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Accenture Outlook: Partners in High Performance - Outsourcing

Accenture Outlook: Partners in High Performance - Outsourcing

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Published by Accenture
The key to long-term excellence in BPO? The quality of the relationship between client and provider. New research reveals eight best practices critical to creating a more strategic, balanced and thoughtful approach to establishing and managing BPO engagements.
The key to long-term excellence in BPO? The quality of the relationship between client and provider. New research reveals eight best practices critical to creating a more strategic, balanced and thoughtful approach to establishing and managing BPO engagements.

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Published by: Accenture on Aug 27, 2012
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The journal o high-perormance businessThis article originally appearedin the 2012, No. 2, issue o 
 Business Process Outsourcing
Partners inhigh performance
 By Michael J. Salvino
The key to long-term excellence in BPO? The quality o therelationship between client and provider. New researchreveals eight best practices critical to creating a morestrategic, balanced and thoughtul approach to establishingand managing BPO engagements.
Outlook 2012
Number 2
Until airly recently, what companiesexpected rom business process out-sourcing was relatively straightorward:greater eciency, streamlined operationsand lower costs. Today, however, theperormance bar has been raised, andclients expect more rom their BPOproviders: business insight, innovation,industry expertise, solutions adaptedto more individualized needs, acommitment to continuous improve-ment and more.How well are providers stepping up tomeet these new business goals? Whichclients are succeeding and why?These are some o the key questionsanswered through new research, the Accenture High-Perormance BPOstudy, conducted in cooperation withthe Everest Group and the OutsourcingUnit at the London School o Economics.The results o this quantitative survey o more than 250 buyer executiveshelped us to identiy eight specicpractices that, together, produce busi-ness value or a company that exceedsthat o its industry peers in a way that can be sustained over time (seesidebar, page 7).High-perormance BPO, as with highperormance in general, is the resulto achieving excellence in a broadrange o areas across an enterprise.However, a distinctive characteristico high perormance in a BPO contextis that it is highly dependent on thequality o the partner 
.Our research uncovered remarkablesimilarities in BPO relationships thathave produced extraordinary business value: a commitment to eectivestrategies but also the right technologiesand processes; eective organizationand change management skills; industry and domain knowledge; strong leadershipand savvy governance; and operationalcapabilities. High perormance is theresult o not just one or a ew thingsbut several—all o them executed incoordination, with a shared commitmentrom both client and provider.
Strategic and thoughtful
One o the more promising ndingso our research is that high-perormanceBPO is
dependent on organizationsize, industry, geography, tenure or business unction involved. It results,rather, rom taking a more strategicand thoughtul approach to establishingand managing BPO engagements.From an initial list o hypothesesabout what high-perormance BPOmight mean—specically, aboutwhat actors clearly separated highperormers rom typical perormers—eight practices in particular emergedas being critical.
Practice No. 1:An end-to-end approach
 What is the ideal scope or a BPOarrangement? In high-perormanceBPO, it’s the entire end-to-end businessprocess, including those elementsmanaged within the client’s enter-prise, those run by third parties andeven other related processes thatmight have an impact in some way on perormance.BPO high perormers go beyondthe execution o existing processesand use the BPO relationship tooptimize those processes. Eighty-ninepercent o high perormers in our survey consider the pursuit o processexcellence to be an important priority in a BPO relationship, compared withonly 63 percent o typical perormers.Moreover, high perormers take amore expansive and holistic viewo what they are doing than typicalperormers do, looking beyond asingle process or unction to think about how it aects and is aectedby other processes both upstream anddownstream. The client also includesthe provider and business end users askey players when optimizing a set o related business processes, even whenthe provider is directly accountableonly or particular sub-processes.
Outlook 2012
Number 2
Many o the positive business out-comes delivered rom high-peror-mance BPO can be traced in partto this ability to connect the dotsamong interrelated processes. Thedisciplined pursuit o excellence inone unction has the collateral eecto improving perormance in other parts o the enterprise. “Traditionally,our business was really ad hoc inunderstanding and ullling its needs,”an executive or one communicationsand high-tech company told us.“Outsourcing has certainly drivena much more rigorous and thought-ul planning process, given us morestructure and, thereore, made usmore eective.”Underpinning this pursuit o perormance excellence are the toolsand metrics that enable the BPOpartners to determine how well theprocesses are perorming and whereimprovements can be made. As onecompany executive put it, “We createda service catalog, putting metricsand SLAs [service-level agreements]around those activities to hold theright people accountable. Then we putgovernance around that, connectingit to higher-level metrics and morestrategic conversations.”
Practice No. 2: Collaborative BPOgovernance
In high-perormance BPO relation-ships, the commitment to collabora-tive governance goes well beyondcommittees and meetings to includethe
toward the relationshipand the behaviors that strengthen itand drive both parties toward higher perormance.Here is how one client executive—a senior director or a technology company—described a winning attitude:“We are in the outsourcing
.There is nothing that the ‘provider’has to do or ‘we’ have to do—we haveto work [on] issues together.”In many successul relationships,the partnership view is reinorcedthrough three especially important
Microsot’s OneFinance outsourcing arrangement was energized by a dedicatedchange management program that helped ensure the success o the initiative’s230 go-live events. A combined team rom Microsot and its BPO provider createdglobal, unctional and subsidiary-specic communication plans to engage withthe various audiences aected by the change.Microsot held two-day, ace-to-ace meetings with subsidiary controllers toeducate key stakeholders. According to an executive rom the provider responsibleor the program, “We collectively made sure people bought into the change. Thatmade a big dierence.”Local leaders were assigned the responsibility o client readiness, signaling to thesubsidiary that change was “close to home.” Assigning subsidiary leaders to thetransition team gave subsidiaries condence that one o their own rom the regionwas providing input and direction to the solution. Noted the provider executive,“Microsot committed their best people to make the outsourcing program a success.They put in as many hours as we did to get this right.
Microsot: Driving eective change within a fnanceand accounting outsourcing program

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