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Focus On The Future of CX is ‘Phygital’ Experiences

Digital technologies provide amazing ways for us to communicate with each other and engage with brands. But we all know that physical experiences are more engaging and memorable than digital ones - after all, major life events rarely involve us staring at a smartphone.
‘Phygital’ experiences (those that combine the physical and digital worlds) create immediacy, immersion and interaction. 2017 will an increase of the number of these projects, and the outsourcing community has the ability - through their successful delivery - to enhance customer lives and add brand value.

Why it’s important to think phygital
The communications landscape is becoming increasingly complicated for brands. How do you reach your customers, when they are operating beyond the predictable places? 
The new ‘phygital’ shopper was born in the 1990s and doesn’t see a difference between the physical and the digital. They use their mobile phones to browse stock levels in the shop they’re already standing in. 
So e-commerce brands need to think in the same way. It’s no longer enough to be simply ‘digital’. In fact, for savvy brands, there is no ‘digital’. 
After all, the very best ‘digital’ experiences don’t occur on screen – they can now happen instore. Think of Charlotte Tilbury’s VR pods in Selfridges or YSL Beauty’s Google Glass makeup tutorials, which merge the best of the physical and the real. Augmented and virtual realities have transformed the instore experience arguably more than an extra sales assistant ever could. 
And likewise, we’re now realizing the age-old brand ambition of recreating the in-store experience online. Virtual experiences like Ted Baker’s shoppable videos give customers the level of immersive experience and customer service they could expect in the real world. 
Today, customers are not loyal to any channel and they expect a seamless experience – online or offline. 

Navigating the traps
So, should brands be encouraged to attempt phygital experiences, no matter what their platform bias? Absolutely - but only with proper planning in place. 
That’s because there are lots of pitfalls involved when you navigate the phygital. Scatter gun messaging is an obvious no-go. Instead, brands should work to understand the strengths of each platform. Mobile is the medium of convenience and browsing, for example, but more people make purchases on laptop - not forgetting that people can start journeys digitally, but finish them in-store too. 
With such an inherently complicated purchase journey, marketers should embrace fluidity in their customer experience. It must be easy to move between platforms without interruption or worse, disruption. Anything that jolts the customer out of their seamless perception of the phygital will be damaging. 
To do this, brands need to consider the details. Low stock levels in the real world need to be reflected quickly in the online world in order to manage disappointment and maximize customer experience, for example. What starts out as an advantage can quickly turn sour without proper connections in place. 
Getting it right
But working through these issues can yield untold rewards. As the lines continue to blur between platforms, fearless brands won’t hesitate to tap into the collective power of ‘online’ and ‘instore’ to create the ultimate, uninterrupted customer experience. The old adage of a sum being greater than its collective parts holds very true here. 
And fortune will favour the brave; it’s those brands who admit that traditional channel marketing may have had its day can win the e-commerce sector. Those who talk about ‘digital’ or ‘in-store’ will most likely lose. 
It’s time to say goodbye to one-dimensional experience forever. 

By Alastair Cole, Chief Innovation Officer at Partners Andrews Aldridge

Join the GSA and Alastair Cole at Excellence at Customer Experience on Thursday 16th February 2017

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Focus On Four Cornerstones of Best-in-Class Customer Experience

Outsourcing partnerships and projects have the potential to create outstanding customer experience (CX) - because they bring together complementary experts and specialists. When buyers and suppliers work in harmony, and when creative vision is delivered through technical implementation, customers are the winners.

One of the biggest outsourcing challenges for 2017 will be creating seamless and connected customer experiences. If this can be achieved, it won’t just satisfy increasingly demanding customers, it will also boost bottom lines.

Forrester has 6 years of data showing that CX leaders grow revenue faster than laggards. But where should effort be focussed to deliver the greatest CX impact? Below are four cornerstones of creating best-in-class customer experience.

1. Fit-For-Purpose Measurement
Quantifying customer experience is critical - until you know what’s underperforming, you don’t know where to invest.

Creating a truly holistic view of CX
To report on true customer experience, organisations should be measuring customer service channels and offline/in-store experience as well as multi-channel activity on key digital properties.

Current methods don’t work
The bad news is that current methods such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) are flawed. Single score metrics such as NPS work well if you want a snapshot of brand perception, but are too simplistic and emotionally-focussed to measure the real complexities of digital customer experience.

Organisations with the ambition to create great CX (and prove they have) need to use performance indicators fit for 2017 and beyond.

2. People And Platforms Pulling Together
The ability for outsourcing projects to deliver great CX requires teams and technologies working together to facilitate the easy flow of data and rapid creation of new content.

People
Projects teams made of buyers and suppliers need to be connected and in regular or real-time contact with each other, ensuring that both sides understand the impact their actions have on the customer experience. And these working groups must be incentivised to share insights and openly collaborate on customer-centric solutions.

Platforms
As we move to a data-driven future, technology platforms need to be better integrated. Only when this happens can the true potential be realised for customer engagement across multiple channels.

3. Give Customers Consistency
As customers effortlessly hop between devices and try new communications tools, they expect brands to provide a consistent, joined-up experiences.

Create a Single Customer View (SCV)
The unprecedented levels of data available, plus the interoperability of CRM and CMS systems, and increasing power of on-site optimisation mean that creating (and taking advantage of) a true SCV is now possible.

Having this capability will make it easier for organisations (working with their technology partners) to create content that is personal and highly relevant. This means customers can be offered experiences based on the context of their engagement - past, present and future. Increasingly savvy consumers are already turning their backs on organisations that aren’t using this data to enhance experiences.

A number of smaller, nimbler alternatives to the enterprise set emerged in 2016. These are enabling CMOs to build the future at a fraction of the cost and implementation time.

4. Rich And Rewarding Relationships
The world’s leading service brands have raised the bar to unprecedented levels, and customers now expect interactions to be surprising, rewarding and innovative. They’re also extremely fickle - one in four Brits deletes apps on the same day - so organisations need a laser focus on ensuring content is engaging and experiences areremarkable.

Personal, relevant and timely
Unsurprisingly, personalised content encourages users to stay longer on a brand’s website, whilst weaker content results in higher drop off rates. Recent research we completed found that ecommerce retailers who published stronger content experienced 21% lower bounce rates than those with weaker content.

And the longer a customer stays on your site, the longer they have to browse and the more likely they are to convert to a sale. In the same study, simple product recommendation functions saw brands reap the rewards of 140% more page views.

Product innovation unlock incomes
A Gartner study found that 83% of customers are willing to pay more for innovative products. That’s why brands are creating accelerator programmes and investing in startup technologies that they hope will become game-changers in their industries. One recent example is Dazzle - the winners of the latest Marriott ‘Test Bed’ accelerator – which will be trialling its voice-activated personal assistants in one early adopter hotel.

Experiments like this that combine IoT devices, new digital interfaces and cognitive technologies have the potential to reinvent customer interaction. The challenge to reach the market first is now greater than ever, and first movers benefit by generating PR “buzz” and the ability to charge premium prices.
Conclusion
In today’s increasingly complex digital and omni-channel world, CX has become a battleground for competitive advantage. How the outsourcing world meets this challenge will have a significant effect on perceived project success in 2017.

As ex-Mercedes Benz USA President and CEO Steve Cannon put it, “Customer experience is the new marketing.”.

Find out more at EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE with CXScore on Thursday 16th February 2017.

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Focus On Better mobile customer experience is driving m-commerce

Better mobile customer experience is driving m-commerce

By Alastair Cole, Chief Innovation Officer at Partners Andrews Aldridge

It was always on the cards, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise – but the time is now. Customer experience on mobiles has eclipsed desktop. M-commerce has finally taken over from ecommerce.

For several years, we’ve seen a gradual shift towards mobile becoming the primary channel for retail sales. It was predicted that there would be an eventual tipping point, where online retail commerce would take place primarily on mobile devices as opposed to desktops. 2016 has proved to be that moment.

In a recent study of fashion Ecommerce customer experience, users were found to be 2.6% more likely to successfully complete a transaction on a mobile than on a desktop. The result is close, with 82% for desktop and 84.6% for mobile, but it’s a clear indication that change is happening - right now.

Changing shopping behaviours

The prevalence of downtime browsing on mobile devices can’t be ignored as a factor. Whether it’s on the Tube or on the sofa during an ad-break, people are increasingly using their free time to have a look at what’s out there. Say you’re browsing outfit inspiration for the summer. You’ve likely got a board on Pinterest dedicated to your new season wardrobe. And when you’ve added a product you like, it takes just one click to get you to the product’s website.

The retailer websites which provide the best customer experiences are taking the lead in converting browsers to buyers. Generating retail sales requires understanding how customers use popular browsing sites like Pinterest and Instagram, and providing click-through content that brings them directly to your site.

Customers are also using their devices for on-the-go browsing. With retailer websites so readily accessible, consumers are frequently using their devices to look for deals, research products, and compare prices. The immediacy of mobile browsing means the transition from ‘want’ to ‘buy’ can be shorter than ever.

M-commerce vs. the real world

So, which brands need to think about m-commerce? We know how easily mobile browsing can convert to sales, and brands need to recognise that an increasing number of consumers are using their devices to shop and to buy.

Mobile customer experience is absolutely vital for online-only retailers whose traffic will primarily come from online browsing. For these brands, it’s crucial that the transaction process on a mobile is as quick and seamless as possible. How often do we put an item in a basket on a mobile, get to the ‘checkout’, and give up once it’s asked for the 3rd line of your address? An online-only brand cannot afford to lose the customer at any point in the purchasing process.

Interacting with a brand through your device is just one of the multiple touchpoints which all brands now have available to them. It is now almost impossible for a consumer to solely engage with a brand through one point of contact, making it even more important that m-commerce is optimised to drive sales.

The net is wider, but the holes are bigger. So whilst a far-reaching approach may create more ways to engage and communicate with customers, it can also generate more ways to lose them.

What are customers looking for?

As more and more brands invest in mobile friendly sites, it’s becoming clearer what consumers are looking for and what exactly has pushed m-commerce to take the lead over ecommerce on sales. Best-in-class customer experience requires clean design with simple navigation, minimal clicks and form fields, and pop-up free browsing. No one wants to think their personal details are at risk thanks to a load of spammy pop-ups and hundreds of pages to work through.

So what’s the future? We know that too much complexity alienates customers and that great customer experience had a direct impact on the bottom line. The potential for m-commerce to help simplify and streamline the retail process is constantly growing. Seamless payment services such as Apple Pay make the physical transaction quicker than ever, while devices like beacons are merging the physical and digital world to mean m-commerce will also become the most enjoyable retail experience.

And quantifying customer experience on mobile is critical — until you know what’s underperforming, you don’t know where to invest. To report on this, organisations should also be measuring the channels that intersect with mobile, namely the offline/in-store experience and customer service channels. Only then can brands really understand the impact of their mobile customer experience on m-commerce.

To find out more about transforming customer experience, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Find out more at EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE with CXScore on Thursday 16th February 2017.

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Focus On Best Practice in Sourcing Can Save an Organisation Millions

Jim Hemmington, Procurement Director at the BBC tells us about how sourcing and the Global Sourcing Standard has helped the BBC and saved the organisation millions.

“With the Digital age coming, competition is growing for the BBC – we had fixed income via the Licence Fee income but big competitors with big bags of cash were coming thick and fast from places we never even expected -  today Netflix is one of our most feared competitors.
So we needed drastic action.  Part of that action was this - a programme of rapid outsourcing.  That started in 1996 with Finance and now includes activities like collection of the Licence fee, audience services, technology, playout of our channels, and transmission. 

Because we did so much outsourcing relatively quickly we learned quickly and now some of our contracts are 2nd even 3rd generation.  We have found and, still find, incidences where we didn’t really know best practice, or how to get to it.  It can be very confusing – for example we have seen suppliers in the same market telling us to measure different things and consequently some contracts having 100s of KPIs and others having just a handful.  And in the same vein in the area of risk, we found some suppliers enthusiastically taking on risk, like volume risk, while others told us it would be cheaper to manage the risk itself.  But while we continued to address these types of issues and thought we had become excellent at outsourcing, we didn’t really know how good we were, so I wanted to find experts that could check our work and appraise what we were doing objectively.  That brought us to the NOA (now GSA).

So first what was the process? What did we find in going through accreditation and achieving the standard?

The benefits are compelling.  For the BBC if we can achieve the improvements identified from the accreditation process, and I am confident we will, I expect to see not only better and more collaborative relationships emerging as a result, but reduced acquisition costs of between 4-7%, that could convert across our entire outsourced portfolio into annual savings of £24m (4%) or £42m (7%) for the BBC, or 5 quality dramas (Night Manager or Poldark, Happy Valley), at a time when we are having to cut services.
But, also, I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of the Standards Advisory Group, promoting the standard and the accreditation process, to achieve it, because it would be fantastic to see it in action and help establish the obvious benefits that could be played out right across the industry for buyers and service providers alike.

I’m already supporting Kerry Hallard in discussions with the UK’s National Audit Office, to implement the standard across the public sector.  Imagine the impact of a 4-7% across the UK Government’s outsourced spend of £15b pa (£1b over in savings), plus what could be a near to equivalent saving on the supply side.  But it’s not just applicable to the big organisations doing big deals, it will give equally give buyers and suppliers of all sizes, especially smaller organisations where cost is such a huge driver, a means to create value and help sustain their business relationships more efficiently and make these organisations more competitive.  The impact globally of course could be breath-taking!  The GSA standard is a development with which the future must reckon and reckon seriously!  Why would you not take part!”

If you want to learn more about best practice in sourcing why not attend the GSA workshop Outsourcing lifecycle and best practice.

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Focus On NPS is flawed for measuring customer experience

NPS is flawed for measuring customer experience

“NPS is becoming less prolific for decision making - there are now better measures.”
- Rachel Lane, Director Voice of the Customer Analytics, Verint (Speaking at Customer Experience World, May 20th to 21st 2015)

We all live in an increasingly complex digital and omni-channel world. And businesses are under pressure to deliver a seamless and connected experience to their customers.

At the NOA’s 2016 Symposium (before the GSA rebrand), I talked about how outsourcing and technology providers could approach working with digital partners to deliver great customer experiences. One of the key factors is measurement - if you don’t know what’s underperforming, how do you where to invest for the biggest return?

This question of ROI is particularly valid to ambitious businesses because there is clear evidence that better CX positively impacts revenue. Gartner research suggests 86% of customers would for pay more for better customer experience, and Forrester has 5+ years of data showing that CX leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards.

So what’s wrong with using NPS to measure CX? One way to illustrate this is using a true story from my office that happened last week.

My colleague Phil found and ordered a birthday gift for his friend, from an independent seller on Amazon. Having taken responsibility for fulfilment, Amazon informed him 40 minutes before delivery that it would be 24 hours late - missing the party. He was rightly very annoyed and engaged Amazon’s customer service team to arrange compensation.

The day after this all happened, Amazon emailed Phil asking him to rate the seller on a scale of 1 to 5. Phil scored them a 1 - which seems fair, given the item never arrived. However, this one-off score only serves to indicate how Phil was feeling about the whole experience, when asked.

It was not an accurate reflection of Amazon’s intuitive search functionality; or the great content created by the seller that answered Phil’s questions; or the seamless way he was able to add the product to his basket and then check out.

And that’s the problem with NPS - when you base your feedback on a single question you fail to take into account the growing number of functional aspects associated with great customer experience.

It’s great if you want to take a snapshot of brand perception. But to measure the real complexities of digital customer experience? It’s still too simplistic and emotionally-focussed. What we always believed was needed was a performance indicator fit for 2017 and beyond. That’s why we created CX Score.

CX Score is our measurement product here at Engine, and is designed to have three views - one for each of the three key factors of customer experience.
● A data view compiled from select web analytics metrics
● A user view gathered through experience lab testing with hand-picked customers
● An expert view based on the heuristic analysis of our CX team

We apply a weighted scoring algorithm to the metrics that underpin these views, and produce a single score for your brand. The detail behind each view, and the ultimate rolled-up CX Score, can be viewed in a custom dashboard.

So, CX Score does work in a similar way to NPS in that it is able to report a single figure to the business on a regular basis. However, with 50+ metrics contributing to the score and our in-depth analysis of your digital touch-points we’re able to make strong recommendations based on current under-performance.

Although CX Score works alongside existing marketing initiatives, we know it won’t be right for everyone. Which is fine because ultimately what we care about is increasing the quality of digital customer experiences, whether they’ve been improved by us or someone else. As long as the changes enhance people’s lives, we’re happy.

Which is why we’re hosting an event dedicated to CX and in association with the GSA, titled Excellence in Customer Experience.

It takes place on the afternoon of Thursday 16th February 2017 at The Engine Group’s offices on Gt Portland St in Central London.

What we’ll cover on the day
● Presentation of highlights from The Engine Group’s UK retail ecommerce report - and learnings for the outsourcing community
● A case study illustrating how improving CX can have a direct effect on revenue
● Interactive Working Groups that will review and score the CX of well-known British and international brands
● An expert panel discussion on the new technologies driving the real improvements to customer experience
● Networking drinks reception with peers across the UK’s customer experience industry
● FREE copy of The Engine Group’s UK retail ecommerce report

We’d love to see you there and to continue the conversation further.

There should be a really good mix people attending - from independent thought leaders and Engine clients through to CX practitioners, research analysts and data scientists. Book your place today!

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Focus On Sri Lanka - A Hidden Gem for the Sourcing Industry

Situated on the south east of the Indian Peninsula and probably best known to most Brits as an idyllic holiday destination, Sri Lanka is also gaining recognition as being an interesting and exciting alternative destination for businesses considering offshoring. 

With a population of just over 20 million by most recent surveys, of which maybe 10 million are of working age, Sri Lanka is looking to complement other destinations by offering high skilled and niche professional services, but also be more competitive on quality.

Education and Sector Skills

Sri Lanka has well established legal and financial service sectors among others thanks to its well educated workforce. The country’s 15 state universities and over 20 private educational institutes are creating a highly educated and multi-skilled workforce with close to 100,000 students graduating every year. Already equipped with a fantastic grasp of English having been a former colony until its independence in 1948, Sri Lanka also has a multilingual workforce, capable with many European languages as well as Japanese and Chinese thanks mainly to the growth of the tourism industry. What’s more, the Sri Lankan government is committed to maintaining the fantastic education that the country offers having launched programs to increase IT usage and literacy in schools over the past few years.
Impressively, the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka currently boasts over 300+ Companies employing more than 60,000+ employees with a 17% year-on-year employee growth rate. The export revenue generated by the industry stands at 847 Million USD – an average revenue growth of 12% annually. Sri Lanka’s attractiveness as a global destination for IT/BPM services has been gaining steady ground with the country winning many awards and accolades from highly reputed international industry-related bodies such as the National Outsourcing Association of UK, AT Kearney, Gartner, Tholons, and among others.

The Economy and Government Support

The Sri Lankan economy has been growing at pace since the early 2000s, with GDP growth of 3%-6% a year since 2012. Inflation in Sri Lanka is around 4% - 6% which for an emerging economy is very attractive, the central bank has recently been raising interest rates in an attempt to reduce pressure on the balance of payments.

Since Maithripala Sirisena took office as president in January 2015, the government has been striving to reduce the massive debts after profligate borrowing by the previous government. In 2015 Sri Lanka had a budget deficit of 6.7% of the GDP and has a target to reduce this to 5.4% this year and 4.7% in 2017 with ongoing assistance from the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

The government is also building its reputation as a pro-business and pro-investment administration by allowing 100% foreign ownership in almost all sectors, which has seen Sri Lanka ranked appreciatively in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index.  Given its location in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has a strong trading relationship with India, with nearly a quarter of imports (2015) come from its neighbor, whereas Sri Lanka’s key export markets are the United States and the European Union.  This has reinforced Sri Lanka’s desire to act as a complement to the industries that traditionally use India as an outsourcing destination.

‘Vision 2022’ envisioned, created and backed by Sri Lanka’s government has set an ambitious yet achievable export revenue target of US$ 5 billion, a skilled and competent workforce of 200,000, and 1000 new startups. This also ensures that any investor hoping to set up IT or BPM operations in Sri Lanka will be provided with state-endorsed benefits.


Labour costs

The cost of labour in Sri Lanka remains comparatively low when looking at emerging markets. Despite the high skill level, wages remain lower than most competing countries offering attractive value for money when it comes to employment. Many positions, such as IT programmers and accountants cost lower to employ in Sri Lanka, than say India or China, giving the country an attractive quality. Sri Lankan IT and BPM professionals also tend to stay longer in their employment which also contributes to a total lower cost of employment. Real estate costs are also low, with offices in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city, being among the lowest in the region, whilst offering world class spaces.

After the problems during the conflict, Sri Lanka is now considered a secure country which has boosted tourism and investment in the economy. Terrorism is low threat in Sri Lanka and the political situation is looking stable.

Sri Lanka can provide a skilled and professional workforce and is therefore a popular choice for niche investment. Thanks to its stable economic and political environment, the country is a more prosperous and less risky destination for foreign capital. With a strong investment in infrastructure spending and extensive international air links, the country is competing strongly for investment in the crowded Southern Asian area and with a stable
economic growth and low costs, the location is emerging as a frontrunner in the outsourcing space.

The GSA is co-hosting a Trade Visit by the Sri Lankan Export Development Board in November 2016. If you are interested in finding out more about Sri Lanka as an outsourcing destination, or would like to register your interest in the Trade Visit to explore outsourcing options in the region, you can register here.

 

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Focus On NOA Shortlist Announced

The Shortlist for the NOA Awards ceremony has been released with the winners to be announced on Thursday 10th November 2016. This is the thirteenth annual award ceremony which recognises the achievements of the industry and celebrates the efforts of companies who have demonstrated best-practice in outsourcing. NOA CEO, Kerry Hallard said “This is without doubt the most competitive year ever in terms of submissions; the quality of case studies evidencing outsourcing excellence across aspects such as relationship and contract management, innovation, service delivery and collaboration has made the judging process an extremely challenging one”. The 18 categories cover all sectors of the outsourcing industry as the event promises to be a must-attend event.

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Focus On EOA Leadership Awards 2016 - The Shortlist

The European Outsourcing Association (EOA) has now announced the names of the 2016 EOA Awards shortlist.

The EOA Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the significant achievements of companies who have demonstrated innovation, excellence and best-practice in pan-European outsourcing. Now in its seventh year, the EOA Awards see the inclusion of European Automation Project of the year, and Award for Best Partner Eco-system for the first time.

Kerry Hallard, CEO of the NOA and Director of the EOA, commented: “This year we’ve had an unprecedented number of entries of excellent quality, which really is indicative of the high standard of outsourcing programmes being implemented across Europe. The sheer variety of submissions from both buyers and service providers demonstrates the ever-growing diversity of programmes and collaborations in this dynamic outsourcing industry. The shortlist is truly representative of the best and brightest that European outsourcing has to offer, with innovation, collaboration and customer-centricity inherently featured throughout. The award winners will be announced in Sofia on 6th October and we’re very excited to see which partnerships and organisations will be crowned as the best of Europe’s outsourcing elite.”

The full shortlist is

European BPO Contract of the Year
• Ericsson and Turkcell
• Intelenet Global Services and Barclays
• Mindpearl and European Airline
• Mindpearl and Asian Airline


European IT Outsourcing Project of the Year
• Allied Irish Bank
• EPAM and Delhaize
• Indra Sistemas SA and Telefonica
• Intelenet Global Services and National Rail Enquiries
• SoftServe and Outcomes Based Healthcare (OBH)


European Automation Project of the Year
• Concentrix
• Conectys
• Thoughtonomy and Computacenter


European Service Provider of the Year: SME
• Accedia
• Questers
• ScaleFocus


European Service Provider of the Year: Corporate
• Ciklum
• GVK Bio
• Itera
• Sykes
• Version 1


European Law Firm of the Year
• Bird and Bird
• CMS
• DLA Piper
• Herbert Smith Freehills
• Slaughter and May


Award for Advisory of the Year
• Aecus
• Elixirr
• KPMG


Award for Best Partner Ecosystem
• AIB
• Ericsson Turkey
• Miratech


Award for Innovation in Pan-European Outsourcing

• AIB
• Ericsson Turkey and Turkcell
• ICB - Interconsult Bulgaria LTD and Kongsberg Maritime
• BP and Olswang
• Sykes


Outsourcing Destination of the Year
• Belarus
• Egypt
• Fiji
• Sri Lanka


European Shared Service Centre of the Year
• Mercer Services Delivery Centre Poland
• Sykes


Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
• IBA Group
• Spi Global

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Focus On NOA Reveals Professional Awards Shortlist for 2015

The NOA is pleased to announce its shortlist for the 3rd annual Professional Awards. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony taking place on Thursday 21st May at the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC.

The Professional Awards exist to recognise the individuals, teams and companies who do their utmost to make outsourcing work, and celebrate their talents. The shortlist spans a wide variety of functions and industry sectors, but all those included have one thing in common – a drive to achieve outstanding success through sourcing.

The shortlist is as follows:
———————————————————————————-
Rising Star of the Year                           
Abby Bennett, Team Manager, Capita
Natalie Thomsen, Customer Experience Advisor, Capita
Bryan McGovern, Head of MI & Dialler Support Services Private Sector, Serco Global Services
Laura Burns, Assistant Contact Centre Manager, Teleperformance
Gareth Fegan, Service Delivery Manager, Ulster Bank

Manager of the Year
David Wyer, Strategic Supplier Development, BBC
Clare Enstone, Framework Team Leader, Capita
Mel Holmes, General Manager, Capita
Gavin Cox, Head of Operations/Operations Manager, Serco Global Services

Advisor of the Year
Paul Silver, Senior Associate, CMS
Mark Crichard, Partner, RPC
Martin Hunt, Senior Sourcing Advisor, Source

Strategic Leader of the Year
Rosaleen Blair, CEO and Founder, Alexander Mann Solutions
Matthew Sanders, CEO, Brookfield Rose
Christopher Stancombe, CEO, Capgemini Business Process Outsourcing Strategic Business Unit
Rob Johnson, Head of Consulting Service and Solutions Architecture, Dimension Data UK
Valeriy Kutsyy, Chief Executive Officer, Miratech
Sadiq Mohammed, Retail Sales Director, Serco Global Services

Award for Professional Development (Individuals)
Samantha Kelly, Outsourced Operations Manager, Aviva
Simone Hammer, Content Delivery Manager – Offshore Operations, Thomson Reuters
Alison Haigh, Head of Procurement, UKAR

Award for Excellence in Supplier Management
Argos and Elixirr
Capital One
McCarthy & Stone and Xchanging
NHS Blood and Transplant
Phoenix Group
UCB

Award for Excellence in IT Delivery
Attenda and Greenergy
Cognizant
Cognizant Technologies Solutions UK and Lloyds Banking Group
eClerx Services Ltd – Performance Assessment for Investment Banking Operations
NashTech and Civica
Soitron UK and HP Enterprise Services

Award for Excellence in FAO
EXL and British Gas
Genpact and British Gas
Sykes Financial Services
Tata Consultancy Services and National Grid

Award for Excellence in Outsourced Customer Service
60k and Thomas Cook
Convergys and O2
eClerx Services Ltd – Quality and Compliance Interaction Monitoring, Insight & Analytics for TalkTalk
Mindpearl
Teleperformance and E.ON
Teleperformance and Vodafone Ireland

Award for Excellence in BPO
60k and Sky
Capgemini BPO and Unilever
DDC OS and Brandbank
eClerx Services Ltd - Search Conversion Rate Optimization
eClerx Services Ltd - Product Data Preparation for Platform Migration
Xchanging and Federal-Mogul

Best Offshore Team
Capgemini India – Peopleshop Team
First Data Corp
Intetics Co.
Mindpearl
NashTech and Civica
Serco Offshore Mortgage Services Team

Best Shared Services Team
60k and Sky
CGI
First Data Corp
Serco’s Support Services
Siemens
Sykes – Shared Resources Group

Skills Development Programme of the Year (Corporate)
Alexander Mann Solutions Sourcing Academy
Capita’s Regulatory Solutions, Active Manager Programme
EXL Utilities Academy
Genpact’s Black Belt Build Programme
Mindpearl’s Leadership Development Training Programme
Ulster Bank’s Outsourced Services Team

To find out more about the Professional Awards and buy your ticket, visit the NOA website.

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Focus On National Outsourcing Association Awards winner’s announcement

The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) took place last night (20th November) at the 5* London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.  The NOAAs recognise best practice in outsourcing projects, and reward buyers, suppliers, advisors and destinations.  The awards were presented by up and coming comedian and host, Jimmy McGhie.  After the presentations and speeches, the Party Rockers took to the stage, and the celebrations continued well into the small hours. 

National Outsourcing Association CEO, Kerry Hallard said:

“Now in its eleventh year, last night’s NOA Awards brought together more than 400 outsourcing professionals to celebrate the many successes in the industry. Once again we received a record number of entries with strong submissions from many of the industry’s key providers, as well as entries from an increasing number of new players. The standard of submissions showed a growing display of innovation and business transformation through outsourcing. We would like to congratulate our winners and all those that were shortlisted.  Thank you again to our sponsors: Capgemini, CGI, Infosys, Sitel and TechMahindra.”

The Winners in Full

International Contract of the Year
CSC and Zurich Insurance Group

Offshoring Project of the Year
Telefonica and Capita
 
Offshoring Destination of the Year
Sri Lanka

Telecommunications, Utilities and High-Tech Outsourcing Project of the Year
Firstsource Solutions Ltd and giffgaff

Public Sector Outsourcing Project of the Year
Capgemini UK and the Environment Agency

Financial Services Outsourcing Project of the Year
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and TSB Bank plc separation project

Best Contribution to the Reputation of Outsourcing
KPMG LLP (UK)

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
Teleperformance and Citizen of the World (COTW)

BPO Contract of the Year
Serco and De Vere

ITO Project of the Year
Deloitte

Award for Innovation in Outsourcing
Parseq and Metalcashcard Ltd
Shared Service Centre of the Year
Steria - NHS Shared Business Services

Outsourcing Advisory of the Year
Slaughter and May

Outsourcing Contact Centre Provider of the Year
Conectys

Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year
HCL Great Britain Ltd
MidlandHR

Outsourcing Buyer of the Year
BBC

Outsourcing Works - Award for Delivering Business Value
TechMahindra and GlaxoSmithKline

 

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Focus On : NOA Launches Corporate Accreditation Programme to recognise and reward excellence in outsourcing

Free online Outsourcing Lifecycle Assessment launched to rapidly identify and fix outsourcing pain-points

The National Outsourcing Association (NOA), the professional body and industry association for outsourcing, is today launching its corporate accreditation programme, developed to recognise and reward excellence in outsourcing by the users of outsourcing services.

The NOA’s corporate accreditation programme is an in-depth assessment process that measures outsourcing performance against world-class standards with the key objective of driving best practice in outsourcing, so that companies can achieve the best value from their outsourcing programmes. It gives an organisation’s stakeholders and investors assurance their outsourcing is governed in line with global best practice standards – something frequently asked, but previously hard to prove.

The NOA’s accreditation programme has been developed over the past 12 months around the NOA’s Lifecycle Model, which has helped imbed best practice into over 200 organisations and been subject to continuous critique and review. For the first time, all that learning has been condensed into an integrated platform of tools and templates that tells an organisation, quickly and easily, exactly how they compare to leading-edge best practice. The NOA has partnered with Op2i to develop the platform which is powered by Governance Director, Op2i’s enterprise governance system.

As the first point on the journey to accreditation the NOA has developed a free and easy-to-use online Outsourcing Lifecycle Assessment (OLA) tool designed to give rapid insight into the performance of a project/division/company’s outsourcing maturity level against the NOA’s tried and tested Lifecycle model. The online assessment, which takes circa 15 minutes to complete, comprises 87 questions and contrasts inputted answers to NOA Lifecycle Model knowhow to deliver an immediate outsourcing maturity rating and personal performance report. The report also highlights areas for immediate process improvement and indicates readiness for industry accreditation.

Kerry Hallard, CEO of the National Outsourcing Association, commented:  “Our Corporate Accreditation programme and free Outsourcing Lifecycle Assessment tool further demonstrate NOA’s commitment to driving excellence in outsourcing and complement our portfolio of professional qualifications for those working in outsourcing. Although the full accreditation programme is targeted at the buyers of outsourcing services, we actively encourage suppliers and advisors to use this tool in order to consistently drive performance across the outsourcing spectrum.”

Organisations showing readiness for full accreditation can either: subscribe to the NOA’s OLA integrated platform to quickly and easily guide them through two further tiers of Lifecycle processes whilst assessing their outsourcing maturity against NOA standards; or they can review their own performance against the NOA’s published LifeCycle model. Organisations then need to book in with the NOA for a pre-audit meeting or full audit session. The full audit involves reviewing practices in greater detail (at tiers 2 and 3) and providing the NOA assessor with clear evidence that practices meet NOA standards.

The NOA will accredit organisations who achieve Silver (Competent) and Gold (Excellent) standards, but will also categorise outsourcing maturity at Basic and Foundation levels. Accreditation lasts for three years, with a requirement to demonstrate ongoing commitment to best practice annually. Full accreditation can be achieved within a 3 month window if outsourcing processes are largely already optimised. It could however take in excess of two years if an organisation needs to embark upon a significant improvement journey.

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Focus On National Outsourcing Association Awards shortlist announcement

National Outsourcing Association Awards shortlist announcement

The National Outsourcing Association is delighted to announce the 2014 NOA Awards shortlist after
a record number of entries. Winners will be announced on Thursday 20th November 2014 at the 5*
London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square sponsored by Sitel and Capgemini.


NOAA_2014_Shortlist.pdf

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Focus On NOA research report- Value beyond cost saving

The NOA surveyed 158 of its members with partners Polaris to assess the benefits beyond cost savings. The report tracks the results of the survey and questions weather value beyond cost saving is a myth or reality? NOA_Research.pdf

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Focus On European Outsourcing Association (EOAA) announces the awards winners

European Outsourcing Association (EOAA) announces the awards winners

The European Outsourcing Association (EOA) Awards took place last night (10th July) at etc.venues – St Paul’s in London. Celebrating excellence in pan-European outsourcing, the EOA Awards reward buyers, suppliers, advisors and destinations. The awards were presented by comedian Rhodri Rhys and after the formal proceedings, guests were mesmerised by a magician and partied until midnight.

Kerry Hallard, CEO of the National Outsourcing Association (UK chapter of the EOA) said:
“Once again the EOA Awards has seen a record-breaking year for submissions, featuring a host of best-practice examples from across the European outsourcing industry. We were delighted to see such variety and detail within this year’s entries, which goes to show the level of talent and profes-sionalism that exists within our industry. We’d like to congratulate all the winners, and thank all those that took part. Thanks also go to our sponsors for supporting the event. Without them it would not be possible. “

The winners of the 2014 European Outsourcing Association Awards are:

European BPO Contract of the Year
Conectys

European IT Outsourcing Project of the Year
HCL & AstraZeneca

European Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year
Teleperformance

European Outsourcing Advisory of the Year
Eversheds LLP

Offshoring Destination of the Year
Fiji

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
SPi Global - SPi for Visayas

Award for Innovation in Pan-European Outsourcing
Teleperformance - CX Lab
Outsourcing Works – Award for Delivering Business Value in European Outsourcing
ITC Infotech & Danske Bank

European Outsourcing Professional of the Year
William Pattison, Chief Executive Officer, Mindpearl BPO

European Outsourcing Buyer of the Year
Ziggo & TechMahindra

Contact details:
National Outsourcing Association
44 Wardour Street London
W1D 6QZ
Email Editorial & Marketing Communications: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 020 7292 8696

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Focus On European Outsourcing Awards (EOAA) shortlist

European Outsourcing Awards (EOAA) shortlist

European Outsourcing Awards (EOAA) announces awards shortlist

The European Outsourcing Association (EOA) is delighted to announce the 2014 EOA Awards shortlist after a record number of entries. Winners will be announced at the upcoming ceremony in London (etc.venues - St Paul’s.) on the 10th July.

The EOA Awards now in its fifth year, recognises and celebrates the efforts of companies and indi-viduals who have demonstrated best-practice in outsourcing. 

The Awards bring the best and brightest of Europe’s outsourcing industry together, featuring a range of suppliers, end-users and support service providers and affiliate organisations from the UK, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Spain, to reward European outsourcing successes.

The CEO of the NOA, Kerry Hallard, said: “Once again the EOA Awards has seen a record-breaking year for submissions, featuring a host of best-practice examples from across the European outsourcing industry. I am delighted to see such variety and detail within this year’s entries, which goes to show the level of talent and professionalism that exists within our industry. All shortlisted applicants should be incredibly proud to have reached this stage, with the winners to be announced in London on 10th of July truly representing the best of the best.”

The EOA Awards is taking place on the same day as the NOA Symposium, for details please click here.

The European Outsourcing Association Awards and Best Practice Shortlist:

European BPO Contract of the Year

Conectys
eClerx Services Ltd – Exchange Traded Derivatives Operations Support
Hays Talent Solutions & Honeywell
Mindpearl & Weight Watchers

European IT Outsourcing Project of the Year
Deloitte
Easynet & Campofrio Food Group
HCL & AstraZeneca
HCL & UKAR Outsourcing Project Engagement
HML & Irish Mortgage Lenders
Intetics Co & Desk-Net GmbH

European Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year
60K
Luxoft
Mindpearl
Sitel
Sofica Group
Teleperformance

European Outsourcing Advisory of the Year

Avasant
Bird & Bird LLP
CMS
DLA Piper LLP
eClerx Services Ltd
Eversheds LLP

Offshoring Destination of the Year
Belarus
Bulgaria
Fiji
Portugal
Serbia
South Africa
Sri Lanka

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
60k - Animal Rescue Sofia
SPi Global - SPi fir Visayas
Teleperformance - Citizen of the World (COTW) in EMEA

Award for Innovation in Pan-European Outsourcing

eClerx Services Ltd – ISDA CSA Document Risk Review
Geoban S.A – Disputes Service Centre
GFT
Teleperformance - CX Lab

Outsourcing Works – Award for Delivering Business Value in European Outsourcing
Conectys
Elix-IRR
ITC Infotech & Danske Bank
Sofica Group & iGate
Sitel & Flybe
Wipro BPO
Ziggo & TechMahindra


European Outsourcing Professional of the Year

Juan Crosby, Partner, CMS
Paul McDonald, Director of Strategic Accounts, Sykes Global Services
Pedro Lozano, EMEA Managing Director, Sitel
William Pattison, Chief Executive Officer, Mindpearl BPO

Notes to Editor

The EOA is a pan-European collective of not-for-profit trade bodies with the express aim of promoting best practice in the outsourcing industry.
Run by members for members, each European chapter is committed to delivering information, education and collaboration on a national and international basis.
Further information on the EOA Awards can be found here.

Contact details:

National Outsourcing Association
44 Wardour Street London
W1D 6QZ
Email Editorial & Marketing Communications: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 020 7292 8696

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Focus On Entries opened for 2014 NOA Awards

Entries opened for 2014 NOA Awards

The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) announced the opening of submissions for the 2014 awards.

The 2014 National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) for Best Practice in Outsourcing have invited candidates to enter a submissions for the event focused on rewarding innovation and pioneering best practice by suppliers, buyers and advisors.

With a planned attendance of 500 guests, the winners represent the length and breadth of the outsourcing industry, from banking to telecoms, small companies to large, individuals and major corporates.

Now in its eleventh year the NOA Awards will take place at the 5-star London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square.

The NOAAs are completely independent, and as such they are the most highly respected and coveted awards within the outsourcing industry.

There are 18 categories up for grabs and the deadline for entries is Friday 20th June 2014.

The 2014 NOAA Entry Pack

For further information on how to enter please visit the NOA website – www.noa.co.uk

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Focus On NOA responds to David Cameron at Davos

NOA responds to David Cameron at Davos

National Outsourcing Association response to David Cameron speaking about reshoring at the World Economic Forum 2014 (Davos)

Kerry Hallard, National Outsourcing Association CEO, said: “We need to be more ambitious than be “the re-shoring nation”. We have long told Governments we are and should be recognised as the global strategic hub for outsourcing”.

“David Cameron is right to promote the exciting notion that Britain can become the reshoring nation, helping increase the number of well-paid jobs in the UK. He also said that this isn’t a race to the bottom, that globalisation is still good, and that continuing offshoring to lower cost locations is a fact of modern life. He mentioned that reshoring creates work for more people than those who actually fill the homeward-bound jobs…

“The Prime Minister stopped short of mentioning the vast amount of expertise that goes into moving operations around the world, and that Britain is a world leader in this area. Knowledge outsourcing is a growing export, a huge opportunity for the UK to boost jobs, wealth and foreign direct investment.  This is because the UK business services community leads the world in terms of sourcing skills, experience and best practice. And when Mr Cameron makes speeches on the global stage about global economic matters, he’d do well to remember that. 

“The trend for UK companies to bring back a chunk of their offshore work will continue, particularly in areas like customer service that benefit from the local touch. But David Cameron played down the chances of a reshoring rush. It is a percentage of work being brought back, by a relatively small number of companies - but with wage inflation in traditional offshore destinations, jobs continue to move around the world. It takes a network of people to make that happen. So if it’s not economically viable to move jobs home, we can still have skilled Brits assisting with the decision-making, transition and change management. And the tax they pay onshore can be put to good use creating jobs and providing skills programmes for young people, which in turn will support growth in areas where we’re strong and innovative but need more headcount, like IT.

“Globalisation is maturing as a concept and British people need to be orchestrating it, not complaining about it. The flow of jobs between countries offers well-paid sustainable jobs and exciting FDI opportunities. The NOA praises the Coalition for the UK’s flexible, entrepreneurial environment, congratulates it for making us the fastest growing G8 country - but asks convivially, give more support for the industry that is this country’s second biggest aggregate employer: outsourcing.”

We beseech David Cameron to speak out about how outsourcing works, and how it fits into his strategy for reducing costs and rejuvenating the economy. A little support would go a long way for this industry which is so oft castigated and so infrequently praised. The UK business services community leads the world in terms of sourcing skills, experience and best practice. We are the global strategic hub , help us maximise that opportunity. 

 

 

 

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Focus On Outsourcing Yearbook 2014

Outsourcing Yearbook 2014

Get ready for the launch the next Outsourcing Yearbook complete with the inclusion of the NOA’s Supplier Directory! Now in it’s 5th year, the Yearbook acts as a reference guide on the latest outsourcing thought leadership and a key tool for end users when searching for suppliers/support services in our industry.

New to 2014

The NOA’s Supplier Directory will be replaced with a brand new fully searchable version, furthermore those listed will be able to update their company listings directly. Used by end users, this new version will allow them to filter suppliers according to their exact requirements

The NOA’s Supplier Directory is the year-long guide for end users to find new outsourcing suppliers and services. It is published within the Outsourcing Yearbook, and is also made available throughout the year as an online searchable tool. The online version allows end users to search for suppliers according to their specific outsourcing requirements.  Plus, permits the listed company to update their profile anytime they wish! Only SME, Corporate or Premier Members of the NOA are entitled to a complimentary listing and have the option of upgrading.

View the Media Pack to find out more

 

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Focus On The National Outsourcing Association Awards Supplement

The National Outsourcing Association Awards Supplement

To celebrate the winners and finalists of The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) which took place in late October, we are delighted to share their recognised case studies in the below e-book.

Inside you will find write-ups of the submissions that span across 19 award categories and feature companies such as Xchanging, HMRC, Virgin Media, Infosys, Sitel, Legal & General and many more. The supplement also showcases emerging outsourcing destinations, the best projects by sector and individuals who continue to contribute and dedicate themselves to the outsourcing industry.


Please click here to gain access to the supplement and learn from some of the best and brightest in the sourcing industry.

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Focus On Supplement Release

Supplement Release

Supplement Release

The sourcingfocus.com Summer Supplement is packed full of best practice and innovation.

Please click below to read and share the sourcingfocus.com Summer Supplement.

Please click here to access the sourcingfocus.com Summer Supplement

To celebrate the best in the industry, this supplement describes how outsourcing can be made to work with real life examples of best practice from industry experts.

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Focus On NOA Director discusses the future of outsourcing

NOA Director discusses the future of outsourcing

NOA Director Kerry Hallard comments on the pros and cons of outsourcing as part of the shared services expert panel for Business Reporter. The full report can be downloaded as a PDF below:

Outsourcing_Shared_Services_Report.pdf

This issue of Business Reporter looks at the pros and cons of outsourcing; René Carayol talks outsourcing and innovation; see the fight to reshore outsourcing to regional Britain; Bonnie Gardiner talks to Paul Pindar about the merits of being a nice guy; and how culture clash can potentially harm your offshore production.

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Focus On Supplement Release

Supplement Release

Supplement Release

The sourcingfocus.com EOA Awards Supplement featuring the European Outsourcing Awards is packed full of best practice and innovation. 

The Supplement features select finalists and winners from the 2013 EOA Awards, featuring case studies and in depth interviews with finalists. 

Please click below to read and share the sourcingfocus.com EOAA Supplement.

Please click here to access the EOAA supplement

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Focus On Shortlist announced for the NOA’s Outsourcing Professional Awards

Shortlist announced for the NOA’s Outsourcing Professional Awards

The NOA are happy to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Outsourcing Professional Awards. Those who have the distinction of being shortlisted are now in the position to compete with fellow shortlisted entries at the upcoming ceremony. This year the ceremony is set to take place in London at the Radission Blu Portman Hotel, immediately after the NOA’s Outsourcing Works Symposium on the 4th July.

These shortlisted entries represent individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond to make outsourcing work. The awards are designed to display that outsourcing isn’t just about contracts, it’s about the people, and seek to recognise the talents of the relationship managers, operations directors, CIOs, consultants, lawyers et al- who drive and achieve outstanding success within the industry.

———————————————————————————-
Outsourcing Rising Star of the Year                              
Christophe Regad, Zurich Insurance Group
David Lewis - Marks and Spencer
Dessislava Abbott - 60k
Juan Crosby - CMS
Michael Leeson - CGI
Simon Shenton - Deloitte
Victoria Kane - Conduit

Outsourcing Supplier Professional of the Year                    
Alan Jaszewski - Stellar Europe
Javed Golder - Wipro
Mark Cleary - Conduit

Best Advisor of the Year                                          
Barry Matthews - Source
Juan Crosby - CMS
Rakesh Sangani - Proservartner

Award for Academic Achievement  
                             
Amanda Wright - Standard Life
Christopher Day - The Phoenix Group
Debbie Tallis - Zurich
William Carson - Teleformance

Best Procurement Team                                          
Centrica (British Gas)
Land Registry
West Sussex County Council

Best Relationship Management Team

The Phoenix Group
Thomson Reuters
Zurich Insurance Group

Best IT Outsourcing Team
                                       
HCL Technologies
Xchanging

Best Finance & Accounts Outsourcing Team                      
Capgemini BPO
SKS Business Services

Best Outsourced Customer Service Team    
                   
60k - Thomas Cook
Conduit - NHS Direct Service Team

Best Business Process Outsourcing Team
                       
60k
SPi Global

Best Offshored Outsourcing Team

60k - Thomas Cook
Aegis
arvato UK & Ireland

Award for Skills Development Programme of the Year
arvato UK & Ireland
BPeSA
Hudson & Yorke Ltd


Further information can be found here.

 

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Focus On NOA asks Prime Minister to support UK industry

NOA asks Prime Minister to support UK industry

NOA asks Prime Minister to ‘come out’ as a supporter of UK’s second biggest industry

As we await the Nash vs. Barnet Council Judicial Review, the National Outsourcing Association believes that the public mistrust of outsourcing is due to an informational imbalance brought about by fervent media criticism and elongated hyperbole when a deal goes wrong. Contrast this with restricted access to news / statistics of public sector outsourcing when it goes well, and the information gap becomes clear.

As outsourcing is ambient across government, the NOA believes that Mr. Cameron is, on the whole, a happy customer, and urges him to come out and say so.

Kerry Hallard, CEO of the NOA, has sent him the following missive.

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: the landmark judicial review of the One Barnet project, where Barnet Council’s right to create efficiency gains by outsourcing back office services to Capita has been challenged by a small proportion of its residents, it is time that Whitehall acknowledged its own part in this sorry situation. 

Mr Justice Underhill was quick to point out that distaste for ‘back office outsourcing’ was a political matter, of limited consequence to the actual users of a service.  Yet the distaste for public sector outsourcing rides so high – this is because a widespread lack of championing success, while the occasional failure finds itself emblazoned across the front pages for weeks. Central government needs to take a stand, and speak up on behalf the companies who are providing their services, and delivering a high degree of customer satisfaction and reducing costs simultaneously.

For the heart of the Nash vs. Barnet case is the misguided notion of “whether an outsourcing company which expects to maximise the profits it makes is really going to deliver the same or better quality of service as the in-house provision.” This highlights the general mistrust and misunderstanding around outsourcing that cannot prevail if the public sector is to reach its efficiency targets, which will only get harder in light of further spending reviews and expected cuts.

The government trusts outsourcing. Its prevalence within the public sector must mean that you are a satisfied customer. Some of your outsourced contracts have been repeatedly renewed, running for 20+ years. These contracts are never spoken about. Outsourcing success must be championed, not swept under the rug. 

Government must also be seen to support the UK’s major industries - outsourcing is the second biggest aggregate employer in the UK, and with a turnover of £199bn, the fourth greatest contributor to GDP.  The modern business environment is an outsourcing economy, where the majority of firms focus on leveraging external capacities, capabilities, knowledge and skills – the public sector chooses to leverage these competences also, but quietly, almost surreptitiously. Why is that?

The government should highlight that private sector service delivery is not privatisation, and that public sector agencies retain control of ensuring standards are met. Accountability is a core aspect of outsourcing – one that the media frequently chooses to turn a blind eye to. Speaking out about how the government’s successful outsourcing arrangements work in practice would help assuage the negative public perception around outsourcing. NOA research shows they mistrust because they misunderstand. ‘They’ don’t really know what outsourcing is, but they still find it in their hearts to hate it.

We beseech you to speak out about how outsourcing works, and how it fits into your strategy for rejuvenating the economy. Outsourcing helps you reduce your costs. But austerity isn’t the answer on its own. It never was – still, money saved by through efficiency gains can be more prudently invested elsewhere: infrastructure, shovel-ready projects, boots on the ground. More efficient spending is paramount: spending the right way will be what recalibrates the UK economy toward a period of growth. That means investing in your key industries, not just financially, but vocally.

A little support would go a long way: the UK business services community leads the world in terms of sourcing skills, experience and best practice. We are the global strategic hub – knowledge outsourcing is a growing export, a huge opportunity for the UK to boost jobs and wealth that needs to be harnessed to best effect. 

You’re a PR man at heart Mr Cameron, as a former Director of Corporate Affairs, you know all about managing reputations. Yet you’ve let the reputation of an important policy of yours, Open Public Services, slide into disrepute. This has been due to some alarming failures. Thankfully, these have been few and far between – it’s time to provide a counterbalance, demonstrating to the UK public and beyond, that the good by far outweighs the bad. 

Yours sincerely,
Kerry Hallard

CEO, National Outsourcing Association

 

 

 

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Focus On XChanging - How can Procurement benefit Marketing?

XChanging - How can Procurement benefit Marketing?

Click here to access the video of Xchanging’s latest research into stakeholder perceptions of procurement.


In this video Graham Copeland, Sales and Marketing Director at Xchanging Procurement Services, and Catherine Lawrence, Senior Category Manager, Professional Services and Marketing, discuss Xchanging’s latest research into stakeholder perceptions of procurement today.

Graham and Catherine will be hosting a workshop on Thursday 18th April called THE TRUTH: The workshop will be far ranging and will provide an in-depth analysis of what Marketing Directors are looking for from their procurement departments.

During the workshop Graham and Catherine will be discussing ways in which procurement is adding value and thoughts on what specifically Marketing Directors think their procurement teams could be doing to play a more strategic role in the future.

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Focus On Catch up on are the latest articles on the onshoring vs offshoring debate

Catch up on are the latest articles on the onshoring vs offshoring debate

View the latest articles on how onshoring and offshoring are developing in times when users are finding it difficult to attain significant growth in terms of revenues and profits per employee.

 

 


Joanne Varey, MD, Granby Marketing Services, discusses the issues of stability and control in: Staying local: outsourcing in the UK vs overseas.


Manish Khandelwal, sourcing expert at PA Consulting Group, details how offshoring to India has changed in: Offshore 3.0 – Beyond cost, for sure?.

David Hallam, director, NCC Group, describes the way in which modernisations in technology have shaped practices in offshoring and onshoring: Offshore, onshore and in-house – the evolution of software testing

 

 

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Focus On EOA Awards announce shortlist

EOA Awards announce shortlist

The European Outsourcing Awards (EOAA) announce the shortlist

The shortlist for the 2013 European Outsourcing Awards has been announced with the shortlisted companies re now positioned to win at the upcoming ceremony in Amsterdam on April 25th at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.

The European Outsourcing Association Awards and Best Practice Showcase Shortlist:

BPO Contract of the Year                                                
• CBRE Global Corporate Services
• Centrica - WNS, EXL & Genpact
• DLA Piper UK LLP
• eClerx Services Ltd
• Infosys BPO and Orange Business Services

IT Outsourcing Project of the Year                                          
• Aletea SPA
• DLA Piper UK LLP
• EPAM System Inc

Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year                                      
• 60k Ltd
• CBRE Global Corporate Services - Corporate Outsourcing Ltd
• HCL
• Luxoft
• Sitel

Outsourcing Advisory of the Year                                            
• Bird & Bird LLP
• CMS
• eClerx Services Ltd - Reviewing Captive Operations
• Elix-IRR
• Olswang

Offshoring Destination of the Year                                          
• Russia (Luxoft)
• Serbia (Sitel)
• South Africa (BPeSA Western Cape)

Outsourcing End-user of the Year                                            
• Momentive
• National Rail Enquiries
• Smiths Medical

Award for Innovation in Outsourcing                                          
• Capgemini BPO
• eClerx Services Ltd - Zero Budget Outsourcing
• HML
• Software Improvement Group
• SPi Global
• Sykes Global Services and Genworth

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility                                      
• Avasant
• Capgemini BPO
• Centrica
• Teleperformance EMEA

Award for Best Multi-sourcing Project of the Year                                  
• 60k Ltd
• Centrica - WNS, EXL & Genpact
• National Rail Enquiries

Outsourcing Works - Award for Delivering Business Value in a Pan-European Outsourcing Project  
• Aletea SPA
• Capgemini BPO and Coca-Cola Enterprises
• eClerx Services Ltd - Global Parts Selector Launch and Expansion
• eClerx Services Ltd - Streamlining Billing
• Genpact
• Infosys BPO and Orange Business Services

Outsourcing Works - Award for Delivering Business Value in a Single European Outsourcing Project
• Aletea SPA
• eClerx Services Ltd - 4P Exploratory Analysis and Forecasting Simulator
• Sitel and John Lewis
• VFS
• Wipro Technologies - BPO


Analysts from Gartner & IDC will debate the future of sourcing in Europe. Presentations will come from The Dutch Chamber of Commerce, Alcatel, Centrica and more.

The European Outsourcing Association is the centre of excellence for outsourcing in Europe. It’s focus is on communicating strategic lessons of outsourcing, whilst highlighting the successes it can bring.

Further information can be found here.

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Focus On Outsourcing Yearbook 2013

Outsourcing Yearbook 2013

The Outsourcing Yearbook is a trusted compendium of trends, analysis and guidance from the heart of the sourcing industry.

Please click here to access the Outsourcing Yearbook 2013 e-books

In side the Outsourcing Yearbook 2013 you will find:

- In-depth case studies proving the business value of outsourcing

- Best practice guides on relationship management, governance, marketing process outsourcing, sourcing strategies, communications, benchmarking and innovation

- Insightful features including 2012 Review and 2013 Predictions

- Articles on: Views from the Top, Ones to Watch and Global Business Services Outlook

- Suppliers Directory: a listing of all the main suppliers in the UK and overseas

The Outsourcing Works Yearbook 2013 offers unprecedented reach to outsourcing decision makers, in the UK and globally. It will also form a key aspect of the learning materials for the NOA’s newly launched Public Sector Skills Academy, as such infiltrating the public sector. This will be our biggest edition yet, with a target to reach 30,000 readers!


To revive a complimentary hard copy please contact Brooke England Lee on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


                         

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Focus On Autumn Outsourcing Yearbook Released!

Autumn Outsourcing Yearbook Released!

The Outsourcing Yearbook Autumn Supplement featuring the National Outsourcing Association Awards is packed full of best practice and innovation. The supplement features all finalists and winners from the 2012 NOA Awards and contains 60+ case studies. Get the inside track on all the shortlisted entries and details of the very cream of outsourcing projects and people in 2012.

Please click here to read and share the Autumn Supplement.

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Focus On National Outsourcing Association Awards Winners announcement

National Outsourcing Association Awards Winners announcement

The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) took place at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London. Now in its 9th year, the NOAAs aims to celebrate best practice in outsourcing projects, and reward end-users, suppliers, advisors and destinations.

The winners of the outsourcing awards are listed below.


Award for Academic Achievement

Lorna Baker - Land Registry
Richard Smith - HML

Outsourcing Rising Star of the Year

Amanda Wright - Standard Life Plc

In-house Outsourcing Professional of the Year
Jim Hemmington - BBC

Award for Skills Development Programme of the Year

Luxoft

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility

SPi Global

Offshoring Project of the Year
Wipro Technologies - BT Lean Engagement: Task Closure Rate Improvement

Offshoring Destination of the Year
South Africa

Telecommunications, Utilities and High-Tech Outsourcing Project of the Year
Firstsource Solutions - O2

Public Sector Outsourcing Project of the Year
BBC

Financial Services Outsourcing Project of the Year
ELIX-IRR - Standard Bank

BPO Contract of the Year
Logica, now part of CGI, and ELEXON

IT Outsourcing Project of the Year

HM Revenue & Customs

Award for Innovation in Outsourcing
Firstsource Solutions - giffgaff

Shared Service Centre of the Year
Teleperformance and Response - Student Loans Company

Outsourcing Advisory of the Year
Herbert Smith

Outsourcing Contact Centre Provider of the Year
Firstsource Solutions

Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year

HCL Technologies

Outsourcing End User of the Year
National Rail Enquiries

Outsourcing Works - Award for Delivering Business Value in Outsourcing

arvato - Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Chairman’s Award for Outsourcing Contribution to the Outsourcing Industry
Ian Roberts - CSC
Phil Pavitt - HMRC




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Focus On Give Youth a Chance Questionnaire

Give Youth a Chance Questionnaire

The National Outsourcing Association is investigating strategies, both at corporate and national level, regarding what is already being done, and what could be done to make things better for the next generation. Please get involved – together we can make a difference.

AGP Give Youth a Chance Evidence Questionnaire.pdf

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Focus On Outsourcing Supplier employee satisfaction survey

Outsourcing Supplier employee satisfaction survey

If you work within the industry and your business provides outsourcing services to other organisations, Outsourcing Works would like to hear you views on employee satisfaction within outsourcing.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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Focus On sourcingfocus interview with Glenn Jackson, Managing Director at Moneypenny

sourcingfocus interview with Glenn Jackson, Managing Director at Moneypenny

In your experience how can businesses build a better outsourcing relationship?
Everything we do as a business is about making sure that we hold a strong relationship with the clients we’re servicing including regular conversions and direct visits.

What are you finding to be your clients main interests and requirements?
They are three main services that our clients are interested in at the moment. Firstly it’s supporting their businesses in an out of frame capacity and support companies during peak business time. Some companies have decided to outsource of their communications and switchboard services to use, particularly with city based companies and the expense of maintaining communication services. The third is business continuity and disaster recovery. Most people have covered procedures, if IT systems go down but the biggest requirement when you lose systems is how customers can contact you and the perception they have. If you lose your telephone system all the calls come to Moneypenny and essentially the service can carry on.

One of Moneypenny’s on-going projects is 24 hour telephone service. Does that reflect more of an emphasis on global connectivity and are businesses trying to reach a wider audience?
I think we are finding now that big businesses want to provide a 24 hour service. We are looking to provide a slightly different service than the norm. By manning a switchboard with Moneypenny staff from the UK in New Zealand, so that when UK switchboards close the New Zealand staff carry on. The quality of staff remains the same with the same cultural background and accents remain consistent. Its offshoring, but offshoring with a difference as it is UK staff.

In future developments - what other areas are you looking to develop, what areas will become more in vogue?
I think we have to recognise that the internet, smart phones and mobile technology are becoming more relevant. We currently have apps that allow clients to communicate with us, we want to align our service with this new technology.

Do you think public perception of outsourcing is important? If it is - how do you think that the image can be improved?
I think the public perception is important, but it does depend on the sector. We can see that in the furore of the banking sector, some banks have chosen to bring services back on shore because of public pressure. From our perspective we are working from more on a business to business level rather than consumer, and it is all about the service. If people like us and we can deliver better quality service than can be done in house, at more cost competitive price, then I don’t believe that any customers would be able to tell the difference and in that respect it shouldn’t matter.

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Focus On Sourcingfocus interview with Wayne Butterfield, Business Owner of O2 UK Back Office

Sourcingfocus interview with Wayne Butterfield, Business Owner of O2 UK Back Office

With the rise of offshore costs, how has O2 been affected?
We have definitely seen over the years the cost of our outsourcing increase offshore. With increasing wages and inflation we’ve had to look at alternatives, despite the Onshore/Offshore price differential.
Although not re-shoring by giving work back to the CSA, we have started to look at robotic automation instead. If we compare UK costs to offshoring costs it is around 1/3 of the price. If we then compare offshore costs to robotic automation it’s another 1/3 cheaper, it’s a route O2 is seriously exploring at the moment. 
 
What other ways are O2 ensuring flexibility in the future and present in the current climate of rising economic costs?
We have seen falling revenue and increased costs, profitability has been falling and outsourcing is one of the ways we look to reduce costs. Our outsourcing relationships give us fantastic flexibility to flex resources both onshore and offshore and that will obviously continue. To ensure costs come down further we even have to reduce are outsourcing costs, through a mixture of robotic automation and process improvement – If we don’t have the failure contacts coming into the business in the first place then, and lower call volumes will also reduce costs significantly.

How is the impact of new technology affecting O2?

Other than the use of Robotic Automation, newer technologies such as the Cloud haven’t really affected O2’s Back Office too much. There are obviously parts of the wider O2 Business utilising newer technologies all the time, taking advantage of the cost saving and scalability that the cloud etc, but other that the Robotic resource now at my disposal the Back Office currently remains unchanged. I certainly see a space in the O2 Back Office for newer services such as “BPM as a Service” but at present this is just at a feasibility stage. 

Do you feel that public perception is important to companies that outsource, and if so how can this be improved upon?
My personal opinion is that you have 2 public views.  Onshore outsourcing which is seen as positive due to the number of jobs this creates, and then you have offshore outsourcing, which to the public is seen as a bit of a negative. Unfortunately in this day and age, I don’t think there is a way to get around an Onshore/Offshore mix and this does appear to be the norm.  O2 has always had a commitment for Voice services to remain in the UK, both in house and through our outsource partners. Outsourcing contributes billions to the UK economy, it is seen as a necessary evil regardless of public perception as revenues fall in the mobile industry, outsourcing is one way we can decrease our costs.

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Focus On sourcingfocus interview with, James Walsh, Outsourcing Director at everis

Everis is an employee-owned multi-national consulting company offering business and strategy advisory, transformation programs, solutions integration, technological applications maintenance and outsourcing services.

Have you seen a market change in recent years in North America?

Absolutely, people are beginning to understand the attraction of offshoring but they are also times for the need for collaboration with much more of a near shore focus. It doesn’t matter about the location, what’s really important is the delivery model.

How do you feel the cloud will evolve sourcing models?

I think cloud is going to have a fundamental impact, at the same time we’re seeing a new complexity in sourcing models. The cloud allows for much more sophisticated forms of integration. To achieve savings and for the business to use the service to enhance its strategic direction, integration is going to become that more important and from a technology perspective more sophisticated. 

How does everis ensure that it remains flexible in times of recession?

everis has seen dramatic growth since its conception in 1996 through to today, there’s really been only one year in the last 10 where we haven’t had double digit growth. Over the recession we’ve seen growth, we feel that our values with focus on entrepreneurship and focus on talent, with our willingness to invest in talent and education driving this. To remain flexible it all comes down to having the right attitude and people.

In terms of tackling misconceptions of the Outsourcing industry, what do you feel could be done?

Clearly there are misconceptions, but I do think part of it has to be proving the amount of jobs that outsourcing produces within the UK. This is not known and we need to do a much better job in showing this to the public.

What are some examples of best practice at everis?

One of our strongest examples is the transition phase. We have put together what we’re calling transition certification. It’s an internal group which is very metric focused, a best practice team which interacts as an advisory with every transition and interacts with the project manager to show milestones where they need to see innovation.
I think it’s really helping to focus consistency in transitions. What we’re trying to with this transition certification is to codify best practices and use this advisory board to ensure that these best practices are being followed.

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Focus On Blue Prism discuss the value of an virtual workforce

Blue Prism discuss the value of an virtual workforce

Pat Geary, Chief Marketing Officer is interviewed by the editor of sourcingfocus.com Paul Corrall during the NOA2th conference, discussing the rise of the virtual workforce.


Blue Prism specialises in automating customer service processes in financial services. Blue Prism software enables business operations to automate manual back office processes and reduce cost and waste whilst improving customer satisfaction through creating a “virtual workforce”.

Your group has improvised a virtual workforce through software. Do you expect this to become the norm in coming months?

It’s an interesting idea that we’re promoting. There is a lot of manual repetitive work in the back office. A lot of what outsourcing has been built on is taking that work and doing it for a lower cost. What we’ve seen is a lot of that work moved offshore. Many millions of people in various countries are doing this manual repetitive work, the idea is that if you can automate this work then you can add value, with the potential to re-shore the work where you have highly trained workers who   manage a virtual robotic workforce.
One of the examples we have is that one of our clients took a process that had 55 people offshore and they brought it back to the UK, with 10 people supporting 20 robots, which did the work of 55 offshore workers.

We see virtualisation of the workforce as the next big trend, which can be deployed from the cloud and is already being used by a UK bank for PPI claims processing, an classic example where you need a lot of people to work with a lot of cases, most of which are rule based decisions. Robots can be trained to do those processes while specialists can be used to train (the virtual workforce) and deal with exceptions.

The idea is to bring jobs back to the UK which can be made to be affordable through a mixture of human and virtual workforce. It’s a decent offering because robots make fewer mistakes. The car industry is already at the forefront of the virtual workforce, an industry which still employs many millions of workers, but the manual work has been replaced and improved which has seen the quality improve. The cars become cheaper and last longer. We are looking at applying this to the service industry which is largely un-automated.

You have already mentioned the trend of in-shoring, with the growing costs of offshoring do you see in-shoring as an increasing trend?

The problem with in-shoring is that the reason it went abroad in the first place was because we couldn’t afford to carry out the work efficiently in the UK. Technology costs in terms of provision of technology and infrastructure of technology have become very cheap, but the actual work using that technology still requires people, and without automation those people will remain as cost ineffective as before. 

Here at the NOA 25th conference we’re celebrating best practice within the industry, can you give us some more examples of best practice at Blue Prism?

The virtual workforce is quite a new idea at Blue Prism and we’ve only started to work with BPO’s however within an enterprise space, there are quite a few banks in the UK and utilities who have used the same system. We provide the technology platform and we train the trainer to use the technology to the best of his ability.

We heard this morning about the NOA’s flagship campaign Outsourcing Works, challenging the misconceptions of outsourcing. What do you feel are the misconceptions of outsourcing and how do you think they can be tackled?

I think the main ones include the outsourcing of jobs out of the UK and placing them offshore. The rush to offshore call centres had a very negative impact as it was directly experienced by customers who used the service. If back office outsourcing isn’t done correctly it increases frustration which becomes tied to outsourcing. Automation can deliver value to the customer. Virtual workforces allow more staff to be employed in call centres because they’ve saved costs in the back office where they’ve improved efficiency.

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Focus On Outsourcing Yearbook 2012 : Summer Supplement is now available!

Outsourcing Yearbook 2012 : Summer Supplement is now available!

The Outsourcing Yearbook 2012 Summer Supplement is now available!

Outsourcing Yearbook returns, this time with award winning content!

Featuring case studies from European Outsourcing Association Award winners and nominees, this supplement gives you access to some of the crème de le crème in pan-European business services. There are also exclusive insights and opinions from the speakers at the NOA’s 25th Anniversary & Conference.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can keep your finger on the pulse of the outsourcing zeitgeist: the full results of the NOA and sourcingfocus.com UK Onshoring survey are on show, which outlines what our readers think the UK needs to make it the global strategic hub for outsourcing.. interesting reading, with some surprising answers.

What more could you want for FREE?

We hope you find the supplement interesting and useful! Please click here.

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Focus On European Outsourcing Association Awards

European Outsourcing Association Awards

On Wednesday 27th June, the European outsourcing Industry gathered together for the Annual European Outsourcing Association Awards - the premier awards ceremony that celebrates pan-European outsourcing best practice. The event took place at the prestigious Law Society in Central London.

Following a comedy set from host Hal Cruttenden, the ceremony got underway…

The winners were:

BPO Contract of the Year:
arvato and Microsoft

The BPO partnership covers global contract-to-invoice processes for four major lines of Microsoft’s business that together represent 90% of the company’s revenues, or more than $60billion in FY2011. With unique scale and complexity, the global BPO contract serves customers in 152 countries from six locations worldwide (Dublin, Reno, Fargo, Monterrey, Singapore, Manila). It employs 1,100 people dealing with more than 4,000 individual processes in 15 languages.

IT Outsourcing Project of the Year: Luxoft and Hotwire Inc

This was a closely contented category, however the Luxoft and Hotwire entry illustrated a lean and agile international case study, whereby the service provider was truly embedded with their customer and its future growth. It clearly demonstrated best practice and was deemed of an exceptional standard.

Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year: BDO

BDO have invested in quality and in-country services, enabling its customers to confidently move from a diverse international multiple suppliers to one international (but working locally) supplier, which allows SMEs to operate as if international. The judges felt this was an impressive pan-European solution and the depth is demonstrated not just by the financial results but by the wide range of customers BDO provides these services to. The support provided, particularly to SMEs, is very encouraging in the current economic climate.

Outsourcing Advisory of the Year: Proservartner

The entry from Proservartner was extremely high quality. It is clear that Proservartner have found a unique method to combine their social objectives with a powerful corporate proposition. The case studies were unique, detailed and illustrated a focus on quick returns on investments, whilst ensuring the delivery of excellence. Proservartner manage to combine a focus on thought leadership with a drive to demonstrate value for their clients - and risk significant fees based on this delivery.

Offshoring Destination of the Year:
Morocco – MedZ Sourcing

After careful consideration the judges felt there were two leading submissions; from South Africa and Morocco–MedZ Sourcing. However there can be only one winner and the award went to Morocco by a narrow margin.  Morocco’s strong points include: a wide range of services, a stable political environment, and leading brand testimonials, combined with geographic, cultural and linguistic proximity for European companies.

Outsourcing End-User of the Year: Merck

Merck Shared Business Services’ submission covers a $56million agreement running over 5 years and spanning over 50 countries. Merck consolidated its outsourcing agreements from 8 suppliers to one (Genpact) to deliver finance and accounts services and IT and HR helpdesk services. Over 5 years the agreement will deliver $15m in net savings from the consolidation plus 30% operational expense savings over the term. A benefit sharing agreement is helping keep things on track for both parties.

Award for Innovation in Outsourcing:
Genpact - Smart Enterprise Process

Genpact has developed the first scientific, methodology, Smart Enterprise Processes (SEPSM), for managing business processes; SEP can deliver 2–5X the business impact compared with traditional approaches. This service offers a truly innovative business insight and is a great example of targeted analytics. The judges felt that Genpact provided an excellent submission in a very strong category.

Award for Corporate Social Responsibility: SPi Global

SPi Global has achieved an ambitious goal of generating 20,300 employee volunteer hours to help youth by holding simultaneous CSR programmes within 24 hours across the company’s global locations. They also have an innovative way of contribution by gain share to the benefit of their clients, their staff and the charities they support.

With all targets exceeded, the judges selected this submission as the winner due to its excellent objective, implementation and the fact it has clearly helped so many.

Award for Best Multi-sourcing Project of the Year:  Centrica - British Gas

The judges felt the Centrica/British Gas submission was extremely detailed and very convincing. It demonstrated a true partnership between four big players in the IT outsourcing arena, plus spanned across several countries.

European Outsourcing Association Chairman and EOA Awards Co-host,  Martyn Hart said: “Outsourcing professionals really are the pillars of the European business community these days– all of us here have a great responsibility towards the communities in which we work, the tax payers who fund public sector expenditure, those that work within the private sector and everyone who consumes the services. We have a responsibility to everyone in our communities, to get Outsourcing and shared services right.  Which is why these awards are so important; they celebrate best practice, they celebrate getting it right. These awards are a major initiative toward making outsourcing and shared services consistently successful. Congratulations to all of the deserved winners.”

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Focus On Blue Prism - NOA 25th Sponsor

Blue Prism - NOA 25th Sponsor

sourcingfocus.com interview with Pat Geary, chief marketing officer at Blue Prism.

Can you define your business and your specialities?

Blue Prism’s unique software platform enables business operations in service industries and Business Process Outsourcers (BPO’s) to rapidly automate manual back office processes by creating their own virtual, robotic, workforce. This leads to a significant reduction in cost and waste - whilst improving customer satisfaction.

The “virtual workforce” is built by the operational teams themselves using the “self-service” robotic automation technology from Blue Prism to rapidly build and deploy their own automations through leveraging the presentation layer of existing enterprise applications. Critically, the automations are built by the business but are fully managed within an IT governed framework. Blue Prism technology enables organisations to:

• Automate repetitive, rules based processes rapidly which had previously been un-economic to address
• Deploy robotic automations rapidly to respond to rapidly changing business demands and manage seasonal peaks and troughs in workloads
• Use existing business operations resources to configure and execute automations without needing IT development or specialist IT skills
• Enhance and extend existing BPMS initiatives into the “long tail” of the process automation opportunity landscape
• Rapidly build, test and deploy new components from existing applications using a simple drag and drop process flowchart interface
• Preserve data integrity by leveraging the existing application presentation layer and underlying application logic with already exists

Based in the UK, Blue Prism currently operates in the Financial Services, Energy, Telco and Public sectors.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Blue Prism provides an enterprise strength platform for robotic automation, proven in demanding back office operations including RWE npower, Fidelity Investments, 02, Shop Direct, the Co-operative Banking Group, Experian, the NHS and a major UK BPO.

Blue Prism is the first company to address the challenge of creating new processes in a multi-application environment by developing a unique, robust, enterprise strength technology capability through re-purposing the presentation layer of existing enterprise applications as a service. This enables rapid orchestration of existing enterprise assets to support rapid build and deployment of process automations - without impacting underlying technical infrastructure.

Using Blue Prism business processes can be robustly automated 3-5 times faster than traditional approaches with the essential operational support and governance but without needing IT development resources. The technology also saves companies the associated costs of IT integration and application development, improves business process efficiencies and liberates IT teams to focus on other key business challenges.

In your opinion - what are the top 3 outsourcing hot topics / trends at the moment?

1. ‘Impact of Robotic Automation on the BPO market” – What does the next generation BPO look like? It is clear that finding cheaper and cheaper labour to process manual back office processes is not a sustainable model. Does Robotic automation offer a way of delivering new efficiencies and new offerings in the timeframes and operational constraints that BPO’s business models dictate?

2. Repatriation of off-shored processes – the repatriation of business processes back in-house poses a challenge to the outsourcing industry. But repatriating services can be as complex and costly process as outsourcing them – Are there new approaches and technologies that make repatriation commercially and technically viable?

3. Indian labour arbitrage and currency volatility – the combination of rising Indian wages and currency fluctuations may erode the historic cost benefits of this model - posing a risk to the future of the offshore BPO market

What does the future hold for Blue Prism?

Blue Prism’s technology will play a key role in helping BPO vendors benefit from a virtual, ‘robotic’, workforce that can quickly automate manual back office processes. This will save vendor costs, and enhance both service and operational efficiencies – ultimately improving their competitive edge.

The economics of the robotic approach is proving compelling. Programs using this approach have been so successful, that major initiatives are now active across many large organisations.

The big difference is that robotic automation allows the business to independently address issues and it clarifies responsibilities between IT and operations, in a way that is supportive. This means that issues relating to data transportation and large system functionality remain the domain of IT and the manipulation and configuration of existing assets, becomes the domain of the business.

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Focus On Moneypenny- NOA 25th Sponsor

Moneypenny- NOA 25th Sponsor

Can you define your business and your specialities?

Moneypenny is the UK’s leading telephone answering and outsourced switchboard provider.  With over 250 staff, we look after in excess of eight million calls a year for businesses of all shapes and sizes - from sole traders right up to multinational corporations. Our award-winning service incorporates dedicated legal and property teams and is endorsed by the Law Society and Home Sale Network respectively.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Moneypenny was born out of frustration with traditional telephone answering services. Businesses don’t want to deal with nameless, faceless objects. They want to deal with real people, with real characters and a real understanding of their needs. Moneypenny Receptionists are employed for their can-do attitude and professional approach. Each trained on the importance of customer care and the quality of service, they are as much a part of our clients’ teams as they are ours. Moneypenny is not a call centre. Far from it. One visit to our UK-based office will demonstrate that. No timed breaks. No listening into phone calls. No battery farm desks. No scripts. Clients that joined us in 2000 are still with us today and our staff turnover is negligible. Moneypenny is much more than a telephone answering service, more than a place to work and so much more than a supplier. We’re a family business with family values.

In your opinion - what are the top 3 outsourcing hot topics / trends at the moment?

1.
Client experience
A telephone switchboard has to be one of the clearest demonstrations of ‘client experience’ within a business. Having to wait for an available operator, or hearing out of office announcements, creates instant frustration even before the customer has had chance to state the reason for their call. Companies who fail to address their telephone answering issues are putting themselves at a clear disadvantage, jeopardising existing client relationships and also that crucial first impression to prospects.

2.
Saving Money
Now more than ever, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs and make savings to the bottom line. Telephone support allows businesses to reduce switchboard operating costs in a number of ways. They no longer have the variable cost associated with costly temps and reception head count can remain constant and at an optimum level for the business. Despite the lower costs, high service levels will be maintained and new opportunities captured at all times.

3.
Outsourcing partnership
Historically, the process of outsourcing was largely mechanical in its approach. Lack of synergy between a business and its outsourcing partner led to repeated contract failings. It’s crucial that businesses realise the importance of trust and the need to actively manage the relationship on a long-term basis. An outsourcing contender must understand you and your business; offer ways to measure the success of your partnership; and finally, demonstrate that you are as important to them as they are to you.

Can you give some examples of best practice at Moneypenny?

Moneypenny understands that businesses need to know and trust the supplier they’re choosing to work with. For this reason, we will always hold a new client’s hand every step the way. From introducing them to the person who will be responsible for delivering our product, to talking to the company’s line provider and telecoms engineers about diverting calls – we’re in it for the long-haul. The exceptional calibre of our team and the technology we offer has been recognised by a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and being nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the Best 100 Places to Work.

What does the future hold for Moneypenny?

As part of Moneypenny’s Law Society-endorsed telephone answering provision for the legal sector, we will be offering a dedicated Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery product for law firms from July 2012. Due to repeated requests from clients, we are also looking to offer 24-hour telephone answering provision from September 2012. The future for Moneypenny and our clients looks bright.

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Focus On everis - EOA and NOA Sponsor

everis - EOA and NOA Sponsor

Can you define your business and your specialties?

everis is a multi-national consulting company offering business development and strategy, technological applications maintenance and outsourcing solutions. Our consulting firm works in the financial, energy and utilities, industrial, insurance, media, public administration, healthcare and telecommunications sectors. Currently, everis has operations in several European and Latin American countries, and the United States and a professional staff of more than 10,000 consultants.

everis began operations in Madrid in 1996, a handful of consultants with a single project.  Over sixteen years, everis has seen continuous and tremendous growth, topping double digit CAGR every year over the last ten but one.  In 2011, everis invoiced 565 M€, representing 12% growth over the previous year.

Founded with the values of entrepreneurship, commitment and a positive attitude, everis remains convinced that these values have been central to its success.  For this reason, everis continues to invest in talent, innovation and excellence.

everis delivers complex, business critical, end to end projects, from business strategy through to operations.  We offer a full-range of flexible and proactive services organized around business and process consulting and service delivery.  Our Outsourcing services are organized end to end to offer capabilities across the entire sourcing lifecycle.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

everis differentiates itself in three key areas: global integrated sourcing, a significant market position in Latin America, and our unique corporate model.

everis takes a globally integrated view of services.  On-site, near-shore, off-shore, the everis approach is to understand the benefits, and risks, of each and to integrate the three into one seamless model that maximizes the benefits and, crucially, minimizes the risks for our clients. We can do this because our consultancy offices and delivery centers worldwide all share the same corporate culture, and deploy the same methodologies and tools. 

everis has been established in Latin America since 1998.  We currently have more than 3500 professionals located in the region.  Our business relationships there offer unparalleled access for prospective clients in North America and Europe.  Our local centers offer significant delivery power within the region, directed at clients locally within Latin America and directed outward to businesses in both the USA and Western Europe.

Since its inception, everis has consciously focused on maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit under which it was founded.  Its flat organization which empowers leaders closest to its clients, and its recognized focus on acquiring and developing talent enables everis to deliver excellence and flexibility to its clients.

In your opinion, what are the top three outsourcing hot topics / trends at this moment?

Sourcing models and strategies will continue to diversify, providing organizations with a continuum of options.  Sourcing strategies will vary from internally shared to fully outsourced services, using either single or multiple vendor approaches. Sourcing models will also diversify as businesses adopt off-shore, near-shore, or on-shore strategies, and often all three at once, depending on business needs and objectives.

Closely related to this tendency, organizations will seek providers that can help them to manage this complexity.  Integrated, disciplined service management will be a key to strategically aligning all pieces of a complex sourcing model and driving true business benefits across the enterprise.  As businesses adopt the cloud, the need for strategic oversight of a firm’s IT sourcing and solutions will grow.

Finally, whether investment in IT increases or remains static at current levels, businesses will look to significantly cut their spending in system maintenance.  In many industries, technology portfolios are overly complex, a symptom of age and years of deferred investment decisions.  This complexity drives the high maintenance costs that tax already strained IT budgets.  Portfolio rationalization and tool based optimization initiatives will drive the significant cost savings in maintenance that usually can not be delivered by traditional productivity efforts.

Can you give some examples of best practice at everis?

In outsourcing, everis understands the importance of a well-run service transition.  It has adopted a methodology to ensure the quality of transitions, and to anticipate and prevent problems in the delivery of service.  The certification of a transition is based on a readiness assessment of architecture, software, documentation, hardware and a backlog analysis. Particular focus is given to a well prepared handover of delivery responsibility; it is at this point that continuous service improvement must begin so everis uses its certification process to ensure that its service teams are ready.

everis has experienced remarkable growth throughout its seventeen year history, even in years when the market has recessed. This is, in part, due to our best practice focus on client relationships.  In recent years, everis has performed better than the overall European Outsourcing Market in client satisfaction surveys, especially in the areas of strategic and operational relationships and in flexibility. 

In addition, everis has shown an elevated client retention index.  everis attributes this success to its organization; we believe that an outsourcing organizational model that focuses on developing talent, facilitating collaboration and rewarding flexibility should be considered a best practice within relationship management.

What does the future hold for everis?

everis pursues a growth strategy built upon three pillars:

New Geographies: The USA and the UK represent the first and third largest IT Services markets in the world.  Within those markets, Finance and Telecommunications, both sectors of strength for everis, are ranked first and second in terms of sector CAGR.  everis is using its globally integrated sourcing value proposition to develop business within these markets.

New Initiatives:  At everis, we pay close attention to market trends in which to invest and launch new businesses that expand the everis brand. We are taking to market new service products in traditional sectors such as healthcare and tourism, and in emerging sectors such as environmental solutions.  In addition, we are packaging rational strategies in cloud and mobile technologies for mid-market clients.

Global focus and leadership in our current markets:  In addition to the new markets, everis is also raising the bar on its own performance within its current markets.  Exceptional growth rate and high client retention speak to the best practices that we currently deliver.  Nonetheless, everis wants to achieve ‘top of mind’ recognition for innovation, quality, productivity, and talent.  To do this, everis has launched initiatives to strengthen process, measure and better integrate our services.

 

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Focus On CCI BPO - EOA Awards and NOA Sponsor

CCI BPO - EOA Awards and NOA Sponsor

CCI BPO is the largest outsourcer in South Africa and is sponsoring the EOA Awards and NOA Conference. sourcingfocus.com caught up with Jamel Ziani, CCI BPO Managing Director, to discuss sourcing trends and what makes CCI BPO differant.

Can you define your business and your specialities?

Our Delivery Centre in Durban, South Africa is the home to 4000 Full Time Employees dedicated to serve our Clients across multiple verticals and industries. CCI BPO specialise in supporting our Clients who wish to outsource their Order to Cash Back office functions: From Credit Vetting to Payment Allocations, we offer to support the entire customer life cycle for our Clients with a team of fully trained Customer Representatives, Highly skilled Order to Cash Managers and dedicated Order to Cash Expert Lab® Executives

• Durban is the most culturally aligned South African city to the UK due to the high ex-pat population
• Located in the fastest growing commercial and residential growth markets in the country
• Largest skilled workforce pool in South Africa, which dramatically reduces recruitment and training lead times
• Accent Neutral area of South Africa which assists in optimal service delivery for international projects supporting our Clients in the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia
• 4000 agents serving our Clients in our unique state of the art Delivery Centre in Durban
• Expert teams dedicated to training and mentoring on site
• Order to Cash Expert Lab ® onsite delivering Innovation and Transformation to our Clients’ teams onsite but also within their retained organisations onshore
• 4 Order to Cash SMART Centres to support Delivery Excellence and Cost Optimisation
• Team Management solely sourced from the UK, Continental Europe, USA and Australia to meet Clients’ needs in terms of governance

Order to Cash is the end-to-end process that begins with managing customer credit worthiness and customers’ sales & services orders and ends with the collection and application of customer payments. These processes are focused on customer contact and collaboration, transaction processing and analytics.

Order to Cash encompasses the majority of activities typically referred to as “Accounts Receivables”. Success is measured by improved cash flow, fewer disputes, reduced bad debt and revenue leakage, increased customer satisfaction and enhanced process visibility and control. The Order to Cash process focuses on Collections and
Process Improvement to improve past due debt.

How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

At CCI BPO for Order to Cash, our main focus is to support our Clients’ Operations with four critical BPO Business Outcomes:

1. Working Capital Optimisation
2. Operating Cost Reduction
3. Revenue Maximisation
4. Customer Experience Improvement

At CCI BPO for Order to Cash, we offer more than ‘lift and shift’ engagements where savings are made from onshore labour pools being shifted offshore which provides the Clients with a one-time only cost savings lever on their P&L. Once we have done that for our Clients, our ability for further productivity gains and new business value is demonstrated through continuous process improvements, increased quality of technology delivery and innovative methods of service delivery.

We are dedicated to our Clients and their customers’ satisfaction this is why our Order to Cash Sales Executives our Clients meet during the introduction meetings and contracting process are also fully responsible for the delivery of the service for the whole duration of our partnership:

• We are easy to do business with at all levels of our Organisation
• We are dedicated to our Clients and strive to meet their needs
• We can adapt to our Clients’ business changes and scale up and down our delivery model very quietly to meet changes
• We deliver on our targets and always try to outperform to support our Client Growth
• We continuously offer Innovation to support productivity improvements and better business outcomes

In your opinion – what are the top 3 outsourcing hot topics / trends at the moment?

• Business outcomes outsourcing to support Client business growth instead of just cost to serve and offshoring
• Specialised outsourcing with expertise instead of generalists who can only offer offshoring and labour arbitrage cost reduction
• Change in contracting towards price per transaction instead of rigid FTE based contracting

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Focus On Interview with Gaurav Gupta of Mahindra Satyam, VP, Head Aerospace & Defence, Europe.

Interview with Gaurav Gupta of Mahindra Satyam, VP, Head Aerospace & Defence, Europe.

Exclusive interview with Gaurav Gupta of Mahindra Satyam, VP, Head Aerospace & Defence, Europe.

Mahindra Satyam is a leading information, communications and technology company providing a wide range of outsourcing services for a global market. The company is an expert in industry technology, functional practices and a global delivery models, ranking as one of the top 10 business houses based in India.

Gaurav Gupta is responsible for all aerospace and defence commerce within Europe, involved in collaborations and wider relationships including EADS, BAE systems and Saab , providing end-to-end engineering services and IT related services. Mahindra Satyam conducts contracts both offshore in India but also in Europe, with global centres in Hamburg and France.

What does Mahindra Satyam view as current strategic choices for destinations?

The growing relationship between France and India in the current climate, because of high defence spending, makes the country figure at the top of our list as a strategic destination to invest. Mahindra Satyam has over 1000 engineers working on Aerospace programs for global players in US and Europe, with around 200 engineers in France.  With expansion into France, we expect in two or three years there will be significant demand in services based on various programs running within EADS including Airbus. From an operations standpoint this would involve creating local jobs and using talent locally which may not be available in India. This helps position ourselves slightly higher than purely providing services at a low cost. We are investing proactively in creating a local talent pool and infrastructure with a view of vision and investment.

What are the key topics and trends in Aerospace and Defence at the moment? 

The Mahindra Group has made strategic investments in acquiring a couple of companies in Australia and an aerostructure components facility in India. Our relationships in Europe can be levelled to bring in technologies to other markets. Investing in the Indian defence markets would require a lot of technology and skill labour, this cannot be achieved without technology coming from the West. 

With the coverage of private space shuttle flights in the UK press, what are your thoughts?

India has an established space programme, we support the programme from both an electric and a construction point of view. It is very interesting to see how the space programme can be made commercially viable in the future.

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Focus On EOA Awards 2012

EOA Awards 2012

The European Outsourcing Association (EOA) is delighted to announce the shortlisted entries for the 2012 EOA Awards after a record number of submissions.

Now in its third year, the EOA Awards will take place in London for the first time at The Law Society on the 27th June 2012.  It will look to build on the success of the 2011 event by bringing together Europe’s leading outsourcing suppliers, end users and support service providers. The awards take place the day before the National Outsourcing Association’s 25th Anniversary Conference which features highly collaborative breakout sessions, key case studies and ample networking opportunities.

The award categories cover a wide cross-section of outsourcing projects and winning is regarded as a huge accolade in the industry. For the 200+ guests, the awards present a unique opportunity to gain insight into the working models of the most successful projects of 2011/12, thus spreading best practice throughout the European outsourcing community.

Martyn Hart, NOA Chairman, said: “I am very pleased to see that we have a record number of submissions again this year. The sheer variety of the partnerships and submissions show that European outsourcing is a truly dynamic and varied industry. Last year’s event proved to be extremely popular with our members and was hugely successful. This year the EOA Awards precedes the NOA 25th Conference and will offer delegates the fantastic opportunity to network, learn about and celebrate best practice in outsourcing. I look forward to seeing you all there.”

The shortlist is as follows:

BPO Contract of the Year
arvato and Microsoft
Genpact and AstraZeneca Plc
GEP
Infosys BPO
National Rail Enquiries and the National Rail Communication Centre
Sykes Global Services


IT Outsourcing Project of the Year
Centrica - British Gas
HCL and Mecom Group Plc
International Personal Finance and Fujitsu
Luxoft and Hotwire Inc
Mitchells & Butlers Plc and Fujitsu
Ness Technologies and PERFORM


Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year
Ant
BDO
Capgemini BPO Poland
Luxoft
SPi Global


Outsourcing Advisory of the Year
DLA Piper
eClerx Services Limited
Hogan Lovells
Proservartner


Offshoring Destination of the Year
Egypt - ITIDA
Morocco - MEDZ Sourcing
Romania - Computer Generated Solutions and Luxoft
Serbia - Sitel
Slovakia - Ness Technologies
South Africa – Aegis Outsourcing Ltd and CCI BPO


Outsourcing End-user of the Year
Centrica - British Gas
Dutch Public Prosecution Service - submitted by Omnext
Merck
Mitchells & Butlers Plc
National Rail Enquiries


Award for Innovation in Outsourcing
Capgemini BPO Poland
Certus
Customer Care for Philips Consumer Lifestyle Division
Genpact - Smart Enterprise Process
Mitchells & Butlers Plc and Fujitsu
Quint Wellington Redwood


Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
Ant - Ant Kids
Serco - Leicester Works
Serco - Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
SPi Global
WNS Global Services - WNS Cares Foundation (WCF)


Award for Best Multi-sourcing Project of the Year
Centrica - British Gas
FCC, S.A.
National Grid


Contact: Natalie Milsom +44 (0) 207 292 8689 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Focus On Cognizant’s Satisfaction Model

Cognizant recently topped the customer satisfaction and recommendation rankings in the four-country region (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden) in KPMG’s Outsourcing 2012 study of service provider performance in the Nordic region.

sourcingfocus.com spoke to Jayajyoti Sengupta, Cognizant’s Country Manager for the Nordics to find out about how Cognizant ensure customer satisfaction.

Please can you elaborate further on this: “Our high-touch relationship model, deep domain expertise and consulting skills, unique reinvestment philosophy, and our ability to build strong multicultural teams around the globe have helped our customers navigate structural changes in the economy and their industries, enabling them to stay efficient, effective, and innovative.”

Clients across industries—financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail, media and entertainment—are going through structural shifts driven by globalization, virtualization, digitization, regulatory changes, consumerization and new technology architectures (such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud). This has led to clients seeking dual mandates of cost agility (efficiency and effectiveness) and innovation (business transformation).

While clients IT budgets have largely been flat to modestly up, they expect to achieve much more from less. This calls for working with a partner who can address the dual challenges of cost agility and innovation off one platform within the available budget.

That’s where a company like Cognizant excels because of its years of managing its target operating margins lower than comparable peers but reinvesting the excess back into the business for high levels of customer relationship management, technology excellence, multi-cultural and domain expertise. Today, Cognizant has over 1,000 client partners and account managers who are responsible for the high-touch relationship architecture, over 3,000 pure-play consultants and dozens of technology centers of excellence, and 1 MBA for every 25 software professionals, globally.

These investments help clients drive cost down on existing infrastructure and applications and helps clients to use the freed up dollar to invest in growth and innovation, thereby addressing both the bottom-line and topline needs of clients.

How does the high-touch relationship model differ from traditional governance?

We have seen two traditional models depending on the starting points of companies and how they evolved. With global system integrators who started off in the US or Europe, the center of gravity was in the US or Europe and their offshore/global delivery locations were started as extensions. It’s more of a passing-the-baton or throw it over the wall model. While for Indian companies their expansion to the rest of the world was with the view that expansion to other parts of the world was a necessary sales and marketing activity. The centre of gravity of these organisations was in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. For many people who went to work for these companies in geographies outside India, it created a very difficult environment to be successful as an executive or as an individual because the centre of gravity was in India.

In our model—what we call the two-in-a-box model—the centre of gravity is not geographic but vested in a group of people. Through the two-in-a-box model—at an account level, at a customer level—the centre of gravity rests with two individuals, the Delivery Director and the Client Partner.

Does having named leaders offshore effect delivery?

It makes no difference that the Delivery Manager is delivering from India or China, or that the Client Partner is engaging with the client in the US or Europe. Each one individually and jointly feels accountable, empowered and responsible for the success of the client. In the two-in-a-box model, they together define the success of the client along the same terms—a sort of soft concept, but that’s how it really works on the ground.

We believe the two-in-a-box model is superior to the passing-the-baton or throw it over the wall models of other companies because there is no opportunity for loss or dilution anywhere in our model. In the passing-the-baton model, you need to align two sets of people in two separate stages.

Ours is more of a relationship model and the execution is good because there is alignment of all stakeholders from the start.

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Focus On Leading the implementation and evolution of cloud-based solutions

Leading the implementation and evolution of cloud-based solutions

sourcingfocus.com speaks to Nick Parnaby, Vice President of Extended Enterprise Solutions at GXS about the implementation of cloud-based solutions and his predictions for the evolution of cloud-based technology.

Nick has spent over 16 years helping businesses to improve their supply chain, procurement and B2B processes. In 2005 he co-founded RollStream™, the first cloud-based technology platform specifically designed to manage trading partner communities, inspired by Web 2.0 user experience and usability seen in consumer-oriented social software. Nick has implemented cloud-based solutions in B2B for managing process and information management at some of the world’s largest corporations and brands, and is regarded by industry analysts as a subject matter expert in supply base management, B2B community management, sourcing and procurement and supply chain optimisation.


Can you tell us more about some of the GXS partnerships and collaborations that you have been involved in?

Certainly - Our second customer at GXS was Tesco in the UK and they came to us because they had an issue wherein they had thousands of suppliers that they needed to reach for rolling out a new Oracle system in 2006. Their challenge was they had about 12,800 suppliers on their Goods not for Resale catalog which was not as optimised as their Goods for Resale side of the business, and there were maybe four or five thousand active suppliers placing purchase orders at any given time, but they just didn’t have the visibility of information on the site.

Tesco UK approached us, having already spoken to Oracle and Microsoft who had quoted around £1.5 million just to get it started, and wanted to know about more cost-effective and Software-as-a-Service options. We completely revamped their supplier registration process, automated it from the point where a buyer makes the decision to work with a supplier onwards and streamlined the entire work flow. We created a profile in the cloud, like LinkedIn if you will, just for the Goods not for resale side – so they got a complete overview of the process in the cloud, and visibility of not only the master data, but everything from documentation, the legal and regulatory stuff, corporate social responsibility risk checks.

It was great for them because it cut their process down by about 60%. We also worked with a multi-national pharmaceutical company. They had a big issue with supply chain risk, and they had a huge programme called Responsible Procurement. They were looking a 450 procurement people across the business, 48,000 suppliers – it’s a giant community. We came in as a community management tool for their Biologics Division, and could deliver very measured, surgical communications, and make a risk assessment of the supply chain using simple secure survey tools or financial health relatedinformation collected from suppliers, and from that they could come up with and execute a strategy of mitigation based on the level of risk. We were probably the first to market using community management for supply chain.


From your experience of SaaS, how do you envisage cloud evolving?

I think there are all sorts of things happening. Number one – a lot of companies have embraced it. At GXS I find myself working a lot with banks and financial institutions and they look at it differently. They’re still very concerned with security, so I see a lot of hybrid solutions emerging in the cloud, where the data is behind a firewall.  Every time we deal with customers who are concerned about the sensitive nature of their data they are very worried about the safety of the cloud. There are a lot of potential customers who shy away from the cloud, almost once bitten twice shy, because in the past we haven’t been able to offer what they need, and there are some businesses who I suspect will never be ready for the cloud but I do see a hybrid approach emerging over time.
Following on from cloud, what do you see as the top three topics or outsourcing trends at the moment?
I think one of them is the space that GXS sits squarely in the middle of, which is managed services for Business Process Outsourcing around B2B. We’ve seen a huge shift in our revenue moving away from traditional tools. I’ve also seen some Salesforce automation that has been outsourced, some customer service operations, the States are outsourcing lead generation and the front end of the sales process. I’ve also seen classic BPO for purchasing re-emerge where organisations on the indirect end of the business outsource almost their entire spend.

Can you give me some examples of best practice of GXS in B2B collaboration?

We spend a lot of time obsessing about community management, and technology is just one side of the equation. We sell it as Software-as-a-Service-as-a-Service because you can’t just leave a piece of technology in somebody’s hand and expect them to adopt it and get mass adoption across the board. Recently we did a big roll out with a big supermarket chain. They came to us and said “we really want to do this but we’re worried about how to create this massive community of 5,700+ suppliers and be able to reach people systematically.”

We advised that it is imperative to use best practice and call every single one of them. An analysis of the contact information shows that contact numbers are often fax numbers, incomplete emails, generic mailboxes, and we found that about a fifth of the contact information is irrelevant. You have to put services up front and contact the initial point of contact and establish a relationship with them. It sounds so basic, but if you don’t do it, you won’t reach the people you need to. The other thing we’ve found is that in sourcing procurement when you’re rolling out legal and regulatory compliance it’s not like marketing when you’re happy with a 45% response, you want 100% or near enough. We find you need four or five reminders to get around a 70% response rate. We spend a lot of time coaching the procurement professionals and the support teams underneath them to go the distance. For GXS best practice is really managed services on B2B.

What does the future hold for GXS, what do you have in the pipeline?

I also see a move towards buying more SaaS applications on top of the network, for example a lot of people are using tools which afford them visibility into all their transactions in order to provide better customer service, or for better compliance because they want to grow their business into multiple countries. A lot of people come to GXS because they want to grow but struggle to get over the invoices going back and forth and dealing with different compliance regulations between the countries. We’re going to ramp up our services side with all of the tools in a managed services package. We’re already global but there is opportunity for us to make inroads into China.   

 

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Focus On Leading the PSN charge with Staffordshire CIO

Leading the PSN charge with Staffordshire CIO

sourcingfocus.com speaks to Sander Kristel, the CIO of Staffordshire County Council about the benefits they have seen from implementing one the country’s first Public Services Networks.

Kcom were selected by Staffordshire County Council to deliver one of the country’s first public services networks (PSN). Can you give an overview of the PSN and how it will be used by Staffordshire County Council?

The public services network gives the ability to any public sector organisation in or around Staffordshire for broadband connectivity, for any sort of telephone solution and for contact centre solutions as well. The partners can then choose under the contract which services they want to buy, and how they want to implement them. For instance some partners might want a fully managed service, and others might want to manage parts of the services themselves. For the County Council as the lead body in this agreement, it’s a broadband service that we deliver to all our County Council sites and also to the vast majority of our schools. Other partners that have joined up until now are all South Staffordshire Health Partners, Lichfield District Council, and we also provide the education network for Wolverhampton City Council as well.

How is the PSN benefiting the residents of Staffordshire?

Well, it’s in a number of levels. First of all, it’s really important for a PSN that it’s cheaper for the partners than going out and getting connectivity themselves. Clearly there is a saving for the taxpayer; at the start we estimated the saving to be at least £1 million, but actually we can see now that that saving will increase over time. More important than the technology itself and the direct savings, it’s all about shared working and shared services that we provide because the public sector can be quite a complex environment for a customer to manoeuvre. So for us to be able to provide end to end services and work more closely together we need to share more information securely and appropriately, we need to share buildings etc. To do that you really need to write plumbing underneath it to underpin it all and to make it easy to do, and that’s exactly what our PSN does.

On that theme of shared working, can you tell me more about Staffordshire’s integration of public services in general?

As an example, we are the first in the country to have a significant amount of our social workers move into an integrated health trust. For example, a social worker could arrive at someone’s home in the morning and do an assessment of what the needs of that client are. A nurse could be there in the afternoon and do exactly the same, and neither knowing the other was carrying out the same task, which is obviously very inefficient, and annoying for our residents. By moving our social workers into the integrated health trust we avoid a lot of duplication and we hope to improve and enhance the services for our customers, as well as reducing costs.

Which examples of best practice would you like to highlight from the implementation of the PSN from Kcom?

I think what was really important for me was to be completely transparent to all of your partners. For us, this is not something we want to make a profit on; we have been completely transparent with regards to costs, to rollout – and that’s where you could run into some problems with your rollout, you have to be completely transparent for your partners because trust in a relationship like this is incredibly important. Furthermore it was really important that the solution and the contract have flexibility, as mentioned earlier, some partners still want to manage aspects of their contract. If you don’t accommodate for that they will turn around and say “this is not for me, and I don’t want to join this.”

Can you give me some examples of how you maintain transparency throughout that period?

If you look at the procurement, we ran it as a competitive dialogue process and we invited partners even though they hadn’t signed up to the PSN on day one, and they had the opportunity to hear what the suppliers were saying, see the costs, and have conversations with the suppliers. As long as you keep that consistent throughout the process it’s a really good way for partners to get some trust in you and show that you’re not trying to fleece them.

Could you tell me more about the initial procurement exercise and why Staffordshire decided to partner with Kcom?

Obviously in the public sector the procurement processes that we run are very stringent, they can be quite cumbersome at times. We chose a competitive dialogue process because at the time that we did it the Public Services Network framework hadn’t been awarded yet so we had to do it ourselves. We chose the competitive dialogue process because it allows transparency, you can invite partners in, but also because we weren’t entirely sure what it was exactly that we wanted. We knew we wanted something that was shared, and we really wanted to get the expert input from the supplier to help define what it was that we wanted.

Now throughout that process it was clear to us that to be more flexible, more cost effective etc. that we could still achieve the same outcomes but by incorporating other technologies into the solution as well. That is where Kcom were very strong with the flexibility of their solution as well as the price.

What do you see as the up and coming trends in shared services and shared working in general, how do you see it developing and evolving across other counties?

I think, like the county council is doing now, a lot more councils, particularly county councils, will become commissioning organisations so they won’t necessarily deliver all those services themselves, but they will commission them. So shared working will be a lot more evident in the public sector and more important in future, as well as more shared work with other public sector organisations because we have to provide more end to end services for the public. But also shared working with the private sector and looking at more innovative vehicles like joint ventures and social enterprises, which will definitely develop and grow.

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Focus On SSON Talks

SSON Talks

SSON Talks is a collection of outsourcing professionals sharing their remarkable stories and inspiring journeys. Listen, view and read before the flagship 2012 SSON Week in Amsterdam 14 - 16th May.

Jacek Levernes talks on global business services. Jacke’s most improved metric in an SSO was a 45% cost reduction from standardisation and process improvement (efficiency).

Patrik Forsstrom talks on verticalisation: “I’m very happy for us that we were able to establish our captive center in Estonia moving Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Payments maintaining high top management and customer satisfaction within a short timeframe. 1Q2012 new processes to be transitioned from Finland to our center in Estonia.”

Eric Simonson talks on shared services impact on global markets. Eric’s industry prediction is an increasing drive for industry-centric global services strategies and solutions. Much of the growth in global services has come by leveraging lessons that apply across most industries. With the rapid maturation of the market, an increasing openness to consider more “core” activities

Juan Manuel Garcia Moreno talks on collections optimisation: on time & ahead of target.

For more information please visit the SSON Website

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Focus On Evolution of Happiest Minds Ltd. - Part 2

Evolution of Happiest Minds Ltd. - Part 2

Ashok Soota began his career in 1965 with the Shriram Group of Industries in India. In 1978, he became CEO of Shriram Refrigeration, a company which was unprofitable for four consecutive years. He went on to become the President of Wipro Infotech from 1984 to 1999. Under his leadership, Wipro’s IT business grew from US$2 million in 1984 to US$500 million run-rate in 1999.

In 1999 Ashok co-founded MindTree which in a span of 11 years became a global entity with revenue run rate of US$350 million, with over 9000 people and offices in multiple cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Happiest Minds (a next gen IT solutions & Services Company) was launched in August, 2011 by Ashok Soota and a team of industry experts, with the mission to create Happiest People and Happiest Customers.


Ashok is an industry leader. He was President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s largest Industry association and also President of Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology. He has served on the Prime Minister’s Task Force for IT and on the Advisory Council for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva.  He was recognised as ‘IT Man of the Year’ twice and as ‘Electronics Man of the Year’.

Can you give me some examples of how a business can conduct true transformational change through something like business analytics or cloud?(Puneet Jetli, Co-CEO of Happiest Minds Technologies) I think that what has happened is that for a long period of time organisations and enterprises have invested in actually trying to decipher insights from data and they found 2 problems that they have actually ended up as reporting tools, and when you are looking at reports they only tell you about the past. But in economies of today where growth is not a given, you have to be able to predict the future, and if you can predict it as accurately as possible it will give you a competitive advantage. The true way of doing it is to get into the world of analytics. The second thing that organisations have realised is that there is x amount of structured data, there is literally 10 times of that which is unstructured within the organisation as well as outside of it. If you now want to get into meaningful insights and take decisions, you can’t ignore this qualitative data. So that is where we believe the need of the enterprise is likely to be, and that it marries very well with our focus area of social media, getting social analytics marrying it with structured data, making it predictive so that you can then take the right bets and then reach out with the right offers, right products, right services to the consumers when they are likely to need it. In doing so, do it with the medium which is likely to be the most effective – if you can reach out with a discount coupon, based on past purchasing behaviour of a consumer or a set of consumers, to the shopper as he or she is entering the store you are most likely to make the impact, and that can only come if you look at some of these pieces of technology and integrate it in a holistic way. It requires understanding of social insights and understanding of analytics and purchasing behaviour, it requires creating a proposition and delivering on the mobile at real time to the consumer, and that’s what we believe most enterprises would be tempted to adopt in the years ahead.

So, in essence, business analytics can replace the need of invention and that the computer becomes the inventor and predicts a new product people are going to want.
Either a product or an opportunity, absolutely. That is where innovation is going to happen, you’d be surprised how many enterprises are figuring out that they are reinventing their businesses, to enable that you need insight and analytics.
(Ashok Soota) You used an interesting word then, ‘replaces’. Because in my mind it facilitates and expands that invention because you need it all the time, but it is one more new powerful tool that is giving you new thoughts and new ideas because of the analysis of that data and connoting that into intelligence.

Where is outsourcing going in 2012?
That’s a big question! There are one or two things to consider when answering a question like that. The first one is the environment. The convention would be to look at the economy, it’s in trouble, it’s a bad time also for the IT industry, but in reality it’s in times like this that people really need Information Technology, particularly with the new transformational technologies you are not talking of just cost reduction, you are really talking of enlarging markets, of opening new channels that didn’t exist in the past through technology. You will also notice that the IT intensity of the world is increasing by the day, industry by industry is becoming an internet company, what I’d call the creation of web 2.0 companies which are purely internet based. So IT still remains at the core of change. The need for outsourcing is increasing because people cannot capture all the expertise within their own system, there is so much to be integrated. As the speed of change increases, the complexity of the technology increases, and how can anyone, even the largest companies, incorporate all of the skills that they are going to require to implement this change, therefore the need for outsourcing increases exponentially. I would make a distinction here between outsourcing and offshoring. We don’t just want to be seen as an offshoring company, we see ourselves as working as partners to our customers, and we want to bring the best of both worlds to our customers. Here in the UK we have actually hired a considerable number of local citizens.

Speaking of hiring people locally, there was an article recently about Rackspace experiencing problems with hiring people that had cloud experience – is this a problem you’ve experienced in the UK?
(Ganesh Narasimhaiya Vice President & Country Head of Happiest Minds Technologies)
Cloud is a new technology so there is not an abundance of people but there are people chartered at around 10-12 months in the market and the focus we have on the next generation and the area of opportunity we are able to attract the right talents.
(Ashok) I mentioned about how our message resonated with customers, it has obviously resonated with people also. So we have demonstrated at an early age our ability to attract talent. There is the excitement of working in a start-up, there is the fact that people know that this is a company that focusses on these areas, and there is also the message of the company.

What about the term outsourcing, we’ve been seeing that companies want to move away from being associated with the word itself. Is this something you agree with?
I can understand and appreciate that. For a start I think we’d all like to be seen as partners and we’d be open to having that reflected in the business model. There could be the other approach of how do you go about co-creation with your customers.

What do you think will be the next big thing in outsourcing?
Hopefully the term itself will become less prevalent and less used and there will be a different name. I think you’ll see new business models evolving, more partnering, more outcome-based, more procreation and sharing of intellectual property.
(Puneet Jetli) We believe that a lot of that will be influenced by cloud. Cloud will not just be a medium to offer to our customers to reduce cost, but also look at bringing innovation to the market and I think it would mean a lot even for service providers like us to embrace cloud to provide services to our customers in a very different way to what we have traditionally been used to.

What particular innovations do you think will be in cloud?
I think we have to move away from the mind-set of looking at pure services to looking for solutions, where you are essentially looking at a business opportunity but backwards, you are essentially trying to assess a business problem. When you are creating a solution by yourself or co-creating it along with your customer then how do you manage end-to-end delivery of that. That is why we are not only in IT services, but also infrastructure management and security, because you have to give a holistic solution as a package on a software-as-a-service model if required for customers to really appreciate and benefit from the range of technology.

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Focus On Evolution of Happiest Minds Ltd.

Evolution of Happiest Minds Ltd.

Ashok Soota began his career in 1965 with the Shriram Group of Industries in India. In 1978, he became CEO of Shriram Refrigeration, a company which was unprofitable for four consecutive years. He went on to become the President of Wipro Infotech from 1984 to 1999. Under his leadership, Wipro’s IT business grew from US$2 million in 1984 to US$500 million run-rate in 1999.

In 1999 Ashok co-founded MindTree which in a span of 11 years became a global entity with revenue run rate of US$350 million, with over 9000 people and offices in multiple cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Happiest Minds (a next gen IT solutions & Services Company) was launched in August, 2011 by Ashok Soota and a team of industry experts, with the mission to create Happiest People and Happiest Customers.

Ashok is an industry leader. He was President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s largest Industry association and also President of Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology. He has served on the Prime Minister’s Task Force for IT and on the Advisory Council for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva.  He was recognised as ‘IT Man of the Year’ twice and as ‘Electronics Man of the Year’.

Why did you start Happiest Minds?

We believe that new technologies and transformational technologies really represent an opportunity for a new entrant to come in. It provides your entry strategy, it provides a basis for transformation and it gives you an opportunity to come in and say “look, none of the incumbents have really got any solid experience which puts them at an advantage; we’re all experimenting with some case studies here and there”.  On top of that, we have no legacy to protect. Therefore we are straight away going to provide you with the richest, most logical solution which favours and helps you build the newest technologies. So I think it is a basic entry strategy that we saw, we see that the message has resonated well enough – 12 customers across the world in the space of just 6 months after starting is quite something given the lead times in this business. Interestingly enough, none of those customers are customers from our previous business, they were all new recruits. They met us as well as meeting with larger players, and then decided “hey look these guys know what they’re talking about, they’re a seasoned and experienced team, and they’re working at the leading end of where they’ve got expertise.” The second reason is linked back to the name, where we are saying we do want to create a company, where I would say it is truly a unique culture which enables, and focusses on happiness.

So, you said that your mission is encapsulated in the word smile. How does that work?

Research shows that the happiest moments in anybody’s life are the ones that they were giving, not the ones that they were taking. It resonates when you say straight away “how do we inculcate that?” We do this in little ways, for example, we will celebrate every milestone with an act of giving. So when we launched the company we gave away a finite number of meals for the government’s food for schools programme, so we were helping those kids access their one big meal a day. We will do some act of giving at each and every stage, every milestone. If I were to talk about some of the other aspects, I think the word ‘mindful’ is a very unusual word. You won’t find it anywhere else. It is a very rich word, it carries a lot of meaning in it, apart from being thoughtful, attentive, caring, seeing what’s likely to come ahead, literally you are thinking of the other person. I think that in itself is very closely linked to our approach. I should mention that it is not just the values alone which encapsulate our theme of happiness, its actually reflected in everything right from the name obviously, the mission statement is ‘happiest people, happiest customers’, the values as I’ve just described lend themselves to the acronym ‘SMILES’. We have developed a happiness framework for people as well as for customers, in our 5 year vision statement it says that we want to be the happiness evangelists for our people, and our customers. We want to be part of a global happiness movement, so we work in the IT environment but we also work in a global environment with people saying “what can we do to maximise happiness?”

You touched on your Corporate Social Responsibility programme, something that we’ve noticed has taken a back seat for some organisations in recent years, but you’re clearly making a big feature of it. Can you tell us about your activities in that area?

As part of our 5 year vision statement we actually articulated it and defined a set of measurements with criteria behind it so that it doesn’t remain pie in the sky. If you see our 5 year vision statement it says to be a leader in CSR initiatives with our core business operations, is an interesting approach to social responsibility. We are saying we are bringing a certain core confidence, if we can integrate some of that capability with our core business operations then we can deliver more value. So how do we take our own expertise to help make a difference in the lives of other people? For each of the divisions we have defined measurement criteria. The first we have decided is that we want to establish volunteering and community involvement as a core part of our Global People practice, and we encourage our people to get involved in that. I’ve already mentioned our celebration of milestones with an act of giving; we want to be able to establish processes to leverage our own capabilities for socially relevant causes. We want also to be able to say ‘how do we engage with our own clients and partners?’ to make a difference to society and to the environment. Finally, as we become profitable we will launch the Happiness Minds Foundation with its own focus mission. But that doesn’t mean we are going to wait until that time, we are going to do all of the activities I mentioned to you earlier.

(Puneet Jetli, Co-CEO of Happiest Minds Technologies) The holiday season was 3 months into our existence and there is normally the practice of a Secret friend or a Secret Santa, and the motivation was not only to find a secret friend but to establish contact, communicate and collaborate, and it would accrue a certain act of giving. The more people who go out and find a secret friend, the more people are sponsoring meals for underprivileged children. The idea is that every little act can become a force for giving.

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Focus On 25 Years of the NOA

25 Years of the NOA

This year sees the 25th anniversary of the birth of what is now the National Outsourcing Association. During that time they have grown from a spark of an idea to being the pre-eminent promoter of outsourcing. Chairman Martyn Hart recalls the beginning, the last 25 years and thoughts for the future.

The seeds of the NOA

In May 1987 there was a meeting in the Telecom Tower, where a radical idea was floated: British Rail should outsource its telecommunications to British Telecom. John Welsby, BR Chairman at the time, agreed. So a Board level committee was set up to explore the idea with Nick Kane from British Telecom, and Board Member David Rayner, as the senior British Rail representative.
BR managers wanted some reassurance that outsourcing worked and a body of evidence had to be built to prove that this “new” idea was possible. In the end, the deal didn’t come off, as political winds were blowing and BR was heading towards imminent privatisation.

However, the outsourcing idea wasn’t lost, and some of the people from whom the body of evidence was built from (GEC, Unilever, Trafalgar House, France Telecom, etc.) got together and held regular meetings as a forum for the exchange of ideas, and often, simply comparing notes on their experiences.  Out of these meetings, the association was finally formalised in April 1993.

This foundation for the NOA as we know it today was a response to a growing need for both outsourcing customers and suppliers to share ideas, review successes and failures, stop re-inventing wheels, and in doing so create a body of ‘expertise and best practice’ that could carry the industry forward. It was via this wider vision that the NOA soon became more firmly rooted.
The NOA was formally incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1995.

The NOA today

Currently we have over 350 fee-paying members. These comprise a majority of blue-chip user organisations - some managing the largest European outsource deals - as well as premier suppliers, leading consultants and legal advisors in the field.

Today it had been recognised that organisations look towards outsourcing to obtain strategic business step changes, which were not possible organically or by simple acquisition.  Outsourcing inherently is generic and the association had recognised that it was the organisational business objectives that were important and makes major contributions to Business Technology and Business Process Outsourcing. 

The NOA has been designed to be a tight ship and we have successfully navigated through many recessions especially the Dot Com bubble and burst. During this time we have managed to grow the services we offer such as professional qualifications (with the NOA Pathway), developed numerous prestige events (such as the best practice awards) and we have also created successful spin offs such as sourcingfocus.com, the leading portal for outsourcers (with 14,000 members as friends of the NOA), the NOA’s Outsourcing Yearbook and the creation of the EOA. We have also started Parliamentary involvement through the All Party Group on Outsourcing & Shared Services.

How outsourcing has changed

In 1987 outsourcing was limited to on-shore, mainly in telecommunications. Only when the telecommunications markets were liberalised from the early 1990s onwards could concepts like remote working be made possible. Coupled with the rise and rise of computing power and application software it was possible to achieve significant cost savings, quality and rapid deployment benefits by outsourcing.  However, the contracting vehicles were not very sophisticated and many customers and suppliers found themselves in contracting muddles leading to dissatisfaction, issues which are being progressively addressed to this day.

The next 25 years

For the next 25 years, outsourcing will be progressively accepted at all levels of business. Organisations will make decisions on where to source their resources to give them the maximum return.  The way outsourcing relationships are set up will take the market and the business requirement changes of both customer and supplier into account and there will be less problems contractually for the “normal” outsourcing services like ITO and BPO. 

However, there will always be a frontier where organisations may outsource areas where “others fear to tread”, which will bring “interesting” problems to those constructing the relationships. However every organisation will have parts of it that for one reason or another it will (or it should) never outsource or commit to a shared service:  understanding where; will become a key competitive advantage for those that get it right.

As our Chairman Martyn Hart says: “if you want something done you can only do it three ways; do it yourself (in-sourcing), with a friend (shared service) or get someone else to do it for you (outsource)”  The only thing that separates the first two from the later is the legal contract but in the future those first two services will be progressively constructed on outsourcing lines and viewed the same as an external services provider.

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Focus On Tony Morgan, NOA Board member and Chief Innovation Officer for IBM UK & Ireland - Getting Outsourced

Tony Morgan, NOA Board member and Chief Innovation Officer for IBM UK & Ireland - Getting Outsourced

Tony Morgan looks back on his career so far in outsourcing – which kicked off when he himself was outsourced.

There can be great opportunities for people transferring from end user organisations to service providers, particularly when functions being outsourced are not core business functions for the end users. The challenge for end users, service providers and employees is to focus on creating the best possible outcomes for all concerned.

I worked for an employer which decided to outsource parts of its IT department. The rationale was that these functions weren’t core to the business and could be more efficiently delivered by a service provider. 

During my career to that point, I had gone through a progression of junior, senior and lead technical specialist roles. I had already begun to wonder what options were available for further career development within my employer. With this new development, I wanted to find out as quickly as possible what was going to happen to me, what would happen to my role and who my new employer would be. 

In 1998 I transferred into IBM, a major provider of technology based products, solutions and services.

After transfer, my first role was leading the technical aspects of the project to move my previous employer’s data centre to an IBM location, a project which ran to time and budget. My role transitioned into a support team but I wanted to find out what wider opportunities were open to me.

With some help, and some personal pro-activity, I successfully applied for a technical solution design role on new outsourcing bids and large projects for existing clients. I was on a learning curve. Working for a service provider was a mindset change from working in an end user organisation. This role was the making of me. It was my first real stretch.  I moved quickly out of my comfort zone but also quickly built confidence.

I was provided with a formal mentor who gave me career and professional advice. It was at this stage I discovered much more about IBM’s professions structure. Options included Specialist, Architect, Project Manager, Consultant and Sales. I opted for Architect.

I found myself within a profession of my choice with a career path and options. Did I want to be a technology architect, an enterprise or perhaps a data architect? There were tools and methods I could use to develop my experience and deliver my role. Crucially, there was a supporting documented education path.

The professions model pioneered within IBM is now being developed much more widely and is externally recognised. My current IBM senior certified Architect position qualifies me at the Distinguished IT Architect certification level with The Open Group. The NOA of course also has its own qualifications and outsourcing profession Pathway education programme.

Aligned with the IBM career model, I took the next steps on my journey with Chief Architect roles on outsourcing client engagements. I was identified as a potential future technical leader and allocated to the technical leadership programme.

I was building a longer term career plan I couldn’t have dreamed of in my previous organisations. I became a mentor myself, providing support for people who had come through similar client to service provider outsourcing journeys as my own. I’ve seen a number of my mentees receive their own Architect accreditations and certifications which has been hugely satisfying.

My thirteen years in IBM have been in the outsourcing business. There have been many changes in this time but some things haven’t changed that much. I see people come into IBM and develop their careers in a similar way to myself. There is high demand for good people with positive and pro-active outlook in my area of the business and elsewhere.

My advice to end user organisations looking to outsource is help and encourage employees going through the process to be pro-activein finding out what is on offer for them with their new employer. Good service providers understand that transferred staff can be a great benefit to their organisations and clients. Services providers who actively develop the careers of their new staff reap the benefits. In my view staff from outsourcing, and acquisitions keep a workforce vital and innovative and deliver a wide breadth of expertise back to the clients they work with. Long may this continue in IBM and beyond.

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Focus On Fujitsu

Fujitsu

sourcingfocus.com catches up with outsourcing guru David Smith, Global Chief Innovation & Technology Officer at Fujitsu and learns a little Japanese along with the way..

WHAT IS FUJITSU’S STANCE ON INNOVATION IN OUTSOURCING? HOW DO YOU DEFINE IT, AND HOW DO YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN?

Innovation is about creating incremental business value by doing something differently.  Innovation in the context of outsourcing can be a number of things: a new offering adding value, a compelling solution delivered for a customer, or it could be a particularly innovative commercial approach.  The fundamental premise of our approach to innovation is that it is collaborative, with our customers, with our partners and by delivering the collective power of Fujitsu’s people.  We launched an Open Innovation service last year in the UK and have run a number of crowdsourcing events both internally amongst our people and externally with customers and third parties.  Working closely with our customers enables us always to focus on delivering business value, often enabled by technology though we do not restrict our thinking to that.

REGARDING YOUR FIVE YEAR DEAL WITH MCDONALDS, CAN YOU EXPLAIN FURTHER THE CONCEPT OF “USER EXCHANGABLE PARTS”?

The users are the McDonalds restaurant employees who are being trained so they can swap faulty parts in the company’s EPoS retail IT system for new ones instead of relying on engineers to fix relatively straightforward problems.  The benefit is that problems are solved with greater speed and at a reduced cost, which is great for our customer.

HOW DO YOU SEE DAVID CAMERON’S VISION FOR THE BIG SOCIETY AND OPEN SERVICES AFFECTING LARGE OUTSOURCING PROVIDERS SUCH AS FUJITSU?

The Government’s aspirations for the Big Society involve the creation of “mutual” organisations which are constructed along a partnership model. We think there are likely to be hybrid organisations forming, including mutuals, which retain a government stake (to protect assets and benefit from future buy-outs or uplifts) and involve the private sector as a joint venture partner. This could provide the blend of commercial know-how and the public sector service ethos to deliver a winning combination for both citizens and taxpayers. Fujitsu’s existing partnerships with government departments and schemes such as HMRC, LGSS (Cambs and Northants Local Government Shared Service) and Northern Ireland Civil Service illustrate how some public-private partnerships can deliver a positive outcome.  The flexibility of relationships is vital, and we have learned to ensure a pragmatic balance between our commercial and business-critical priorities, which we know our customers value. 

Large outsourcing providers like Fujitsu, through their role as a systems integrator, can also extend the option of involvement in a part-mutualised public body to SMEs. In this context SMEs have traditionally been smaller technology companies, but this approach could easily be extended to local community-based organisations who would struggle to tender for local services in their own right.

HOW JAPANESE IS THE BUSINESS CULTURE AT FUJITSU?

We aim to bring the best of our Japanese heritage and its focus on quality, continuous improvement, and Lean thinking and marry it with the local cultural alignment of our operations around the world.  We have a clear and relentless focus on the needs of our customers.  We always focus on how we can enable them to achieve their business objectives and maximise the value they deliver to their own customers. Many management techniques taking their inspiration from Japan, such as Genchi Genbutsu (go and see for yourself), and Heijunka (workload levelling), pervade the way we approach business, both in working with customers and in our back office activities. In addition, Fujitsu globally takes a long term view: in building assets and capabilities, in entering new markets and most importantly in investing in customer relationships. Our customers tell us that this culture makes for fruitful and lasting partnerships.

CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT FUJITSU K AND ITS UPCOMING ROLE IN THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT?

The K supercomputer which Fujitsu developed in partnership with RIKEN * is famous for being the fastest computer in the world with a computing capacity of 8.162 quadrillion times per second. However, in achieving that performance, it also demonstrates facets of the company’s focus on quality and engineering excellence. For example it has 70,000 CPUs working together at an efficiency rate of 93% which in that context is an outstanding achievement. 

The Japanese government invested more than 100 billion yen (US$1.25 billion) in the K supercomputer project and its intent was to maintain Japan’s position as a leading force in this field. The supercomputers will be used to enable research to tackle a range of complex problems related to climate change and weather patterns. It will also enable Japanese industry to be more competitive globally by providing a powerful computational tool to develop breakthroughs in drugs, materials and new technologies.  The link with RIKEN is also likely to provide impetus to the research into renewable energy, and research to protect people from natural disasters by predicting the impact from earthquakes and tsunami.


* RIKEN is an independent administrative institution under the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology whose mission is to conduct comprehensive research in science and technology and to disseminate the results of its scientific research and technological developments. RIKEN carries out high level experimental and research work in a wide range of fields, including physics, chemistry, medical science, biology, and engineering

WHAT IS NEXT FOR OUTSOURCING? WHERE DO YOU SEE NEW OPPORTUNITIES / MARKETS ARISING? WHAT WILL BE OUTSOURCED THAT ISN’T CURRENTLY?

There are a number of key trends driving what the technology sector can deliver to the world.  The “on demand” model that is inherent in the cloud computing wave with the “as a service” mantra is driving the evolution of the outsourcing market.  There’s a concept often called the “Internet of Things” which references the new opportunities we have to harness the cost economics of cloud computing and to combine it with pervasive networking and ubiquitous devices/sensors. The result is to build technology even more into the fabric of our lives. 

The way we describe this emerging opportunity at Fujitsu is that we have the potential to build a human centric intelligent society where technology is part of the fabric of life. Examples of these new types of service include: smart city initiatives; smart metering to drive the sustainability agenda; and telematics to transform how our transport systems operate.  Finally more immediately the evolution of cloud computing and the dynamic I would label the “consumerisation of corporate IT” is showing signs of completely transforming how corporations purchase and operate technology based services. All these areas move us into a new form of outsourcing model.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of information and communication technology (ICT)-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 170,000 employees supporting customers in over 100 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corps of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$55 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. For more information, please see: www.fujitsu.com

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