TPI loses its talisman


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 Services, Outsourcing Advisors, Outsourcing Heros



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  1. Phil, your comment “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” is so true. There is more to outsourcing than just labor cost arbitrage (LCA). LCA will only take the outsourcers and their clients so far. Eventually and this will definitely happen one day, there will be no more opportunities left for LCA as there will be an equilibrium in the cost structure. So what will the outsourcers do then? They must be ready to deal with that eventuality otherwise someone will eat their lunch and the industry will start to be wiped out. Outsourcers need to start identifying other areas of opportunities such as process improvement, process rationalization, technology upgrade and solutions, etc. Providing additional and increasing value beyond LCA should be the industry’s primary objective.

  2. Phil…

    While the outsourcing industry is blessed with a number of exceptional advisors, Peter Allen is Special.

    Yes, the outsourcing industry will miss Peter. But, hopefully it will not be for long….as I suspect that Peter will be courted by a number of leaders from all sides of the industry and continue to shape the market

    Peter represents what is so good about the outsourcing industry . He brought fact based insights that moved markets as many of the top investment analysts, private equity investors and the business media sought his counsel. His analysis of market trends during TPIs Index Calls could not be matched. As he identified best practices for the leading global buyers, service providers moved quickly to implement his recommendations. When he spoke at a conference or wrote in his blog, he never hesitated to take a controversal position for the good of the industry. Just as important his colleagues at TPI would go thru walls for him as he and Denny McGuire brought together a passionate group of thought leaders to work with customers.

  3. Advisors such as TPI need consultants with a broader outlook than simply negotiating contracts. While that role has been important in the past for ensuring clients got decent terms, it’s now a commonplace service from many lawyers and consultants (as Phil correctly points out).

    Clients simply aren’t prepared to spend millions of dollars in this climate for transactional work – they need real operational support far beyond drawing up legal agreements. Replacing people like Peter Allen is a huge challenge for these advisors as they seek expertise, guidance and research that is currently very scarce and expensive in the market.

  4. Will definitely miss talking with Peter about the shape of the…..
    He’s the most articulate sourcing adviser I have met. Hope to continue interacting with him in his new avatar.

  5. Phil;

    I offer my sincere thanks for your kind words.

    Ours is a relatively small industry, with a tight network of great colleagues who are committed to moving the science of sourcing forward. You do a great service to us all by serving as a lynchpin.

    TPI continues to play an integral role in that cause, and I am confident that the innovations will continue.

    As for me … I am eager to continue my involvement with the industry from a new vantage point.


  6. Phil,

    Fear not! The seeds that Peter planted at TPI are in full bloom. Notwithstanding this, Peter is irreplaceable, and we’ll miss him. We are just excited to see what he will be up to next.

  7. Peter has, and always will be the face of the beginning and continuing evolution of the outsourcing industry. I will say that I would hesitate to use the term Grandfather, simply because he is way too full of energy to be a gramps.

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