Monthly Archives: Aug 2013

Dr Charlie airs the BPO potential of East Africa, Part 2

August 27, 2013 | Phil Fersht

And back to the exploits of "Dr Charlie", alias the Last King of Sourcing, Charlie Aird, who completes his diaries from his recent sabbatical to East Africa, where he got some time to visit Uganda.  Over to you Charlie...

Country Spotlight: Uganda

Uganda attained independence from British colonial rule in 1962, and after a decade of stability, had political and economic challenges from the 1970s through the mid 1980s.  In the late 1980s, Uganda was one of the first Sub-Saharan African countries to liberalize their economy and initiate pro-market policies and has a stable macroeconomic environment today.  GDP growth has averaged over 7% per year during the 2000s, and is above the Sub-Saharan Africa average.

Uganda has an agrarian economy, and is still working on providing basic needs to its population, for example, a 2009/2010 national survey showed that only 12% of households used electricity for lighting.  Development differs widely across different regions of the country.  Education development results have been mixed, for example, reading and mathematics are lower in Uganda than in Kenya or Tanzania, but gender equality is near parity in net primary or secondary enrollment rates.

The Ugandan government identified Information Technology Enabled Services – Business Process Outsourcing as one of the key sectors to enhance economic growth and reduce youth unemployment in the country.  They have established a BPO incubator named the National Information Technology

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



Why are so many enterprise buyers becoming HfS members?

August 24, 2013 | Phil Fersht

People constantly asks us how on earth we manage to stay in business... well time to slake your curiosity.

Take it away Mike Beals...

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Register NOW for our October 3rd webinar and learn more about the HfS Governance Academy

...and email us here for more information 

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



Things that irk... the 2013 edition

August 22, 2013 | Phil Fersht

Are you irked?

For those of you who think they've escaped being outed as a public irritant, it's time we put you back in your place... Here are the latest irritations plaguing our world today:

  • People who buy iPads and never use them.
  • People who not only bought an iPad, but ensured they bought the 64 gigabyte, retina display model for about $850... just to check their gmail occasionally and read people magazine.
  • People who spend inordinate amounts of time scheduling a 30 minute conference call... then reschedule at the last minute.
  • People who spend inordinate amounts of time scheduling a 30 minute conference call... then don't show up for it.
  • Germany shutting down for the entire month of August.
  • People who insist on using their webcam on skype... at 8.00 AM.
  • People who send out emails when they are clearly three sheets to the wind.
  • People who use Foursquare to announce they just checked in at JFK... on Facebook...
  • People who constantly complain they are always just soooo busy.
  • People who get paid wads of money and seemingly don't do anything.
  • American news channels.
  • People who get paid scandalously low wages and seemingly do everything.
  • France shutting down for the entire month of August.
  • People who get paid well, but constantly complain they are underpaid.
  • People who are really well organized and get boatloads of work done between 9 and 5, and never work evenings or weekends...
  • People who are just really, really lazy and complain how tough they have it.
  • People who just lie, lie, lie and lie until they believe it themselves (ugh!).
  • People who just talk, talk, talk, talk.... and never listen.
  • British public holidays.
  • People who clearly spend 95% of their productive time stalking people on Facebook.

There you have it - now go and irk someone :)

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyBuyers' Sourcing Best Practices



There's an expert somewhere for everything, but you won't find them if you look in the same places!

August 21, 2013 | Phil Fersht

"Massolution", the first-ever crowdsourcing & crowdfunding conference, focused on the Fortune 1000 enterprise, is just about a month out, and we jumped at the opportunity to get some discounted tickets to HfS subscribers.  We've also been talking to crowdsourcing kingpin and Massolution CEO, Carl Esposti (and founder of the community platform) about the approaching conference, which we will publish shortly.

Join senior executives from Fortune 1000 enterprises, government agencies, and leading crowdsourcing platforms to learn how crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are changing the ways companies compete and reduce costs.  Also learn how today's innovative outsourcers are looking to embrace crowdsourcing models to break away form the flagging FTE approach to business services.  Doors open on September 18th in midtown Manhattan.

Enter the promo code HFS when you register to save an additional 10% by clicking here.

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesOutsourcing Events



Frankly, Malcolm Frank… Part 2

August 17, 2013 | Phil Fersht

When vendors, particularly hardware and software vendors, were running around and talking about ‘Cloud this and Cloud that’, and ‘Big Data this and Big Data that’, we felt they were missing the point, because they weren't driving conversion. Whereas the SMAC Stack, when it is integrated, does start to drive business solutions.

– Malcolm Frank, Cognizant, August 2013

Now to the real meat of our discussion with Cognizant's strategy lead, Malcolm Frank, where we discuss the future of the CIO's role and the IT function, the SMAC Stack and those Things of Internet, or is it the Internet of Things...

Malcolm Frank is EVP, Strategy and Marketing for Cognizant

Phil Fersht, CEO HfS Research: Malcolm, we’re hearing a lot about CIO turnover - in the last year, in particular. I think many companies emerge from recession and the needs and demands on the CIO clearly shift. What do you see as the attributes that make a successful CIO today?

Malcolm Frank, EVP Strategy & Marketing, Cognizant: Yeah, it is really two primary items. The first is what I just described that, if you look at the prior market through a CIO lens, there were these austerity programs between the Internet bubble to Bear Stearns - that eight year window. Make sure you have the IT backbone secure, rock solid stable and cheap. I mean you look at what’s occurring today and we’re getting to a world where a CIO is being asked through the SMAC Stack to fundamentally innovate, not just provide the backbone of the company, but to innovate into the product itself or the service itself of the company. So you see this in many different realms. It could

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBuyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCloud Computing



Has Infy got its mojo back? Let's ask Shibu...

August 14, 2013 | Phil Fersht

S D Sibalal a.k.a. 'Shibu', Co-Founder and CEO, Infosys

A lot has changed in the outsourcing world since seven engineers started Infosys with $250 in 1981.  Or has it?  We got a few minutes with S D Sibalal, Co-Founder and CEO of Infosys, who goes by 'Shibu', during Infosys' recent analyst day in Boston, to find out what's going on under the Infosys hood these days....

Phil Fersht, HfS Research: Shibu, in the next three years what do you see as the driving force behind this new look and spirit of Infosys we're seeing?

S D Sibalal ('Shibu'), Co-Founder and CEO, Infosys: I don’t think the fundamental platforms have changed. However, I would like to be more diversified in Mexico, China and other parts of the world. One of the key aspects of our vision is to be global. Today 94 percent of our workforce is in India. That needs to shift. We will become a more local player, especially in the non-English speaking markets like Germany and France. We will expand our business in Europe and the rest of the world.

Phil: The type of skills you need are quickly changing as you evolve the business. Now it’s not just the technology skills that were the classic underpinnings of the company. Today you need people who understand processes and marketing.  

Shibu: Today everyone must be an expert. It’s all about business knowledge. We must have employees who are business process experts in specific areas like retailing or risk management. We are in the process of adding those kinds of people. Right now they comprise just 10 percent of our employees if you take out BPO. But that percentage is constantly  increasing, especially in the non-English speaking markets. Eventually the balance will be 70/30, with just 70 percent of our people having a high tech background.

Phil: Does that mean you are going to enter the consulting space more aggressively?

Shibu: We are not trying to become a consulting company like Deloitte or McKinsey. Our model is

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataCloud Homepage



Frankly, Malcolm Frank... Part 1

August 10, 2013 | Phil Fersht

The client problem, today, is fundamentally different. The clients are not saying, “I know this process and I know the organization, I know the technology, help me do it better faster cheaper”. They’re saying “I’m not sure what the process is. I’m not sure about the right organizational model. And I’m not sure about the right technical architecture. Help me through that process of discovery and ideation and innovation, and bring that to me". So it’s really a different market we’re recognizing - not only do clients need to run better, but they need to run different.

-- Malcolm Frank, Cognizant, August 2013

Malcolm Frank is EVP, Strategy and Marketing for Cognizant

This guy needs little introduction to the tech and business services industry.  As I have often said of Cognizant's strat head, Malcolm Frank, "This guy would make a phenomenal analyst". However, am sure he makes a far bigger paycheck, helping steer the direction of the largest tech services growth story of the past decade: Cognizant.

We're delighted Malcolm found some time to talk to us all about how he and his firm got to where they are - and what we can expect in the future.  So without further ado...

Phil Fersht, CEO HfS Research: Good morning Malcolm. Thank you very much for taking the time out to talk with us and our readers today. Now you’ve been one of the key brains behind the impressive hyper-growth of Cognizant over the last few years. It would be great to get a bit of an understanding of your background and how fell into the tech services industry...

Malcolm Frank, EVP Strategy & Marketing, Cognizant: First of all thank for having us on this. I guess I’ve been at Cognizant now 8 years and it’s been a terrific run. When I joined the company we were about 12,000 associates, and now we’re about 160,000, so it’s been a terrific run over those 8 years and it’s been fun to be a part of it. I’ve been part of the industry for about 23-24 years now. And when you say ‘fell into it’, that’s exactly what I did. After college I used to trade commodities

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBuyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCloud Computing



Are you really working for an energized enterprise?

August 06, 2013 | Phil Fersht

Year after year, multiple studies have been conducted on the state of the workforce, yet few of these surveys ever drill down into practical solutions to improve employee contributions, in the context of the modern business world.

So... HfS is asking YOU - the individual worker - what it will take to empower and energize YOU in your business. Your candid, unbiased insights are extremely important to this unique research study, whether you work in sales, marketing, finance, IT... or any other business function.

Please note that all answers can be anonymous, and will only be used in aggregate and are treated with the strictest of confidence. Optional email contact info can be provided at the end to receive a copy of the research report and enter you into the prize draw for a Samsung S4 smartphone.

This should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. Make your voice heard and become part of a revolutionary research study.


We appreciate your time and will share the results with you all in shortly.

Peace Out!

Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBuyers' Sourcing Best PracticesGlobal Business Services



WTF? Does your organization have the Workforce Trust Factor?

August 03, 2013 | Phil Fersht

Christa Degnan Manning is Research Vice President, HfS (Click for bio)

If there's one thing we've learned in recent years - and about a thousand blog posts - it's that most organizations are not looking to increase their permanent workforces.  

Most organizations, today, have armies of extended staff working for outsourcing providers, staffing agencies, or are independent contractors. The role of the maturing governance organization needs to oversee the delivery of business outcomes regardless of how/where/why workers are situated, managed and paid. If it were only as simple as having nice powwows and boxed lunches with your providers' account management team...

To this end, we've hired workforce optimization expert Christa Degnan Manning to drive our focus on workforce optimization and the extended enterprise, who debuts her return the the analyst fold, after five years with American Express, with a unique view as to whether we can genuinely trust our workforces in today's extended enterprise environment:

 WTF? Does your firm have the Workforce Trust Factor?

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest employer in the world with 3.2 million workers, according to a 2012 report by the BBC. It is unclear whether or not that number includes the 420,000 “contractors” Reuters reported have top-secret security clearance such as Edward Snowden, the high-school drop-out, $122,000 USD annual salary computer systems administrator for the National Security Agency, hired by government services provider Booz Allen Hamilton.

Regardless, the news that Mr. Snowden allegedly stole and shared confidential government information with rival superpower nations should have every single senior executive and corporate board member asking himself or herself: do we know who works for us, where, and why? But more importantly: can we trust them?

Click here to access your freemium copy of WTF? Does your firm have the Workforce Trust Factor?

Posted in: Global Business HomepageKnowledge Process Outsourcing & Analytics