New Year's outsourcing resolutions for service providers

January 01, 2010 | Phil Fersht

Wouldn't it be refreshing if some outsourcing executives decided to try doing a few things differently this year?  Here are some suggestions...

Stop using the word "transformation".

Start trying to be different from the rest of the pack, or at least admit it if you're not really any different (but are probably cheaper, or have a sexier brand, or something).

Stop espousing that you will bring "innovation" to a finance function when you're just lumping the invoice processing offshore.

Stop claiming you're recent infrastructure management deal was a "cloud transformation".

In fact, stop using the word "transformation".

And please stop wheeling out your only client of note as an example of "innovation" and "best practice" when:

    1) You bought the deal in the first place,

    2) We've heard it 20 times before, and

    3) The client hates you anyway.

Stop claiming you do something, when you don't.

Stop claiming you can do something, when you can't.

Stop claiming ERP support is a "scarce expertise" that warrants a higher price-tag.

Stop copying your competitors' slideware.

Stop talking too much and actually listen.

Stop adopting other peoples' buzz phrases as your own.

Stop espousing that you will bring "transformation" to an HR function when you're just processing the payroll checks somewhere cheaper and using some limited piece of software that's only marginally better than the rubbish the client is currently using.

Start demonstrating how you actually did something unique with a client to help them be more efficient or generate more revenue.

Stop using the word "transformation".

Start being realistic.

Stop boring the living daylights out of everyone by tweeting all your press releases and thinking people actually will click on them.

And why not stop having meaningless meetings with sourcing advisors, when you're only going to talk about the same tired old deals everyone already knows about, and the client already knows who they're going to select in any case...

Hmmm... come to think of it, if everyone stuck to those, we probably wouldn't have an outsourcing industry anymore.  So please ignore and carry on regardless...

Happy New Year and Rock On 2010 -:)


Posted in: Absolutely Meaningless ComedyBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO)Cloud Computing

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  1. Eric
    Posted Jan 01, 2010 04:20 AM | Permalink Reply

    I am still in stitches after reading this, Phil! You managed to highlight everything wrong with service provider behavior without insulting anyone :)

    Happy New Year, and hope you can keep us laughing all through 2010,


  2. Gaurav Bhutani
    Posted Jan 01, 2010 06:57 PM | Permalink Reply

    Hilarious! But why change the habit of a lifetime?


  3. T Shepherd
    Posted Jan 01, 2010 07:03 PM | Permalink Reply

    How about:

    "Quit claiming you can do as good a job at half the price of the other guy, when you know you can't?"


  4. Rob
    Posted Jan 01, 2010 07:14 PM | Permalink Reply

    Stop talking and start listening? That's a pipedream, not a resolution :)


  5. Jeanne Achille
    Posted Jan 01, 2010 07:27 PM | Permalink Reply

    Great post, Phil. Amen to the death of the use of "transformation."

    Happy New Year to you and your readers.


  6. Guy Adams
    Posted Jan 01, 2010 11:46 PM | Permalink Reply

    Brilliant! How about stopping the use of the "innovation" word? That one's getting a bit jaded too.

  7. Phil Fersht
    Posted Jan 02, 2010 08:58 PM | Permalink Reply

    @Guy: agree the "I" word is on shaky ground these days

    @Jeanne: death to the "T" word! But what do they replace it with?


  8. Tushar
    Posted Jan 03, 2010 01:24 AM | Permalink Reply

    Good job Phil! A couple more: -Stop saying "Value Addition" when you actually mean "Resource Addition". -Stop prefixing the word "Strategic" to any activity/function to justify its existence.

  9. Phil Fersht
    Posted Jan 03, 2010 05:01 AM | Permalink Reply

    @Tushar: Too right. People can really start to believe their own fluff after a while :)



  10. Peter Gibson
    Posted Jan 03, 2010 08:43 AM | Permalink Reply

    Just brilliant!

  11. Debashish Sinha
    Posted Jan 04, 2010 04:10 AM | Permalink Reply

    Oh no! What's marketing going to do now? Without Strategic Transformational Innovation, outsourcing's just boring old execution.

    Happy New Year, Phil. Gartner misses you.

  12. mrityunjay
    Posted Jan 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Permalink Reply

    Ha ha ha!! You actually voiced it loud. I was tickled and I hope a lot of us really stop and start doing those things you mentioned here. But tell you what, its almost impossible to straighten a dog's tail. So we'll keep hearing some or more of those "game changing" words. Hey, and maybe you should have put the meaning of "transform" ( at the start of your article. I used to wonder what all these guys meant when all they did was a little bit of tweaking here and there. But made for some good reading. Happy New Year.

  13. Best of HfS in 2010
    Posted Dec 28, 2010 11:55 AM | Permalink Reply

    [...] year started out as one would expect: with resolutions. Did you keep yours? We tried. But we’re sure a few “transformations” slipped out [...]

  14. Best of HfS in 2010 | Constellation Research
    Posted Dec 28, 2010 10:14 PM | Permalink Reply

    [...] year started out as one would expect: with resolutions. Did you keep yours? We tried. But we’re sure a few “transformations” slipped out over the [...]

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