Business Incubator off to Winning Start
The landmark partnership that gave birth to an incubator programme for start-ups in the business process outsourcing industry at the end of 2014 has been hailed as a success.
The initiative, a collaboration of Compete Caribbean, the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ) and Columbus Business Solutions, has been praised for providing an enabling environment for BPO entrants by removing the prohibitive start-up costs associated with the sector.
"Since the signing of the contract with Columbus Business Solutions, the team has been working very diligently with the BPIAJ and the MBFZ to get the BPO incubator set up for operation," said Gloria Henry, assistant vice-president of operations at the MBFZ.
"We are very pleased with the progress that we have made so far and with CBS' support. Our first customer is in, and has ramped up from 25 to 50 seats in just two months. We are now engaged in discussions with a second entrant that will bring the total occupation to 100 seats."
John Letzo, managing director of Account Outsourcing Group, the first company, said the start-up intended to secure another 25 seats by the end of April, which will bring their total seat count to 75.
"Our intention is to fill the seats out within six months. We are allowed to take up to 100 seats," said Letzo, whose company has a wide portfolio, including third-party delinquency management.
The Account Outsourcing Group managing director raved about the advantages of the initiative and explained how it had given his business a competitive foothold in the BPO sector.
"I think the incubator gives new businesses an opportunity by making it very easy to do business. It has pointed us in the right direction and has made a very pleasant and streamlined experience in a very competitive market."
The business incubator is a 200-seat, open-space facility with multiple cubicles which has been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment by Columbus Business Solutions. The regional telecoms giant provides a suite of services such as security and networking, virtual desktops and managed W-Fi, PBX hosting, data back-up, among a range of other amenities.
According to Andrew Fazio, director at Columbus Business Solutions, "Prior to CBS, BPO operations had to contend with high data and fixed costs linked to connectivity, and buying hardware that ensures their global competitiveness in this growing worldwide sector. CBS prides itself on offering solutions that are cost-friendly and take the complexity out of IT."