HfS Network

Monthly Archives: Jun 2012

Healthcare reform survives until November. Then what?

June 28, 2012 | Phil Fersht

So we're now one election away from the biggest outsourcing opportunity ever... the healthcare insurance industry trying to figure out how to move from a B2B to a B2C model.  Quite simply, the insurance companies ain't gonna figure out how to send a nuclear warhead into their service and IT operations... they'll turn to the outsourcers to do it for them.  Tony Filippone, who actually managed much of Wellpoint's operations for nine years (a $62 billion healthcare insurer)  might know a thing or two about the implications healthcare reform will likely have...

In terms of politics, it’s not over. Today’s Supreme Court healthcare reform decision simply clarified two issues. First, that the individual mandate is a constitutional tax, not an unconstitutional act by Congress to regulate commerce. Second, if states choose not to expand Medicaid benefits, they can elect to not follow the law without losing all of their Federal funding. More legal detail can be found here.

Any hope by Republicans to overturn the law in the courts is now officially dead. This is largely due to former president George W. Bush’s nominee for Chief

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Healthcare and OutsourcingIT Outsourcing / IT Services

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Published today - a blueprint for the industry known as "outsourcing"

June 28, 2012 | Phil Fersht

Finally....a Blueprint for this outsourcing business (click to access)

Ever wondered what would happen if you locked 41 outsourcing buyer executives in a room for a couple of days, then brought in six of the leading providers to have an afternoon's discussion?  Well, now you can read for yourself, as today we unveil our first Blueprint report for this curious industry known as "outsourcing".

Captured in the Blueprint are the four key challenges the buyers agreed are facing the outsourcing industry today:

1. Overcoming the singular focus on cost that strips the industry of value;
2. Leveraging outsourcing as one of a variety of vehicles to achieve business objectives;
3. The need for service providers to invest smarter in their account management teams; and
4. The need for buyers and providers to partner to foster innovations into business and IT process outcomes.

And we (eventually) agreed on 21 definitive recommendations to help ensure this industry (whatever we decide to call it) doesn't slide into the trap of commoditization.  So what are you waiting for... download your free Blueprint now!

I would like to personally thank all of you HfS 50 Executive Council Members who made such great contributions to the development of the report, the service providers who left the PowerPoint at home and dropped the sales speak for an afternoon, and the HfS research team for all their considerable efforts in making this happen.

However, this is only the start.  This is just a report with facts and recommendations.  The real work starts now in trying to action many of these recommendations and changing the way this business actually operates.  I can't wait to meet many of you again in Boston this October where we will start putting these plans into action,

PF

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCaptives and Shared Services Strategies

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Want to keep with the "outsourcing" status quo? Love staring at a spreadsheet all day? Then Blueprint 2.0's not for you...

June 24, 2012 | Phil Fersht

Life been just dandy since you took 30% off your department's fixed costs, that you'll never need to do anything much again in your career... except stare at a spreadsheet?  Just love keeping those lights on and squeezing penalty payments out of your provider?  No need to improve anything, because the way your firm does things is simply perfect?

Then you won't need to waste time with us and leading buy-side organizations from the HfS 50 Executive Council in Boston this October...

Yes, the Blueprint Sessions are back to add real momentum to the recommendations we discussed with 41 leading buyers executives and six of the top providers in New York City this past April.  The key themes are as follows:

1.Overcoming the singular focus on cost that strips the industry of value;

2.Leveraging outsourcing as one of a variety of vehicles to achieve business objectives;

3.The need for service providers to invest smarter in their account management teams; and

4.The need for buyers and providers to partner to foster innovations into business and IT process outcomes.

 So if none of this interests you, you won't want to email us for more information to find out if this session's right for you or your organization.

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCaptives and Shared Services Strategies

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Why are so many enterprises struggling to move more process into their shared services and outsourcing?

June 21, 2012 | Phil Fersht

Phil Searle, Research Fellow, Shared Services Strategies (Click for bio)

In true HfS style, we've managed to persuade another industry legend, while he was propping up the bar at some event (again most likely in Orlando, but this one's a little fuzzy) to contribute some of his life's work to our charitable research service.  And again, in true HfS style, what was discussed over a couple of single malts is translated word for word for public consumption shortly after said inebriated conversation.

So, without further ado, we've invited shared services kahuna, Phil Searle, to share with us all exactly why he was bemoaning the fact that so many enterprises today are moving at a glacial pace when it comes to shifting work into their expensively assembled shared services centers, let alone give it to their outsourcing partner to manage...

Failure to Launch

On the surface, it appears that most enterprises today are taking full advantage of both shared services and outsourcing – last year, HfS Research's State of Outsourcing study  revealed that 97% of

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCaptives and Shared Services Strategies

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And for you low performers who missed the high performance BPO discussion... here's the replay

June 20, 2012 | Phil Fersht

Missed today's revved-up BPO discussion?  How could you?  What else were you doing?

In any case, we recorded the track for you! Click here for a rare chance to hear how some organizations have evolved their BPO relationships from being merely "operationally efficient" through to being genuinely "transformative" for their businesses across finance, HR, customer management and other industry-specific processes. Or... as we put it today, going from low performance to high performance.  Yes... it's time to stop leaving the money on the table.

Listened in to the webinar but want to revisit the slides?  Click Here for a copy of the slides.

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Outsourcing EventsOutsourcing Heros

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Sourcing advisory bounces back... with half of today's F&A BPO deals being advised

June 16, 2012 | Phil Fersht

"Mommy - do you have to go to work today?"

Remember the good old days, when sourcing advisors mercilessly roamed the earth in search of inexperienced enterprise executives in desperate need of experts to get them through their outsourcing transactions?

You'd a thought today's prospective buyer of outsourcing would be able to crunch some numbers, do some research and make some difficult decisions themselves. Obviously, with deal sizes shrinking and growth slowing in today's tentative market, more enterprises must surely be running their own deals? In this stinky economy, enterprises must be tightening the purse-strings and muddling through a lot of this stuff themselves.

Of course they're not!  Welcome to Corporate America and Corporate Whatever, where executives still want someone else to make their contentious decisions for them... oh, and do all the heavy-lifting too.

And without further ado, we can exclusively reveal that half of the competitive F&A engagements over the last year had an advisor stuck on them to get them to contract - double the proportion of two years' ago:

So why, pray tell, are advisors in even greater demand in today's maturing and cautious market?

Advisors are much cheaper than they used to be.  We've seen advisors run deals as low as $30K for a quick "back of an envelope business case" and a three vendor negotiation bake-off.  Compare

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesFinance & Accounting BPO

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Pragmatic Pete to pontificate a panoply of personnel policy

June 15, 2012 | Phil Fersht

HfS Research Fellow, Pete Ackerson takes a break from gardening to pose for HfS

There's been one dependable, consistent voice in the world of HR operations, quietly plying his trade leading the HR shared service center for a 325,000 employee retailer (Sears), as one of the first employees of the first end-to-end HR outsourcer (Exult), and, more recently, as one of the most respected and in-demand HR specialists for one of the big consulting shops (Deloitte).  And he's managed to do it always with an uncanny ability to speak his mind and never get in any trouble...  so surely a poor fit with HfS then.

And when we got the news that "Pragmatic" Pete Ackerson was "retiring" we just couldn't turn down the chance to have him spend a few hours each week sharing his lifetime of HR experiences with us - in-between tending to his rhododendrons and his vegetable patch (or whatever it is that retired people do).  So... without further ado, here's Pete Ackerson introducing himself as the newest HfS Research Fellow...

Reminders about the dark ages

Phil Fersht has asked me to join his band of analysts, pranksters, and pundits…with an emphasis on the Human Resources field. I thought I’d start off with a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have not moved ahead. As a resident gray hair…and happy to have it…I’ve been through

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Captives and Shared Services StrategiesGlobal Business Services

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Building a BPO sales team in today’s market - a waste of time?

June 09, 2012 | Phil Fersht

You know we'll deliver everything in those 80 slides...

One of the major gripes at the recent HfS 50 Executive Council summit was the issue sourcing executives have with their provider account managers - "they just don't understand our business" was the common cry.

So who better to lament the woes of lost sales pursuits than HfS Research Fellow and industry agitator Deborah Kops...

Building a BPO sales team

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about how buyers whether the current parlor game of stealing sales guys from competitors really moves the revenue dial very far in light of the way clients buy business process outsourcing. Seems to me everyone is out there desperately looking for sales superstars. Do they exist? Is it worth the time and effort to find them, only to be disappointed at least half the time? Shouldn’t the industry be more focused on attracting the right solutions team, rather than assembling a sales team that’s hit or miss?

If you’re like me, you get at least a call a week from a search consultant desperate to find a crackerjack sales guy. This paragon should have a great rolodex, deep domain knowledge (retail and

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)IT Outsourcing / IT Services

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Are you ready to Turbo-charge your BPO?

June 06, 2012 | Phil Fersht

Here's a rare chance to learn how some organizations have evolved their BPO relationships from being merely "operationally efficient" through to being genuinely "transformative". Please join us next Wednesday June 20th at 10:00 EDT | 16:00 CET | 15:00 BST | 07:00 PDT | 22:00 SGT for a discussion on how to add some serious velocity to the BPO experience. Our panel of five BPO gurus (or at least they would like you to think they are) include:

  • Phil Fersht, CEO - HfS Research
  • Mike Ward, Senior Director, Finance Operations - Cisco Systems
  • Professor Leslie Willcocks, Head of Outsourcing Unit - London School of Economics
  • Charles Sutherland, BPO Growth Platform - Accenture
  • Eric Simonson, Managing Partner of Research - Everest Group

 

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Finance & Accounting BPOOutsourcing Heros

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HfS Research announces its inaugural research advisory board!

June 01, 2012 | Phil Fersht

HfS launches its inaugural advisor board (click for bios)

We're delighted to (finally) unveil our very first research advisory board!

Now in our third year of operations, we - at HfS - have tried to differentiate ourselves in the research analyst community by providing practical insight, guidance and coaching based on real business experience, to compliment our analysts' strategic vision for the future of global enterprise operations.

To this end, HfS invited a great group of people to form its research advisory board to help shape the HfS research agenda:  some have have real experience executing operations in buy-side enterprises; some are the most influential thought leaders in the business services and technology industry; some have founded research companies; some are leading academics; some are industry events CEOs.  And here they are (in alphabetical order):

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCaptives and Shared Services Strategies

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