After months of thinking about sharing some of my thoughts on the BPO and shared services industries I received a very timely nudge in the person of the amazing Andrea Edwards (aka. The Digital Conversationalist) and so here we are. My first blog entry. Wish me luck. Thanks Andrea!
To start, since this is my first blog, I should begin with an introduction. Hello! Phil Wheatley here. I am from Newcastle, in the north of England. That makes me what we call a Geordie. A proud Geordie who doesn’t get to go home so often but I closely follow events back home, especially the roller-coaster ride of being a Newcastle United football fan.
Home nowadays is Manila in the Philippines. I first came here in 1999 with Procter & Gamble to help establish their Asia Pacific shared service center for HR employee services. Unbelievably that was now 18 years ago! I spent the first few years building that shared service organization and outsourcing some services such as payroll. I was an early customer of BPO in that role and learned what customers look for when selecting a partner to provide business process services, and what the pain points can be as well as what makes a great working relationship.
Since then I have moved across the aisle to the other side of the client / provider partnership equation. That is a switch I have really enjoyed and gained a lot of experience (and friendships) working with my clients. I have held leadership roles in IBM and NGA and added to my experience from previous roles in Europe. In all I have led teams in the UK, France, Poland, India, China, Malaysia and Australia as well as the Philippines.
As I share my stories I will be unashamedly partisan, I am a proud IBMer and I lead a fantastic team of around 3,000 in Manila and Naga. IBM is celebrating 80 years in the Philippines this year which demonstrates the staying power and reputation of Big Blue in the country.
At IBM we are focused on transforming BPO for the cognitive and digital age. Our team is now called Cognitive Process Services to highlight that change of direction. We will talk more in the coming posts about this change of direction and the challenges and opportunities they will bring to BPO and shared services organizations, and customers. Cognitive services and analytics, robotic automation, digital and cloud delivery models will all have huge impacts and transform the nature of work in the BPO space and already are. More to come on those topics soon.
I will also be generous with my praise for those doing a great job to further the transformation of the BPO industry. I passionately believe that IBM can only succeed in a vibrant and growing BPO sector in the Philippines. We learn from each other and in partnership we are developing the Philippines as the #2 global destination for BPO which benefits all in the space as well as the local communities and economy where we all live and work.
You can of course find me on LinkedIn to see more details, but my experience over the last 25 years is the main reason why I felt compelled to share some of my stories and hopefully give you the benefit of my learnings through this blog in the coming months.
I am starting to organize my thoughts ready to share here in the future. Please let me know what you think and if you have questions you would like me to answer, please comment and let me know.
That’s all for my first, introductory BPO Tale. More to follow soon. Bye for now people of the blog kingdom.