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Aug 06, 2009


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Hi Manoj,

I see a standardized/semi-personalized model developing.

The future (and present) is going to entail a heavy focus on the standardization of many common processes that can be tied to the ERP core platform - i.e. order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, payroll etc. Even processes such as environmental health and safety compliance, that can be easily standardized, and where the prividers bring the content and delivery of service to the table, will become more commonly standard. Where there is little strategic edge in keeping processes inhouse, and they can be run more effectively, and at less expense, are slam-dunks to be outsurced in a standard BPO model.

It's all a matter of maturity of the service delivery, and the clients' willingness to move onto BPO models. And - of course - cost plays a majpor issue - including the transition costs and upheaval to the business to reach end-state.

Areas that are more unique to the customer will be "semi-personalized", for example financial planning/analysis, manufacturing controls and so on. Much more to follow on this topic...


Hi Phil,so far I've been a steady lurker here. However, this made me participate. Having managed BPO services delivery for years, integrating BPO delivery into the clients' value chain should always have been planned for before outsourcing, and even more so, off-shoring, due to the higher risks.

What do you think of my theory that the future won't be personalization vs standardization, but mass-personalization?

Some excellent and forthright views expressed here. While many of the service providers get this, too many sourcing advisors are forcing through short-term deals that still focus purely on an FTE low-cost play (lift-shift). Some of the service providers are so desperate for business, they are pandering to this model and encouraging this behavior. I suggest you add the "Lift-shift-then-hope" model too.


You've done a very articlate job summarizing how this industry has developed.

Stardards are necessary to maintain scale, quality and pricing for areas that can be tied to core ERP, but as you rightly point out, there are always going to be areas of uniqueness (personalization) that need to be addressed by the service vendor.

There will always be a market for some of these "lift and shift" models while organizations tackle shared service center transition, but this will eventually lose popularity from the leading service vendors trying to build scaleable delivery models.


Thanks Phil - more here: "Market opportunity for a new breed of service providers Webcast -- The emergence of the one-to-many model and how SAP can help" http://www.sap.com/community/events/2009_06_19_OTM/index.epx

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