What outsourcing research does the industry need?


Reports Firstly, thanks to all of you who have sent me best wishes – both privately and on the site.  I am currently in the throes of rolling out a research agenda that aims to fill a significant gap in the industry to advise buy-side clients on how to approach their complex sourcing issues, particularly in light of this mooted economic downturn.  This will focus more on the how to source than the what, based on multiple ongoing discussions with enterprises that have been through the process and are continually looking to optimize what they have on a global basis.  I wanted to invite regular visitors to this site to contribute their ideas and views on what the industry needs to see from a research perspective.  Feel free to share your views here, or email me directly.

Warm regards,


Posted in : Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)



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  1. Phil,

    It’s great to see you back online where you belong. I would love to hear about:

    1) How does a transactional approach (i.e. “just doing a deal”) correlate to enterprise value creation? Outsourcing is transformational (people, process and technology) and unless it is approached in a strategic manner, with advisors that can see further than their 6-12 months of fees it often does not meet objectives. The transition is where the value is harvested.

    2) How successful have clients been where they have taken a standardized, templatized statement of work to outsourcing vendors? A number of the boutique sourcing firms essentially use the same SoW, with very limited client customization for every sourcing event. Very mechanical and you can understand why clients under cost pressure see value in this. We understand why they do this (economics) but it stifles vendor innovation and flexibility to the client environment. Further, how effective is the RFP process in getting clients the value they need? Are there more collaborative ways to get this done that would better benefit both sides?



  2. Phil:

    1) A report on outsourcing advisors that cuts through the hype;

    2) Retained org design best practices;

    3) Advice on renegotiating with suppliers;

    4) More on globalization and outsourcing – any focus on Latam / China;

    5) KPO / new areas of BPO?


  3. Since you are focusing on the buy-side and on the how, I have a suggestion – A research piece on some of the terms, provisions, SLAs, SOW items that clients have historically wanted to include in BPO contracts that ultimately could become detrimental to them in the long run. Generally this is where a client wants a slew of SLAs to track, whereas the important item that they are trying to ensure (the employees get paid, etc.) gets lost in a bag of SLAs.

  4. Phil,

    I’d like to see:

    A longitudinal study of client satisfaction with outsourcing tracing major contributors of satisfaction through the relationship life cycle.

    Does “transformational” outsourcing really exist? If so, what are the most powerful levers (e.g., contractual, change management, relationship).

    Captive center success – including whether a BTO support model aids in this success.

    Do service level incentives or service credit earn back mechanisms improve vendor performance?

    Transitioning to from an old vendor to a new vendor – what works, what doesn’t, how to plan for it, and does “Transition assistance” really mean anything?


  5. Phil:

    How about a masterclass on “how to run a blog on outsourcing without boring the cr*p out of your readers like some others I could mention”?

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