emergency numbers, be if from a Digicel or FLOW Fixed Line or Mobile number, are handle by FLOW Jamaica. FLOW Jamaica want this to change, as being the Nation’s Call Center for Emergencies makes no revenue for them, with 110, 112 and 119 going straight to the Police.

The OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) agrees, as stated on their Website, quote: “It has, therefore, become necessary to conduct an overall review of emergency service access arrangements in Jamaica and to propose technically, economically, and operationally feasible alternative means of accommodating the end-to-end process of call initiation, handling, and forwarding to emergency services providers for timely and successful dispatch of emergency assistance”.

FLOW Jamaica has informed the OUR that it will no longer host a centralised emergency operator service through its network. Instead, it wants all telecoms providers to offer the service to their own subscribers.

So who will handle these calls if FLOW Jamaica were to cease providing these essential services?

FLOW Jamaica and the centralised emergency operator - Upset with the OUR since 2014

FLOW Jamaica, since 2014, has been advocating that each Telecom Provider should provide these services to their customers, as per the revised Telecommunications Act of 2012. The specific section of the Act requires Telecom Providers provide emergency operator service for the purposes of making calls to numbers in the National Numbering Plan i.e. Calling 110, 112, 119 and 911, ect.

This as they do not make money from providing the service; it's partially subsidized by the State via the USF, but as it makes no money for them as it's a loss making burden.

110 and 119 short codes have been in Jamaica for the past 45 years ago, with 112 and 911 being introduced to replace 110 in 2011. When calls are received by the centralised emergency operator service, the operator routes the call to the appropriate emergency service based on Geographic locations to quote the OUR: “...from the information obtained from speaking directly with the caller - and thereby endeavouring to ascertain the caller's precise location - is able to forward the call to the correct emergency service provider at the nearest geographic location to the caller”.

Albeit it hasn't been announced, but what this all means is that at some point, these services may soon be handled by a Call Center, most likely paid through the USF (Universal Service Fund), the current arrangement with FLOW Jamaica. To quote the OUR: “...based on an understanding that it will be funded from the Universal Service Fund until alternative arrangements are put in place by the responsible ministry”.

So how would such a Call Center Make money from providing emergency operator service?

Funding the emergency operator service Call Center - USF and Advertising on smartphones is Possible

One way, aside from the USF subsidy, would be via running the emergency operator service Call Center in such a way that it reduces its overall expenditure. This thinking has become necessary, as the problem of running an emergency operator service Call Center is being faced by FLOW Jamaica is universal to all Telecom Providers around the world.

Such a Call Center, most likely partially owned by the Ministry of National Security and a Private Sector contractor, could run on Solar Power, reducing its need to use JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) Electricity. Cooling could be done via natural evaporation techniques and the building designed to reduce heat wastage, keeping it cool enough for the Servers to work.

But monetization of some sort would be necessary.

A VoIP App on smartphone enables so as to be used without a Data Plan might also be an option. This facility would be provided in the same way that the Telecom Providers already make 110, 119 and 112 work on any phone without the need for a SIM Card or credit on the phone.

Currently, websites for Government Ministries can be accessed without a Data Plan or Credit on the phone as noted in my blog article entitled “How Unlimited access to Government of Jamaica Websites heralds Electronic Transactions and Mobile Money”. 

So why not emergency operator service Call Center accessed via a VoIP App that's free to use without a Data Plan or Credit on the phone? After all, it’s to be used for Emergency purposes.

The idea is that the Ministry of National Security would partner with this Private Sector contractor to run the emergency operator service Call Center. Then they’d update their Stay Alert App as described in my blog article entitled “Why Ministry of National Security's Stay Alert App is Prankster's Summer Toy of 2016” to handle all calls and IM to the emergency operator service, not just those from the Jamaican Police.

Then to make money, the App would be designed to serve Ads for Government Agencies, Ministries as well as select Private Sector Companies on the homescreen as well as within the App itself.

Additionally, voice calls, texts and IM (Instant Messages) through the Stay Alert App would have ads inserted before each call, allowing them to be monetized. The Voice call would have voice ads and the Texts and IM would have short text or picture ads with a link to the Government or Company website.

These participating Government and Private Sector advertisers would be billed for advertising on the Stay Alert App, being as users of the App would technically be a captive audience. It would allow the Stay Alert App to make money not only for the Ministry of National Security, but also the Call Center.

Once the number of Jamaicans that have the Stay Alert App reaches critical mass, the revenue from advertising via the Stay Alert App will become significant. This revenue, plus the subvention from the USF, could fund the emergency operator service Call Center.

Until then, Anything is Possible!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to get a Free VPN using an Opera Browser

Fellow Jamaicans who work online and also snoop around on the Darknet. Need a Free VPN (Virtual Private Network) to log on to a website service as an American or one of five (5) other Nationalities on your Laptop?

Then look no further than the Opera Browser, which now comes with a free built-in VPN as of Tuesday September 20th 2016 as announced in the article “Opera launches desktop version of its free unlimited VPN”, published September 20, 2016 by Aloysius Low, CNET News.

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The Opera Browser, which is powered by Opera subsidiary SurfEasy, uses a 256-bit AES encrypted connection. It's a follow-on of the previous announcement of a Free VPN on the smartphone version of the Opera Browser iOS and Android as noted in the article “3 reasons you should install Opera VPN for iOS right now”, published May 10, 2016 by Rick Broida, CNET News

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You can chose from one of five (5) locations to login:

1.      Canada
2.      Germany
3.      Netherlands
4.      Singapore
5.      United States

The Opera VPN doesn't log your browsing history and can even choose a VPN that's right for you. You can stream HD video, but that depends on your choice of VPN; best to leave that to the video pirates as noted in my blog article entitled “How to find Free TV online and stream via Wi-Fi to any smartphone”.

The Browser also supports the following features:

1.      Chromecast support
2.      Automatic battery saving for unplugged laptops
3.      Support for RSS feeds with the newsreader feature

To activate do the following:

1.      Go to Settings
2.      Check Enable VPN in the Privacy and Security Section
3.      Select options using the button in the browser address field

For the more industrious among us in Jamaica, this is a godsend; we now have a Free VPN that we can use for do everything from Watch Netflix to work online as explained in my blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can make money online using Free VPN”.

Finally, VPN's won't cost anything, as online work will flourish in Jamaica!