IBM plans to add 15,000 jobs across its four subsidiaries in the Philippines, including its business transformation outsourcing (BTO) and call center units.
Anna Roqueza, IBM Philippines human resources country manager, however, said in an interview that this projected total number of additional jobs is "speculative" and based on the exponential growth shown by the company's businesses in the country. She also declined to give a specific timeframe for the workforce expansion.
IBM currently operates four local subsidiaries in the Philippines: the main IBM Philippines, IBM Solutions Delivery (ISD), IBM Business Services (IBS) and IBM Daksh.
IBS resulted from IBM's acquisition of Procter and Gamble's HR shared services center as part of a global outsourcing contract between the two companies. It employs about 400 people and also manages internal requirements for IBM's global operations.
IBM Daksh, meanwhile, resulted from IBM's acquisition in 2004 of Indian BPO provider Daksh, which set up operations in the Philippines, initially doing call center services and focuses on customer relationship management services.
According to Roqueza, IBM currently employs around 5,000 workers, a ten-fold growth from 500 workers in 2004, prior to the establishment of IBS and IBM Daksh.
IBM's planned workforce expansion is in line with its shift into becoming a technology services company, which started when Sam Palmisano stepped in as CEO about four years ago.
It has strategically located some of its global BPO and call center operations in the Philippines, also acknowledged as an offshore outsourcing hub like India.
"It's a new industry, really," said Roqueza, referring to IBM's entry into services. "IBM is leveraging on its vast customer base."