CONVERGYS PLANS 2 CALL CENTERS IN MANILANew York, May 22, 2003 - Convergys Corp. , a billing software and customer-care services provider, announced plans to open two call centers in the Philippines in about two months in a move to cut back costs. Convergys, which along with its competitors has suffered from the prolonged slump in spending among telecommunications companies, has recently built call centers in markets where labor is considered cheaper than in the United States. The two new call centers, which will be in Manila and handle phone calls from clients' customers, will employ between 1,000 and 2,000 workers when they reach full capacity in 12 to 14 months, the Cincinnati-based company said. The company, which in December announced plans to cut 950 jobs, said in April it hoped to double its headcount in India to 6,500 where it plans to open additional call centers. Convergys employs 46,000 people altogether. Jack Freker, president of the company's call center business said that Convergys plans to build four more call centers in India, in addition to its two existing centers. "Demand from our clients is outstripping our ability to supply them" Freker told Reuters. "If we build at the same rate over the next year we will still be behind." Freker would not say how much the company was spending in the Philippines but noted that call centers typically cost about $6 million to $8 million to build. Convergys said its Manila call centers will be close to offices of other U.S. companies, such as Microsoft Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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