A change in leadership at the Customer Relationship Management and Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM) has the potential to return Malaysia to prominence within the global CRM sector. For nearly a decade, there has been limited interest in Malaysia compared to other offshore and nearshore delivery centers. The challenge for the CCAM’s new president and executive committee will be to increase Malaysia’s visibility in an increasingly cluttered offshore contact center delivery environment.
The recent appointment of Byron Fernandez as president of the CCAM is a strong indicator that Malaysia is serious about returning to the world stage in the CRM sector. Malaysia was once among the most sought-after higher value contact center delivery centers. But over the past few years it has become lost in the mix as new locations in Latin America, Africa, and other parts of APAC charge to the forefront.
Fernandez is a strong choice not only because of his previous experience with the association but also because of his ongoing efforts as Malaysia director at Teledirect, where he promotes the firm’s services around the world and across vertical markets. Being able to highlight Malaysia’s reputation for higher value CRM service delivery, its educated and dexterous agents, and its world-class infrastructure requires strong promotion and fresh vision – both areas in which Fernandez has proven himself.
Fernandez will need to ensure that the domestic agenda remains at the forefront of the CCAM’s work. A frequently voiced concern by those interested in pursuing Malaysian contact center deployments has been the perceived limited engagement with various levels of government. It will be essential for the executive committee to lobby Malaysia’s lawmakers for the most favorable economic, commercial, and legal environment (notably around labor law and hiring flexibility) to help the industry properly re-launch.
Enterprise contact center decision-makers are showing renewed favor for Malaysia as an offshore delivery center. In Ovum’s 2015 CRM Outsourcing Business Trends Survey, Malaysia ranked sixth out of 40 countries as most favored offshore contact center location. Malaysia was ranked the preferred offshore delivery country by respondents in Australia and it did nearly as well among respondents in the UK and North America.
The principal objective for Fernandez and his team will be to aggressively promote the strengths that have long been associated with Malaysian offshore delivery to target markets.They will need to highlight Malaysia’s stability as a location in which to do business, its solid infrastructure, and its agents who have the necessary language skills to provide a westernized level of service to overseas consumers. If the CCAM can project itself onto the global scene once again by playing up Malaysia’s strengths, Malaysia could easily become a competitor to other higher value delivery locations such as South Africa, Central Europe, and New Zealand.
Peter Ryan, Principal Analyst, IT Services
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