Monthly Archives: Feb 2010

Buy some innovation right here... just talk to Bob

February 26, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Bob CecilWe're still recovering from one of the longest discussion-threads in the history of outsourcing when we asked whether some outsourcing vendors had thrown in the innovation towel.

This also inspired my old friend Bob Cecil to reach out and ask us to work with him to provide some practical advice to the industry on how to achieve some innovation; without coupons, promotional discounts, or even early-bird specials. Just plans old advice, practical thinking, and - heaven forbid - maybe even some patience.  "But wait!  If you call in the next 10 minutes, we'll also throw in..."

Bob, simply-put, is "Equa-Man" - one of the original champions of BPO who has been a key figure in helping mastermind the growth of outsourcing advisory firm Equaterra since its inception.  If there's ever a complex BPO engagement in the works, Bob's usually somewhere on the scene (and likely holding up a warning sign).  He's also hard to track down, as you have to drag him off a basketball court or ski-slope when he's not on a plane somewhere, but we did manage to grab a few minutes with him earlier this week...

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



Phil Fersht, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Phil Fersht

Phil Fersht is Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Research Director of HfS Research, the leading global research analyst organization covering global sourcing strategies. He was named “IIAR Analyst of the Year 2010” by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR). This is the most coveted global award for industry analysts in technology and services.  His specialist coverage areas include finance, HR and supply chain BPO, and he also focuses on industry-specific issues and the convergence of BPO, SaaS and Cloud in a business utility context.

He is an acclaimed industry analyst, practitioner, advisor and strategist across Business Process Outsourcing and IT services worldwide, having worked extensively in Europe, North America and Asia. During this time, he has advised on more than 100 major outsourcing and offshoring engagements and consults regularly with senior operations and IT executives on their global sourcing strategies.  At HfS Research, Phil directs and contributes to the firm’s research and social media strategy, in addition to administering the global finance operations.

During his career, Phil has worked at AMR Research (Gartner Group), leading the firm’s BPO and ITO practice. Previously, he served as market leader for Deloitte Consulting’s BPO Advisory Services, where he led numerous outsourcing and offshoring advisory engagements with Fortune 500 enterprises. He also worked for outsourcing advisor Everest Group leading the company’s BPO research practice. Phil began his career at IDC across its European and Asia/Pacific operations.

Phil is a frequent author and speaker on IT services, Finance, HR and Procurement Business Process Outsourcing trends and issues. He was named both an "FAO" and "HRO Superstar" by FAOToday and HROToday Magazines for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was featured as the cover story for the December 2006 issue of FAOToday as one of the outsourcing industry's most prominent advisors. He was also nominated for “Advisor of the Year” at the FAOSummit 2008. He speaks regularly at industry conferences, which have included The Conference Board, NASSCOM, IDC Directions, the Sourcing Interests Group, the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. He is also a regular columnist for several industry publications, including Global Services Media, SSON, FAOToday and Finance Director Europe.

Phil received a Bachelor of Science, with Honors in European Business & Technology from Coventry University, United Kingdom and a Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie in Business & Technology from the University of Grenoble, France.

When he's not running this business, Phil spends his time watching Tottenham Hotspur (a mediocre British soccer team), the Boston Red Sox (less mediocre, but not by a lot), reading, running, playing chess and sampling single malt whiskies.

Phil can be reached at phil dot fersht at   He can also be found on twitter:  @pfersht

Posted in: About Us



Esteban Herrera, Chief Operating Officer

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Esteban Herrera

Esteban Herrera is COO at HfS Research, where his prime focus is developing and delivering compelling and rapid research, data, insight and practical advice for our buy-side enterprise clients.  He also over sees the company's commercial operations.

Esteban focuses on the issues and challenges of outsourcing buyers, ensuring they have the best insight to create and manage their outsourcing relationships. His responsibilities include providing outsourcing buyers with solid research that leverages both deep expertise and the power of social media.

A committed globalist, Esteban is an outsourcing thought leader who is passionate about the opportunities of globalization and specialization in the industry. A popular speaker and author, he advises organizations on issues of business process and IT outsourcing on- and offshore. Through his involvement in hundreds of enterprise outsourcing initiatives, he has developed unique insight and the ability to ask the right questions to set an organization on the correct outsourcing path.

A respected practitioner, adviser and researcher, Esteban has worked with Global 2000 companies in the United States, Asia, Latin America and Europe, helping them manage the entire lifecycle of back office transformations. He has lived and worked on four continents and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

He has run outsourcing delivery organizations in India, North America, Latin America and Europe, and has advised on over 100 ITO and BPO transactions.

Esteban started his career at Accenture, delivering “offshore” enterprise solutions before that was a common term. At Infosys, he was responsible for delivery of services to major Fortune 100 clients. He has spent the last decade as an outsourcing advisor to global enterprises, founding and managing The Concours Group’s Outsourcing Advisory practice and most recently as a Managing Director with Alsbridge.

Esteban’s work has appeared in publications such as MWorld and Directorship. He is a co-author of the influential book Outsourcing: The Definitive Point of View, Applications and Implications published by Wiley & Sons in 2006. In 2003 he led the landmark Research Life after Outsourcing, which was the first to comprehensively focus on the behaviors and processes that can make or break outsourcing success.

His chief pastimes involve his wife, Patricia, and baby son Lucas. And when he's not wasting his time watching the Dallas Mavericks he can be found tuning into Speed TV to watch Formula 1 racing.

Esteban is a graduate of Babson College, where he majored in Entrepreneurial Studies and Marketing.

Esteban Herrera can be reached at esteban dot herrera at   He can also be found on twitter:  @eherrerahfs

Posted in: About Us



Euan Davis, Managing Director, European Research Practice

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Euan Davis

Euan Davis is Managing Director, European Research at HfS Research, where his prime focus is overseeing a leading-edge research agenda in the areas of services integration, IT services and Business Process Outsourcing.  He has a specific focus on the European region, in addition to having a global mandate.

Euan is globally-recognized as a long-standing expert in IT services and sourcing-related issues, bringing more than 14 years of analyst and consulting experience to HfS Research.

Based in London, he assumes responsibility for a broad range of sourcing and services governance topics, namely supporting clients develop their multisourcing/multiprovider strategies, recommending service provider selection and evaluation criteria, supporting clients through their outsourcing deal negotiations, and offering insight into the evolving ecosystem of services providers for IT service and BPO delivery.

He frequently advises executives into the dynamics surrounding the European marketplace and their impact on the sourcing role. Euan frequently keynotes events or assumes the role of session chairman at international conferences that focus on IT services, BPO and sourcing-related issues.

Prior to joining HfS, he was a Principal analyst for global IT research firm, Forrester Research, where he led the firm's coverage of IT services and BPO for the pan-Europe region.  He also served as Yankee Group's European IT services domain expert for two years, following a five-year spell at IT analyst IDC, where he was a research manager for IT services. There, he managed the research agenda, directed custom consulting projects, and wrote syndicated research papers covering all aspects of the European IT services industry. He has lived and worked extensively in Europe, including six months in Madrid setting up a Spanish IT services research practice — other relevant skills include Spanish language capability.

Euan has a B.A. degree from Portsmouth University and lives in Cambridge, UK.

In his spare time, Euan is a formidable skier and avid gardner.  He is father of Rosa and Oliver with his long-time partner Hannah.

Euan Davis can be reached at euan dot davis at   He can also be found on twitter:  @euandavis

Posted in: About Us



Jamie Snowdon, Principal Analyst, Market Sizing and Forecasting

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Jamie Snowdon

Jamie Snowdon is a long-serving and acclaimed veteran analyst of the European IT services and BPO industry for the last 15 years. As Principal Analyst for HfS Research, Jamie focuses on developing market size models, data analytics and forecasting, supporting ITO and BPO price benchmarking analysis, in addition to contributing to HfS written research.

Prior to HfS, Jamie spent seven years at analyst firm IDC, where he was the Director for IDC’s European services group, managing all of IDC's bespoke research. Jamie specialised in delivering custom market forecast models and forecasting tools tailored to his client’s individual needs. In addition, Jamie ran IDC’s European outsourcing research, covering both IT and business process outsourcing. Jamie has wide industry knowledge covering IT consulting, enterprise applications, IT & business process outsourcing, desktop & network services, equipment maintenance, and business continuity.

Jamie began his research career spending four and a half years at the IT services research specialist INPUT in a combination of marketing and analysis roles. He left as the UK operations manager having spent two years as a customer services industry analyst. Jamie completed his graduate training at one of the UK’s leading electronic and IT distribution companies. He has degrees in general science, law and a post graduate diploma in legal practice.

Since 2006 Jamie has taken time away from the analyst world studying to complete his law degree, before making his return to the analyst fold with HfS.

Jamie lives in Teddington in England with girlfriend Clare, and can be reached at jamie dot snowdon at HfSResearch dot com

Posted in: About Us



Brian Robinson, Senior Analyst, Outsourcing Strategies

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Brian Robinson

As Senior Analyst for Outsourcing Strategies, Brian Robinson provides support across many of HfS Research's clients. His core focus is helping buy-side organizations develop smart global sourcing strategies across both IT and business processes, evaluate service providers and benchmark many pricing components of their sourcing options. With over 12 years of consulting and industry experience, Brian has lived and worked on four continents. He has also served clients across a number of industries including energy, banking and insurance, consumer products, and automotive.

Brian spent the last four years with the outsourcing advisory firm the Everest Group.  Progressing from Consultant, to Senior Consultant, and then to Engagement Director, Brian advised a number of the world’s largest outsourcing buyers and providers.  During extended engagements, he served clients onsite in the US, Australia, India, Japan, Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands.

Many of his client assignments included:

  • Defining buyer’s sourcing strategies and future service delivery models
  • Designing and negotiating IT and BPO transactions
  • Designing sales strategies for IT and BPO providers
  • Optimising back office operations

Brian’s career began with Disney - the global media and entertainment company.  He spent over six years in a number of roles and geographies including more than two years in Paris.  Yes, he left behind the world’s best <<pain au chocolat>>, but can still work and converse in French.  After returning from France to the US for a graduate degree, he spent his summer internship in Thailand and Indonesia supporting an environmental start-up firm.

Brian holds a B.S. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida and a MBA from the Darden School of Business.

He is an avid reader of the Economist and enjoys a good surf or snowboard session in his free time.

Brian can be reached at brian dot robinson at hfsresearch dot com.

Posted in: About Us



Reetika Joshi, Contributing Analyst, BPO Strategies

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Reetika Joshi

Reetika Joshi contributes regularly to HfS Research's BPO research coverage, in areas such as analytics and vertical processes.

Reetika is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueNotes Sourcing Practice, based in Pune, India. She currently tracks the outsourcing industry, with a special research focus on the fast-growing technology-enabled learning segment.

Based in India, she has undertaken several research assignments across the outsourcing spectrum, including market studies in niche BPO and KPO areas such as medical transcription, research and analytics and e-learning. Over the last few years at ValueNotes, she has had the opportunity to work on multiple bespoke research services for outsourcing providers, including in-depth competitive intelligence, investment opportunity assessment and custom publishing.

Reetika’s work has appeared in many industry-relevant publications and websites, including Outsourcing magazine, Global Services Media and the Horses for Sources blog. She has presented her views on the state of the outsourcing at various conferences.  A strong believer in the power of communities, she manages ValueNotes Sourcing Practice’s corporate blog, as well as an e-learning industry knowledge-sharing group on Linkedin.

Reetika has completed her Master’s in Marketing Management with distinction from Aston University, UK, receiving Beta Gamma Sigma honours. She was awarded the Accenture prize for Best Student on her course. Her final year dissertation was titled ‘Learning from Management Mistakes: Are Today’s Top Business Students Prepared for the Flawed Realities of the Business World?’. Prior to this, she received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with distinction from Symbiosis International University, India.

On a more personal note, she enjoys reading (fantasy series in particular). She loves listening to music, you’ll always find her with headphones on – her all time favourite band is Radiohead (who she had the great fortune to see in concert). Not quite the sportsperson, but she gets her fix from adventure sports and scuba diving (when she’s lucky). Her other interests include travelling, watching the odd foreign/independent film, and lastly, rooting for Google Android and the open source community.

If you have any questions regarding her work, would like to exchange ideas, or just say hello, do reach out at reetika at valuenotes dot com.

Posted in: About Us



Deborah Kops, Contributing Analyst, Sourcing Change Management

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Deborah Kops, HfS Contributing Analyst

Deborah Kops, HfS Contributing Analyst

We are delighted to be associated with Deborah Kops, the "doyenne of outsourcing"  and managing principal of Deborah recently left one of those high powered corporate jobs to focus on the challenges of change for outsourcing and shared services through, the only dedicated industry resource. HfS Research is now the first analyst firm to recognize the implications of change management on sourcing success by collaborating with Deborah, who will be contributing her analysis and insights for HfS subscribers and research clients.

Deborah acknowledges that she learned about the challenges of sourcing change management the hard way—by failing. As a result, she is able to deliver results in situations where change is required and the rules must be rewritten, focusing on elimination of barriers to adoption, and helping stakeholders acquire new skills to effectively adopt, embrace and expand new business models such as outsourcing

With experience as a corporate managing director, consulting partner and provider, Deborah has a unique perspective on the major challenge to outsourcing and shared services implementation—effectively and sustainably changing the way people work in light of the myriad implications of sourcing—new relationships, different cultures, enhanced technologies,  different delivery locations,  new cost structure,  changed workflows, focus on the customer, increased quality, introduction of commercial structures, and other considerations.

As a client, Deborah had end-to-end responsibility for global sourcing implementation at two financial institutions.  At a global investment bank, she served as the transformation leader for a market-first global procure-to-pay outsourcing implementation, and set up an enterprise-wide “smartsourcing” initiative. For a top 7 US bank, now part of Bank of America, she managed and sourced administrative processes, increasing customer satisfaction of the all-important retail banking division.

Formerly an executive with one of the largest offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, and a founding partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ pioneering outsourcing line of business, Deborah saw the implications of change management issues from the provider perspective first hand. And, as advisor, she has honed consulting and communication techniques that help clients institutionalize change leadership, working with major corporations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Deborah is a prolific writer who currently writes columns on change management for SSON Network and Outsourcing Today. She is an occasional columnist for Global Services and is a contributor to the Human Resources Business Review, a journal of the Human Resources Outsourcing Association,  Business Trends Quarterly, and the European Outsourcing Review.  Deborah has presented at industry forums sponsored by such organizations as Deloitte, the  Financial Times, Corporate Research Foundation, SSON, Das Shared Services Internationale/ Management Circle , The Conference Board, HROA, and Global Services. She has delivered workshops at institutions such as University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Carnegie-Mellon University, and Lancaster University School of Management.

Deborah is probably the only graduate architect in the sourcing world. Late nights at the drawing board earned her a bachelors degree at the University of Illinois and a masters from Virginia Tech. After six years of hard graft in the design world, she thought there were better ways to make a living.

Deborah is married to an Englishman who is a dead ringer for Samuel Beckett, is a hiker and after many years of airline lounges, still likes to travel.

Deborah can be reached at deborah dot kops at sourcingchange dot com.

Posted in: About Us



Jason Busch, Contributing Analyst, Procurement Strategies

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Jason Busch

One guy who we just have to have working with us is the Prince of Procurement, the Pontiff of Procure-to-pay himself, Chi-town's own Mr Jason Busch.  Jason is working closely with the Horses for Sources research team to develop a comprehensive research program covering the procurement and strategic sourcing BPO space. 

Jason is Founder and Managing Director of Azul Partners, a boutique advisory firm, and a partner/affiliate of Horses For Sources.  He is also Editor of the highly trafficked sourcing, trade and supply chain blog SpendMatters.  He is regarded as one of the leading technology pundits and thought leaders in the trade, procurement and operations worlds, which is we we asked him to be an expert contributor to our research coverage.

His current research and interest areas include the future of global sourcing, purchase-to-pay platforms, risk management, supplier information / performance management, and the growth of communities of interest and online social networking within the procurement, trade and supply chain worlds. 

Jason has extensive experience advising leading technology and solution companies on both the strategic and tactical components of marketing. Prior to launching Azul Partners, Jason directed branding and strategic marketing for FreeMarkets, a leading provider of sourcing and supply management technology and services. During his tenure at FreeMarkets, he created and spearheaded a range of marketing functions including competitive intelligence, strategic marketing, and analyst relations, while also leading FreeMarkets’ efforts to become the eminent thought leader in the supply chain arena, overseeing the publication of all marketing content to drive lead generation and sales efforts. Jason also served as Manager, Corporate Development, and was active in numerous acquisition, corporate strategy, partnership, go-to-market strategy and channel efforts, including make/buy and a range of product strategy and product management-related initiatives.

Prior to FreeMarkets, Jason served as consultant and analyst with Northeast Consulting (acquired by Nervewire), a Boston-based management consulting firm focused on the intersection of strategy and technology. At Northeast Consulting, he advised a diverse group of leading technology and services companies on corporate and product strategy. Jason served as a project manager for a range of assignments, working closely with vendors and consultancies ranging from billion-dollar vendors to small, venture-backed start-ups. In addition to working with providers on corporate and product strategies, he helped craft tactical sales tools, including strategic marketing content, ROI analyses, and market-driven launch plans. Prior to entering the technology arena, Jason worked as an analyst for a small merchant bank where he analyzed private placement convertible and fixed-income investments in the US and European markets.

Jason has authored over a thousand columns, whitepapers and op-ed pieces on supply chain, technology and economic issues (many in a private label format for his clients). On supply chain and spend management topics, he has been published in Internet Week, CPO Agenda, Industry Standard, Information Week, Electronic Buyer’s News, Communications Week, and Supply and Demand Chain Executive. Currently, he currently serves as Editor-at-Large of Surplus Record, an industrial publication with over 75,000 subscribers. Jason’s opinions have been quoted in numerous essays, articles, books, and academic papers ranging from The New York Times to the writings of Forrester Research and he has spoken at numerous industry events and conferences.
Jason holds an MA in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a BA, cum laude, with departmental honors, in history and English literature. In addition, Jason has completed coursework at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

When not hurling forth on all things procurement, Jason enjoys cooking, running, restoring antiquarian books and spending time with his family.  He is also partial to the occasional dram of the Scottish firewater (but he didn't ask us mention that).

Posted in: About Us



Edward Brooks, Contributing Analyst, Legal Process Outsourcing Strategies

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Edward Brooks, Expert Contributor, Legal Process Outsourcing

Edward Brooks

Ed Brooks is a native Scotsman living in Manhattan, where he now spends a good amount of his time contributing expert advice and analysis on the growing Legal Process Outsourcing Market (LPO) for HfS Research's clients.

Edward Brooks runs The LPO Program, a new-wave consulting business that delivers its clients all the Tools, Knowledge, Data and Support necessary to carry out complex Legal Process Outsourcing projects. The Program enables Law Firms and In-House Legal Counsel to quickly determine the appropriate LPO Strategy for their specific circumstances. As well as giving clients the equivalent of an MBA in Legal Process Outsourcing, The Program significantly cuts project timetables and risks, and delivers a clearly articulated LPO strategy.

Since joining Accenture in 2000, Edward has had 11 years in the outsourcing and offshoring sector leading over $5 billion worth of deals, in areas as diverse as Finance and Accounting, HR, Clinical Research, Customer Services, and Legal Process Outsourcing. This experience has covered the full project life cycle from designing and selling delivery models, through to implementation and operation. At one client he had personal responsibility for paying the UK’s armed forces, totalling £10 billion each year.

For the last 4 years Edward worked as an advisor to major corporations taking them through the complex process of determining the appropriate delivery strategy (whether in-house, onshore, offshore, or outsourced) and then ensuring the successful implementation of that strategy.

As a Chartered Accountant with experience of running businesses and establishing new ventures, Edward brings a strong commercial perspective to any organization. By keeping executives and project teams focused on the strategic objectives and the short-term issues he has been able to thrive is some of the most challenging environments.

Living between New York and the UK Edward is thankful for BBC Radio 4's Now Show and News Quiz for keeping him informed and entertained about the world, and for the Wall Street Journal for constantly challenging the status quo and reminding us all of how interconnected this small planet is.

Edward can be reached at eb at thelpoprogram dot com.

Posted in: About Us



Phil Hassey, Contributing Analyst, Asia/Pacific BPO Strategies

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Phil Hassey

Phil Hassey is a respected veteran services analyst, based in Sydney Australia, who contributes regularly to HfS Research's coverage of Asia/Pacific Business Process Outsourcing trends and dynamics.

Phil is the founder of capioIT, a research analyst firm focussed on driving change in the analyst and research market through innovation and collaboration, with a strong focus on IT services and BPO strategies in the Asia/Pacific region.

He has 17 years' experience in corporate strategy, consulting and market intelligence, gained in a diverse range of organisations and industries. Prior to founding capioIT, he established the Australian and Services business units at Springboard Research. Prior to Springboard Research, Phil was responsible for driving analyst firm IDC's research in the services marketplace across the Asia/Pacific region. During his 6 years at IDC, Phil led a large multi-national team of analysts across a range of IT related services with a particular focus on IT Outsourcing, BPO and global delivery networks.

Phil has also developed a significant amount of experience in corporate strategy, marketing and research at Accenture and Lend Lease, where he was responsible for their global research in shopping centre development. In 2000, he was wrote the first analyst research report on the CRM and Call Centre BPO market in Asia Pacific. This followed work with an Australian Insurance agency optimising their customer service capabilities. Showing how CRM has changed; a key achievement was getting the insurance agency to consider using email as a tool for customer communication.

Phil graduated from the University of New South Wales with an Honours Degree in Applied Science with a major in Applied Economic Geography. He has a commitment to lifelong learning and is an MBA student “mentor” to help provide skills for future business leaders at one of Australia’s leading business schools.

He lives with his wife and three children in Sydney, Australia. When he gets spare time, he spends it at the beach, on his bike and making most of what the Sydney area has to offer.

Phil can be reached at phil at capioIT dot com.   He can also be found on twitter: @phassey

Posted in: About Us



Ray Wang, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

February 25, 2010 | Phil Fersht

R "Ray" Wang

We are delighted to have R "Ray" Wang an a contributing analyst in the areas of software and disruptive technologies.

R “Ray” Wang's  dynamic presentation style brings life and energy to technology and business topics such as business process transformation, next generation software, SaaS/Cloud solutions, social CRM, analytics, and ERP. He is the author of the popular enterprise software blog “A Software Insider’s Point of View.” With viewership in the millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and business models impact the CXO, enterprise apps strategy, and emerging business and technology trends.

Ray works with organizations to provide strategic guidance in a variety of business scenarios including designing go-to-market strategies; reviewing and designing software licensing, pricing, support, and maintenance policies; delivering competitive assessments; evaluating software partner ecosystems, and researching business processes such as the perfect order and continuous customer management for the enterprise and SMB markets.

News outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Inc., CIO Magazine, Information Week, ComputerWorld, Financial Times, eWeek, IDG News, ZDNet, and CNBC frequently seek his point of view.

Ray is currently founder and principal analyst of his new research organization, Constellation Research, which serves the needs of buyers and end users who seek insight, guidance, and advice in dealing with a dizzying array of disruptive business models and technologies.  Prior to Constellation, he was a founding partner for Enterprise Strategy at Altimeter Group. Prior career roles included VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester, where he was recognized in both 2008 and 2009 by the prestigious Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) as the Analyst of the Year and in 2009 he was recognized as one of the most important analysts for Enterprise, SMB, and Software.

Ray can be reached at r dot wang at   He can also be found on twitter: @rwang0

Posted in: About Us



Are you ready... for H Day?

February 23, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Plug in your headphones, crank up the volume and ask yourself... are you ready for H day?

(may take a few seconds to load if you have a cheap computer)

How many of these images from the history of the Horses do you remember?

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyOutsourcing EventsOutsourcing Heros



The great analyst firewall: will banning analysts from blogging damage the traditional research business, or help create an entirely new one?

February 21, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Free_Speech What's happened to the industry analyst business?  You may recall a discussion right here two years ago when we berated the Chinese Internet purges and the impact they could have on the development of their own knowledge services and BPO industry.  While such censorship of free opinion-sharing is depressing enough in a controlled society, it's even more alarming when it's happening right on our own doorstep, when you see analyst heavyweight Forrester Research officially banning its own analysts from having personal blogs that touch upon issues related to their research coverage or technology markets. 

If you saw the recent passionate debate over at analyst relations guru Carter Lusher's Sage Circle site, you can read an official statement from Forrester's head of Corporate Communications:

"We believe we can best serve our clients in their professional roles by aggregating our intellectual property in one place – at  Make no mistake: Forrester is committed to social media, and the number of our analyst bloggers is increasing, not decreasing. Analysts will still have the ability to blog outside of Forrester on topics not related to their coverage areas."

Analysts will still have the ability to blog outside of Forrester on topics not related to their coverage areas?  Hmmm... I really do want to know about their CRM analyst's stamp collection.

Aren't analysts supposed to create buzz?

I fondly recall the heyday of industry analyst business in the '90's, where the technology and services business thrived on innovation, on research, on unfettered opinion, where people had a vision and were unafraid to give forward-looking - and sometimes far-reaching - views regarding what was going to happen next, in a world that was being dramatically impacted by the onset of the Internet and web-enabled technologies, readily-available computing power and networking infrastructure, and steady globalization. 

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Social Networking



The Atwood Files: Adam Smith got it right!

February 20, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Adam Smith We've had some great contributors to the Horses over the years, and I was delighted to get a call the other day from one of the legends of outsourcing lore, offering to share some of his career learnings with us. 

I'd like to think he rates us that highly, but it's more likely the two feet of snow that submerged his local golf course was what really inspired Mike Atwood to lend us some of his thoughts about globalization, the development of capitalism, and our favorite topic:  outsourcing. 

I recall my first meeting with Mike a few years ago at an Admirals Club in Atlanta, when we were off to impress a potential client with our knowledge of the industry.  All Mike said that day to me was, "you'd better have some good charts"... and the rest is history.  Mike's experience with outsourcing spans 35 years, much of which was spent leading three major divisions at EDS, before turning his hand to sourcing advisory work in recent years, where he's served as a Principal with Everest Group, and leading Hackett's ventures into the advisory space.  Mike has also worked extensively in Tehran (during the Shah's days), Jeddah and Mexico.  Without further ado, let's turn the stage over to Mike to hear his take on how...

Adam Smith got it right!

Over 350 years ago he observed and defined the concept of markets, specialization of labor, demand, all of it.

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Posted in: Outsourcing AdvisorsOutsourcing Heros



The Industry Spoke! Hear it all on a free webcast... just for you

February 18, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Free Speech For all 1055 of you who perservered through completing our survey, and then being subjected to six lengthy diatribes about what it all means, we can finally put this little study to bed with a FREE WEBCAST on Friday 5th March at 11.00 AM Eastern standard time. 


Posted in: Outsourcing Events



The Industry Speaks, Part VI: Customers increasingly look to industry-specific BPO solutions, but which vendors will ultimately invest to define and deliver them?

February 15, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Modern-industry As we discussed during the previous five chapters of this encyclopedic journey to over-analyze our industry, customers are looking beyond the old simplicities of outsourcing to find new and creative ways to find new performance thresholds. 

One of these areas is to exploit BPO opportunities within industry-specific domains, especially where there is opportunity to bundle both BPO and IT services together under a single vendor's provision to generate more efficient business outcomes. 

To cut to the chase, the industry-specific (vertical) process domains are where some of the newer vendor entrants are infiltrating, almost unnoticed, into the BPO industry.  Most of the strong IT services vendors have been developing BPO niches in specific verticals where they have developed some strong process acumen and client credibility, and have the determination to invest in becoming best-in-class within that industry. 

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCloud Computing



Have some outsourcing vendors already thrown in the innovation towel?

February 14, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Not-so-iron-mike I've recently had two rather disturbing conversations with friends interviewing for client management positions with outsourcing vendors.  In both cases, they were only being asked to bring in new logos from selling low-cost IT/BPO services, as opposed to working with existing clients to up-sell more consultative, higher business-value offerings. 

Both these chaps are senior-level execs who are highly experienced, well networked, and can engage in C-level conversation.  You would have thought several of the offshore-centric vendors would be clamoring for people of this caliber to raise their level of conversation within their existing accounts, rather than utilize them to go after a handful of remaining logos.  Most of the top-tier vendors have relationships with most of the major enterprise buyers these days, so you would have thought their strategy should be centered on developing deeper footprints with them, as opposed to simply increasing the number of low-end operational engagements (or at least a combination of the two).

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



Will the BSkyB verdict tone-down outsourcing vendor hype?

February 11, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Trust the Brits to tone-down the hype of the outsourcing sales pitch, with BSkyB broadcasting organization being awarded $313m in damages for a $75m EDS (now part of HP) CRM implementation with didn't quite pass muster.   So is this a major warning shot for vendors over-hyping their capabilities to win deals, or is EDS simply falling foul of failing to satisfy Rupert Murdoch?

While several people are calling this verdict a one-off, I take the view that this sets a dangerous precedent for the outsourcing business, when you consider the sheer volume of complex outsourcing deals that are currently (and soon to be) in play. 

Another one of these verdicts (especially if it's State-side) and we really could see a damaging domino-effect of lawsuits that could change the whole way deals are priced, negotiated and delivered. I even met with a consulting firm the other day, which is making a killing "rescuing" contracts, but in reality is mediating between vendor and customer to annul the broken marriage. 

My fear is that the outsourcing industry is currently operating in a pressure-cooker situation for the following reasons:

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Posted in: Uncategorized



Spreading the love for Valentine's Day...

February 10, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Valentine SpecialHas it occurred to you how unromatic and unsexy outsourcing can make you feel sometimes?  Fed up with those rate cards, those legal wrangles and those penalty clauses, when all you really want is a nice big hug?

Well, the team over here at the Horses wants to make you feel loved this year on Valentine's Day.  So drop us an email and we'll make send you a free copy of our recent "Seeking a New Normal in Outsourcing Delivery" survey findings... whether you're a customer, a vendor, or even a consultant... we love you all equally (well sort of).

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless Comedy