Introduction

 

Jordan offers all the essential elements needed for a global firm to establish a regional hub for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), IT Outsourcing (ITO) or Research and Development. Jordan’s strength lies in its human capital being one of the most highly qualified and competitive workforce in the region. Jordan is uniquely positioned as a Near-shore destination for Europe and the Middle East because of the following attributes:
• High quality, well educated, ICT trained workforce
• Competitive cost structure
• Investor-friendly business environment with world class infrastructure, incentives and business parks
• Near-shore location; convenient time zone and a gateway to the Middle East

Jordan’s progressive government has recently launched a new Development Zone strategy, encompassing multiple specialized zones targeted at specific industries. These Development Zones offer aggressive financial incentives to complement existing economic advantages of operating in Jordan. Acknowledging these favorable factors, analyst firm AT Kearney recently ranked Jordan #9 in its Global Service Location Index (GSLI).

Jordan’s primary value proposition lies in its stable costs and the high quality of its talent pool that is sustainable over the long term. Together with attractive incentives, investor-friendly policies and excellent infrastructure, Jordan has everything required for a smart outsourcing destination choice.

Outsourcing Profile 2011

 

Positioned as the gateway to the Middle East, Jordan is emerging today as one of the most ideal locations for the Global Services industry. It enjoys a mix of attributes that has made it an attractive location for IT Outsourcing (ITO), Business and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (BPO & KPO), Shared Services, Regional Business Support and Help Desk activities. Jordan possesses many natural advantages as a growing global services destination such as a bilingual work force (English and Arabic), a convenient time zone, state-of-the-art infrastructure, an open-economy and a business friendly environment.

To support the rapid growth of the outsourcing sector, Jordan became one of the first countries in the region to establish a chapter of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP). IAOP is the world’s premier organization for outsourcing industry leaders, professionals and service providers, providing educational programs, professional certification (Certified Outsourcing Professional -- COP) and leadership events. This reflects Jordan’s gain in global stature and maturity as an outsourcing destination and provides a very supporting environment for service providers as well as shared services organizations.

Recent growth and developments in Jordan’s IT and BPO sectors have resulted in its rapid rise to the 9th position in AT Kearney’s Global Services Location Index. Driven by a concerted effort put in by the government and the private sector, this industry is expected to grow to USD $250 million over the next 3 years, creating over ten thousand jobs across a variety of services and industries.

Jordan has excellent capabilities and expertise leveraging its high quality education system and young workforce, in areas such as Software and Content Development, Call Centers (Customer Support and Technical Support), Business Process Outsourcing, Knowledge Process Outsourcing, Shared Services, and IT Consulting.

• IT Outsourcing
Jordan enjoys a high level of ICT penetration and a large number of ICT graduates with strong industry focused skills. In fact Jordan has been a source of IT talent for major companies in the Middle East and is widely recognized as possessing the strongest ICT workforce in the region. Alongside lower costs, a western style legal system, strong IPR laws and a business friendly climate, Jordan has been positioned as an important IT Outsourcing destination. Many multinationals as well as local firms have capitalized on Jordan’s rich source of talent and aptitude for sophisticated IT skills by establishing outsourcing operations. Current capabilities in Jordan range from outsourced software development and testing to remote infrastructure management to providing technical assistance on sophisticated products. Leading tech companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Google and others have established centers of excellence in Jordan to tap into the country’s ICT advantages.

• Contacts Centers
Jordan has a natural affinity to become a strong contact center outsourcing hub owing to a highly service oriented economy, a competitive cost structure, a young workforce and familiarity with both the Western and Regional cultures. With a relatively neutral English and Arabic accent, Jordan is fast emerging as the most viable contact center destination in the region. Several outsourcing providers operate out of Jordan, offering services to US, UK and the Middle East ranging from Customer Support, Pre-Sales and Loyalty management to Technical and Helpdesk support. Besides Amman, a new contact center hub is emerging in Irbid to service growing demand for cost effective and talented agents.

• Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) requires expertise in key business functions like Finance and Accounting, HR, Claims processing and CRM. BPO functions can include both client-facing as well as back end processing services. With its high literacy, lower cost, and highly trainable and ICT savvy workforce, Jordan is ideally suited to provide such services. Jordan’s familiarity with the American, British as well as Middle East business practices positions it well to serve the West as well as the MENA region. Global service providers have been active in Jordan and are using it as a base to serve its regional as well as Global clients. Sectors with good potential for outsourcing Business Processes to Jordan include Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, Telecom, Hospitality and Technology.

• Knowledge Process Outsourcing
Knowledge-based services require qualified labor force with specific expertise, advance knowledge, analytical interpretation, and technical skills.  Jordan with its vast skilled labor pool will provide quick time to market solutions for your organization and guarantees a continue flow of support that will ensure continued success for you current and future business. Some of the key KPO services that can be delivered from Jordan include Financial Analytics, Technical research, Middle East specific Market and Business research functions etc.

• Shared Service Centers
With its strategic location as a gateway into the MENA region, its good international connectivity, lower costs and world class infrastructure, Jordan can be a good destination for shared services centers. As a BPO hub for MENA region, Jordan can be the decisive choice for establishing regional headquarters and shared services infrastructure. A supportive government and best in class incentives offer an ideal launch pad for multinationals that can leverage Jordan’s strong workforce and cost to their advantage to further their global diversification strategy.

• Financial Services
Jordan’s banking and financial industry system is among the strongest and most developed in all Middle East emerging markets.  Internationally recognized firms have emerged in Jordan to provide specialized F&A (Finance and Administration) services for regional and global companies. Jordan has demonstrated inherent capabilities in performing high value F&A services at very competitive prices. Jordan also has good capabilities in providing Sharia (Islamic Law) compliant Banking services for the GCC region.

• Engineering Services
Jordan produces high caliber engineering talent by virtue of its highly recognized and prestigious educational system. Jordanian engineers are respected worldwide for their aptitude and high degree of professionalism. Engineering services is a segment in Jordan that holds good potential for growth. Many global and regional firms have tapped Jordanian talent for servicing their engineering needs.

• Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals
The Jordanian government is committed to promoting the life-sciences industry as one of the new growth areas in the country. The country has significant expertise in the areas of basic science, biotechnology, computational science, and statistics.
• Information and Communication Technology
Jordan’s vibrant ICT sector is the result of a fully liberalized market and a thriving private sector. The ICT industry has increasingly become the engine of growth for Jordan’s economy.  In order to prepare its strong human capital for the future, Jordan has taken the initiative of aligning its education system towards a more ICT-friendly and technology aware society.

• Energy and Renewable Energy
Jordan is ripe to emerge as a Clean Technology hub within the MENA region.  Strong solar irradiance, robust electric infrastructure, abundant engineering talent, and moderate labor costs are particularly conducive to growth in the solar industry.

Since its inception the Jordanian IT/ITES industry is dedicated to providing quality services in the most environmentally effective manner. This includes making a conscious effort to keep carbon emissions to the minimum by utilizing clean technologies in the form of solar and wind power, having green transportation programs, reducing the usage of non-renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. All these factors make Jordan an ideal destination of choice for environmentally and socially conscious corporations. The focus on Clean Tech has given the Jordanian ITES sector a Clean Edge.

• Hewlett Packard (HP)
World’s leading Technology Company HP has boosted its Middle East presence, opening a fully-owned subsidiary in Jordan. The new HP Jordan centre will offer sales, service and support capabilities to the local as well as regional markets.

HP’s agreement with the Jordanian Government aims to create regional competency centre in the country that will service the wider Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa region.

The competency centre will initially provide technology services to the Middle East market but could eventually evolve into one of HP’s global service delivery centers, as part of its global expansion plan.

• Estarta - Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
Estarta was founded in 2002 with an investment from Microsoft to provide IT services and solutions for firms in the Middle East, Europe and US. The company became one of the leading certified support centers for Arabic speakers using Microsoft technologies. In 2004 Estarta was contracted by Cisco Systems to become one of its 5 Global TAC (Technical Assistance Center) locations. Estarta is now part of Cisco’s “follow-the-sun” strategy for providing sophisticated technical support to its global clients. Complex Tier 2 to Tier 3 Cases are routed to Estarta from Cisco, and handled by certified professionals with a high degree of precision.

 

• Aspire Services
Founded in 2000, Aspire is an established ITO and BPO service provider doing business almost exclusively with US firms. Since 2002 the company has been providing application development, web content management, quality assurance/ testing and NOC systems monitoring services for US companies with global business presence. More recently, Aspire has added technical support and front-office contact center services to their portfolio.

 

• Extensya
Extensya is one of the leading BPO service providers in Jordan. Through its world class facility in Amman (and soon to open in Irbid) Extensya provides customer service, order processing, telesales and product support services to regional and global firms. Extensya’s current client mix includes some of the region’s leading Airlines; Banks, Logistics, Telecom and Technology companies.

 

• CrysTelCall
CrysTelCall is Jordan’s first independent multilingual contact center providing customer service, technical support and outbound marketing for global clients. Today CrysTelCall has emerged as a leading contact center provider in the region, offering a full range of inbound, outbound and business process outsourcing services.  It has helped its growing list of local and international clients attain measurable business results by enhancing their customers’ experiences, decreasing operating costs and increasing profits.

• Fourth Dimension Systems

• ZAD

• Migrate

• TDM Group

 

 

From management executives to skilled IT developers, Jordan educates for the 21st century. Whether businesses are looking to outsource to a Jordanian firm, or locate a captive center in-country, Jordan’s human capital will create value. Our training investments in the high-tech, manufacturing and service sectors add value to the economy, while labor costs remain the most competitive in the Middle East.
A strong work ethic is an integral part of the local culture. Good employers in Jordan enjoy very low turnover rates; typically less than 2 percent annually. With an unemployment level of 13 percent and limited local opportunities, it’s not unusual to see professionals working for the same company for decades. The relatively high unemployment rate also means that appreciable hiring can take place with very little, if any, subsequent wage pressure or attrition risk.

A few key facts about Jordan’s talent pool:

• Jordan is among the region’s highest spenders on education, investing more than 20.4% of its GDP to enable a labor force tailored to meet the demands of the modern market. * Source: Jordan Investment Board

• Jordan’s literacy rate of 91% is among the highest in the Middle East. * Source: Jordan Investment Board

• Over 200,000 students attend 26 universities and another 20,000 Jordanians are earning degrees abroad. * Source: Jordan Investment Board

• 70% of the population age demographic is under the age of 30, denoting a youthful population, ideally suited for ITO and BPO jobs. * Source: Jordan Investment Board

• Jordan’s business friendly Labor Laws and Regulations offer flexible options to employers. * Source: Jordan Investment Board

• English and Computer skills are taught at an early age in elementary schools. * Source: Jordan Investment Board

• Jordanian population has seen an increase in gross school enrollment from 79% in 2004 to 82% in 2006. *Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

•  Females compromise 51% in undergraduate studies. *Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research number of public private initiatives have been launched to ensure that the outputs of the educational systems meets the needs of global demand. *Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

Salaries for highly-trained, Jordanian professionals are some of the most competitive in the region, and less susceptible to inflation pressures associated with the GCC region.

 

 

Jordan has taken the initiative of developing dedicated Business Parks to foster the growth of its priority sectors such as ICT and BPO. These world class facilities are located within the Development Zones in Amman (King Hussein Business Park) and Irbid (Irbid Development Area), the two main population centers in Jordan. Taking an integrated approach, these Business Parks offer plug and play office space, connectivity and services to local and international firms, focused on performing Technology Research and Development as well as IT Enabled services.

These Business Parks are structured to offer the following competitive advantages:

• Tax benefits and various incentives offered under the Development Zones Law

• A streamlined regulatory environment that reduces the direct and indirect costs of doing business and allows investors to focus on their core business missions.

• One-Stop Shop services to streamline and ease the process of establishing an operation within the Business Park. Investors will be able to avail of these fast track facilities for all services ranging from Registration to Licensing, Visas and Customs formalities.

• High quality infrastructure and ICT support framework for investors seeking to provide high-value services within and outside Jordanian markets.
 
• A private sector-led development and management approach that is responsive to market imperatives and caters to world-class investors.

• Proximity to, highly skilled labor populace to support sustainable growth of ICT Enabled industries.
 
• Quality of life-enhancing housing and auxiliary services to support the attraction and retention of human resources at all levels.

Jordan’s telecommunications infrastructure is modern, with a very competitive mobile and internet landscape. Jordan has one of the most open telecommunications markets in the Middle East which is overseen by an independent regulator.

The telecom market was liberalized on Dec 31, 2004 opening it to full competition. Since 1996, internet penetration has increased every year and mobile penetration has reached very high levels

The Jordanian telecommunication infrastructure is designed and built to sustain the growing ICT industry requirements and expectations. Jordan is covered with modern telecommunications networks of fixed, mobile, Internet and data communications in its entirety.
Jordan is connected to the international network through various fiber optic links, in addition to satellite connectivity and terrestrial links with neighboring countries using modern fiber optic cable networks. Jordan has reliable and redundant international connectivity with the regional and outside world through the following links:

• Fiber-Optic Link around the Globe (FLAG): is a 28,000-kilometer-long submarine communications optical fiber that connects Jordan with the world.
 
• SEA-ME-WE 3: Optical submarine telecommunications cable linking Jordan with the outside world and is the longest in the world.

• SEA-ME-WE 4: This cable is approximately 18,800 kilometers long, and provides the primary Internet backbone between South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe

• Microwave Links: Regional Microwave links interconnecting Jordan with neighboring countries.

In addition to the incumbent telecom operator, Jordan Telecom (majority owned by France Telecom), other global companies are now offering competitive alternatives.  VTEL Jordan and Reliance Globalcom are establishing a link to the FALCON undersea cable through Aqaba with a commissioning date in 2010/2011 which would triple the current bandwidth and will be the first “Terabit” cable landing in Jordan.  In addition, Damamax is part of the Hong Kong Telecom Group PCCW’s Global network, providing MPLS connectivity to more than 1000 cities worldwide at a very competitive price.
Jordan Telecom infrastructure offers world-class data center facilities, infrastructure, and services.
These facilities reside in dynamic areas of Amman, giving business owners easy access to their hosted equipment(s). It sits on a fully resilient backbone with diverse path connectivity, and fully redundant power supplies and environmental systems.
All these Datacenters are approved as carrier class tier 3 datacenters, providing a total space of more than 3000 sqm of hosting space. These facilities are secured and monitored 24x7 with automated management system and CCTV entry to HVAC, fire suppression, redundant network connectivity, and power coverage. These facilities are designed specifically to allow clients to deploy computing, storage, and services with maximum availability, maximum security.
 
In the past two years many new operators started providing WiMax/Wireless solutions for home and business customers, enabling them to have different means of connectivity.

For mobile sector, this sector showed great improvements by adding 3G mobile connectivity solutions for business, and providing readiness for LTE speed, adding the features of Video calls, and high speed data exchange. BlackBerry service is also being provided by two different mobile providers.

 

 

Jordan possesses a very attractive business environment that combines smart and cost effective talent, world class infrastructure and supportive government policies. This is ideally suited for ITO and BPO companies seeking a support base in the MENA region for their global operations. Jordan offers the following unique value proposition:

• Proactive Government Support – Jordan’ national ICT strategy and vision of becoming a knowledge hub has positioned it as a leading outsourcing destination in the region. The government has committed to developing the required infrastructure in the form of Development Zones and to put in place attractive incentives and training initiatives to ensure a constant supply of skilled manpower.

• A central location to support a regional hub and spoken delivery Model– With many businesses looking to expand beyond the traditional markets, Jordan offers a unique opportunity to tap the growing MENA market. At a short flying distance from the GCC Countries, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe, Jordan provides an easily accessible location from which to support multiple regions.

• A young and growing talent pool: Jordan has the youngest and fastest growing youth segment (15-25 years) providing a good source of manpower. This is supported by a modern education system that ensures graduates have the required language and technical skills to support IT Enabled business operations.

• Investor-friendly regulations that do not require local business partners - Unlike other competing destinations in the region, Jordan does not have any foreign ownership/repatriation restrictions or localization policies thus giving companies the flexibility to invest freely and to employ the best talent.

• A modern and progressive society: Jordan is a regional tourist hub, with stable economic and political support for a progressive and multi-cultural society, making it an attractive destination for foreign nationals to work and reside.

 

• Quotes:
- "Jordan is open for business!!  a very capable and sought after workforce, competitive cost structure, political stability, ease of access, robust ICT infrastructure, as well as a government that is fully committed to creating the right investment environment, are only some of the factors that position Jordan as a great global destination of choice as well as the ideal access point and gateway to the Arab World." His Excellency Mr., Marwan Juma; Minister of Information and Communications Technology
- "BPO investors will find in Jordan a highly advanced legislative and infrastructure platform that will support their work and business endeavors. The DZC will facilitate all necessary procedures and arrangements for the industry to operate and prosper in the Development Zones."  His Excellency Dr. Bilal Bashir DZC Chief Commissioner
- Jordan has enabled the ITO/BPO Services industry and we run our operation supported by a strong legislative base, a sound telecom infrastructure and skillful human capital which really makes our business succeed.  The Government is even involved in updating the skills of IT trainees to qualify them for our line of business." Kaushal Shah; Managing Director, Aspire

 
• Reports:
• A.T Kearney Report 2009:
- “Jordan at 9th place is another top performer, as it has solid capabilities in IT and is home to numerous successful outsourcing companies that compete internationally. It has also one of the region’s most favorable business environments.”
• Data monitor:
- “Currently, there are several contact center operations in Jordan serving clients domestically and offshore, across a variety of vertical markets. In addition, the availability of multilingual agents with university education, coupled with excellent language skills has been a compelling reason for this growth.”
- “It is clear that from the standpoint of telecommunications, Jordan has made significant strides over the past decade. In addition to the efficiencies still being realized by the deregulation of the telco sector in 2005, Jordanian telecom has invested over $400 million in recent years in a number of technology solutions designed to make Jordan more accessible to the rest of the world.

• Publications:
• Global Services Magazine: Jordan is ready to greet
- “It looks like another little oasis of IT delivery is building up as the vast sands of the Middle East blow winds of new market opportunity; now Jordan joins the club, as it gets all set to woo the outsourcing industry.”
- “At the Nasscom summit 2009, foreign delegations of many hues and shades were seen exploring and selling business opportunities in the new world order that is shaping up for a post-recession scenario. We could see delegates from Jordan too. They were not only prepared enough for a strong competitive pitch, but also had large spoonfuls of the pudding’s proof up their sleeve”
- “As to the cultural milieu, Jordan has an open and welcoming arm. On the infrastructure side, areas like powers, roads and buildings are positive. It has already been recognized on the eco-friendly distinction, where the example of Amman, a building zone, is cited as an example, and an award-winning case in masterful city planning.”

• Jordan Business: Jordanian Magazine
- “To highlight the benefits, Jordan’s geographic and geopolitical positioning has rendered it definitive advantages, including a favorable time zone, proximity to continental Europe and the country’s perception as a stable oasis in a stormy, but vital, region.”
- “Enthusiasts also point out that Jordanians can offer relatively low compensation costs, as well as exposure to English languages by virtue of its strong focus on education, especially on the tertiary level.”

 

 

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