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What’s your GBS?

Get a life, folks. The preoccupation with defining global business services doesn’t further the cause of world peace. Who cares, beyond those of us who a), want to create sufficient angst amongst CXOs to sell profitable consulting contracts; b), shared services leaders who want to rebrand; or c), self-appointed pundits (like me) who want something […]

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Outsourcing’s like an all inclusive vacation package

Outsourcing and Club Med in the same breadth—you’ve got to be kidding! Somehow sandy beaches, pina coladas and surfing don’t equate to 3000 man delivery centers, quarterly business reviews and dashboards. But hear me out. When you enter into an outsourcing contract, the provider’s offering is not much different from an all-inclusive travel package. We […]

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Shared services and outsourcing: Aren’t we just moving the deck chairs around?

  If you think about our efforts to transform business functions through shared services and outsourcing, are we just trying to make them more efficient and cost-effective? Are we really tackling enough change to make them more relevant to today’s business needs? In effect, aren’t business functions as we know them obsolete, and changing them […]

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Legal: The Hardest Profession to Make Outsourcing Change?

The last bastion against outsourcing? Recently I sat down with Ed Brooks of the LPO Program to discuss the challenges of change management in the legal profession. Whether the perpetrator of the change is the GC, or law firm management, changing a profession that is mired in tradition, has historically been isolated from other corporate change, […]

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Global Business Services at the Top Table? Servants don’t dine with their employers!

Over the past few weeks, it seems as if everyone is talking GBS, GBS, GBS.  Shared services organizations encompassing one function in a few countries with a center or two purport to be running global business services. Companies with transactional accounting processes operating around the world declare that they are GBS leaders. Sourcing leaders managing […]

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Buyers Forget that Outsourcing RFPs are Sales Jobs

Providers aren’t the only sellers in the outsourcing game. In fact, if a buyer doesn’t hold up his or her end when it comes to selling the opportunity, he or she risks a suboptimal relationship. Forget about the common wisdom that the relationship starts at selection and contract development—it actually starts the day that the […]

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Welcome Home Outsourcing…Without the Welcome Mat

 For those of you who have read The Economist’s 19th January article “Welcome Home” I confess I am a week behind on my reading. The article joins a growing chorus of pundits and researchers such as HfS Research, for whom I co-authored a recent paper, who are declaring the era of foreign dominance of service […]

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Revisiting the Sustainable Outsourcing Relationship Quiz

Several years ago, I developed an outsourcing relationship quiz, and posted it on the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network website. And it didn’t get much traction. But times seem to have changed. Seems as if every outsourcing client is more concerned about the quality of the relationship than ever before. So Ithink it’s time to […]

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What a surprise to outsourcing providers…people actually matter to the CEO

The prevailing belief in the sourcing world is that cost is king and people are fungible. Yet a study by The Conference Board, The Conference Board CEO Challenge 2013 (, flies in the face of this, and other commonly held tenets, about the way the C-suite regard sourcing initiatives. Today’s study, based upon a survey […]

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Barista or Bangalorean? Time to source shared services (and outsourcing) talent at Starbucks?

Barista or Bangalorean?  Time to source shared services (and outsourcing) talent at Starbucks? Recently I had the privilege of chairing The Conference Board’s vaunted annual Shared Services Conference. Since I’ve always had trouble sitting still, and chairing a conference means listening intently in every session, I was blown away when Paul Nicolaisen, VP Shared Services […]

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