Research & Insight

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IT Takes a Seat | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

Managing the infrastructure of information technology is critical to federal government agencies. The maintenance and operation of tens of thousands of desktop computers, the software that drives them and the networks that connect them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can be likened to the proverbial millstone tied around the neck of government agencies. Outsourcing the management of these computer seats often can combat this drain on resources, saving both time and money.

Can One Size Fit All? | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

MERANT ASaP Revolutionizes the ASP Model – MERANT ASaP provides the complex development tools utilized by software developers to create eBusiness applications. Via the Internet, MERANT allows distributed software development teams the ability to share a single, hosted resource that can store software code and track and archive all changes during the development process. And because their tools are Web-enabled, the a in ASaP, according to Keith White, MERANT’s V.P. and general manager of ASP, is a play on words with an emphasis on the speed of delivery, that we’re able to deliver solutions . . . immediately. A sort of ASP ASAP.

Prepared to Answer | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

Customer service is a term that rolls easily off the tongue of almost every corporate mogul you hear interviewed or quoted these days. They talk about the fierce competition they face in their chosen industry and that the distinguishing factor that separates the leaders in their field from the also-rans is how they service their customers after the sale. In the remote environment of eCommerce, it can be particularly difficult to maintain a satisfying relationship between the buyer and seller, whether it’s B2C or B2B. This has spawned a whole new generation of companies that specialize in helping other companies manage interaction with their customers over the Internet. Ziptone is such a company.

Risky Business | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

The issue of how liability is addressed in an outsourcing agreement is very real. The ultimate goal of any outsourcing arrangement is mutual satisfaction. The outsourcing entity hopes to acquire a higher level of performance in a particular aspect of its business that was not attainable in the past and be cost effective while doing so. The outsourcer leverages its expertise and economies of scale in the hopes of meeting the client’s expectationss and making a profit in the process. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

Managing the Liability Bogeyman | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

CH2M Hill is an international engineering company that serves municipal governments in the areas of water and wastewater management, energy, telecommunication, environment and nuclear management, transportation, industrial facilities, and a host of umbrella services. To say that CH2M Hill is adept at managing risks is like saying monkeys are adept at climbing trees. Neither could survive if they weren’t.

Good Will Taxing | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

Many people don’t believe you can put the words ‘good will’ and ‘tax collection’ in the same sentence. There is a natural tension there. But in the city of New Haven, CT, there has been a breakthrough that should serve as a model for cities all over the country that are struggling to collect delinquent real estate taxes. In 1994 New Haven’s property tax collection rate was languishing at around 86 percent. Since privatizing the collection of delinquent taxes, it has improved to 94 percent for last year’s collection and is expected to exceed 96 percent this year.

Road Warriors | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

Few assets owned and maintained by the government illicit as much passion from taxpayers as the condition of paved roads. But even as the need for more and wider thoroughfares goes largely ignored due to shrinking budgets and changing political climates, state and local governments across the nation also are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain preexisting transportation infrastructure. And it doesn’t stop there. The management of buildings, building-maintenance equipment, real estate, vehicles, office equipment, etc., is becoming a burden governments are discovering is more than they can bear. As a remedy, many are turning to asset management outsourcing.

Achieving High Performance | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

Today roads, and the maintenance they require, are as important as the vehicles that traverse them. And if you’ve paid any attention to today’s news — or your daily commute to work — you are probably aware that roads, like much of America’s infrastructure, are literally going to pot. Local streets, county and state roads and highways, even the nation’s mighty interstates — they are all crumbling under the sheer weight and volume of our ultra-mobile society. State and local governments are hamstrung with the challenge of meeting other fiscal responsibilities (mainly social services) that have greater priority, as well as funding much-needed street and road maintenance and expansion. These projects take a lot of time — and money. To save both, governments are looking to the private sector to do the job of maintaining streets and roads.

Virginia COMPETEs for the Common Good | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

Government Competes with Private Sector on Level Playing Field Today, as local and state governments struggle to provide services to an ever-growing, ever-demanding public despite inadequate financial resources, outsourcing and privatization of government functions is becoming more and more of an issue. Taxpayers expect their governments to deliver products and services commensurate — at least in their own minds — with what they pay in taxes. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a unique organization works to ensure its citizens get the most for their tax dollars. The 15-person Commonwealth Competition Council, created by the Virginia Legislature as part of the Virginia Competition Act of 1995, is proving that there is a better and less costly way to serve its citizens. The Competition Council, whose members hail from government, academia and the private sector, was mandated to research and recommend ways in which state government can reduce the size and scope of its activity, as well as investigate h

Taking the Chaos Out of Government Outsourcing | Article

Chris Pryer, Business Writer

For government agencies across the United States, the ability to deliver services to their citizenry is being sorely taxed (no pun intended). Budgets are being strained beyond limit. Quality — and quantity — of services is deteriorating. And the varieties of the prevailing political climate can wreak havoc on long-range planning and consistent and coordinated operational systems. Add to this the fact that many government agencies’ entire existing infrastructure for delivering services is suffering from such maladies as outdated technology, a stagnant work force and the typical bureaucratic red tape that is government’s calling card, and you have a recipe for guaranteed underachievement.

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