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Category Archives: Outsourcing Advisors

Buyers perceive Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG as the most trusted consultants for achieving Intelligent Operations

May 06, 2016 | Phil Fersht

john-lylyIn 1588, the English dramatist John Lyly, in his Euphues and his England, wrote:

"...As neere is Fancie to Beautie, as the pricke to the Rose, as the stalke to the rynde, as the earth to the roote."

In other words, "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder", which just about sums up how buyers perceive consultants when they need some serious rethinking and rewiring done to their operations to make them more intelligent:

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So what's actually surprising here?

In the past, you may have expected to see the pureplay strategy houses rule the roost, however, when we break down the Change Management and Solution Ideals enterprises need to achieve more Intelligent Operations, the focus shifts much more to using consultants with real change management, process transformation, analytics and automation chops... this is less about strategy, and more about just driving through the changes. Most company leaders know where they want to go - it's now more about executing a plan to get there:

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The Bottom-line: We're moving to a world where the expertise enterprises need to be successful is really changing 

One of the above firms asked me recently if it should start an automation practice.  My response was "If you're only asking me this now, then you're already too late to the game".  In a nutshell, enterprise operations functions need genuine expertise in adopting a mindset to write off their legacy systems and obsolete processes - and a real understanding of how to approach automation and embrace digital opportunities.

A lot of this is about prioritizing what not to automate and learning where digital transformation actually makes business sense. This is about creating an operations function that can pivot and support the rapid changing needs of the front office with actionable data, that is secure and available in real-time.  This is about defining and devising a digital strategy that has the customer at the forefront of the business and an operational support function that has the customer experience at its core.

Hence, consultants need talent that can not only think creatively with their clients, but also create an ongoing environment for writing off legacy, embracing change and being smart and proactive about leveraging automation and real digital strategies effectively. The speed at which some of these advisors must make the pivot from merely brokering transactional contracts, or spouting off some high level fluffy strategy, to supporting real change is critical - I'd imagine we'll know in the next 9-12 months which ones will genuinely be helping their clients achieve these ambitious ideals.

Posted in: 2016 Intelligent Ops StudyBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Design Thinking

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How digital is transforming finance - Exclusive insights from our latest study

April 08, 2016 | Phil Fersht

75% of finance executives agree that the new wave of digital technologies is fundamentally changing the way that the finance function operates. So what will the finance function of the future really look like?

Join us on April 21st to be part of this exclusive webinar and find out!

Digital Finance Webinar Blog

Join these experts from HfS Research, Genpact, Mondelez and KPMG as they discuss the findings from recent research that shows how digital technologies are delivering competitive advantage. They will share their insight on the future of F&A and explore:

  • What are the key drivers for F&A leaders to embed digital technologies, such as SaaS platforms, analytics, mobility tools, RPA, and machine learning, into their operations?
  • Where are most F&A organizations in their digital journeys and what lessons have they learnt?
  • What are the talent requirements and skill sets that finance leaders need in their functions to take advantage of digital technologies?
  • Where are digital pioneers investing and what challenges are they experiencing?

REGISTER NOW!

Posted in: Analytics and Big DataCognitive ComputingDesign Thinking

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There's a whole generation with a new explanation... in San Francisco

February 25, 2016 | Phil Fersht

Get ready! We're Coming to San Francisco!

sf-email-headerYou may have heard we just announced our first-ever Working Summit for Buyers in San Francisco at the St. Regis Hotel May 26th - 27th. The summit's theme—Vision 2020 for Intelligent Operations—brings together the IT and business process services industry's brightest minds and stakeholders. Seats are limited and available at no cost to well-qualified senior buyers. So, if you are interested, pencil us in your calendar and apply for a seat now.

Unvarnished Discussion Sessions

  • The State of the As-a-Service Economy and Intelligent Operations: Is It Here?
  • Evolution or Revolution: What does the Future really Look Like?
  • The Current State of Intelligent Automation – what’s working and what’s not for buyers
  • Service Automation: Robots and the Future of Work
  • The Digitization of the Finance Function
  • Co-inventing for the As-a-Service Economy
  • Hiring for As-a-Service Skills and the Role HR must play in the As-a-Service Economy
  • The evolution of Omni-Channel for CRM: What is it really, and does is exist?
  • Analytics and Big Data in the As-a-Service Economy… what’s really coming next?
  • Getting ahead of Trust and Security in the As-a-Service Economy
  • The C-Suite Advisor – Buyer Face/Off
  • The C-Suite Service Provider Shootout

Apply-Now-Button-Email

Featured Discussion Leaders

  • Mary Lacity, Curators’ Professor, University of Missouri
  • Lee Coulter, CEO Shared Services, Ascension Health
  • Allison Sagraves, Chief Data Officer, M&T Bank
  • Phil Fersht, CEO HfS Research
  • Carol Britton, CPO, Bank of New York Mellon
  • Charlie Aird, Global Leader, PwC Shared Services and Outsourcing advisory
  • Chip Wagner, CEO Alsbridge
  • Dave Brown, Global Lead, Shared Service & Outsourcing Advisory at KPMG
  • Dennis Howlett, Co-Founder, Diginomica
  • Dilip Vellodi, Chairman and CEO, Sutherland Global Services
  • Jay Desai, Senior Director, Enterprise Outsourcing, AbbVie
  • Gajen Kandiah, Executive Vice President and General Manager Cognizant Digital Works and Business Process Services
  • Harry Wallaesa, CEO, The W Group
  • Jesus Mantas, Head of Global Business Services, IBM
  • Joe Frampus, Partner, Avasant
  • Kevin McDonald, VP of BPO Governance, The E.W. Scripps Company
  • Leslie Willcocks, Professor, Workforce and Globalization, London School of Economics
  • Mark Voytek, Partner, Ernst and Young
  • Michael Corcoran, Head of Strategy, Accenture Operations
  • Pradip Khemani, Head of Global Business Services, Blue Shield of California
  • Scott Furlong, Partner, ISG
  • Shantanu Ghosh, SVP & Global Head – CFO & Transformation Services, Genpact
  • Srinidhi Rao, Head – Service Management and Process Excellence, Juniper Networks
  • Tony Filippone, Senior Vice President, Outsourcing Management, AXIS Capital
  • Robin Rasmussen, Partner, HR SSOA KPMG
  • Vishal Sikka, CEO Infosys
  • Wesley Bryan, Co-Founder, OneSource Virtual

Apply-Now-Button-EmailHfS Analysts

As usual, we'll have a full contingent of HfS analysts on site to present the latest data and stimulate discussions. In San Francisco, we'll have Phil Fersht, Charles Sutherland, Barbra McGann, Fred McClimans, Melissa O’Brien and Reetika Joshi.

Apply-Now-Button-Email

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

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Three very handsome CEOs take on three advisors... only on HfS

January 20, 2016 | Phil Fersht

Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best Practices

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The HfS 2016 Blueprint Research Agenda ...at your service

November 22, 2015 | Phil Fersht

2016 will mark our seventh year as an analyst firm and will be our most expansive as we tackle many emerging areas and industries.  Yes, we have come an awfully long way since the days people thought we "only covered BPO":

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The analyst industry's most ambitious 2016 research agenda tackles the continuum from legacy operations to the As-a-Service Enterprise across talent, technology and process

Earlier in 2014, we introduced to the world the concept of the As-a-Service Economy and how it is fundamentally impacting how business and IT services have to be fashioned, solutioned and delivered. Enterprise service buyers and providers have little choice but to evolve how they manage their services, or face extinction.

This means both parties need to make genuine investments in their underlying process architectures, reorient their talent capabilities and make some short-to-medium term sacrifices in their financial models to remain viable in the As-a-Service Economy. The same issues apply to sourcing advisors and analysts that face increasing irrelevance if they fail to adjust to the shifting demands of what it means to be an “As-a-Service Enterprise” in this new economy.

The legacy model of IT and business services sales and delivery that has dominated the industry for decades has rapidly become obsolete in our increasingly digital world, where speed, agility, flexibility and re-invention are no longer optional, but core characteristics for the success of any As-a-Service Enterprise.

For HfS, As-a-Service is about continuous progression, where enterprises do not pause at a status quo state. Instead they are continually exploring better ways to automate processes, access rapid meaningful data, and advance self-learning capabilities in a secure, trusted environment.

Our thinking about the Ideals of the As-a-Service Enterprise also has progressed this year. We now segment the ideals into Change Management Ideals and Solution Ideals that intermingle and build upon each other on the journey to the As-a-Service Enterprise. This journey will require significant change management, and through the course of 2015, we have seen encouraging examples of that throughout the industry, especially with efforts to simplify and automate increasingly unwieldy legacy operations and technology.

We could write and talk for hours about the unwillingness of enterprises to change the status quo to achieve better results. But ultimately it all boils down to the leadership of the enterprise having the appetite to go out and find a trusted partner that is motivated to share the risks of this transition within a financial model that works for all parties. Middle management will always resist anything that doesn’t pay them more, make them happier and more excited, or more motivated to perform. The only way forward to achieve genuine plug-and-play digital business solutions is for service providers and enterprises buyers to embrace real design thinking concepts and work together continuously in a much more collaborative and transparent fashion. This means they need to invest in talent, in training, in change fundamentals—and ultimately in solution fundamentals.

The Ideals of the As-a-Service Enterprise explained

In sharing our thinking on the Ideals of the As-a-Service Enterprise through countless client strategy sessions, industry-wide webinars and briefings this year, we have had the chance to test these Ideals with industry stakeholders to understand their relevance and practical applications.

What came out from these sessions was that the Ideals fell into two key themes: Change Management Ideals and Solution Ideals. In many cases enterprises approach these ideals sequentially.

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To move toward the As-a-Service Enterprise, it is beneficial to begin with a willingness to write off the legacy technology and operations and with that adopt Design Thinking as a way to look at business challenges and opportunities with a fresh perspective. Then an enterprise can orient governance and relationships toward building service solutions with the optimum capabilities,

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best Practices

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Long live the freemium analyst model...

September 14, 2015 | Phil Fersht

The main man who tracks the influencers, Duncan Chapple, gives us a little sneak preview into how this year's Analyst Value Survey is chugging along, with several hundred research buyers already sharing their views:

Click to access article

Click to access article

If you haven't yet had your chance to share your opinions of which analysts are doing (or not doing ) it for you, do spend a few minutes completing the 2015/16 Kea Company Analyst Value Survey by clicking here.

Duncan Chapple is leads Kea Group's Influencer Relations Practice (Click for Bio)

Duncan Chapple leads Kea Company's Influencer Relations Practice (Click for Bio)

It seems the "freemium" model we've adopted at HfS over the last six years is really having an impact. It's our view that top insights shouldn't be stuffed behind a firewall. Clients will pay for premium data, indepth analyst strategy session and in-depth competitive landscape reports, but when it comes to insights, viewpoints, or just some plain old entertainment, why hide it?

Freemium isn't disruptive, it's the way forward for an analyst industry, much of which refuses to break out of its stale model.  If people stop reading research and genuine insights, we might as well all pack up and go home now, so let's promote what we do, not hide it.

Having a prolific analyst team beat the As-a-Service drum every day is the real reason for our continual impact - they keep the views fresh, varied and unvarnished, while maintaining that personal touch, which is what we're all about at HfS.

Thanks for those who have voted for us (so far), we really appreciate your support and feedback.  If you would like to share your views on what you would like to see more (or less) from us, do email us here.

Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)HfSResearch.com Homepage

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How Robotic Process Automation has become a right dog's breakfast

September 03, 2015 | Phil Fersht

Dogs Breakfast RPAOver the course of this year, practically every conversation we've been having about IT and BPO has culminated in the impact robotic automation will have on service providers, third-party advisors, RPA software vendors and the poor unsuspecting enterprise clients, all seemingly unprepared for the tsunami of impending disruption caused by this suddenly-discovered ability to mimic human behaviour in software scripts.

Sadly, most of these conversations are fraught with misconceptions about what RPA can - and should - deliver to the enterprise and real misunderstandings about the speed to benefit realization.  Yes indeed, the whole services industry has gone careening up hype creek, powered by advisor and provider-infused methane.  So let's enter the kitchen of HfS' Charles Sutherland, who will unravel the not-so-secret recipe of today's RPA dogs' breakfast...

RPA - why 9 out of 10 enterprises haven't really got a bloody clue

In a recent survey of 178 enterprise buyers, only 11% of respondents said that they have extensive or even some real-life hands-on experience with RPA to-date.   That means that 89% of respondents have not really experienced RPA hands-on but were instead getting their insights on its capabilities via indirect messaging.  Much of this messaging on RPA has sensationalized the benefits (scope and speed) of this technology and, in the view of HfS, created a misrepresentation of the art of the possible today. So how did we as a market get to this point of serving up this Dog’s Breakfast of RPA?

Recipe For Making A Dog’s Breakfast Out of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

  1. We began with one initial but tasty ingredient of a technology suite that uses software “bots” to replicate rules based human facilitated transactions.
  2. We introduced a portion of confusion as to whether the real application of RPA is for roles that are 100% replacement (e.g. all day data entry) or whether RPA is more likely to be applied in roles that are only partial substitutable with technology and when doing this make sure that the attributed benefits from application to the former are broadly applied to the later even when that can never be.
  3. Then a few cooks forgot to mix in the required portion of change management and internal communications as to how RPA will impact talent in the enterprise (and any service provider) and what their futures will look like post RPA.
  4. They then used less than the required amount of skilled talent who actually understand both the technologies and the processes against which they should best be applied.
  5. We also allowed any software vendor with even a passing association to automation to join the cooking team and add their own specific flavoring to the recipe.
  6. Then the market stirred up the resulting mixture with unclear messaging as to whether RPA is an end-state of technology or whether it is the means to an end of finding the cost savings to fund a future (and pending) transformation of the business process and its supporting technology into a natively digital end-to-end environment.
  7. Now as the recipe begins to become less recognizable than what you started with, just for good measure we have seasoned in hints of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence as further ingredients.
  8. Then we baked this mixture at a high heat with much hype into commercial discussions between enterprise clients, their third party advisors, consultants and BPO service providers until it takes a hot bubbling form.
  9. Finally, when ready to prove and serve to the enterprise service buyer, the market forgets to turn on a helpful light of real case studies from other enterprises that have sampled this before and instead pour the resulting breakfast dish into pilot or proof of concept sized bowls that don’t show it all in its tastiest form.

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Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best Practices

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Good heavens, it's Liz Evans...

August 17, 2015 | Phil Fersht

If I had a dollar for every scuba-diving triathlete mom who specializes in the art of service buyer/provider relationship management and governance strategy for a big 4 management consultancy... I really wouldn't be very rich.

Liz Evans

Liz Evans is KPMG Managing Director for Governance (Shared Services & Outsourcing Advisory)

Liz Evans has been at this for several years now, from the early days of Equaterra, where she was marriage counseling for most of the broken outsourcing deals in the industry, through to KPMG where she has molded her craft into the GBS governance functions of many of the largest enterprises in the world.

Not bad for a nice lass from a town called Middlesbrough, somewhere up in the north of England, who's firmly implanted herself as a governance therapist in many North American boardrooms (when she's managed to yank herself away from her Lego-addicted kids).

So, after all these years since we last spoke, we thought high time to get reacquainted with Liz to find out just how much things have changed in the industry...

Phil Fersht, CEO, HfS Research: Liz, it's great to talk with you again. I think it's been five years since we last spoke to you on the blog. You've built quite the reputation at KPMG these days for leading a lot of the governance strategy and how clients are maturing post-transaction. I think our readers would like to hear a bit from you about your background and some of the early days in your career, and how you ended up becoming such a respected governance and relationship management practitioner in the industry.

Liz Evans, Managing Director Governance, KPMG:  Thanks Phil - it's great to speak to you. You know, I did a conference—a Governance roundtable last October—and one of the sessions was on talent management. The first question I asked the audience was, "Put your hands up if, when you left university, you wanted to be a governance professional." Shockingly, no-one raised their hands. And I have to say I am in the same boat. So I think the route into governance and this industry is often an interesting one.

I started off doing outsourcing deals way back in the mid-‘90s. And I actually focused much more on service levels. And then was asked to look at the structure of how you manage those on an ongoing basis. It kind of led me down the road as well. Service levels and service credit really are not all there is to a relationship—it's much broader. I think the rest, as they say, is history from there. When I joined EquaTerra in 2005, I had the opportunity to really spend my time focusing on

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

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How the gig economy has turned bad analysts into vendor advocates

August 03, 2015 | Phil Fersht
Marketing_Advocate

What's happening to the world?

Yes, I have been trying hard – and failing miserably – to avoid using the term “Uberization”, but it’s everywhere! Even in the analyst business, where the sharing platform is the Internet and any old whackjob can get in on the act. All you need is a computer and an ability to write remedial English.

The technology and services industry today is awash with individuals whose only professional activity is flitting from vendor conference to vendor conference, with the sole purpose of writing completely non-objective puff pieces praising their vendor hosts in exchange for money (or in the hope said vendors will pony up some dough in gratitude). Vendors are only too willing to pay these

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataConfusing Outsourcing InformationHfSResearch.com Homepage

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Why big consulting needs to buy into BPO to address the As-a-Service Economy

June 26, 2015 | Phil Fersht

Consulting-eat-BPOWe've been talking about the great divide between consulting and outsourcing models for decades, but - finally - it's time for the two to get much closer together as the forces of the As-a-Service Economy combine to weld the two models into a new services mongrel which combines simplicity, efficiency and capability for enterprises finally attempting to drag themselves away from their perpetual treadmill of obsolete technologies and valueless process flows.

The whole premise behind As-a-Service is one of a fundamental cultural change with how enterprises approach their operations and partner more collaboratively with capable service providers to re-imagine their processes, based on defined business outcomes. Simply put, it's a

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)HfSResearch.com Homepage

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