HfS Network

The Black Book of Hollywood

February 18, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Ladies and gentlemen, these guys need no introdution.  Each year we are treated to a new set of rankings that gets everyone talking.  Yes, it's the infamous Black Book of Outsourcing's top advisors and consultants guide!  Forget your sourcing advisors, forget research reports, forget client references - these guys will simply tell you how it is with their magical rankings. 

You have to hand it to them, they never fail to stir up emotions, excite some small outsourcing vendor, or boutique advisor... when it comes to the Black Book, anyone can get in on the game.  This year we're treated to several one-man bands, outsourcing vendors posing as "independent advisors", and some firms who don't even do what their category states... can you guess some of them?

Download 2009 Outsourcing Advisors Report

Posted in: Confusing Outsourcing Information

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1 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Lepeak
    Posted Feb 19, 2009 02:25 AM | Permalink Reply

    Oh Phil, aren't you being a little harsh?? Who says, for example, that just because a firm provides outsourcing services they can't also be a trusted advisor to buyers trying to decide whether or not they need to outsource? Also, as Bernie Madoff's one person audit firm in a strip mall showed, small shops can have a big impact on how buyers spend their money.....

  2. vinnie mirchandani
    Posted Feb 19, 2009 04:10 AM | Permalink Reply

    Phil, we live in world where your personal, one man band blog is probably read more than your AMR reports. We live in a world of micro-nationals - small firms with global impact far more than their size would suggest. We live in a world where big is GM and Citibank and United and Verizon - don't you wish we had micro firms in each category?

    I run a boutique firms - but I leverage partnerships and other assets like my blog. Could not have done it 5 years ago but today I can selectively compete with much larger firms - and as my clients will testify at much higher ROI.

    I would suggest the Black Book is also one of those phenomena which would have been possible a few years ago - their web based survey, their ability to evaluate global sourcing markets. You may not agree with the results or methods or categories, but you have to admire their impact and reach for their size...

  3. Phil Fersht
    Posted Feb 19, 2009 05:27 AM | Permalink Reply

    Vinnie,

    I couldn't agree more. The Black Book guys have done a phenomenal job marketing themselves using web technology, like Deal Architect has for you. That's why they warranted a posting!

    And while I many poke some fun, this is further evidence of their increasing their visibility into the global business community.

    PF

  4. Anonymous
    Posted Feb 19, 2009 08:21 AM | Permalink Reply

    I dont even know what to say to this... These guys have already gotten sideways with Businessweek due to their questionable methods before (though that reporter did his organization no favors by focusing on the wrong things) and it's easy to see why.

    It's one thing to be marketing savvy, it is an another thing entirely to make stuff up and pass it off as "data".

    I mean no disrespect to the firms listed--many of them are indeed top quality players in our space. I just hope serious businesspeople can tell the difference between the reality and what is portrayed here.

    I do feel good about one thing--if this is the alternative than the future of sourcing advisory services is still quite bright.

  5. John
    Posted Feb 21, 2009 04:49 AM | Permalink Reply

    While I agree with Vinnie's comments that the web has made it possible for small businesses and one-man shops to market themselves to a massive audience, there is also the danger of mis-information floating around the market. There are firms in these lists whose entire revenue model is selling to vendors, not buyers, yet they have managed to be categorized as "outsourcing advisors". In addition, there are firms, for example Fidelity, categorized as "advisors" when they are service providers. Why not add IBM, Accenture etc to the list as they can "advise" clients on outsourcing too?

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