Monthly Archives: Jan 2013

Fooled by Forbes’ fantasy fiction?

January 30, 2013 | Phil Fersht

One issue dominating the tech-media back channels of late is publisher Forbe’s use of its column “BrandVoice” to promote blatantly various technology products, such as Oracle and SAP.

“What’s wrong with advertorials?” I hear you ask.  Well, simply put, BrandVoice articles are not clearly portrayed as advertorials, such as when you read a car advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, but appear to be regular news and opinion pieces.  For example, take a look at this write up of SAP’s “Pioneering Walk in the Cloud”, or Oracle’s “Why Exadata Is Rocking the Tech Industry”.  The only indication that these are sponsored columns, is the "BrandVoice" note at the top, if you happen to know what "BrandVoice" actually means. There is no sponsored content indication anywhere on the BrandVoice articles, not even a company logo at the top of the pieces.  Moreover, midway through last year, the column title was changed from AdVoice to BrandVoice, further blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

The list of praiseworthy articles is endless, and (seemingly) very convincing to the general reader, who is being fooled into thinking they are reading real journalism.  And why would you think these articles were suspiciously fictional marketing puffery, while skim-reading over your corn flakes and coffee? It's Forbes, for chrissakes... has to be great content, right?

Sadly, these pieces are not even written by journalists, but by marketers within the respective

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Posted in: Confusing Outsourcing HomepageSocial Networking



Outsourcing may be battered, bruised and vilified... so why is only a twentieth of enterprises planning to reduce it in 2013?

January 27, 2013 | Phil Fersht

2013: A new dawn for a maturing outsourcing industry

Make no bones about it:  2012 was a pretty dire year for the industry known as "outsourcing".

However, brand new data from our State of Outsourcing 2013 Study conducted with the support of KPMG, the largest-ever research survey focused on IT and business function outsourcing, clearly shows that the majority of enterprises are not only aggressively focused on increasing their outsourcing portfoilios, but many are now taking a more mature and realistic approach.

So, as always, let's examine the facts...

How outsourcing got battered, bruised and vilified in 2012

  • A painful presidential campaign that positioned outsourcing as an evil activity, despite the fact US IT unemployment is running at 3.8% and tech salaries have now reached 10-year record highs;
  • A media desperate to jump on the fact that IT outsourcing must be in its death throes if GM's Randy Mott was creating a few jobs on US soil;
  • Pundits, consultants and "analysts" claiming outsourcing is yesterday's strategy for our enterprises, without really being able to explain why, but eager to bury it under the negativity.  Meanwhile, the fact that the great American innovator they love to laud, Apple, has been using Chinese children to manufacturer its wares, seems to escape practically unnoticed...
  • The outsourcing industry itself calling for a re-brand to escape the negativity.

Why outsourcing is more embedded than ever in corporate operations strategy

1355 stakeholders across enterprise buyers, service providers and consultant/influencer organizations shared their views, observations and intentions for 2013 and beyond, when it comes to outsourcing IT and business processes.  We are going to delve deep to share these dynamics with you in the coming weeks, but let's start with the key dynamics - how fast is the industry growing, and what is driving the decisions:

399 major buy-side enterprises have spoken about their 2013 outsourcing plans, and barely a

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



Seven savant-like dudes and their sourcing scuttlebutt... replayed

January 23, 2013 | Phil Fersht

Your week not quite the same without seven dudes rabbiting on about best practices and being over-polite with each other? Well, your addiction can be cured by listening to the replay:

Click here for the replay

To revisit just the slides, please click here: Sourcing Savants 2.0.

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



HfS... Six more years?

January 13, 2013 | Phil Fersht

Wouldya believe "Horses for Sources" is going to be six years old?  So... here's six years of soundbites, silliness, sensationalism and scrutiny. Oh - and crank up the volume :)

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



Coping with the return to work

January 07, 2013 | Phil Fersht

Here's some free advice, amigos, so make of with it what you want...

Go to the nearest gym during your lunchbreak, lob $50 into the reception area, turn around and go back to the office. You can do this every day for two weeks, and it's still cheaper than a membership... plus think of all that calorie-burn walking to and from the gym.

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless HomepageSourcing Change Management



Which planet are equity analysts from?

January 05, 2013 | Phil Fersht

If you've spent a lot of time with service provider leadership, you'll know they spend an inordinate amount of time preparing stories for equity analysts to regurgitate.

I'm telling you... shipping back office work to India is going to be HUGE

HfS Research Fellow, Deb Kops, has been on both sides of the fence - as CMO for a service provider tasked with painting pretty pictures for Wall Street, to being entrenched with many enterprises who actually consume these services.  And after many years dealing with - and observing - these beings, she finally begs the question:

Mars, Venus or Saturn… which planet are equity analysts from?

As a child, I had a very fertile imagination. When I came up with a story that had no semblance of reality, my father would ask “Which planet are you from?”

Ever read an equity analyst’s report on the outsourcing market or a particular provider, and wonder whether you are located in the same solar system? When they put an outperform on a provider that everyone else in the industry thinks is a weak sister, or talk up a stock, missing the fact that revenue growth is  mainly coming from a savvy hedging strategy. When they classify the provider as a business process outsourcer while the market knows that said provider is an app dev company with a whiff of business process outsourcing revenue. Why don’t equity analysts following the outsourcing industry start asking the questions that really matter when putting out their recommendations?

Even though I don’t consider myself naïve, it always surprises me how limited analysts’ knowledge of outsourcing company operations sometimes is. I know that the job of good investor relations

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Cloud Homepage