Sourcing no-no’s for 2013: what’s gotta go


What's going cheesy on the Horses in 2013 then?

Here’s some sourcing cheese we don’t need more of in 2013:

1) “Big Data”.  Puh-lease. Who came up with this in the first place?

2) “BPM”.  Nasscom took it upon itself to rename the BPO industry “BPM” (Business Process Management).  It made a press release… but has anyone heard the new term since mentioned even once?

3) “Innovation”.  Overused and rarely achieved in sourcing.  Let’s put this one back in the locker until we actually see some.  The temporary term to be used is “Shminnovation”.

4) “End-to-end process”.  I’m sorry, but what is an “end-to-end” process?  A process with a middle bit, a front bit and and end bit?  Does this mean companies only look at parts of processes?

5) “Cloud”.  This is about as relevant as “e-business” became with any piece of software that became web-enabled.  Time to put this one to rest?

6) “Data Scientists”.  Can we kill this one before it starts, please?  Makes me think of geeks in white coats…

7) “Global In-house Centers”.   Try telling your Mom and Dad you work for a Global In-house Center… oh my.

8′) “Users”.  Please, please, please can people stop referring to customers as users.  Until IBM starts slinging cocaine, I think we’re good to drop this one…

9) “Buyers”.  And please, please, please, please can people stop referring to customers as buyers.  Why not just call them “shoppers”?  Are you a sourcing shopper?

10) “Outsourcing”.  Ha.  Only kidding… let’s not go there….

Posted in : Absolutely Meaningless Comedy, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Homepage, IT Outsourcing / IT Services, kpo-analytics



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  1. Phil,

    Brilliant as always. “Users” as a term has been plaguing IT for many years now. Thanks for calling it,

    Andrew Wagoner

  2. Phil,

    Cloud has just become a sexier enterprise term for “hosting” and in consumer terms “the internet”. I do agree its meaning has become very, very broad,


  3. Well done !!!!

    Suresh wrote: “Cloud has just become a sexier enterprise term for “hosting” ……
    Yikes, is it just me or did “hosting” become a sexier enterprise term for “timesharing” ?


  4. Phil – super post.

    I am assuming a Global In-house Center is a fancy new term for “offshore captive”. Whatever was wrong with “offshore delivery center”, or even that corny term “Center of Excellence”?

    James Levy

  5. Phil,

    Good call with “end-to-end process”. It made sense a few years ago, when it was a real differentiation point for providers to deliver more than point process solutions, but they all claim to have the full process suite now,


  6. @James – Anything to avoid the word “offshore”. I do think “captive” is not very appropriate as a general business term, but works well inside the sourcing circles. “Offshore shared service center” works for me, or simply “shared service center”. The sooner we view outsourcing as an extension of business functions and shared services, and not some siloed service, the more we’ll improve the negative perceptions.


  7. I would nominate rightshoring and rightsourcing – the implication that whoever did it before you made an intentional decision to wrong- shore or wrong source…or was that left shore and left sourcing??

  8. Hi, while I agree on most of this. I dont fully agree on ‘end to end’. In my experience a lot of clients have outsourced work which is a small piece of the whole chain and then expect and demand ‘transformation’. It is quite funny.

  9. I think we should seriously push for BPM as a term…instead of BPO. It makes more sense to me, processes are being managed as opposed to being outsourced.

  10. How about we get rid of the term “Life and Shift” since the benefits of pure labor arbitrage and the mess it creates are not worth the effort.

  11. Good list and even better explanations. Very funny! I’d nominate “vendor” to go with “user” and “buyer”. Gone are the days of old school “drop your price or else” Purchasing-led negotiations. The knife cuts both ways.

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  13. Agree with the list. However, I am seeing BPM showing up more and more. It ties into the last one “outsourcing”. It’s the industry’s fear of the term, I believe, that is driving the renaming of BPO to BPM.

    But, like Gaurav, I believe that “end-to-end” has some meaning. You especially see it when a client gives you part of the process but then asks for a service level that would presume you own the whole process. This type of negotiation is becoming more and more frequent because we are training the industry to ask for meaningful service levels. We just now need to train them on the need to aggregate services to enable a meaningful service level.

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