Monday, June 18, 2007

In outsourcing, solutions matter over destinations


Whether in the Philippines or India, global companies don’t really care where their business processes are being done. As long as it improves their business performance and reduces their cost, the jobs could be outsourced anywhere in the world.

This favorable trend is not enough, however. Outsourcing power Accenture said establishing a global footprint that can deliver relevant solutions is a crucial step that outsourcing firms are doing now to take advantage of the boom.

In a recent visit to the Philippines, Accenture’s group chief executive for outsourcing Kevin Campbell said one of the advantages of maintaining global locations is the ability to conduct "load balancing."

This is done, according to Campbell, to distribute tasks among its various sites to attain productivity and efficiency. "Offshoring is already a given. But global companies want consistent global solutions," said the official.

Accenture, one of the earliest outsourcing firms to set up shop in the Philippines, maintains some 10,000 employees in the country. It is ramping up this figure to about 15,000 this year with the opening of its call center in Cebu.

Contrary to popular perception, Campbell said companies are being pushed to outsource not because they simply want to cut cost. "Outsourcing engagements need to be designed and measured to achieve business outcomes."

He repeated: "Outsourcers must help clients drive value into their businesses while simultaneously pushing cost out. [But] outsourcers need to have an established global delivery capability and footprint now."

Also, one good trait of an effective outsourcer, Campbell said, is its ability to attract and maintain the best talent. For Accenture, achieving this means "accelerating its people agenda by growing the number of existing people, surgically adding talent, and rewarding performance."

Recently, it partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop the Accenture Solutions delivery Academy, a new training and certification program based on the company’s application delivery curriculum.

Accenture’s two-year collaboration with MIT includes ongoing review of the academy’s educational content, student assessments, and overall program design by several MIT School of Engineering faculty who are experts in related subject areas, including Java, SAP, C++, and Microsoft technologies and the software development lifecycle.