Outsourcing Center Selects New Categories for 2011 Outsourcing Excellence Awards — Study Reveals Best Practices and Keys to Success | Article

The Outsourcing Center announced the finalists in the 2011 Outsourcing Excellence Awards last week. The annual awards program, originated in 1997, is recognized worldwide for the insights it yields regarding success drivers and over the years has resulted in a data repository for nearly 900 outsourcing relationships. Included in the repository are the factors that lead to success or failure in outsourcing. Winners will be announced March 1.

Since announcing this year’s finalists, visitors to the Outsourcing Center site have sent questions by phone and e-mail about the awards including:

  • What are the categories?
  • What are the criteria?
  • How do you determine the categories?

As the Awards Editor, I am happy to answer those questions.

The Outsourcing Center never chooses the categories in advance. We never know who is going to apply or the specific characterizations of relationships. After I complete all the applicant interviews, the awards categories and the finalists are selected based on both the written applications of nominees and the transcript of the telephone interview.

How to achieve success in outsourcing relationships is not intuitively obvious. They can be hard to structure and manage! The Outsourcing Center established the annual Outsourcing Excellence Awards program in 1997 to share lessons learned and best practices from successful outsourcing relationships. The goal was to study risk-mitigation strategies, partnering strategies, and search for keys to success. Real-life experience of the nominated relationships each year yields new insights to the information Outsourcing Center has shared in articles and white papers since 1997.

Here are the six awards categories and finalists for 2011.

Best Partnership Award

Only one category never changed in the 14 years the Outsourcing Center has been giving awards for excellence in outsourcing relationships. That category is the Best Partnership award. In essence, it’s the best of show. This year as in every year, the five finalists had to meet the qualifications of at least three of the other categories. And the relationship had to demonstrate a partnering approach in all phases of the relationship to date. They are truly the paradigms of the industry.

The finalists in this category are (in alphabetical order):

Most Flexible Award

This is a popular, recurring category. How can outsourcing deals thrive in our constantly changing world without flexibility? The qualifications for this category required both parties demonstrate the ability to be flexible so they can ensure they do what’s best for the relationship’s objectives.

The finalists in this category are:

  • AstraZeneca/TCS
  • Best Buy/Accenture
  • Bharti Airtel/Firstsource
  • CIBC/Xerox Canada
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises/Capgemini

Best Communication Award

If two parties are going to get along for the long term, they must know how to communicate, especially regarding challenges and opportunities that arise. Finalists in this category were mutually proactive, open, and honest. Both parties communicated this way at all times, not just in forums and governance meetings.

The finalists in this category are:

  • AT&T Services/Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S.
  • Citrix Systems/EntryPoint Consulting
  • GlaxoSmithKline/Genpact
  • Philips do Brasil/Infosys BPO
  • PNC/Océ Business Services

Most Collaborative Award

How can outsourcing succeed without collaboration? In this category, the parties built an environment for collaborating on solutions, opportunities, etc. to produce win-win outcomes. This collaborative environment had to be continual and not just when there was a problem to solve.

The finalists in this category are:

  • Barclaycard U.S./Firstsource
  • Bharti Airtel/Firstsource
  • CIBC/Xerox Canada
  • GlaxoSmithKline/Genpact
  • Shop Direct Group/Arise Virtual Solutions

Best Global Services

Once upon a time, we had a category called Best Offshore. We created the category when we had enough applicants that achieved success with an offshore component. Now offshoring is standard operating procedure. The new trend is service delivery from multiple countries, hence this new category. Since the model has changed, we looked for relationships that successfully dealt with the new risks. We wanted to see how multiple delivery sites helped, not hurt return on investment. The table stakes to enter this category was the service provider had to deliver the service from at least two other countries outside the United States.

The finalists in this category are:

  • AT&T Services/Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S.
  • Carillion/Accenture
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises/Capgemini
  • Trinity Industries/Dell Services
  • The Williams Companies/IBM

Most Effective Use of Outsourcing

The finalists here were the most effective in using outsourcing to solve the buyer’s business challenges that drove them to even consider outsourcing. In this category both companies also consistently and from the outset had to work together in a manner that went beyond the contracted behaviors and tasks in order to increase the buyer’s business agility and ensure a long-term relationship.

The finalists in this category are:

  • Barclaycard U.S./Firstsource
  • Best Buy/Accenture
  • Coca-Cola Enterprises/Capgemini
  • Trinity Industries/Dell
  • Verizon Wireless/Océ Business Services

The six judges

Currently the six judges are determining the winners. The Outsourcing Center expects to announce the winners by March 1.

The judges are:
Rod Bourgeois, Sanford C. Bernstein & Company
Edward Davis, Darden School, University of Virginia
John Funk, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP
Russell Taruscio, Independent Consultant and retired from BP
Linda Tuck Chapman, ONTALA

The Outsourcing Center will post the new downloadable application for the 2012 Outsourcing Excellence Awards April 1. Don’t miss out on this important industry recognition!


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