Guest: Jerry E. Durant
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: With over 30 years of Information Technology experience, Jerry Durant provides maturity to Red Core’s strategic corporate development and operations. Jerry, formerly Chairman Emeritus of the International Institute for Outsource Management, is a recognized leader in the outsourcing industry and a board member in various international outsourcing councils. A well known innovator and leader in setting standards and advancing improvements in the outsourcing, information technology, and business process sectors, Jerry’s agile and forward thinking has helped develop companies around the globe. This is probably why he ranks as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Global Outsourcing Leaders according to IAOP (2011) Globalization Today. Jerry obtained his M.S.- Computer Science at New Hampshire College Graduate School.
Segment overview: Jerry Durant serves as the lead strategy development and engagement service leader for Red Core Solutions. In this capacity he is responsible for corporate development, operations maturity development and strategic service delivery serving as a limited partner. What sets Red Core Solutions apart from other outsourcing companies in the Philippines is that they are not just a programing shop, they are actually analysts and as a result of that they are able to not only look at the technology side of the house but also look at the business side as well. In this way they are able to provide a more unified solution not simply just building what somebody wants and then having them try and figure out how it’s going to fit in to their upcoming or desired market place. They have internal certification programs that every staff must go through so that they are not only rebuilding their capabilities for themselves but also they’ll be able to represent them in a very positive way to ensure clients that they are not just getting somebody, they are getting somebody that’s qualified. Red Core Solutions deal with technology, they utilize technology as the backbone to support sound business process. According to Jerry, companies that are actually looking for outsourcing used to look for labor but now they’ve been looking for positive value generation and that is where they fit the bill quite nicely.
Address: Unit 603 Tower II Pioneer Highlands Pioneer cor. Sts.,, Madison, Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila
Contact Number: LOCAL (02) 719 1625
To know more about Red Core Solutions, listen to the podcast below.
The interview will start at 26:00 mark of the podcast episode.
Henry Acosta: Hi I’m Henry Acosta and welcome to the Outsourcing and Offshoring in the Philippines podcast. Today we have Jerry Durant, he was the Chairman Emeritus at the International Institute for Outsource Management, he is a recognized leader in the outsourcing industry and the board member of various international outsourcing councils. He’s a well-known innovator and leader in setting standards for advancing improvements in the outsourcing industry, information technology and business process sector, he is one of the top 25 most influential global outsourcing leaders according to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. He got his masters degree in computer science at New Hampshire College Graduate School. Last but not the least, he is the President of Red Core Solutions and today we’re here to talk about outsourcing here in the Philippines. Hi Jerry, welcome and it’s an honor having you here on the show.
Jerry Durant: Likewise.
Henry: And well to kick it off, can you give us a quick introduction about who you are and what you do for Red Core Solutions?
Jerry: Yes, I’m the president and an investor in Red Core Solutions which is an ITO located in Mandaluyong, Philippines and we specialize in 3 areas – analytics, IT enabled solutions and enterprise optimization.
Henry: And what inspired you to have in the idea for information technology outsourcing or building an information technology outsourcing business specifically here in the Philippines?
Jerry: Well actually Red Core is not my brainchild but that of Edison Diaz the present CEO. Its vision was to form a business to provide technology enabled analytic solutions and he did that based on some post graduate work, he did after leaving college. This permitted them to also pursue the combination of the two being the analytics, combining with the different types of technologies that you can use to enable it by the use of information technology.
Henry: And what do you think makes the Philippines different compared to other countries that service an ITO service and what are the benefits of doing it here?
Jerry: Well I actually I don’t see the Philippines having any differentiators in so far as anything beyond labor force size and pricing. In terms of capability I would say they’re in par with most of the locations located around the world including with some of the western companies and countries that we deal with. What this means is that we have a foundation level of trust and it helps us to then build a strong alliance with the various companies that we work with.
Henry: And with regards to your transition here, were there any cultural barriers that you faced when you started out here in the Philippines?
Jerry: I’ve done business here in Asia for more than 4 decades which is quite some time but the major differences is in terms of visiting versus living and I’ve lived here for going on 7 years and one of the things that I’ve learned is that you don’t get a picture of any country by living in a western hotel and not seeing what the real people that you’re gonna be working with go thru a day by day basis. I think in many cases the Philippines there’s some part that have constructive …. that make the Philippines a place to watch and strongly consider in the upcoming years.
Henry: And what do you think makes Red Core Solutions different from the other agencies that are here in the Philippines?
Jerry: I think in terms of… there’s a couple of … one is the depth of understanding that the top expect we’re engaged and it’s not like we are just a programing shop, we are actually analysts and as a result of that we’re able to not only look at the technology side of the house but also look at the business side as well, this way we provide what I would call a more unified solution not simply just building what somebody wants and then having them try and figure out how it’s gonna fit in to their upcoming or desired market place.
Henry: And can you give us the mission and vision of Red Core Solutions?
Jerry: Sure. Our mission is kind of carried in our creedo which is we… for business decisions. What this means is that we want companies to not just build systems for the sake of… something that exists or simply satisfy a begging need but that it is actually should be some people to see value that role ultimately help their business and not just to fill a gap that is needed on a temporary basis.
Henry: And with regards to recruiting clients, how do guys recruit clients?
Jerry: I would call it an art form. We get a lot of inquiries from referrals from our existing customers, we get some from … in so far as people that we come in contact with in the course of meetings, conferences, community involvement, and things of that nature. I think it’s a never changing situation however, we have to work hard at it, we have to be very focused on what we believe is our core competencies and focus on those and not trying to be all things to all people. In some cases one of the problems that we often with client’s space is prize becoming an detractor and because of that we in fact will submit proposals for the various recourse several made but we never include price until we could get…on value objectives first.
Henry: And how’s the experience of clients then working with you guys and can you share with us any testimonials from them?
Jerry: Well in terms of successes, we have one client a major petroleum, petrochemical company that we checked since the onset with the company which is then going on 11 years and what we provide to them is a retail analytic services. I think there’s probably as good a testimony as you can get when you’ve got a customer that will stay with you for that long and not just look at you as a one-shot solution provider. Obviously we’ve had lots of smaller engagements that varies from insurance to banking to retail and as I’ve said in the petrochemical sector as well. We believe in building… it’s not just business as usual. It depends sometimes you will face a customer that you’re just not a good synergy there and that you will prefer that that be passed off to some other company than for us to try and fit into an awkward position so I would say that our testimonials is the longevity and also the very direct, purposeful intent to build relationships first. On the negative side there always gonna be one or two customers that for well for whatever reason either we don’t meet their expectations or they don’t meet our expectations but we try to minimize that by getting the foundation work agreed to at the onset not waiting for it to be discovered in the outcome.
Henry: And can you say that the businesses of the clients that have stayed with you guys, can you say that they’ve grown considerably since they started working with Red Core?
Jerry: I won’t say there was direct… as a result of us because obviously an ITO service or providing information to them…their business better, however it also is affected by the type of business climate then is so for example in the… where there has been a drop in oil pricing their success would be measured in losses and not in gains even though that without the technology they might have even lost even more. So I think for IT companies in particular you can’t really give out the credit to somebody else but you can give out the credit that you enable them to rethink their future, their vision if you will and also at the same time provide them with some guidance on ways they can be more competitive and it’s up to them to do the rest.
Henry: And with regards to anyone who’s interested with working with Red Core Solutions what’s your process with regards to hiring employees?
Jerry: We have active recruitment and we got passive recruitment. I would say most of our good employees they’re come about either thru internship programs or active pursuit or very specialized activities. I would say we’re pretty traditional…apply, recruit, credentials, interview, tests and employment. Aside from that, what makes it different however is that we try to match some skills to opportunities to seek out and…with dedication and the desire to grow… just for a job you’re maybe the top in your class but it’s not the type of employee that we would actually go and pursue. We do have internally an internal certification program called RCE, Red Core Certified Engineer and we also have an RCA which is Red Core Certified Administrator program that each and every staff must go through so that we’re not only rebuilding their capabilities for themselves but also they’ll be able to represent them in a very positive way as part of our clients so that we ensure them that you’re not just getting somebody, you’re getting somebody that’s qualified.
Henry: What are the common misconceptions that you usually face with regards to information tech outsourcing here in the Philippines?
Jerry: Probably the biggest one there is that they think you’re a business process outsource or call center or non-voice business service. We deal with technology, we utilize technology, we use technology as the backbone to support sound business process so I think that’s probably the biggest misconception. Companies that are actually looking for outsourcing used to look for labor… but now they’ve been looking for… positive value generation and I think that’s where we fit the bill quite nicely because we do look at ourselves as …quality, improvement type of organization.
Henry: Alright. You’ve been staying in the Philippines for the past 7 years, can you share with us any stand out experiences that you’ve had here while working here?
Jerry: Well, I moved here 7 years ago and…got married… a family with 4 children so for me that was quite a memorable experience that…to take on that responsibility but I think it also opened my eyes to the reality of life in the Philippines and life… so to my children’s eyes I see the world so to speak of world that … represents the local economy and the local Filipino society. In some ways at the level of commitment increases for all of us in terms of doing the right job, bearing consciousness to a world that you’re working in and not just by the…it’s a western place so therefore this is the way it has to be done and I would say that will probably be the most memorable things in my life and that my family being associated with Edison the CEO and the Red Core Employees that they all could be…probably more than they think that have to my development and I appreciate that every single day that I’m alive.
Henry: And for anyone who’s interested with Red Core Solutions either potential clients or employees how can they get in touch with you?
Jerry: They can get to us to our website at redcoresolutions.com or they can contact me directly with at [email protected] either way I can make sure that my administrative staff attend to their questions or to address their interest if they decide to be an employee.
Henry: Well that’s all our questions for today. Thanks for being on the show Jerry, we appreciate it.
Jerry: You’re quite welcome. Thank you very much for giving me the privilege to do so.
Henry: That was Jerry Durant. Jerry has over 30 years of experience in the IT and Outsourcing industry. He’s a member of a lot of international outsourcing councils and was formerly the Chairman Emeritus of the International Institute for Outsource Management. He was one of the most influential people in the outsourcing industry and he is the president of Red Cross Solutions. Thank you for listening to the show, it was the real pleasure having you guys here. If you’ve missed the podcast or want to listen to it again, audio is available on offshoring.com.ph, you can also subscribe to us on SoundCloud and iTunes.