Gartner criteria for selecting external Multisourcing Services Integrators

GartnerDifferentiate Between MSI Offerings for Better End-To-End Service

Analyst(s): Jim Longwood, Gilbert van der Heiden

Gartner, Inc. | G00249250 – July 2013

As multisourcing services integrator offerings evolve, IT services sourcing managers are challenged to gauge their ability to deliver end-to-end services.

To assist in the process of evaluating and selecting external MSIs, Gartner has published details of three groups of criteria that clients need to evaluate potential offerings against

Track Record in Multisourced Environment Ability to Integrate Operations at First-Level Help Desk Ability to Deliver and Manage an End-to-End Service
1. Experienced in managing multiple vendors 5. Industrial-strength help desk 7. End-to-end service delivery quality
2. Service management framework 6. Supports multivendor service portfolio/catalog 8. Collaborative service management of multiple providers
3. Quality management framework 9. Understanding of business objectives
4. Value-added governance frameworks and OLA templates 10. Workable governance frameworks

One evaluation criteria has been selected from each category as an example of the report detail:

Evaluation Criteria 2. Service management framework

The MSI needs a sound multivendor service management framework based on a tripod of tools including the “communication” (ITIL V3 or ISO20000), IT service management (ITSM) and quality management (for example, Six Sigma or Lean) to manage providers effectively on your behalf.

Global providers such as Capgemini, HP and CSC, and regional providers such as Atos and Fujitsu, have particularly strong enterprise services frameworks and good integration with a configuration management database (CMDB).

Evaluation Criteria 5 – Industrial-strength help desk

Most providers use service desk tools such as CA Service Desk and BMC-Remedy, Tivoli or OpenView and have messaging links to the most commonly used service desk tools. So you need not insist that the MSI and providers in the ecosystem utilize your preferred service desk tool. It’s not just the ability to pass problem tickets, service requests and resolution responses easily between help desk systems, but also the ability of making sure problem tickets don’t bounce from provider to provider. We see that some specialist help desk providers, for example, CompuCom, are integrating their first-level service desk in with multiple second-level service desk toolsets and products, such as SolveDirect, to support a broader ecosystem of traditional and cloud service providers.

We note that most providers are at an early stage of integrating help desk services for addressing problems experienced in dynamically engaging with cloud service providers. In addition, consider how well the handoffs between providers are defined in their OLAs as this is key to ensure an E2E operational integration — the Unisys offering has a joint roles and responsibilities matrix to ensure key touchpoints don’t “fall through the cracks.”

Evaluation Criteria 8 – Collaborative service management of multiple providers

Most offerings have good ability to coordinate the efforts of both product suppliers and other service providers, but not all MSI providers are as strong on collaborative behaviors. Historically, Accenture, Capgemini, Fujitsu (in Europe), HP and IBM have been stronger in “command and control” types of approach whereas providers like Atos, HCL or Unisys are generally seen as more collaborative. Providers like CSC and CGI that are used to working as prime contractor or as a subcontractor to a prime, often have more collaborative working cultures. We are seeing all providers become more collaborative as the service ecosystem becomes more prevalent particularly with the growth of cloud ecosystems. Many are integrating the basic cloud services brokerage (CSB), integration and customization functions into their offerings.

The authors set out a simple approach [matrix] to conduct the evaluation and selection of shortlisted MSI offerings:

The published 10 Evaluation Criteria sit on the X Axis and MSI Offerings providers as the Y Axis

Mainstream Offerings – Accenture, Capgemini, CSC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Infosys, TCS & Unisys

Emerging Offerings – ATOS, HCL & CGI

This simple table is then populated with “Harvey Balls” denoting Adequate, Good or Very Good

The authors also review the different types of MSI offerings in much more detail than is presented below:

MSI Offerings With Consulting Origins

These offerings originated out of consulting firms, such as Accenture and KPMG, assisting clients in implementing an MSI approach, often on a build-operate-transfer scenario. TCS and HP also have some consulting elements related to their offering.

MSI Offerings With Sole Source Origins

These offerings originate from the needs to manage a broad array of IT suppliers in a typically sole- sourced contract arrangement, and thus these MSI’s are stronger in coordinating the delivery of each supplier and subcontractor, often managing via a command and control approach. These include the likes of Capgemini, HP, IBM and Fujitsu’s European offering

MSI Offerings With Prime or Subcontractor Origins

Providers such as CSC (globally, along with Atos in Europe, and Fujitsu and Unisys in Australia and New Zealand) are used to working in either prime contractor or subcontractor arrangements and tend to have more collaborative working relationships with other providers. Cognizant and Wipro are prime contractors in deals where they do MSI-like roles, but neither have formal MSI offerings.

MSI Offerings With Infrastructure Services Origins

Providers like Fujitsu, Unisys and HCL have a strong technology background and much of their approach is built on that capability, which tends to translate in a more control-driven approach. However, Unisys and HCL expanded it more from a workplace services perspective which commonly translates in a more collaborative style.

MSI Offerings with Program Management or Application Services Origins

A number of the Indian offshore providers’ offerings, such as Infosys and TCS, have offerings emanating out of their application development and related program management offerings, which evolved to cover infrastructure services. IBM’s offerings also include a thin-lead system-integrator- type approach for when the MSI role is used to manage a range of more project oriented activities.

Recommendations

IT services sourcing managers should:

  • Ensure the MSI has a good track record in managing a multisourced environment of similar towers, scale and complexity to yours.
  • Establish that the MSI can integrate operations with other tower and cloud providers in your ecosystem at the first-level help desk.
  • Assess how effectively the MSI can manage and deliver E2E service and business outcomes across multiple providers in a collaborative manner.
  • Assess how well the MSI’s IT services origins, culture and offering availability matches your specific requirements

Creating Successful Sourcing Stories

Thomas Young, partner at outsourcing consultancy and research firm Information Services Group (ISG)

How to Close Your Next IT Outsourcing Deal: Handshake vs. Contract – LINK

Should you trade your clear-cut written outsourcing contract for a simpler agreement and a handshake with your IT services provider? Thomas Young from Information Services Group (ISG) says you should consider what he calls ‘evolutionary contracting.’

“Our current approach to outsourcing contracts is completely out of touch with the needs of a business world,” says Young. “We need a new approach where the ‘contract’ for services is an understanding and a framework rather than a formal document.”

Young has been evangelizing what he calls “evolutionary contracting,” whereby outsourcing customers start with a bare bones contract and adjust the scope and commercial terms of the relationship on an ongoing basis. Young hasn’t found any converts yet, but says some clients are considering the approach.

WDGLL specs

Gartner research reports are of a consistent high quality apart from the most important section, namely Recommendations. The four recommended actions for sourcing managers to take are more common sense than leading edge practice.

The Gartner evaluation criteria and selection method will help shortlist MSI offerings however there is still significant value in hiring 3rd party advisory services like ISG (who purchased TPI) to set the relationship up on the right footing.

Thomas Young, ISG says that the market is moving from prescriptive “know what I want” RFPs to more flexible Request for Solutions where the client is able to articulate the business issue and requires a partner to help develop the solution and deliver the desired business outcome.

Request for Solutions will only be successful if the Procurement organisation, Legal, Advisory partner and Multisourcing Services Integrator maintain an open dialogue.

ISG state that a total of 886 active contracts valued collectively at $21.2 billion are set to expire in 2013.

Incumbent service providers will have to fight vigorously to keep clients. 

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