Paulo G. Montecillo, Philippine Daily Inquirersource
IBM expands to provinces, puts up Naga facility Tech giant IBM Corp. has announced plans to open a business process outsourcing (BPO) facility in Naga City, its first outside Metro Manila, in line with the Philippines’ growing importance in the multinational’s global supply chain. IBM will thus open up job opportunities in the booming Bicol region, which is home to several top-tier universities that can supply much-needed talent to support IBM’s expansion. “The expansion in Naga affirms IBM’s continued commitment to help develop talent in next wave cities in the Philippines,” IBM Philippines country general manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer said in a statement. “This is consistent with our vision to make IBM an essential innovation and technology partner that will enable the country’s expansion and transformation through IBM’s Smarter Planet agenda,” she said. Once completed, the new Naga facility will deliver “solutions” to IBM’s broad range of clients in the fields of human resources, finance, accounting, supply chain management, customer relationship management and application services. “In addition, this facility further strengthens IBM’s existing service delivery capability in the Philippines, which serves over a million clients across 84 countries,” said Cassandra Sotto, head of IBM’s Global Process Services Delivery Center. IBM has delivery centers in Quezon City, Makati City and Pasig City. It aims to bring to Naga City the same business process solutions expertise and wide global reach it has developed in these locations over the years. This is in line with IBM’s geographical expansion strategy in areas outside Metro Manila. Metro Naga, which includes Naga City and municipality of Pili, was named one of the 10 “next wave cities” by industry group Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) for this year. Next wave cities refer to areas around the country that have the potential to be major hubs for BPO operations. Current major centers for the industry are Metro Manila, Cebu and Clark, Pampanga. Among the criteria for choosing next wave cities are the sufficient supply of talent through the presence of universities, quality of infrastructure, availability of office space and ease of doing business.