By Balford Henry
During 2016, BPO-related activities focused on the launch of new brands, the expansion of existing companies, and the construction of new BPO commercial accommodation, according to the Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ) 2016.
Produced and published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and tabled annually in Parliament, the publication stated that:
Xerox Commercial Services, the biggest commercial BPO outfit in the country, changed ownership and was renamed Conduent. The company also recorded an estimated staff growth of more than 500 people.
Sutherland Global Services continued to grow, employing more than 1,000 people during the year, bringing its staff complement to more than 3,000 since its establishment in 2012.
Since launching its operations at Barnett Tech Park in 2014, Advanced Call Centre Technologies (ACCT) has grown to some 1,300 employees from approximately 300 people.
Induja Global Services expanded into two new locations, resulting in the addition of over 1,000 new jobs.
Ibex Global Jamaica, subsequent to its relocation to Portmore, conducted a branding exercise with a stated intention to increase its staff to 5,000 employees over the next five years. Since its relocation, it has grown to approximately 900 employees, up from just under 600.
Additionally, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) broke ground to construct a 63,000-sq-ft complex which will result in an increase of 10 per cent in BPO space in the Montego Bay Free Zone.
The facility will bring the total BPO space in the Free Zone to 665,000 square feet. During the year, the PAJ also completed the development of a 200-seat incubator call centre and is refurbishing existing buildings, with other new facilities in the planning stage.
Designs have also been completed for the addition of 150,000 square feet of purpose-built facilities to the Portmore Informatics Park.
During the year, seven new licences were issued to include one Carrier and six Service Provider licences, compared with 23 in 2015 (four Carrier and 19 Service Provider licences).
Cumulatively, the number of licences issued since the liberalisation of the industry in 2000 totalled 514. With respect to renewals, there was a total of four compared with 10 in 2015.