BPO December 11, 2019

2 BPO JAMAICA: BPO JAMAICA WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2019 CONVERSION INTERNATIONAL officially launched its operations in Montego Bay yesterday with a grand opening ceremony at its newly completed state-of-the art facility at Shop 20 inside the Sagicor Business Centre on Howard Cooke Boulevard. The in-house call centre is responsible for han- dling reservations for its United States-based parent companies Brittain Resorts and Resort Collections, based in North Carolina and Florida, respectively. The move comes four years after Jamaicans who were employed on the J1 and H2B work programmes impressed their overseas employers, prompting talks and eventually a decision to move operations to Jamaica earlier this year. Plans are now in place for advancing the oper- ations to include full-service front-office support to other hotel groups providing not only packages for the summer season but winter packages at ski resorts. The newly constructed space at the Sagicor Business Centre was completed at a cost of over US$700,000 and features modern and cutting-edge technology in software and telephony. The facility offers higher-tier agent jobs targeting persons holding college degrees; this comes amid several calls for high-level trained staff to perform higher-order services in the rapidly expanding global services sector. “It was always our intention to build out our own space as part our strategy and as a sign of our commitment to our treasured employees, Montego Bay, and Jamaica by extension. The completion of this outstanding milestone demonstrates this commitment to doing and growing our business in Jamaica and serves as a sign of our intent to estab- lish greater footing, co-operation, and partnership in Jamaica,” said Franz Wiggan, general manager, Conversion International. T he Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) is re-branding to the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) effective January 1, 2020. The BPIAJ represents infor- mation and communications technology, business process out- sourcing (BPO), and related firms doing business in Jamaica. According to BPIAJ boss Gloria Henry, the move will make the association more representative of the diverse services being offered within the global services sector (GSS). “The BPIAJ will be re-branded as the Global Services Association of Jamaica, and you will no longer hear of the BPO sector, but the industry is now the GSS,” Henry told GSS Jamaica following the official opening of Convergence International at the Sagicor Business Centre in Montego Bay recently. “That is all-encompassing and more representative of the diversity of our members because we have members who are global in-house centres – supporting their centres overseas – so they are not outsourcing services per se , but support centre provid- ing a range of services to their customers.” Outsourcing entities are the most common, but there are also entities in the higher-value segment, like those that provide legal process outsourcing, and some provide software as a service through the IT outsourcing segment. “So as we move to attract higher-value services to Jamaica, as we move to reposition Jamaica as not just a contact centre location but a destination for the full global services sector, we feel that it’s necessary as well for our association to be re-branded, too, and more representative of our members and trajectory that we are advancing towards,” said Henry. Jamaica has seen growth in GSS/BPO and other IT-enabled services and has brought an estimated investment spend of approximately US$400 million to Jamaica per year, with 65 compa- nies operating mainly in Montego Bay, Mandeville, Portmore, and Kingston. It is predicted that the global market for BPO will reach US$262.2 billion in 2022, which means the sector will retain its status as a lucrative industry and a job creator. Convergence International has been outsourcing its front-desk operations to Jamaica since January 2, 2019. It has invested over US$700,000 into building out its operations in Jamaica, which feature state-of-the-art technology and telephony, backed by training and development, and is now occupying a space from which it is are poised to grow. BPO transitions to global services sector Conversion International officially opens in Montego Bay Mike Stange, CEO, Resort Collection, Panama City, prepares to cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of Conversion International in Jamaica. Also participating in the ceremony are Robert Laltoo, a director at Conversion International, and Gloria Henry, president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica. Gloria Henry