The Miami-based Atento, a subsidiary of Spain's Telefonica, is to open an $8 million internet-based call center in Tangier in November, servicing Morocco's northern provinces. The first center was opened in Casablanca earlier this year, and a third center is expected to open in Tetouan by 2001.
Atento Holding is an application service provider company (ASP), specializing in e-CRM services (customer relations management), operating in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Morocco and Spain.
The call centers are powered by Avaya, the former enterprise networks group to be spun off from Lucent Technologies.
The Casablanca center receives an average of 50,000 calls a day, employing more than 450, mainly female, operators around the clock. Atento Maroc pays operators an average monthly salary of 3000 Moroccan dirhams, equivalent to approximately $320.
The Casablanca center is managing customer services for the Morocco’s second GSM operator, Meditel. This operation presently requires around two-thirds of the center’s service capacity.
In the future the company hopes European clients will operate from its Moroccan centers, attracted by the country’s comparative advantage of lower labor cost.
Industry experts estimate that the expected liberalization of Morocco’s telecom sector will accelerate the development of call-centers. However, high fees charged for telecom services, as compared to other countries such as Ireland, are considered an obstacle for the sector’s development. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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