Monthly Archives: Jul 2009

Ever wondered about Brazil?

July 29, 2009 | Phil Fersht

And just when you thought you were in the clear, here's another webinar for you...


In recognition of recent shifts in the global economy many global sourcing executives have determined a more “risk averse” approach toward their global outsourcing portfolio is a prudent and necessary means to ensure supplier stability, less volatility in certain markets and enhanced skill-set options vis-à-vis regional workforces.

Many executives are asking, what are the Near-shoring advantages? What are the trends in Outsourcing and how are emerging destinations (such as Brazil) affecting this landscape?

Join us for an insightful and interactive discussion where we will discuss Latin America, and how a near-shoring strategy in an emerging destination will benefit your IT Outsourcing portfolio.

Date: August 4th, 2009 Time: 11.00 AM PDT / 2.00 PM EDT

Cost: Free!

Click her for more information

Analysts Phil Fersht and Dana Stiffler, ITO & BPO Services, AMR Research, will join Mr. Bob Mejerle, VP – Outsourcing Practice, North America of Politec Global IT Services to on this LIVE Executive webinar.

We’ll also be joined by our Moderator, Frank Casale, who will host an open Q & A session after the briefing. If you are a C-level Executive, Vice President and Line of Business Owners responsible for: Global Sourcing, Program Management, Finance, Information Technology and Operations, then this webinar is for you.

Click here to register  


Posted in: Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesIT Outsourcing / IT ServicesOutsourcing Events



The next stage of industry development: Co-learning partnerships, not mega-mergers

July 28, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Goodwillhunting The industry's next phase of growth is unlikely to be dominated by the mega-mergers of the past (DEC/Compaq, HP/EDS etc.).  It's going to be focused on service providers moving into partnership engagements with clients, where they can develop specific IP and industry process competence.  

I see this trend escalating in the application development arena, as this area is now approaching significant scale and maturity, but also believe this will pave the way for future BPO development, as service providers find new opportunities to layer on business process services that compliment their application development work.  It's really about learning specific industry process, how they can be enabled and optimized by smart applications, and processed by smart people who add value.

This isn't simply lift and shift where the service provider does the same with less - it's where the service provider brings specific expertise to the table that allows the client to scale its business globally.  It allows the client to focus more heavily on its core competencies, which provide the real value for its own growth.  And it allows the service provider to develop specific industry process knowledge of its client's industry that is can replicate across its own knowledge workers.  The maturity of the application outsourcing marketplace is now going down this path, where the leading service providers have the lions' share of the talent - and the scale - to provide the technology development services that allow clients to invest in their core industry services that make up core value proposition.  Why invest their scarce resources in IT development when they can find a third-party to do this for them and invest in areas that will improve the front-end of their business?

One prime example of this is the new partnership between UK-based industrials magnate Invensys and service provider Cognizant.  Invensys wants to focus on on its core competency of product definition and architecture and developing its industrial automation platform, with Cognizant being its technology partner for product development. 

Invensys can focus on where it's best, and Cognizant can make a surge into the manufacturing industry.  Invensys will learn from Cognizant's technology skills and Cognizant from Invensys' manufacturing process and operations prowess.  Jobs are not lost, and existing employees are going to enhance their careers with new industry and technology knowledge.  If this partnership works, both firms will end up creating more jobs to support their expanding business portfolios. 

 You can read more about this partnership over at Think Global.

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)IT Outsourcing / IT ServicesKnowledge Process Outsourcing & Analytics



It's all about hitting the ground running after you sign the contract

July 27, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyBuyers' Sourcing Best Practices



Who's looking out for the US business these days?

July 24, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Phoenix_ashes I was having a little joke yesterday, where the premise was: "So what do we do once all the jobs have been offshored?"  My initial solution was:  "That's easy -  we create great low-cost skills here, and we bring them all back".  The other partaker in the mirth added:  "Wrong - we will still be offshoring, as all our business headquarters are moving out too.  In effect, we'll be offshoring jobs to America". 

As we rolled around on the floor in uncontrollable laughter (OK, it wasn't that funny), it did hit home how unattractive the US is becoming for businesses. 

  • US corporate taxes are among the highest in the world.

  • The cost of living and wages in business centers such as New York, Philadelphia and Chicago is off-the-scale.

  • The cost of healthcare is a killer - and, despite the excellent intentions of this new proposed healthcare reform, the tax burden on the US business is going to get even worse.  For the cost of one years' benefits package in the States, you can hire a full-time ABAP programmer in your offshore captive for that entire year, or pay for half of one (for the entire year) with a service provider.

  • Other Western countries are far more corporate-friendly.  I was helping a friend with a business plan the other day, and the cost of hiring qualified graduates in London (yes, London) is half that of New York (and getting even cheaper in this market).  Why even consider setting up a global business in the US these days in this virtual environment?

As much as I admire all the efforts of President Obama to drive reform and economic stimulus into the US economy, I just don't see the environment for the US business to thrive and create new jobs being created.  I'd like to see stimulus money being allocated to helping businesses create new knowledge-jobs that are competitive with those on offer from India, Europe, China etc.  The way things currently stand, the US business environment has never been so ripe for outsourcing - not just for accessing lower-cost skills, but also for our businesses themselves.

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



Social Media: Unlocking the Awesome Potential of Behavioral Disorders

July 20, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Socialmedia-venn After our recent banter surrounding Executive ADD, I thought I'd share this hilarious venn diagram from's blog on social media:

"A gorgeous, 8-color masterpiece which captures ever so brilliantly the three behavioral disorders propelling the continued phenomenal growth of today’s most widely-trafficked social media sites. And at the intersection of the dysfunctional forces of Narcissism, ADHD, and Stalking resides today’s fastest growing social media experiment of all- Twitter..."

Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedySocial Networking



TPI loses its talisman

July 16, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Peter AllenOne of the grandfathers of the outsourcing industry is Peter Allen (see his recent interview with us), who has established himself over the years as one of the pre-eminent thought-leaders, practitioners and faces of the industry.  Peter has also been one of my closest industry companions in blogging on global sourcing issues, with his popular "Consider the Source" blog-journal.  He has also been the consistent face of leading sourcing advisor TPI. 

Yesterday, Peter resigned from TPI to pursue other opportunities in the industry, after many years with the firm.  There is no shortage of suitors for his services... and I look forward to hearing where he lands.  Peter wanted to share his personal thoughts with Horses readers at this time:

"The global outsourcing and offshoring industry needs to step up to a new level of performance. The sources of leverage that can bring value to companies far transcend wage arbitrage. I want to help bring to reality a new class of leverage - of investments, platforms, and solutions."

"It has been a privilege to work alongside my colleagues at TPI. A twenty-year record of great outcomes for clients and providers alike is the product of commitment to a culture of value creation for all participants. We do that."

"The current global recession is an awakening for the industry - as much opportunity for redefinition as it is risk of irrelevance. I really believe that the winning equation is one that maximizes the power of leverage to the benefit of productivity. That means that buyers and providers adopt new models for partnership to weather variances in economic conditions."

These are critical times for the outsourcing advisors. The process of managing outsourcing transactions has increasingly commodotized over the last couple of years, and the recession has only exacerbated this issue.  The sourcing advisors need to focus on helping clients disrupt their current global business infrastructures, help them execute after the transaction and manage the ongoing outsourced environment. 

People like Peter understand this, and I hope advisory firms like TPI continue the work he has done in helping drive these new areas of competency, and hiring consultants who have other skills than solely deal negotiation.  Those that focus purely on cranking out transactions will struggle to grow in this new environment.

Good luck Peter - I know many people in the industry join me in wishing you well on your future journey.

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)IT Outsourcing / IT ServicesOutsourcing Advisors



Is this "2001 all over again" for outsourcing?

July 12, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Space_odyssey_1968 As we've predicted, based on our surveys, many tough discussions with buyers and general chit-chat, sourcing evaluation is now picking up, and we can expect to see a wave of deals in Q4 this year and Q1 next year (and beyond). 

First, the sourcing advisors, management consultants and analysts get busy with their clients showing much more urgency, and then we can expect to see some deals happen.  Based on my conversations with the advisory community over the last couple of week we're now in that former category.  I've even had a couple of people come to me with the question "Is this 2001 all over again".  My answer is:  "In some ways yes, but the types of deals and the global delivery execution is markedly different this time". 

Now why is this?

Post 9/11 we saw a major spree of ITO, call center and end-to-end HR BPO wave.  ITO worked, call center is stuttering with offshore value, and HR BPO - in its past form - failed 

The IT infrastructure outsourcing deals were onshore mature contracts with established providers such as IBM, CSC and HP, experienced at driving economies of scale with their delivery models. The application development and maintenance deals back then were among the first to truly leverage offshore

Read More »

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Finance & Accounting BPOHR Outsourcing



Are you a BPO sales professional?

July 09, 2009 | Phil Fersht

My industry chums Larry Janis and Lowell Williams are conducting a survey of BPO sales professionals to get the buzz on the current economy, your views or lawyers and advisors, and how much moolah you currently rake in.  They claim you can do this while sipping a venti in Starbucks.  They also claim to be giving away a couple of iPod shuffles to random participants (as if you don't already have one...).

Please complete the survey by clicking here


Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)



Captive sell-offs: good for innovation, good for employment

July 07, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Czech-flag-EXLI know I've been depressing everyone with calls for change and for our flagging companies to step up and disrupt their business models.  But did I ever say I was here to make you happy?

However, one shimmer of light amidst this gloom is the increase in activity of service providers buying up business' captives or shared service operations (often under the guise of a new "client win"). 

EXL's acquisition of Schenider Logistics' Czech operations is yet another recent example of a service provider making a strategic move to add scale and expertise to its delivery portfolio.  In this case, EXL is cementing its European presence in a unique and attractive sourcing location, enhancing its F&A BPO business and bolstering its multilingual capabilities, in addition to incorporating supply chain and logistics management process expertise - an area of increasing importance in the industry.

So why is this good for industry?

Read More »

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



Everything you need to know about Supply Management BPO (but never dared to ask)

July 03, 2009 | Phil Fersht


Folks - we're staging a webinar entitled "Supply Management BPO: Why Business and Technology Transformation is Critical for Long-Term Success". 

Read More »

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