This blog is for sourcing and procurement professionals to discuss and share perspectives, point of views, ideas and best practices around key sourcing and procurement topics.

March 7, 2013

To CPOs: Unthink procurement

Procurement, as a strategic enterprise function, can do more than just cut costs. Despite this, the CPO is still struggling to bring a big part of spending under management, largely due to the procurement of services still being a very complex process.

However, best-in-class business platforms are helping to revolutionize procurement to bring spending under management - an unthinkable outcome in the era of "standard issue" platforms founded on cloud computing, Software-as-a-Service, and Business Process Outsourcing.

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August 22, 2012

Quest for an Optimum Commercial Model for S&P Platforms

Am I paying the right price?

In a world where labor cost arbitrage has become commoditized, companies are progressively looking at technological transformations to help streamline business processes while keeping an eagle's eye on managing risks.

Business Platforms provide businesses with the most prominent dual benefit:

·         Man power reduction

·         Better quality through automation and hence through minimal human intervention


Business Platforms are expected to bring in greater compliance and thus help the management team in better governance by allowing them to concentrate on the core business issues.

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August 13, 2012

Semantic Source to Pay System - The Holistic Approach to Enterprise Software

The foundation of data model is one of the most critical factors contributing to the success of any enterprise software system. A well define and extendable data model will greatly improve the evolution and maintainability of the system.


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April 19, 2010

'To Be' or 'Not to Be' in Business Platforms model

While in traditional lift and shift BPO, one of the key activities during any transition is to map the "As-is" processes and create the "To-be" process in an outsourced and/or off-shored model. The success of transition is largely driven by the level of detail in this activity. A Business Platforms based outsourced model presents a different scenario altogether. Here, the delivered functionality within the platform application is largely pre-defined. The "customized" component is a minor element in comparison to the delivered functionality.


What we therefore have is, essentially a "To-be" process which is mapped to the client business context. The "As-is" process has little or no relevance in a platform on-boarding model. What however assumes significance in a platform on-boarding is the change management at the Customer and Service Provider's ends. In a lift and shift transition, change management is more around communication, internal and external, employee strategy and risk management. In a Business Platforms on-boarding model, the change management is at the level of detail of the process or function transition as the 'To be' entity is an entirely new one for both parties.

April 12, 2010

Business Platform model - the New Normal !

As organizations get out of the long recession and start looking at the best possible ways to capture the early green shoots of opportunity - there is a New Normal compared to the Normal  prior to the recession.

This New Normal indeed impacts multiple facets of Organization thinking , Behavior and Actions. Clearly, the New Normal has brought along with new focus and energy on alternative business models  which are geared to deliver to the new reality. Business Platforms is one such model.

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October 30, 2009

Business Platforms are nothing but Managed Services on the Cloud !!

The different jargons floating around in the outsourcing industry for the evolving new  services model are Platform BPO, Business Services Cloud, Managed Services, SAAS, SAAS + BPO , Software on demand et al. As I had mentioned before, Business Platforms are not just bringing technology( read ERP) and BPO together, but bringing along with it a value-added layer of cloud based managed services. This means deep domain knowledge in an horizontal functional area and /or, vertical industry process area  is successfully configured and encrypted on to a technology tool along with hosting of the same.

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July 6, 2009

Cross-Functional decision making - A case of David Vs Goliath?

The unique bundling across technology and business processes (functional process definition as well as operations delivery) in Business Platforms entails cross functional decision making  between the CIO and the business owner ( typically COO’s or  functional owners such as CPO’s, HR directors, and Financial controllers).  There is also another cross-functional decision making between multiple business owners. For e.g, in the case of a Procure-to-Pay Platform, where procurement and AP owners have to align to take an integrated view; or end-to-end Hire-to-Retire, where individual HR function owners need to align. I will cover this in a separate blog entry, and will restrict this entry to discussing alignment between the CIO and business owner. 

In my interactions with customers, I have often encountered a dichotomy in alignment between CIO’s and business owners.  In most cases, while the business owners view this as a great model to help achieve their business objectives and want to take a technology agnostic view, CIO’s view this as a model that interferes with their organizational technology strategy and feel a loss of ownership and control.  This leads to organizations being unable to take a holistic business view, and lose out on a unique opportunity that could be a win-win for both the business owners as well as CIO’s.

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June 24, 2009

Business Platforms: A Bundle of Benefits

As more and more clients seek to onboard  Business Platforms ( the new and innovative service delivery model ) and partake in the next generation of outsourcing BPO and IT together, I have been thinking through the core benefits these clients are seeking to get.

The bundle of benefits business platforms hold for clients are:

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June 17, 2009

What exactly should a Platform service provider really ‘own’?

In Platform offerings, the responsibility split between the service provider and the client is very clear. Client is responsible for ‘using the platform to execute its business processes’. And, the service provider is responsible for managing the service by managing application (implementation, support & maintenance), infrastructure (h/w, connectivity, hosting, & infrastructure support) and operation (BPO) layers.

But, what should the service provider actually ‘own’ in this service offering?

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May 7, 2009

Business Platform Benefits: Part 2

I was posed with a question in one of the discussions, which I am raising again in this post. What should be the primary metric of evaluation for business benefit realization, for an enterprise which is on-boarding on the platform?

While I organize my thoughts let me put some numbers around the definition of the enterprise for more clarity in my thoughts as well the question, let a small size enterprise be less than USD 1bn in revenue, mid size ranging from USD1 to 10bn in revenue and large size be more than USD 10bn in revenue.

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