IBM Global Services and EDS join Carnegie Mellon's ITsqc consortium

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 23 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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PITTSBURGH: IBM Global Services and EDS have joined Carnegie Mellon University's Information Technology Services Qualification Center (ITsqc) Consortium as the Center launches its eSourcing Capability Model for Clients.

The center was established in June 2000 to develop best practice models to use in evaluating and certifying companies providing information technology (IT) enabled outsourced services.

The consortium already includes Satyam Computer Services, Ltd., the founding member; Accenture, and Standardisation, Testing, and Quality Certification (STQC), the quality assurance support program of India's Ministry of Communications & IT. These organizations are collaborating and supporting Carnegie Mellon's research and development efforts over the next five years. They will help to refine the current eSourcing Capability Model for service providers and will participate in the development and use of other best practices models which ITsqc expects will become de facto standards for global sourcing.

The ITsqc was formed in response to the growing need for standards to evaluate companies providing IT-enabled outsourcing services. Researchers in Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Sciences (SCS) have developed a methodology to rate outsourcing firms and established the center to certify their capabilities. AFter initial training, consortium members and other qualified orgnaizations are being authorized to use the eSourcing Capability Model to evaluate service providers.

Over the past several years, all kinds of organizations, from manufacturing firms to banks to hospitals, have been delegating computer-intensive activities to external service providers because they are focusing on "core competences" or lack their own in-house capabilities. In many cases they have not been satisfied with the results, said Jane Siegel, who heads the ITsqc in Carnegie mellon's Institute for Software Research, International (ISRI). The best practices model developed by the center will enable corporations and government agencies that outsource business process and information technologies to compare various providers and mitigate their risks in working with them. At the same time companies providing the service can use the standards to differentiate themselves and improve their operations.

Carnegie Mellon researchers also have launched a companion model, the eSourcing Capability Model for Clients. Satyam, Accenture, IBM and EDS will help to develop this companion model along with client organizations from the banking, healthcare and manufacturing sectors. William E. Hefley, one of the center's associate directors, is leading this effort.

The client-side modeling effort also involves representatives from the United States General Accounting Office, the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) in the U.S and the U.K., and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) of the UK. These orgganizations will be bringing their extensive experience to develop a best practice model because there is no sourcing standard for clients at this time.

"We expect the eSCM for service providres and for clients to become de facto standards for orgnizations involved in sourcing, just as the capability maturity model for software became a de facto standard for software development activites," Siegel said.

"Developing a capability model for the outsourcing market raises the industry performance standards for suppliers and presents our customers with better criteria for selecting outsourcing providers," said Terry Milholland, EDS senior vice president and CIO/CTO.

Carnegie Mellon also will provide measurement and benchmarking capabilities in the future. The eSCM team, along with other consortium members, is already working on measurement efforts. A repository for evaluation and self-appraisal results will be operational by the end of the year.
"Customers and IT services providers both stand to benefit from an independent benchmark based on open, industry standards that measures the value and capabilities delivered over the life of a multi-year IT outsourcing contract," said Tony Macina, general manager of Global Service Deliver, IBM Global Services.

"Carnegie Mellon University's eSourcing Capability Model and evaluation methodology will transalte into direct, measurable benefits for both customers and serivce providers," he added.

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