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Jun 21, 2007


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Douglas Brown and Scott Wilson should be ashamed of themselves. If they had any courage, they would also disclose how much EDS and many of the other top ranking vendors paid for their position in this "Black Book of BS".

The outsourcing industry must put a stop to these bogus rankings and awards. The only way that can happen, though, if for all of the vendors come together and stop funding these damn things. It serves the market no good...period!


We’re scratching our heads, too. EDS is clearly a solid service provider, but significant changes year-over-year on such rank-ordered lists – radical shifts in players, providers and advisors is an indicator that the ranking is not performance or capability-based, but rather evaluation-based. Its easy to get a new list if one change the rules.

We at TPI share the sentiments expressed here about methodology, and have said so to the Black Book authors. But we also think this all goes to a larger issue about industry “rankings”: As with almost all the lists we see in this life – be they magazine top 10s or beauty contests – they often oversimplify to the point of being just plain wrong. This is a particularly acute problem when trying to “rank” the level of service a client is getting when the clients being polled have vastly different needs and goals. At best, you end up with broad generalizations that don’t capture any of the situational complexity inherent in a sourcing relationship. At worst, you get the same – plus a whole lot of responses from people whose motivations and experiences mean that they may be coming from a whole different value set than your own.

What does a successful sourcing relationship look like to you? And how does that differ from others? These critical particulars aren’t captured in many of the rankings making their way around our industry. Nor do the rankings tell you all that you need to know – or even a little bit – about the many factors that make some service providers and advisors ideal for one client versus another. Lists are limiting in their scope, and thereby limited in what they can tell us.

Sampling 22,000 people on their preferences for toothpaste might make sense, but there just aren't 22,000 valid opinions on the qualitative performance of providers, lawyers and advisors in outsourcing.

I smell a rat.

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