Outsource Magazine Issue 34 - (Page 111)

THE BACK END THE DEAl DoCTor Paul Morrison, Alsbridge Paul Morrison is Partner and Head of BPO and Shared Services Practice at Alsbridge. He has over 18 years' consulting and sourcing advisory experience and is a former director of the NOA Feeling under the outsourcing weather? Take a seat: the Deal Doctor will be with you directly... What does robotic automation mean for outsourcing? Of late there has been much chatter about robots in outsourcing. And let's face it, a little bit of sci-fi imagery adds welcome colour to earnest outsourcing discussions about KPIs, gainshare and build-operatetransfer. But the use of smart software that 'learns' and replicates work previously done by process clerks, agents and analysts, is in its infancy and the implications are only just emerging. One view sees robotic automation as so massive and far-reaching that it spells the end of outsourcing and offshoring - there will be no need to shift work to low-cost locations or specialist suppliers if you don't need workers. At the other end of the spectrum, others argue that robotisation is simply a smart marketing label for just the latest, incremental form of automation, and that the world of outsourcing will carry on as usual. Both positions are caricatures. But the robot story is special. Lean, adaptive, rules-based software promises automation that previously simply couldn't be done, in far quicker timeframes. The clincher is that companies are already using robotisation successfully and at scale, with the list of case studies in banking, telecoms and other sectors lengthening rapidly. In the usually sleepy village of global outsourcing, this constitutes major disruptive change. Service providers are quickly thinking through what this might mean for their business models. Smart buyers need to ensure they have sufficiently flexible contracts and commercials to handle implementing robotic automation, particularly in terms of governance, change and charging. And just about everyone needs to consider their future relationship with a new breed of player, the robotic solution provider. Time to get ready, the robots are coming. What is SIAM and is it relevant for my ITO strategy? SIAM stands for 'Service Integration and Management', and basically it refers to the emerging practice of hiring a third party to make your many service providers play nicely together. It is a response to the classic challenge of multisourcing. The era of the IT megadeal is over, in which one supplier provides services across the entire IT estate or back office. Therefore companies need to contract with multiple suppliers, a trend that is being deepened with the rise of cloud, XaaS and other services alongside traditional towers. The result is that outsourcing buyers have a number (often dozens) of suppliers whose mutual interdependencies are unknown and unmanaged. Boundary incidents, unplanned outages, stalled escalations, red-faced contract managers, and poor service are the end result. The need for good multisourcing governance is widely known, but in practice it has lacked teeth to deliver. SIAM is new in ITO and BPO (we have seen its like in other industries such as construction), in that it identifies a new thirdparty role, to set out the rules of the ecosystem, bang heads together and make clear the incentives for smarter, joint working. Why isn't everyone doing this? As ever the devil is in the detail: there is no standard definition of what SIAM includes getting suppliers even partially aligned is complex not all suppliers are willing to take on the SIAM role (and miss out on the bigger delivery roles) It can be difficult to pin down the benefits of SIAM, whereas the costs are clear The jury is out on the longterm significance of SIAM. But if you seek a grown up and systematic approach to outsourcing complexity, SIAM could be worth exploring. Anyone for MYANMAR? If you'd like to submit a query for the Deal Doctor, please email Paul at paul.morrison@alsbridge.eu www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ●● ●●●● 111 http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 34

Challenges and Champions
Outsourcing in a Troubled Economic Environment
Richard Jones
High Stakes
In Transition
The Bigger Picture
Numbers, Numbers Everywhere...
NOA Round-Up
Struggling To Get Through?
International Commercial Disputes In Outsourcing Agreements
Is Infrastructure Necessary?
Global Freelance Platforms Grow Up
Trumping Price – Only with Best value
Kerry Hallard
Technology Investment in 2014
Water Will Always Find A Way
The Right Time Is Now
You, Robot?
The Legal View
Top Ten
NelsonHall Round-Up
Online Round-Up
The Deal Doctor
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 34