Smackdown: Where is BPO going?

One of the highlights of 2011 was that great web-debate on the Future of BPO where 1,100 people across the globe dialed in to hear from our buy and sell families.  Like any typical extended family at Thanksgiving, they cussed and discussed about the trends and challenges buffeting BPO. They passed the peas and offered some pretty unbridled opinion and insight. Visit the BPO Resource Center to download the highlights…

Click to download the highlights

Leave a comment

What if everybody looked the same? Happy 2012 everyone

Here are some “horses” memories as a big chubby thank you for all of your support this year… Oh – and turn up the volume :)


Where did our passion go?

“Is nothing sacred anymore”, I thought, as I received my 200th holiday greetings e-card from some person I have never heard of, trying to use the opportunity to have me tell me about his company’s incredible achievements in 2011. Buddy – if you want to sell me something, or tell me how great your company is, just send me a pitch claiming you’re the best – and I may even read it.  But pretending you know me and using that as the guise to get my attention, just incites me to press that delete button and not give you a second of my time.

This is just one example of how social media is driving the human element out of our business interactions.  There’s just too much interaction out there, too much opinion, too much self-promotion and – let’s face it – too many bloody people with seemingly nothing better to do. Come to think of it, I don’t think there has been a time in my career when I’ve known so many people who I can’t figure out what is it they actually do all day, how they make any money for themselves, or others.  And I can’t figure out, for the life of me, why some companies pay some people to do what it is they supposedly do all day.

In fact, I probably spend more time avoiding people these days than trying to network with them – few seem to have anything interesting to say, any new ideas about where the world is going and simply are following the commonly agreed set of “industry trends” that most people have been force-fed by industry influencers who are running out of sexy new ideas (or ran out a while back, and are bumbling along on empty until they find something new to grab onto).

What happened to the times when peoples’ opinions mattered – even if they were wrong, or were just plain off-the-wall?  Economic and political paralysis, exacerbated by inane electronic social networking has sapped so much of the passion, creativity and enthusiasm from our professional lives.  I find myself increasingly spending time with people who are interested in sport, music, movies or just playing with the kids, because at least there is enthusiasm and passion there.  But going out for dinners with faceless executives to talk about cloud-bloody-computing – and how it is going to change the world… without being able to explain why, just that it will, because they need to sound cloudy… don’t get me started!

What we need is a dose of renewed optimism, that our world has an exciting future, that there will be areas for renewed growth, renewed innovation, renewed opportunities.  That we have exciting careers where we can constantly find new challenges and invigorating things to do.  Have you ever known a time when so many people cling to the job they hate because it’s the only way they know how to make a paycheck these days, and are too nervous to even consider a new challenge?  Too many people are stuck in a professional status quo – and have been since the 2008 crash scared the professional lives out of so many.  I have lost count of the number of people who are just plain miserable in their jobs, have lost confidence in their management and their companies’ offerings and directions, and are losing that spark and desire to find something that will give them that renewed energy and that passion?  Many people seem to be so jaded these days, and it worries me that they will struggle to ever be truly energized and passionate about what they do again.

So let’s make 2012 the year of getting passionate again!  Let’s dig deep to be honest with ourselves about what gets us up in the morning – what will make us look forward to going to work again.  Paralyzed politicians won’t come with the answers, and neither will directionless corporate managers – only you can summon up the courage and passion to make a difference.  Take a risk – jeez, take a pay cut if you have to – but if you lose your passion for what you do, you’ll find it harder and harder each year to get it back.


The defining outsourcing moments of 2011

Well, another year goes by and HfS yet again escapes any legal action, terrorist attacks at our office, or disappearing bodies, for being thoroughly unafraid to call the industry on its issues. So let’s reflect some of the defining outsourcing moments of 2011…


Ditch Procurement!

Deb Kops began the year in feisty fashion by declaring war on the procurement function… Is traditional procurement deeply involved in M&A activity? Corporate strategy? Business transformation? Not a chance. While our friends in the CPO’s office have an important role to play in procurement process and governance, they cannot be the major arbiter of taste when it comes to sourcing true corporate change.

RIP Joe Vales

The nicest guy in sourcing – and one of the best marketing guys you’d ever met – Joe Vales, sadly passed away… An avid fan of HfS, he will be sorely missed by us, and am sure many of you will be equally saddened by his passing.  He was a sweet and lovely guy, who loved his work.

Impatient Premji plays catch-up

You won’t see a CEO being removed after achieving a double-digit growth rate too often, but that’s just what happened, when Wipro’s co-chiefs Suresh Vaswani and Girish Paranjpe were replaced by TK Kurien…  So will Premji’s impatience to produce numbers as stellar as his competitors be rewarded, or has he already missed this phase of hyper-growth in offshore services?


EquaTerra + KPMG – a new era, or a new error for outsourcing advisory?

KPMG became the only “Big 5″ management consultant to buy a boutique sourcing advisor… The outsourcing advisory business is all about talented people, experience and relationships. It would have been extremely messy if KPMG had tried to hire away these folks one-by-one. They have retained the top talent and have created careers for them within their organization. Quite simply, there is a really bad (and worsening) talent shortage in our industry, and KPMG has just snapped up a good portion of it in one full swoop.


So what on earth does the future hold for sourcing advisors?

Esteban Herrera doesn’t hold back when he declares, “Twenty-five years at EDS may have made you an expert at outsourcing IT, but it did not teach you how to run a recalcitrant back office environment that is just plain hard to optimize.”

HfS takes a deep look into Latin America’s sourcing capabilities

Clients attest to lower attrition levels and fewer site visits, and when they were required, these site visits as part of the governance were much easier to do—these and other soft factors impact the total cost of ownership.  Download your copy of the report here.

How 10-year-olds explain Cloud Computing

The most concise way anyone has succeeded in describing it.  One has aspirations to make a video game that features a villain with a head made of cheese puffs. 


Are you ready for… The HfS Private Cloud Challenge?  Answer = No Read More »


Infy procures Portland to soup up its sourcing

Do you procure this Australian as your lawfully wedded category specialist?

As we discussed recently, these are pivotal times for Infosys’ BPO division, as it looks to surpass half a billion greenbacks in revenue this year.

And when you look at the overall performance of Infy’s development in BPO, surprisingly only a third is coming from the foundation horizontal of most traditional BPO providers – finance an accounting.  Impressively, Infy has developed its strengths in less mature BPO markets, such as financial services and, surely the jewel in its recent performance, sourcing and procurement.

Moreover, Infy has been growing footprints in its clients by linking together supply chain and customer management processes, such as supply chain visibility, inventory management, logistics optimization, integrated service management, demand planning, order management and aftersales services – bolstered by its analytics competences.

With its sourcing and procurement (S&P) practice up to $40m this year – not an insignificant size in this immature market, especially when you bear in mind they have built this service line from practically nothing in four years – Infy has made its first substantial investment in the sourcing and category management space, picking up the lead Australasian provider Portland Group for $37m.

Why is this significant? Read More »

Leave a comment

If you were too hungover to join our predictions webcast, here’s the replay and the deck

In case you missed our joint webcast with Ed Caso of Wells Fargo Securities on Friday, fear no more, as here’s the replay.  You can also download your copy of the slides here.

And if you can’t be bothered to listen to any of it, here were some of our predictions* highlights:

1. Outsourcing Providers will shy away from mega-mergers

2. European market going to be in limbo for first half of 2012 with limited major outsourcing contract signings, due to economic paralysis

3. Threat of recession will hold back one-in-four buyers from signing contracts until current economic uncertainty lifts

4. Buyers are looking more broadly than simply outsourcing to drive productivity improvements in today’s climate

5. Buyers will seek assistance from advisors with sourcing strategy, governance and Cloud

6. Focus shifts from cost savings to standardization, global flexibility and better technology

7. Many Advisors and Providers will still be overly-focused on Cost-Reduction for their clients, as opposed to process improvement and innovation

8. Global Companies need more Global Support

9. 2012 to be Year of the Mid-Market

10. Account Management of outsourcing to take Center Stage

* All these predictions have already expired and no longer valid

Leave a comment

IBM embellishes its B2B commerce empire… by acquiring Emptoris

There will be technical weenies that exhort today’s acquisition of Emptoris by IBM as yet another acquisition that will cause cosmetic commerce IP networks to collide in a dizzying array of cloudy business models. With $20 billion allocated to their acquisition war chest, IBM’s incoming CEO clearly intends to accelerate commerce particles until a thick blue fog settles around us all.  The most technical of these weenies will explain this acquisition with their aaSes (PaaS, BPaaS, and SaaS) leaving procurement geeks with an impression it is all a stinky game of charades.

And then there will be the procurement weenies that scratch their heads and wonder why anyone would want to run a reverse auction for enterprise software on a platform managed by the service provider competing in the bidding. Especially when eRFX management, Emptoris’ bailiwick, is widely available from a long list of competitors who are busy pricing themselves out of business. Frankly, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a $0.99 iPhone app for strategic sourcing. Except, they’d soon be confronted with the king patent troll of all patent trolls, the so-called inventor of competitive bidding. LOL.

So what’s the skinny on this marriage of Emptoris and IBM and why should you care?

The story begins with Procurement BPO. For a long-time the red-headed stepchild of the $50bn Finance and Accounting BPO market, Procurement BPO has silently grown into a respectable market with more than 400 deals with an estimated expenditure of of $2.5 billion this year. It is primed to be the most widely-adopted virgin BPO category at the enterprise level, with a fifth of them exploring first time adoption over the next year (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1: Procurement BPO tops Enterprise buyers’ outsourcing intentions for new areas of adoption

Procurement BPO is a real winner in the marketplace because service providers have proven capabilities that internal procurement executives have toiled against all the odds to create. Casting off the shackles of labor arbitrage, Procurement BPO service providers bring heavy category expertise to bear in sourcing events and category management. The results are impressive – the Read More »

Leave a comment

Announcing the HfS 50 Sourcing Blueprint Sessions

Remember the HfS 25, that elite group of 25 fine sourcing governators, brought together to debate the future of outsourcing? Well, after exactly one year, sadly it is no more…

…because it’s now the HfS 50!  Yes, the fiftieth organization has signed up and we’re very, very excited to announce our inaugural HfS 50 event to take place at New York’s Soho Grand next April 24th-25th:

This is going to be a defining two-day working session for power-brokers of the outsourcing industry, where leading buyers of both ITO and BPO services will confront today’s critical issues impacting outsourcing, to establish a Blueprint for the industry in 2015. And this time, we will have a vendor/buyer face-off session where leaders from six of the major service providers will join the debate.

 Key Highlights

*The next generation account manager—making the role work for both parties
*The next generation governance executive—making the role work for both parties
*Disrupting the vendor/client model – getting better visibility and transparency into each others’ pain-points
*Trends—what is around the corner for the industry and what will it look like in 2015?
*Trust—what has worked in building trusting relationships – and what has not?
*Community sourcing—how can social media and community networking drive better cross-client collaboration?
*Global Business Services frameworks—the next wave of value-creation, or glorified change management?
*The realities of disruptive sourcing: What is really going to change the game and how can these be effective:

  • Moving to standard business processes and platforms – reality or fantasy?
  • The uptake of Cloud computing – democratizing outsourcing?
  • Moving to genuine outcome-based pricing models – reality or fantasy?
  • Achieving real innovation with sourcing – reality or fantasy?

Do you have what it takes to make an impact?

If you are a buy-side sourcing governator and would like to get involved with the HfS 50, or a lead service provider executive, please email Tom Ivory for more information.

We hope to see many of you in New York in the Spring!


@The_Whole_Outsourcing_Industry: Labor arbitrage built your house of cards. #Bubble What’s next?

The outsourcing industry is a labor arbitrage bubble waiting to burst.  And today’s smartest buyers and service providers are poised to fatally pop it and build a better future.

We know that buyers were accomplices in the run up. After failing to invest in their operations, buyers saw limited value in their business functions.  Accounts payable teams were overwhelmed with paper, finance teams struggled with creating process rigor, and human resources teams bungled global resource management.

Struggling with recent macroeconomic issues, buyers simply didn’t have the time or resources to reengineer for greater value.  So, they threw in the towel and asked service providers to manage their processes for them at a lower cost.  To them, reducing the monetary size of their cost centers was success.

IT was no different and they were the biggest buyers of expensive labor.  Their internal customers furiously revolted against swelling technology wai$tline$ and the lack of an “application development factory” mentality.  So, in the midst of economic haircuts, CIOs surrendered by outsourcing their staff to offshore companies that brought CMM and ITIL process rigor.  Yet, these efforts did little to simplify underlying application and infrastructure platforms that drove their high costs.

Have no doubt – labor arbitrage provided everyone immense value.  Yet, at its best, labor arbitrage Read More »


Congratulations to Tony “Governator” Filippone, HfS’ new Head of Research

“On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity…”

… and what better way to announce an exciting promotion than this quote from capitalism’s founding father, Adam Smith that, well, pretty much sums up how the outsourcing industry needs to evolve beyond its labor arbitrage model.  Yes, at HfS we sure this is what Mr Smith was really referring to when envisioning the wealth of nations over two centuries ago.

People keep asking me what makes HfS different from other analyst firms.  Rather that take you through reams of cheesy PowerPoint to demonstrate our unique ways of developing and actioning data and insight, let’s cut to the chase:  what makes us different is our people.  Essentially, we have a mix of personalities at HfS who come from practitioner, consultative, service provider and analyst firm backgrounds.  We don’t just hire kids and stick them in ivory towers, or professional ivory tower-types who just like sitting in their….er ivory towers.  We focus on the practical, as well as the insightful:

  • If you’re a buyer and you want help with your governance, we think you’d prefer to speak to an analyst advisor who has done just that as a buyer, who constantly talks to many other buyers to explore best practices;
  • If you’re a provider and you want help with your messaging or positioning, we think you’d prefer to talk to an expert who has done just that for a provider and hobnobs with many other providers to explore best practices;
  • If you just want to get into your own ivory tower and pontificate with other ivory tower-dwellers, well, we can do that too (if you like) and have the ppt primed and ready for your scholarly satisfaction.

Our core mantra at HfS has always been to tackle the issues and complexities of global sourcing through the eyes of the buyer.  One analyst who has spent nine years of his life doing just that, leading BPO governance for the $62 Billion healthcare payor, WellPoint, is our Governator himself, Tony Filippone.

Tony Filippone

Tony "The Governator" Filippone, concealing a baseball bat, is HfS' new Executive VP for Research (click for bio)

No single person in 2011 has written to – or talked with –  more buyers about their governance challenges, and we are delighted to reveal to the world today his elevation to Executive Vice President of HfS’ research team.  Tony’s role, is to ensure all our research is communicated to the buyer (and not the puffy stuff only advisors and providers pretend to understand).  He is also tasked with pulling our ongoing data on industry trends and dynamics from our 63,000 network and making it meaningful and actionable to the world.  And his ultimate religious quest is how to figure out, with the rest of the industry, how the hell we can all move on from the labor arbitrage model… so without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Tony, who tweets (click to read on):

@The_Whole_Outsourcing_Industry: Labor arbitrage built your house of cards.  #Bubble  What’s next?


Join us next Friday for some perfect hangover fodder

We’ve teamed with our esteemed industry colleague Ed Caso, Managing Director and Senior Analyst for the IT/BPO Services Equity Research Team at Wells Fargo Securities, to review the world of outsourcing in 2011… and take a peek at what’s in store for 2012:

And while you are shrugging off your office party hangover and trying to avoid recalling what you were doing the night before*, we’ll be deliberating the following topics:

  • How this year’s economic uncertainty impacted sourcing behavior with outsourcing and shared services strategies across IT and business operations
  • How we expect to see 2012 shaping up with outsourcing adoption
  • How the financial mechanics of outsourcing have been impacted by the economic volatility – and what we can expect to see happening in 2012**
  • How Cloud Computing and Business Platforms are expected to impact global sourcing next year
  • Will the rising impact of social communities help buyers and providerhfs-s learn from each other?    

December 16th at 10:00 AM Eastern Time, 3.00pm GMT


*Remember to check the photocopier room to destroy any evidence
**Please be advised that any predictions made during this session will automatically expire on January 7th, 2012

Leave a comment

It may be for life, but will there be innovation, as TCS inks the mother of all insurance BPO deals

For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, until many missed SLAs do us part.

Imagine committing to someone for 15 years?  Most marriages are long-divorced by that stage, companies rise and fall, entire countries are created, invaded and may even go bankrupt…

So how about standardizing life assurance and pension policies for said period, which is exactly what TCS’ insurance services delivery subsidiary, Diligenta, has become wedded to in a 15-year, $2.2bn, 1900 employee marital partnership with the UK’s Friends Life. This represents the largest life and pensions BPO engagement by a considerable margin, eclipsing the $1.1bn Prudential contract awarded to Capita in 2007.

At HfS, we believe this move from TCS signals a sea-change in the industry with regards to the growth strategies and ambitions of the leading BPO providers.  Simply put, they are no longer keen to acquire each other, and see much more value ingesting large clients with domain and technology value. Taking on new clients, even at low-margins, is simply less risky from an investment perspective, and the value from developing on-shore domain capability and delivery platforms far outweighs absorbing all the unwanted mess you get when you take out competitors.

The BPO Holy Grail is no longer all about scale – it’s also about removing as many manual elements from processes as possible

We’ve been rambling on a lot about Business Platforms of late, and we see this engagement as a genuine move by a provider to develop one that dominates the UK insurance sector.  So let’s keep this simple – the other day I made an electronic payment to one of our suppliers.  Once the payment was completed, I had generously opted to pay the $25 transaction fee at my end for sending an “international payment” (even though it was all made in US dollars).  Still wallowing in the pleasant thoughts about what a nice generous person I was, the next day I received a phone call Read More »

Leave a comment

In case you missed our “Kill the Sales Cheese” webcast, here’s the replay

Leave a comment

SAP + SuccessFactors = Great for SAP, but could restrict growth potential for the HR services industry

"I'll show you how I feel about your license model..."

SAP has made a major move to “Cloudify” its software portfolio with the $3.4bn acquisition of the darling of HR software, SuccessFactors. However, while HfS’ research partner Ray Wang succinctly outlines why this is a winning move for SAP, we do not believe this is particularly good news for BPO service providers and services clients.

This rampant consolidation of business software apps firms makes it tough for service providers to develop their own Business Platform offerings and develop outcome-based delivery models.  As we have been discussing at length on HfS, the leading BPO providers are hurriedly developing service offerings that are underpinned by Business Platforms to support transactional, high-volume, standardized processes with very little variation in outputs.  HR services are prime candidates to be optimized by Business Platform delivery, epitomized by ADP’s GlobalView payroll and HRO offerings – arguably the industry’s first Business Platform – introduced years before anyone even knew what a Business Platform was.

This means BPO providers have three choices with their Business Platform strategies

Choice 1: Develop and patent their own cloud-based workflows

This is surely where BPO service providers can really clean up, provided they can deliver complete clusters of standard process offerings for their clients that are cloud-based, affordable, scalable, high-quality and – most importantly – can be maintained with quality service personnel that can offer consultative support when needed, as the client seeks to transition onto the offerings.  Most BPOs today are developing prototype platforms that they can “productize” as utility services, once they achieve a handful of clients using each offering.  Our ongoing research already points to more than 150 business platforms in various nascent stages of development from the BPO providers. Read More »


Fed up with cheesy sales presentations? Well, here’s the web event you’ve been waiting for…

Fed up with those whiffs of camembert emanating from your latest sales deck illustrating 92 beautifully-crafted graphical representations of your offshore transition methodology, your global delivery model and your “unique” roadmap to achieving innovation? Still wondering why your last three deals went south despite those investments your firm made in PowerPoint designers?

Well, your wait for answers is soon to be over, thanks to our own resident cheese-buster himself, the notorious Esteban Hererra who re-wrote the rule book on busting through the PowerPont cheese with his famous post entitled “Eight top tips to prevent outsourcing providers committing harakiri in the sales process“.

Read More »

Leave a comment

HfS Research and Sylvan Advisory combine to form HfS Consulting to provide research-based BPO advisory services

Almost two years since our inception, we are delighted to announce a major expansion of HfS, as the talent and IP of Sylvan Advisory today form a new service line for the HfS Research organization:  HfS Consulting (see press release for full details).

Sylvan Advisory and our executive team have been in detailed talks for several weeks now, and we couldn’t ignore the tremendous synergies of both our organizations, namely:

  • A deep focus on business processes – and how they are enabled by IT;
  • A common view of developing affordable annuity relationship services that buyers want;
  • A mutual desire to fuse the benefits and value of research, benchmarking and consultative support;
  • A genuine mutual appreciation of fine wine, cocktails and cuisine.

HfS Consulting is a unique coming together of acclaimed research, benchmarking analytics, market insight and strategic consulting expertise.  It is revolutionary in the fact that enterprise clients can access ongoing analysis, data and expert advice via an annual, affordable and on-demand subscription relationship model, as opposed to solely buying costly “hourly billable” consulting services.  Moreover, HfS Research and Sylvan Advisory have developed a reputation over the years for delivering unbiased, practical, clear-sighted insight and advice for enterprises.

Here are 10 reasons why this makes a whole load of sense:  Read More »


Too late to compete with the Sourcing Raj? (Part I)

Taking on the Indian outsourcers: too late to make a splash?

HfS Research Fellow and Sourcing Change protagonist Deborah Kops investigates whether India has bowled an unplayable delivery to the rest of the world’s ambitious outsourcing businesses, or if there’s still a chance to nick it over the slips and get on the scoreboard…

Let’s give Indian-legacy providers their due—they arguably initiated, then accelerated acceptance of  the concept of working offshore; they’re well-entrenched in some of the best global clients; they’ve set the bar for industrialized delivery—from hiring to training; from process mapping to technology, from delivery to measurement. As a result, sending critical processes over five time zones away is considered safe and smart today. Other countries want to emulate their positioning, ensuring that the names Brazil or Chile, Malaysia or China, South Africa or Kenya, Ukraine or Poland are mentioned in the same breath when global delivery models are under discussion.

Will the market expand rapidly enough to make non-Indian providers a must-add to business models—beyond a language or regional proximity play? Will clients seriously consider providers based in other geos to deliver critical scale for finance and accounting, knowledge or vertical business functions in the near term?

Despite rising costs and increasing attrition rates, it seems, for the foreseeable future, Indian legacy providers will continue to have a leg up on providers headquartered in other countries, with good reason.

Why is challenging for non-Indian offshore providers to penetrate the global outsourcing market?

Reputation. Bad American sitcoms and call center jokes aside, just as Germany has built a reputation for precision engineering, or Italy for fashion, or the French for fine food, today India’s greatest reputational export is globalizing work. It makes no difference that the Koreans can now Read More »


As InfosysBPO reaches the $500m mark, is it ready for the big-time?

One thing’s for sure – we’ve heard a lot of noise from the Indian IT services mammoths over the last five years that they are going to grapple with the likes of Accenture and IBM to become billion-dollar BPO giants.  And while Cognizant, Infosys, TCS and Wipro have all made progress developing sizeable BPO businesses, none of them have yet come close to surpassing the size and scale of pureplay Indian BPO leader, Genpact’s $1.5bn turnover.  Why is this?

The Indian ITOs have built their companies by occupying “real-estate” in the CIO offices of the Global 2000.  They’ve done a phenomenal job piling in the people resources to support application testing, maintenance, help desk and development projects.  They’ve developed institutional knowledge of their clients’ IT processes to support the business, which has proven cost-effective for the vast majority of leading global enterprises.  Our recent state of outsourcing survey found 97% of $1bn enterprises outsourcing some component of their operations in today’s environment, with most of these organizations involving Indian ITO service providers within their supplier portfolio. However…

Developing BPO footprints requires cementing relationships beyond the walls of the CIO’s office. One of the reason’s for HfS’ success, is our ability to communicate with business function leaders, in addition to IT leaders.  This involves understanding and lending value to supporting the business function issues and processes that impact finance, procurement, supply chain, HR and other operational areas.  Most of our research competitors are firmly rooted in IT-land and have not invested in personnel that can open communication channels to support the business functions - and most never will.

It’s similar for the Indian IT services firms, as they seek to push business-process led solutions, often enabled by IT, into their clients.  While many initially began their forays into BPO by attempting to reach business function leaders through their IT relationship, most have realized that they need a more direct line into the business function than tenuous introductions from the VP of CRM apps.  They’ve realized they need to make significant investments in domain-specific personnel (with real process experience) both onshore and offshore, to create awareness and open communication channels, in addition to the scale they need to take on business. They’re also realizing they need patience to convert clients and often start with much smaller engagements and make margin sacrifices.

So let’s take a closer look at one of the up-and-coming Indian firms that’s made a concerted effort to build a top-tier BPO business over recent years: InfosysBPO, who recently invited us, and several other industry influencers, to partake in their anual BPO client event, named “Colloquium 2011“.

Is InfosysBPO ready to challenge for industry leadership?  Here is our thinking… Read More »


Don’t miss today’s web-debate – The Future of BPO

Are you ready for our next installment of HfS’ Live and Unfiltered series, broadcast live infront of the HfS Research community? Well… wait no longer for more no-holds-barred fun, no sponsors, no schmaltz, no selling – just good banter and discussion to share with our industry peers and colleagues.  Amd this time we’ll be debating the very “Future of BPO”…


Here’s the line-up… Read More »

1 Comment

Capgemini collects Vengroff Williams to slip into third spot for global Finance & Accounting BPO

With the paranoia of an impending Double-Dip Recession seemingly forever looming over us, what better than to help your clients get their bills paid?

With competition in Finance and Accounting Business Process Outsourcing (F&A BPO) reaching cut-throat levels (just observe some recent down-select negotiations and you’ll know what I’m talking about), what better than to acquire one of the most attractive onshore order-to-cash (OTC) specialists?  With demand for comprehensive F&A BPO coming from both mid-sized, in addition to enterprise-level clients, what better than to acquire an OTC specialist with on-the-ground delivery expertise and a mid-market offering?

Our only surprise at HfS is that is took so long for one of the top tier BPOs to make this move – acquiring the 45-year old heritage accounts receivables and order-to-cash specialist, Vengroff Williams and Associates.  A provider steeped in blue-chip clients at the enterprise level, such as Disney, General Electric, News Corp, Microsoft and Tyco, in addition to a raft of mid-sized clients such as Elizabeth Arden, U-Haul, Crescent Healthcare and Office Depot.  A provider that has resisted the temptation to develop offshore delivery and focus on smart onshore services. A provider that has developed its own excellent SaaS proprietary order-to-cash technology platform, WebCollect.  A provider with an annual client get-together called the “Billion Dollar Forum”, that you just have to go to, as its the closest thing you’ll ever get to feeling like a billionaire…

Yes, Capgemini has made a major move towards strengthening its position in the global F&A BPO market by today acquiring VWA – and leaping to third in the market share spot for F&A globally (which may change when we re-cast our data early next year, but for now they’re on podium).  You can also read more about our 2011 F&A BPO market landscape and outlook by clicking here.

We believe VWA was one of the few remaining jewels that the major BPOs needed to take a serious look at to bolster their presence and capabilities in order-to-cash.  Here is what they are adding to Capgemini’s global BPO business: Read More »