Monthly Archives: Dec 2009

...and the more serious moments of '09

December 29, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Wooden horses_1 Wooden horses_2

And now we can finally put that year to bed, surely we can look forward to a more normal 2010.  Of course we can ;)



Here are some of the more serious moods and moments from a rather epic year in our chronologial order:

Satyam: It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten

Think before you fire: The cost of replacing IT talent

Forget 2006, let's go back to '96

Global business on a Knife-edge: Bonuses, H-1Bs and Naïve Protectionism

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)



The best of Horses in '09... the funnies

December 26, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Will Ferrell in "Elf"  

And on a less serious note, here's the more amusing side to 2009...

Meaningful use of Twitter discovered

Obama to ban offshore outsourcing

India shows us how to innovate

Swine Flu can impact your service levels

Proof that you can stabilize your operations eventually...

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

Remote Infrastructure Management anyone?

Getting to a point where you can lay in one place and not have to do anything ever...

Being middle-seated... all the way to Orlando

Payback can be sweet...



Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless Comedy



2009 - the year of papering over cracks

December 23, 2009 | Phil Fersht

The Ice Bear ProjectMost people I speak to can't wait for 2009 to be put to bed.  People suddenly awoke to the realization that everything they have grafted so hard to achieve in their lives could be seized from them, because their economy had failed them. 

Like everything else in this world, we always wait until its too late before taking drastic action, and 2009 epitomized this reactionary mindset that dominates so much of our society.

However, I did want to sign off from 2009 with a dose of realism... fancy phrases such as "New Normal", or "Preparing for the Recovery" only wash when they attempt to address the question: "How the blimming heck can we radically change our attitudes and actions to save our children from economic and environmental disaster".

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Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)



Come to Jersey City in January

December 19, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Jersey City

Have you ever had such an irresistible request?  Well... here's your chance to tour the exquisite delights of the picturesque tree-lined New York suburb, with its manicured lawns, fine eateries and state-of-the-art museums, where you can enjoy the famous hospitality of the jovial, friendly local folk who'll make you feel right at home, shrouded in luxury and fine local culture. 

However, sight-seeing in paradise, drenched in lovely winter sunshine, isn't all you can look forward to during this visit of a lifetime... you can also make a sneaky detour to the Global Services Conference, where you can mingle with the hoi-polloi of the services and outsourcing industry, at Jersey City's sumptuous Hyatt Regency hotel on 28-29 January.

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Posted in: Outsourcing Events



Getting a bit of Ruest (Part I)

December 16, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Sebastien Ruest Ruest If there was a Nobel Prize for industry analysts, this guy walks away with it - he's super cool, talks a good game, and has done very little beyond, well, be super-cool and super-smart... and with a French accent to boot.  So today, I thought we'd give IDC's Sebastien Ruest the chance to prove there's a bit more substance behind the snowboarding, hockey-stick-wielding playboy façade :)

Sebastien's proving IDC's nearshore model by leading it's global services research from Canada, and developing a solid reputation in the industry as one of the industry analysts who "gets it".  So I thought it time to grab a few minutes with the dude himself...

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



Mystery Governance Predictions

December 15, 2009 | Phil Fersht

VRemember our mystery blogger who evangelizes on best practices for vendor management?  Well that mysterious individual has challenged me to a predictions dual this morning (gasp), where he /she said "I'd be willing to wager a drink on who gets a higher percentage right.  After all, I didn't bet on England in the World Cup, so I'm pretty optimistic :)"  We'll see about that sunshine...

In any case, our friend has come up with some pretty eye-catching and profound statements, for example:

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Posted in: Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesCloud ComputingFinance & Accounting BPO



Simply Lowell (Part II)

December 11, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Lowell_Williams So here's the eagerly-awaited second part of the Lowell Williams experience, where we decided to give him 30 minutes of fame. Over to Equattera's HRO mega-star with the handbrake firmly in the off position...

Phil Fersht: Lowell, we’ve had a lot of talk on here about “Platform BPO”, where clients essentially take on a standard SaaS-delivered platform, supported by business processing services delivered by a BPO provider. How do you view these “on-demand” business services? Isn’t this just a win-win for the software providers, with limited value for the BPO provider? How can service providers differentiate their offerings in this type of model?

Lowell Williams: As mentioned above, many HR and IT executives

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



2010 Predictions for the Outsourcing Industry

December 05, 2009 | Phil Fersht

The Future Firstly: my apologies to everyone for hopping on the perennial "Predictions Bandwagon".  One may as well say "Stop press everyone, I'm just such an important smarty-pants you should listen to ME ME ME!"  As Newt Gingrich told us earlier this year:  "There is not one living being that can accurately predict the outcome of this crisis, all we can do is continue the dialog and the answers will slowly unravel". 

Secondly:  we've conducted two major studies with outsourcing buyers globally this year (and am currently sifting through 800 responses - and counting - from our current industry study).  While we can evangelize, prophecize, pontificate and sermonize, nothing can substitute for real data on what everyone is currently doing and planning to do.  We have the platform here to do that, and I personally thank all of you who took a little time out to share their views, actions and intentions.

And Thirdly: I'm just such an important smarty-pants you should listen to ME ME ME!"  So maybe I can help with the unraveling?

i) CIOs and CFOs will be uniquely challenged to avoid becoming "Cartoons of the Recession". 

Simply put, when there's a serious recession in the works, the job of the CIO is relatively simple - cut costs and squeeze your suppliers using whatever means are at your disposal.  CIOs rarely get fired in this scenario, unless they somehow messed up the cost-cutting. 

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



Are prices really dropping, or are services merely being disaggregated?

December 04, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Ben TrowbridgeOne of the advisors which has really made a strong move in the sourcing business this year is Alsbridge.  Much of that has been down to its strong track record with clients, but its also made some canny investments to augment its advisory services.  One of these I've had some exposure to is ProBenchmark, which has been running some excellent webcasts looking into how pricing trends and dynamics in IT services. 

I caught up with CEO Ben Trowbridge the other day, and he wanted to let us know about a webcast ProBenchmark is running next week - you can register here.  Plus - for all you cheapskates... its FREE (Wednesday 10th December at 2.00pm EST).

Anyhow, I managed to drag Ben away from a hunting outing for a few minutes to pose the following questions:

PF: Which IT services have fluctuated in price the most?

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Posted in: IT Outsourcing / IT ServicesOutsourcing AdvisorsOutsourcing Events



Simply Lowell (Part I)

December 01, 2009 | Phil Fersht

Lowell WilliamsFor once I am stumped for a title.  The one man who had successfully escaped my previous attempts to feature him has finally been caught.  Either his career has nose-dived and he's now desperate for some publicity, or the "Horses" now gives that 15-minutes of fame people so badly crave.  I hope it's the latter -:)

Yes - we have the one-and-only Lowell Williams in a two-parter...

Lowell, quite simply, is the most respected practitioner in HR Outsourcing.  Not only has he spent many years as an actual HR leader, he also worked for the "original" HRO provider Exult, moved into the sourcing world with TPI, before joining Equaterra in 2004 to head their HRO advisory practice.  He has been responsible for many HRO engagements - and he has somehow survived to tell the tale.  He also became the HROA's "Person of the Year" in 2008... an honor only bestowed to the most lovable scoundrels in the outsourcing world.  So without further ado...

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