Outsource Issue 23 - (Page 113)

THE BACK END INSIDE SOURCE Inside Source: Outsource’s very own WikiLeaks… Fear and Loathing and Lost Wages A spectre is haunting outsourcing – the spectre of M&A. All over the corridors of power I hear whispers of fear: “Are we… are we being bought?” “I don’t know… They’re all in the boardroom…” “But…” “…I know…” Every time another company is acquired, it’s a reminder that nobody is safe. In an industry that’s all about streamlining and efficiency, M&A – no matter how much the strategic purpose may be to acquire key talent – always has its casualties. No company wants two people on its books doing the same job. Nobody can afford that level of redundancy in a game where every penny counts. When confirmation came through of the TPI-Compass acquisition at the start of the year, your Inside Source was enjoying a refreshing drink with a senior member of the vendor community not unknown to Outsource readers… My eyebrow raised quizzically as I took in the information from my phone. “Something wrong?” “Not at all.” I filled him in. A cloud passed over his face. “Ah... The dreaded takeover… Blood on the walls no doubt. Time to dust off the CVs and put on brave faces. It can be the worst time of one’s life, you know.” I was struck by the fact that my companion had reacted like this: first thoughts of those laid off, not for the strategic import of the news. It was a salutary reminder of the human impact of business transformation and change. Although so much of the outsourcing space does eventually and essentially concern itself with that great euphemism “downsizing”, for many of us that’s still a relatively distant event. But when it strikes a little closer to home it’s only natural to feel the odd sympathetic spasm – or, if your organisation is ripe for the picking, a chill shiver down the back of the neck… A Cry for Help It is late one night in early February. Inside Source is in bed, stretching luxuriously and yawning. Another long hard day at the outsourcing mill is coming to an end. The great black curtain of sleep is sliding down – when suddenly the air is split by a cacophonous trilling. It’s the phone. An international number I don’t recognise. “Hello.” “Hi! It’s” – let’s call him John – “John.” John is someone I have worked with on and off for several years. He’s a bit of a sourcing maverick – so I’m not totally surprised to hear from him at midnight – but I am somewhat put out… “Er… Hello. Do you know what time it is?” “I’m in Egypt!” That’s not an answer… But as the last thing I’ve seen before settling down was news about the protests in Cairo, I’m suddenly all ears. “OK… Are you OK?” “Yeah, absolutely! Of course!” A pause. “Sorry I haven’t been in contact for a while.” This puzzles me somewhat – we’re acquaintances rather than friends, after all. But: “No, no – I understand. What’s happening?” “Oh, it’s manic, absolutely manic. Things are totally crazy.” “I can’t even begin to imagine.” My mind is racing. Does he need help? For the first time ever am I going to be at the centre of an international rescue mission? “Yeah, I’ve never been busier. So listen: I’ve got a really good deal… Do you know anyone who wants to buy 80 seats in Smart City?” And suddenly, as if sliced by a bayonet in the darkness, the line goes dead… “I’ve always wanted to be a spy, and frankly I’m a little surprised that British intelligence has never approached me.” - Elizabeth Hurley www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ●●● ● 113 http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Issue 23

Outsource Issue 23
News & Comment
IT Security
Ian Collard
More Than Just A Headcount
Call Centre Technology
Social Issues
Understanding Value
Cutting Through The Noise
All In The Genes?
It’s Time For Contact Centres To Get Socially Responsible
Right From The Start
All In The Game
Relationship Management Centres
NOA Roundup
Document Management
Digital Vision
Review Ructions
Provider Perspective
A New Reckoning?
The Music of Outsourcing
Accelerating Innovation
Labour Arbitrage
Top Ten Tips
The Legal View
HfS: New outsource Partner
Online Round-Up
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Issue 23