Global Shared Services: Building The Brand

It’s interesting how rapidly the quality of the customer experience is racing up the strategic agenda for leaders of Shared Services Organizations (SSO) and Global Business Services (GBS) units.

Deloitte’s 2011 Global Survey noted the need for any SSO to promote itself effectively – to overcome resistance, and to secure buy-in, by getting closer to its customers.

On the webinar with HfS yesterday, Ron Walker of KPMG went further, stressing brand development as one of the keys to GBS success:

“How you manage the GBS brand is critical. Any GBS has to sell itself, and to show quick wins.”

The perfect backdrop for my plug for an SSON-hosted webinar next month. Building on experience with a range of clients, I want to show how Nimbus provides a platform for SSO and GBS organizations to deliver continuous excellence – including an outstanding customer experience.

There’s an interesting prelimary discussion, of course, about what we even mean by the ‘customer experience’ in this context.

Deloitte has suggested a useful  distinction between the SSO’s client – meaning the exec team buying the SSO’s services – and the SSO’s customer – meaning the day-to-day users of the SSO’s services.

Clearly ‘an outstanding customer experience’ has to deliver for both the SSO’s clients and its service user customers…

[just fyi – in the typical shared services and outsourcing journey for most organizations, GBS units may be the final stage beyond an SSO, but for all practical purposes, I take SSO and GBS to be interchangeable terms in this context].

Related Posts

21 Aug 2012    How To Simplify Global Shared Services

14 Aug 2012    Enabling The Global-Local Enterprise

© Text Michael Gammage 2012

Outsourcing: Death Throes and Birth Pangs

HfS - The Industry With No Name

The existential crisis underway in the outsourcing industry makes for amusing reading. The industry has voted by a two-thirds majority to drop ‘the O word’, reports advisory group HfS, in an attempt to shed its apparently negative connotations. But there’s no industry consensus on a new name – and ‘outsourcing’ features in many of the most popular suggested alternatives.

Phil Fersht, HfS founder and industry thought leader, doesn’t mince his words:

“There is far too much “believe our own bullshit” going on and this industry needs to change how it is perceived before it can effectively “rebrand”.”

Phil maps out the four challenges he sees facing a stalled industry. But really they are all one – and summed up in his final challenge:

Challenge #4: How can buyers and providers really partner to foster innovations into business process outcomes?

I’m optimistic. Outsourcing service providers I know are investing heavily to up their game. They see the industry’s current convulsions as death throes for a simpler world of labor arbitrage and automation.  And the birth pangs of a world where outsourcing will continue to prosper but in new ways.

If you ask me, two developments will define this new world:

All Work Is Process. The opening sentence to the first-ever APQC report on Business Process Management, published back when Adam was a lad – but it remains broadly true, and it is set to become much more widely accepted. So we’ll drop, for example, the empty distinction between ‘business process outsourcing’ (which really means Finance and HR services) and the rest (such as IT, planning and analytics). All work will be seen as process. The process will always be owned by the enterprise but it may be delivered using in-house resources or be outsourced or, most often, through a hybrid of the two.

Platforms for Process Excellence. If all work is process then every organization needs an enterprise process workbench. Outsourcing providers will adopt them to enable more collaborative engagements with their clients across the service delivery lifecycle.  Outsourcing buyers will adopt them to orchestrate the delivery of end-to-end processes, delivered through a constantly-adapting blend of in-house and bought-in resources – and to engage all the process stakeholders in continuous improvement.

Arguably, the most interesting challenges are now on the buy side: Developing Global Business Services organizations with the capability to continually re-optimize multiple, complex and dynamic sourcing equations [which include, crucially, keeping IT aligned] to deliver value and innovation for the enterprise. No surprise that GBS is the career choice for some of the brightest people I know.

Related Posts

21 Aug 2012    How To Simplify Global Shared Services

08 Aug 2012    Death Of Outsourcing Greatly Exaggerated

© Text Michael Gammage 2012

Translating An Operating Model Into Real Work

Bringing in a Big 4 firm to create a new target operating model (TOM) has become de rigeur. But how many operating models are ever put to work? Not many. Some are just displayed reverentially on a pedestal in the C-Suite.  Most are ‘executed’ by an expensive army of consultants – but with very mixed results.

It’s a big issue. Social, mobile and cloud technologies are driving ever more rapid business model innovation and associated process change. But many organizations are locked into ‘a tragic pattern’ (as Brad Power has discussed on his HBR Blog): The CEO launches a new change program with great fanfare, only to shelve it a few years later with little to show for great expenditures of time and consulting fees.

Strategy to Reality - 1The capability to execute well must be one of the keys to breaking out of this cycle.

Why are so few grand plans well executed?  The swirling fog between the TOM vision and the operational realities, for a start. There is no line of sight between the TOM as a ppt deck and the real business.

The primary mechanism for translating strategy into reality – integrated, holistic perspectives and end-to-end processes – doesn’t exist. Instead there are a myriad process fragments, in multiple tools and formats, ‘managed’ in functional silos within a feeble governance framework.

So the exec team has a TOM roadmap, steering wheel and dashboard – but only tenuous linkages to the engine, transmission and brakes.

A process management platform provides the multi-dimensional matrix within which an operating model can be executed – reliably, efficiently and, in compliance terms, safely.

It’s the ability to execute that really matters. It’s what underlies sustainable improvement. In a complex and fast-moving world, that just can’t be done efficiently any more with ppt and email…

Related Posts

20 Jun 2012    Process: The Emerging Global Business Language

© Text Michael Gammage 2012