HfS Network

Monthly Archives: Sep 2017

Images from FORA: Ever seen all the automation CEOs in a line up like this?

September 21, 2017 | Phil Fersht

Posted in: Robotic Process Automation



Who's ready to change the industry this week in Chicago?

September 18, 2017 | Phil Fersht

Posted in: IT Outsourcing / IT Services



HfS has hired Johnny Robo Brien!

September 13, 2017 | Phil Fersht

Fed up with all the helicopter-view prophesizing of the emerging robo world that just leaves you with a headache?  Irritated by those matrices of suppliers which all look the same and tell you nothing meaningful?  Sickened by the bizarre rose-tinted claims of how easy this all is?  

Well... ee're changing all that at HfS, by issuing proper user experience reports of RPA and intelligent automation solutions, based on the real experiences of users, that aren't coming from the same old tired list of wined and dined RPA customers sent straight from the suppliers.  So we've just hired a terrific analyst who not only understands the rules of robo, but can apply them to specific business processes and industry operations.  So without further ado, let's learn a little more about our newest analyst brain, John Robo Brien... whom you may know better using his birth name of John O'Brien (see bio).  

John - it's just terrific to be working with you at HfS!  Can you share a little about your background and why you have chosen research and strategy as your career path? 

Hi Phil, and thanks, it’s fantastic to be here working with you and the HfS team. I’ve been an IT analyst since joining ComputerWire in 2000 where I started out covering European IT services. I’ve since worked in senior positions at Ovum and Datamonitor/Informa covering the global IT, BPO and Public Sector markets. For the past seven years, I’ve worked at TechMarketView, as

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Posted in: Robotic Process Automation



HfS data products get a Suvradeep-dive

September 11, 2017 | Phil Fersht

As you may have seen last week, we officially unveiled our data products at HfS, where we bring together the full gamet of demand and supply side data to share everything you ever needed to know about the big change agents impacting business operations.  So who better to help support our new range of offerings that a veteran analyst with a broad knowledge across all services markets, who's developed a solid reputation with the likes of Ovum and NelsonHall: Suvradeep Bhattacharjee.  

In addition to being a true gent and an eloquent observer of the market, what also appeals is the fact he moved himself to our new HfS headquarters in Cambridge England (where his wife teaches HR practice at one of the local colleges), but he also comes from the great city of Calcutta, where you can actually visit man-eating tigers.  My 8-year-old boy is begging me to take him, so I will need some local expertise to give me the lowdown.... 

Welcome, Suvradeep - it's just terrific to be working with you at HfS!  Can you share a little about your background and why you have chosen research and strategy as your career path? 

I think, I am curious by nature. I am usually stimulated by new knowledge which is mostly

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



It's Design Thinking heaven with TandemSeven as Genpact makes its OneOffice move

September 08, 2017 | Phil FershtBarbra McGann

"You guys really should evolve your lean capabilities into Design Thinking with your clients" was my conversation with Genpact's innovation lead, Gianni Giacomelli (pictured), a year ago.  "You should also do that with your research clients" was Gianni's response.  Exactly a year later, we open our  Research ThinkTank in Cambridge England to perform said exercises with our clients, and Genpact announces the acquisition of Design Thinking specialist TandemSeven in Cambridge Massachussets. 

Why is Design Thinking becoming so relevant to the middle-back office operations?

We see the emergence of Design Thinking as critical to help enterprises collapse these barriers between their front, middle and back offices - one of the core fundaments of achieving a true OneOffice framework.  You really can't be a digital organization if your operations are not supporting the front office in realtime, being able to respond to customer needs as and when they happen:

Click to Enlarge

Design Thinking offers an approach for a diverse group of people to work together to identify

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Posted in: Design Thinking



HfS Data Products are here!

September 07, 2017 | Phil FershtJamie Snowdon

We just love data at HfS - we built this company by surveying our terrific community over the last 10 years to keep on top of all the curious things enterprises do to stay competitive and profitable.  And this year, we are literally surveying 3,000 billion dollar plus enterprises on their intentions and dynamics across the 5 critical change agents of our industry: automation, AI, analytics, blockchain, emerging digital business models, and global sourcing strategies.  

While everything we do is based on data, we've not really packaged it all up in a way for our clients to digest it and use it most effectively for themselves.  Until today.

We’ve set out our research agenda to bring reality to the research analyst world, dynamic engagement with our clients and our vision for the industry: our Analyst 2.0 model. Over the next 6 months, we will be adding more data products and enriching the existing ones, based on the wealth of information we have collected over the years:

1: Contracts Database

Launching in September 2017. As part of its ongoing research HfS has always collected and collated contract data across the different service lines it tracked. HfS Contracts Database gives subscribers access to this data, which provides up-to-date analysis of IT Services and Business Process Outsourcing contracts. This interactive tool allows users to search for specific contracts, view contract progression annually and by quarter, and view heat maps of specific deal categories by region.

2: HfS PriceIndicator™

HfS PriceIndicator™ has been part of HfS Research data tools for over 4 years now. The next 6 months we will start to include RPA and automation pricing.

HfS PriceIndicator™ is a real-time, research based price benchmarking service that provides clients an insight into current ITO and BPO pricing. Currently, PriceIndicator™ provides a biannual set of hourly FTE rate cards for ADM, F&A BPO, Insurance BPO and Healthcare Payor BPO.

3: Buyers’ Guides

HfS buyers' guides provide an independent view of individual service providers across different service capabilities. Giving a summary of the organization's strengths and weaknesses in addition to details in specific service categories.

The long-term plan will be to integrate these guides into the HfS Data website updating them whenever new financial data is available and when we publish new blueprints/vendor analysis – so they always deliver the most up-to-date content on each provider.

4: Quarterly Market Indices

HfS provides market size and forecast for the IT and business services market updated on a quarterly basis. This view of the industry provides a top-level view of service provider performance and uses this to predict market growth and performance within the main IT and business services markets.

5: Supplier Revenue Data

For the past 5 years, HfS has been tracking the IT and Business service supplier landscape collecting key financial data from the industry – creating models which are used to create our Top 25 IT services and our Top 50 BPO provider list. HfS is expanding these models to create revenue maps across key service lines, industry, and geography.

6: Direct Buyer Viewpoints

HfS regularly interviews buyers throughout the Global 2000 organizations, conducting 3,500 interviews over the course of the year. The Buyer Viewpoints opens up this data for additional analysis by industry, and across regions. So our subscribers can create their own views of the information for presentations and infographics, in addition to HfS own drive to make our data more accessible.

The bottom-line

The Analyst 2.0 model means making data more accessible, easier to digest and self-service – the analyst should not be a barrier to insight. HfS wants to enable our community with the right data to drive their own insights and their decision making – revolutionizing the way market data is used and consumed. At the same time letting our analysts do what they do best - drive thought leadership within the operations and IT services community.


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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataHfS Research Company News



Socially-paranoid media: where did it all go wrong? (Weekend rant)

September 02, 2017 | Phil Fersht

What’s really happened to social media these days? What used to be a fun place to share untethered banter, humor, intellectual conversation and debate, perhaps be a little risqué, has degenerated into a stuffy medium for puffing up corporate brand mush, and regurgitating the same old bland insight we’re having pushed at us daily. Every corporate suit is now on there, lauding how amazing their company is… praising their clients and uttering meaningless, hollow words of adulation. In fact, many of the "senior" people on there have their marketing people even do their social for them... it's not even them.

All of you know I do like to dabble a bit with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to engage with people - both with people I like socially (Facebook) and industry contacts with whom I consider valuable to stay in regular touch (LinkedIn). I also have the luxury of being the boss, so no one can fire me ;)

Over the years, social has been terrific for communicating with people, sharing insights, opinions, research, news… it’s been fun, and it’s been personal. It keeps you connected with so many people that when you bump into folks at conferences etc., it feels like you spoke just the other day, rather than five years' ago.

But, in recent months, it’s just become so polarized and stuffy. There are people using social only to promote themselves and their companies… the personality has drained from it. I find myself spending more time removing connections than adding new ones.

Case-in-point, I dared to post some (slightly dubious) research on LinkedIn the other day with a joke about how much analysts need to be wined and dined to get the best scatterplot grid placements. I didn’t even criticize the research, I just popped up the grid with a joke on the axes about boondoggles and posh dinners. Within about three hours of posting, I received some really snotty comments from the analyst firm in question berating me for daring to poke a little fun at one of its lovely magic grids. They were pretty nasty about it too. And then I got an aggressive note from a marketing guy in one of the suppliers (which was nicely positioned in said grid), complaining about my "unprofessionalism" for poking fun at a competitor. 

So I took the offending post down – my intent was to generate some banter about the techniques suppliers use to get positioned well in these grids, not a bunch of nastiness from people who just seem so bloody paranoid these days.

To cap this all off, I then get a phone call from the boss of the marketing guy (who complained about my post) requesting me to put it back up as they were getting so much free publicity from it (20K+ eyeballs).  You just can’t win at this, can you?

So where do we go with this?

  • Hone your network to people you get value from. If you find people offensive or not adding value to you, then just remove them, rather than create a nasty discussion thread
  • Get a sense of humor: arguments can be fun. If you disagree with someone, but the conversation is useful, then voice your disagreement about the topic and have a proper discussion… don’t just criticise and disappear. Use the forum to exchange views and ideas – you never know, some good may come of it.  If we all just agreed with each other all the time, we’d never learn anything…
  • Drop the ego. These are networks where you agreed to exchange information with people, so be prepared to see things you have an opinion about. And be prepared to be criticized – that’s the whole purpose of this stuff. If you can’t handle a little professional debate, then stick to Facebook and the pictures of dogs and babies…
  • Be open to the fact that the opinions or research you put out may be flawed. We should be willing to learn from each other and accept some input, flattering or not. If you think I am smoking something, just tell me… and I’ll do the same with you. Challenging each other is the only way we learn and get better at what we do.

Posted in: Confusing Outsourcing InformationSocial Networking