Time to crack open a cold one, turn up the volume… and relax!
Time to crack open a cold one, turn up the volume… and relax!
The world of work has become a very, very different place in just a few short years. Today’s workers need to adapt, develop and promote their skills to make themselves attractive in today’s Digital economy – and savvy employers need to try harder than ever to ensure they are finding staff who can do more than simply transact – they increasingly want people who can think, create, analyze, collaborate and sell; people who are embracing today’s technology to create value to their organization. Ambitious employers want talented workers which can align themselves with where they want their businesses to go, not with the legacy environment from where they are trying to evolve.
So what better strategy to adopt than hire a service provider to take care of this talent headache for you? Surely it’s time to explain to your HR department that fishing through resumes on LinkedIn is unlikely going to net you the best people? Surely it’s time to partner with a recruiting expert that can quickly understand your business, the talent you need, and how to go out into today’s people marketplace to find it?
So we tasked our global workforce and talent expert, Christa Degnan Manning, to assess those services providers helping organizations fill their open positions. The Talent Acquisition Services Blueprint is the second in a series of HfS Workforce Support Services Blueprints reexamining and redefining how organizations are creating operating models and solution portfolios to support today’s workforces. And here is how the providers today shake out, after Christa had put them through the HfS Blueprint mincer:
So Christa, what exactly are Talent Acquisition Service providers and how do they fit in with the overall research you are doing?
A key principle of my Workforce Support Services research approach is that the traditional HR “hire to retire” process-driven solution approach is completely obsolete in the modern workplace. We can see from the Power to the People research few people are actually planning to stay with their current firm until retirement, and they are struggling to focus on the right work to stay engaged and be productive.
So companies have to think differently about how they identify the right workers, support them in their collaboration and development on a day to day basis, and recognize and reward them in more meaningful ways. The first Blueprint we did was on Rewards, Remuneration and Recognition services, earlier in 2014 which took a new look at global payroll, benefits, and employee contact Read More
Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to interview many of the key characters who have helped develop and shape the global services industry as we know it today.
And one gentleman who has quietly spent many, many hours in executive boardrooms all over the world helping craft some extremely complex – and sometimes very simple – global services management strategies, is the great bald eagle of sourcing himself, Eugene Kublanov.
And when Eugene hasn’t managed to get his family lost somewhere in the wilds of his adopted Arkansas or coaching , he is busily growing and developing one of the industries’ first platform-based managed governance services solutions at KPMG. So, in a long overdue interview, we a delighted to have Eugene with us today to give us his own story…
Phil Fersht, CEO, HfS Research: Good afternoon, Eugene, and thank you very much for taking the time with us today. I think we first met seven or eight years ago, and I seem to remember that you were running a lot of outsourcing engagements and offshoring localization work. Can you talk a bit about your background and how you got into this business?
Eugene Kublanov, Managing Director, Shared Services and Outsourcing Advisory, KPMG: Sure, Phil. Thank you; I appreciate the opportunity to catch up. I started in the outsourcing advisory business in 1999, and that was really through a combination of circumstance and accident. I had spent the early part of my career at a consulting firm advising clients on market entry strategies for the former Soviet Union, living and working in Russia for a good bit of the ’90s.
Then in 1998, when things sort of came crashing down in that part of the world, I went back to Read More
We woke up this morning to a wonderful endorsement from the mighty Gartner for all the hard work the HfS team has been putting into developing our HfS Blueprints over the last couple of years, when we proudly launched our revolutionary HfS Blueprint crowdsourced methodology for evaluating business and IT service providers. Yes indeed folks – Gartner has announced it is doing its own “Blueprints research”!
Since we released the first Blueprint Report almost 18 months’ ago, the HfS Blueprint has become one of the industry’s best known and most popular methodologies for assessing provider capability and competitive market landscapes, with fourteen Blueprint reports now published (you can view all the HfS Blueprint highlights here). Enterprise buyers have used the Blueprint Reports exhaustively as an assessment guide for their provider portfolio management, and many advisors rely on it to sanitize their own provider selection processes with their clients.
So does this mean Gartner will take onboard the key tenets of the HfS methodology, in addition to leveraging the broad community data we gather from 1000′s of industry constituents, when it develops its own “Blueprints”? Let’s recap how we develop and execute on the HfS Blueprint methodology – and you can make up your own mind whether you think Gartner will deviate away from its Magic Quadrant process for assessing tech suppliers:
The Tenets and Objectives of the HfS Blueprint:
Good luck Gartner – we can’t wait to see these new Blueprints of yours’ hit the market!
We have heard a lot about Apple’s manufacturing outsourcing, where the firm has ~500,000 people subcontracted via Foxconn in China to crank out its iPhones, but very little about its IT outsourcing habits.
So… does Apple also leverage large scale IT outsourcing? If answer is yes, then what kind of IT outsourcing is done by Apple, and how it has been changing with time?
With these questions in mind, our ever-curious India-based analyst (note: also keen novelist now seemingly developing a penchant for investigative journalism), Pareekh Jain, started studying Apple’s IT outsourcing initiatives, and the results surprised us: Apple doesn’t outsource its core software technologies that go into its products, but it does outsource Enterprise Applications, Business Intelligence, ADM and other software initiatives to a combination of TCS, Infosys, Wipro, TechMahindra and Exilant (which we know of). Quite simply, as Apple is growing, so is the scope of its Indian-centric IT outsourcing to support it’s ever-increasing needs.
Another related aspect that cropped up during Pareekh’s research, is the increasing use of global engineering talent by Apple. According to our estimates, Apple leverages Indian engineering talent heavily as indicated from its sizable H1B and GreenCard applications.
We shared our research findings with Times Of India (The World’s largest English daily newspaper), which went as far as a story on this interesting little topic on today’s front page.
We’ll be sharing our research report on Apple’s outsourcing strategy with our readers shortly….
It’s time to wake up and smell the roses, people. The services industry is going through its most seismic challenge as increasingly sophisticated enterprise clients are looking to reduce their reliance on labor-based services and clunking archaic on-premise technology. While some services and consulting firms have their heads buried in the sand, clearly in denial that the services model has already entered into a fundamental shift, others are recognizing that they need to get ahead of this – and fast.
The services industry is going through a secular change and it will never be like it was, where trillions of dollars were spent maintaining dysfunctional systems and funding huge armies of staff to fumble their way through managing non-standard and often obsolete processes. Those days are fading fast and that pie is shrinking for providers and consultants still feeding off the legacy enterprise operations beast.
We ran a study earlier this year that explored the role of technology when enterprises outsource their business operations, and the findings from almost 200 major enterprises couldn’t be clearer: half of today’s enterprises are expecting to take the leap to enable their business operations with new technology tools and platforms in barely a two-year time-frame.
Operations leaders don’t have the luxury of ten-year improvement programs anymore – corporate leadership expects to see tangible results in much shorter timeframes. You only have to look at the growing number of unemployed CIOs to understand what happens when functions become overly-operational and limited value and innovation is achieved.
It’s the same for CFOs, CPOs, supply chain heads and other function leaders – most are under a renewed pressure to continue driving out costs, while delivering ongoing improvements to data quality and having greater alignment with front-office activities. The old “we need to fix our ERP first” excuse just isn’t cutting it as much these days.
This is why 49% of today’s enterprise buyers expect to move to a “wide-scale transformation of Read More
Remember the days when standard corporate issue to enterprise staff was the monster-sized Dell laptop that only seemed to be made for the mass-market corporate crowd and needed a huge ugly Targus case to lug it around… and a low-end Blackberry, where the only redeeming feature was brickbreaker that could keep your brain amused for hours on those middle seats at the back of coach?
In fact, it was for these very reasons that executives slowly came around to realizing that the only cool technology they could get access to would come from their own personal investments, which is how Apple crept into the executive suite. Apple was just so anti-enterprise; YOU were in control and YOU could develop you whole digital persona using your iPad and iPhone.
There have been some insightful pieces penned on the landmark IBM/Apple alliance signed this week – notably from Larry Dignan and Peter Allen that go into the far-reaching potential consequences of this deal, notably the potential of providing iOS apps and embedded analytics tools to enterprises and disrupting traditional services models, potentially not too different from Workday’s impact on HR.
However, I wanted to draw your attention to HfS’ enterprise mobility analyst, Ned May, who focused on the simple fact that this alliance finally gets Apple into the enterprise through the front door…
“Apple has never understood the enterprise very well. While it has attempted to become ‘more friendly’ over the years and extended a few fig leafs in the terms of iOS updates that address enterprise grade concerns like security, Apple’s success in the enterprise has mostly been driven by its success as a consumer device. It has largely entered the enterprise through the front door in an executive’s purse or pocket not via a box on the loading dock that was backed up to IT. Further, Apple has been notoriously difficult to work with often to the frustration of a CIO. In short, while Apple’s support might be “legendary” it has not been the type of story that ends with someone riding off into the sunset. Which brings us back to the impetus behind this deal. At its core, it is about Apple realizing it will never understand the enterprise and that there is no better partner to get them over that challenge than IBM.
“In exchange, IBM gets to offer a message of safety to anxious IT departments who nervously watched iOS devices sweep into their formerly locked down playgrounds and ultimately opened them up to the chaos known as BYOD. As we pointed out in our Enterprise Mobility Services Blueprint (see link), the market is now reaching a stage of maturity where IT departments are being asked to rationalize the disparate mobile activities underway around the enterprise. As they do, many are looking to apply their traditional approaches to managing the challenges these new environments brings.”
Click here to access the full complimentary POV “The Day Apple’s Enterprise Strategy Came in from the Cold”
When we look at the future potential of BPO, one of the markets with the most untapped potential is that of supply chain services, which could be as large as $300 Billion in annual expenditure when today’s emerging offerings really begin to mature, and an increasing number of buyers have to tap into third party technology and services specialization.
When you think about the scope of this space, we’re talking about the management of orders, inventory, manufacturing and transport to get products to market, and then the whole additional services tied to after market needs, master data management and sustainability management:
The need for supply chain process, domain and analytics expertise, supported by the necessary technology tools platforms – at a global scale and depth – has never been as intense it today’s buoyant and globalized market place, where decisions needs to made faster than ever to keep many companies in business. So HfS analysts Pareekh Jain and Charles Sutherland set about the analyst industry’s first-ever attempt to flesh out the leading providers in this market with the 2014 Blueprint Report in Supply Chain Management BPO Services:
So, Charles and Pareekh, what is driving buyer interest in Supply Chain Management BPO today?
For most enterprises the costs of goods sold is the vast majority of their income statement and the with SG&A having in many cases being squeezed extensively over the last decade they are looking for new ways to both reduce COGS but also to improve performance of their supply chains as well. As the world continues to globalize and both suppliers and customers become more distributed and Read More
This was an actual bank robbery in Detroit…
One of the the core issues we discussed at last week’s Blueprint Sessions was the frustrating and seemingly never-ending issue of providers over-promising delights to clients to win engagements and then failing to deliver on them. However, the group of 45 industry stakeholders all agreed that all of the entities are at fault in setting up too many of these engagements to fail:
Buyers: Thinking that they are going to get wads of free transformational consulting that will miraculously appear from the provider – even thought they haven’t actually paid for any;
Providers: Promising wads of free transformation consulting to augment their operational obligations, even though they probably will not really give the client any (but who cares, as it’ll be too late for the client to back out in two years’ time and they aren’t contractually obliged to provide it);
Advisors: Strong-arming providers to respond to RFPs in three weeks and allowing very little (if any) interaction time for providers to interact with their clients in advance to develop the right solution and get a stronger balance between delivery capability and desired outcomes.
So what happens when you look at a culmination of many buyers’ first five years’ experiences after signing a contract? Let’s take a look at some collective journeys:
Four steps this industry needs to take to avoid engagement failure in the future
1) Less focus on the deal, more on the relationship. Providers are all-too-frequently being forced in the position of saying what they need to win the deal, as opposed to having a structure to propose a realistic partnership that works for both sides, with specific milestones and balanced delivery expectations.
Possible Solutions: Advisors need to create a more collaborative RFP process that allows for more interaction between the buyer and interested providers. Advisors also need to set better expectations for their clients and potentially get their governance consultants involved earlier in the Read More
As we digest the incredible dialog from the HfS Cambridge University blueprint summit this week, the overwhelming mood from enterprises is one of frustration to get beyond this tactical status quo of legacy operations, in which so many find themselves wedged.
And most services providers aren’t going to come to the table with the technology and talent until their customers clearly dictate and demand what they need to cross this chasm. And those providers which simply do not have the Digital capabilities their clients demand to address these gaps, run the risk of being relegated to the class of legacy staff augmentation provider that performs only the low-value grunt work, or ditched from many client provider rosters altogether. And this is already happening with some ambitious determined clients.
When we surveyed 312 enterprise buyers on their two-year expectations from their current outsourcing relationships, it becomes abundantly clear that those desired business outcomes from yesterday’s outsourcing era have quickly become today’s table-stakes:
Clients are rapidly losing patience with services providers that aren’t working proactively with them to provide more value than the basic terms of the original contract. I feel like we’ve had this conversation before, but this time many clients are doing a lot more than having a quiet moan that they aren’t really getting value beyond very basic service provision. This time, many are actively Read More