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Add More Value To Your Customers!

Nilesh Gupta
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Nilesh Gupta
Coanrad Hilton at one of the meeting was once asked, what was the most important lesson you've learned in your long and distinguished career? His immediate answer was “to tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub”. It doesn’t matter, what or where the lesson is, but the value-add it brings to the table, is more important today!

In my last two decades of IT services experience, many times, while working with customers, vendors often quote this “we will meet or exceed the expectations”, least they know that it is not just the expectations, its right expectations that need to be delivered. If I have to quote an example in layman’s words, if the current situation is being a warm soda, so as a provider you work to make it cold and exceed the expectations. So what if the market does not require a soda but need a flavored soda instead? Even though, the customer’s expectations have met, it’s no use to him! A strategy needs to be born, born to explore the boundaries beyond the needs, but to make use of change to make use of it, not just meet it!

In the world that we work today, business results are still controlled by the three reactors, Technology, Processes and People. How do we catalyze the change, enable innovation and establish a world without boundaries that provides high quality inputs to the decisions the CxO make. In the last twenty odd years, there has been more than 1000 percent growth in Information Technology (IT), from banks to retail chains, telecoms to aerospace, the rise and fall of dot-coms or how the financial markets played musical chair since Sep ’08. We have seen a 150-year-old company failing, a company with market value of more than billions, being sold over for less than 1/100 of the price.

Again, not moving away from the topic, value-add, and strategy to offer becomes even more important working around costly staffing, storage sprawl, isolated tools and environments or disconnected messaging systems that become extremely inflexible and more challenging to end-customers today. The answer we look for is the sweet spot amongst the customer needs, the organization capability and what a provider that can offer the value-add. If we go by the books, it’s straightforward - reduce or eliminate cost / raise or create value. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t need half the masterminds today.

So how do we create value-add through strategic outsourcing/partnering? Strategic sourcing is not just about outsourcing business or IT services. A main task when designing a sourcing strategy is to monitor the needs of each business unit and clearly identify the enterprise's strategic goals with yours. The Governance model as per Gartner - it is the sum of management capabilities, methods and processes, organizational roles and responsibilities, and rules and agreements that support the dynamic delivery of services in a mixed (internal and external) environment. I truly believe that Governance is a key aspect of the sourcing strategy and needs to be continuously reviewed and reinforced during the on-going sourcing life cycle. A sound governance model should also allow the offshore service provider to deal with short time frames, manage resources according to any changes in the project planning, and ensure that the necessary skills and technical capabilities are made available to the service recipient during the life of the relationship.

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