Monthly Archives: Jan 2014

And finally... it's the year of the Horse!

January 31, 2014 | Phil Fersht

And after all these years of horsing with sourcing, it's finally OUR YEAR!  Yes - this is the year of the horse, where HfS is going to achieve all of its wildest ambitions :)

Posted in: Homepage



Riveting webcast warning: The 2014 Outlook for the Extended Enterprise

January 28, 2014 | Phil Fersht

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your PC... then HfS' webcast roller-coaster returns for another hour of undiluted words and data...

Renewed economic growth, the onset of the digital enterprise, a rebounding outsourcing market and the rise of process robots.  That’s what we’re having to contend with in 2014, so we've dredged up a plethora of experts to help us understand how this will impact business and IT services dynamics, operations frameworks and investment behavior across the world - and what this all means to the impact on talent and the extended enterprise.

REGISTER NOW!Join our glittering all-star cast on February 6th at 11am EST (4pm BST)  for a complimentary, free and decidedly cost-absent webinar:

Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best Practices



How to categorize your absurd colleagues

January 24, 2014 | Phil Fersht

Have you ever tried to dissect the assortment of (sometimes absurd) characters in your professional life with whom you have to invest so much of your time?  Well now you don't have to, because here they all are in their naked glory...

The haters. There are people out there who will always despise and resent you, no matter how hard you try.  Just ignore them... if you can. They're jealous.

The skin-crawlers. There are people you will just despise, no matter how hard you try to like

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Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyBuyers' Sourcing Best PracticesHR Strategy



Innovation starts at the... cube farm

January 21, 2014 | Phil Fersht

Big data, outcome-pricing, "transformation", process transmogrification, value thresholding... all big words indicating big ambitions, but they'll mean squat if your only real strategy is to keep cramming more and more bodies into the same space to drive down costs.

Non-linear growth and outcome-based services in full swing

It may work for United Airlines, but with BPO, all you'll end up with is the bottom of the barrel choice of talent and more "chop shop" comments from Chuckie Schumer.  And, once you've run out of floor space and your company is too cheap to rent more, your only choice will be to hire robots, which aren't programmed to complain about working conditions or undertake industrial action. Unless, of course, they become self-aware and send a re-conditioned Arnold Schwarzenegger on a mission to Nasscom.

So, without further ado, we asked HfS' own cube-farm specialist Charles Sutherland, to take a look at what the delivery floor of the future may just look like...

Getting Beyond The “Lights On” Standard for Delivery Center Floors

There can be few places more soul-sapping over time than the standard, traditional shared services or BPO delivery floor made up of endless rows of nearly identical cubicles with a few dated

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



Getting good at GBS governance: Why heroes don't scale

January 18, 2014 | Phil Fersht

Mike Beals is Vice President, Governance Research and Strategy, HfS Research (click for bio)

The implications of evolving to a GBS model are significant for all affected enterprises, but possibly none more so than those responsible for service delivery governance, as described in our Six Maturity Leaps.

This governance group has the challenge of managing an increasingly complex environment, with aspirations much loftier than in the past to achieve the right maturity levels to run GBS effectively.  So, if you have aspirations to make some of these leaps and want to find out how to develop the skills needed, without hiring in a crack team of black belts, you could do worse than read our latest report (click here to download your complimentary copy), authored my HfS' VP for Governance Research, Mike Beals, aptly entitled "Heroes Don't Scale".

In the meantime, we caught up with Mike to discuss the context of the new report and how governance is evolving with the onset of the GBS framework for the back office that promotes control, efficiency, quality and visibility of end-to-end-processes...

Mike, what are the key trends you are seeing in outsourcing governance as we move into 2014?

We’ve seen quite a lot of advancement in the capability and maturity of governance organizations over the past 10 years and I think we’ve hit a tipping point relative to understanding the need for good governance. I believe that as organizations move toward a hybrid model, or a global business services environment, that they will increase their investment and awareness of governance even further. The companies that have not done so, will advance past the point that they are managing

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



East meets West in a cloudy love-match

January 16, 2014 | Phil Fersht

Big mega-mergers in IT services are fast-becoming a thing of the past.  Noone wants to blow billions on services firms when you're bound to have a horrible clash of cultures, management teams, legacy unwanted business lines that can't be killed off, not to mention the impact on the clients and the risk of losing half your decent executives. So why not revisit that age-old practice of partnering?  Why not play the field and experiment with your future possibilities as opposed to tying the knot too quickly and regretting it later? (Thank god my wife doesn't read this...)

It's about having the right mix of offshore scale and onshore domain knowledge... all nicely packaged in a suite of privately cloudy data centers that can be priced competitively for clients. So

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



2014 shared services and outsourcing outlook Part II: Why GBS will not be bullsh*t

January 09, 2014 | Phil Fersht

Ready for your next provider meeting?

If I had a dollar for every person who enlightened me with the news that Global Business Services (GBS) is BS, I could purchase about three hours of offshore help desk support.

However, while several folks make valid arguments why GBS may be a pipe-dream for their own organizations (or some of their clients' organizations), I believe they are missing the big picture.

GBS is about laying the foundations to achieve much more value than the modest benefits of labor arbitrage and process standardization

The crux of the matter is that when it comes to achieving business outcomes, enterprises need to focus on the "what", but can't do that until they have some capability with the "how".  Many of the GBS cynics are stuck in a world where they will forever be trying to master the "how" and settling for achieving the modest benefits of some labor arbitrage savings and process standardization.

In my view, GBS is only BS if you can't make the Six Maturity Leaps we discussed during Part I, where ambitious enterprises must lay the groundwork to shift from siloed, immature shared services

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Posted in: Analytics and Big DataBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best Practices