By Douglas Brown and Scott Wilson
A major phase of outsourcing consists of selecting your service providers. That can be a major challenge. As Brown & Wilson Group's Doug Brown and Scott Wilson write in their best-selling volume on outsourcing, The Black Book of Outsourcing, "There are many capable outsourcing vendors. They come in myriad types and sizes. There are top-tier, full-service, large organizations; second-tier, specialty best-of-breed vendors; and small, strategically located vendors. Making a smart choice among them requires strategizing to decide what type of business you want to become and which vendor has the capability to help you fulfill your goals and improve the corporate bottom line."
How do you make a smart choice in outsourcing vendors? After you've put together your selection team (consisting of representatives from technology, budget and finance as well as staff and management from user groups), the next step in vendor selection involves gathering vendor information. This compilation, put together by the two authors after performing extensive survey work,can help you composea "long list" of companies to whom to issue your requests for information. (Though as the authors explain, "long" is a relative term; they recommend a rule of thumb that your long list have no more than one vendor per member of the selection committee.)
That's where the "50 Best Managed Global Outsourcing Vendors" list will prove its worth. Chances are, if you're seeking to outsource IT, human resources or some other business process function, there are several companies on this list you should consider for that long list.
Measure of a Leader
We required companies in the "Top 50 Best Managed Outsourcing Vendors" to have demonstrated consistent strength in four survey areas:
- Human capital performance
- CEO commitment
- Corporate direction
- Leadership impact
Each area is weighted for significance. It's easier, for example, to obtain data on human capital, so the survey always has had far more questions in this area. In past surveys, therefore, this sector counted considerably more than the other three, just by virtue of having more responses.
However, in our assessment of outsourcing management, we have found that CEO commitment is the most crucial area at this time in the industry's growth. Without a strong diversity champion at the top of a company, no "best managed" status or management improvement initiative can have long-term success. Therefore, in this year's survey, we have weighted the questions to give more emphasis to CEO commitment, followed by human capital performance, corporate direction and leadership impact.
Additionally, throughout the survey, we included questions designed to measure satisfaction of clients, customers, users and buyers. In our analysis of the data, we applied these outcomes directly to the information provided by vendor company management. We rated companies on a 100-point scale, based on responses from the customer and employee surveys. The Brown-Wilson Group doesn't choose or influence the rankings.
Methodology: How We Measured the Top 50
The survey for our "50 Best Managed Global Outsourcing Vendors" was distributed electronically to customers, employees, buyers, contractors and users worldwide in early 2006. In January surveys were sent to 50,000 individuals in corporations, businesses, organizations and government agencies who use, offer and are employed in outsourcing services. The survey was also available on several Websites. Survey participation was voluntary and anonymous. Survey entry codes were available only one time. The survey closed in June 2006. Itconsisted of 26 questions on leadership impact, influence, management performance, client satisfaction, employee satisfaction and organizational excellence. Another 18 optional questions focused on innovation, growth, internal management practices and global results.
A total of 12,755 qualified outsourcing purchasers/users and 3,340 outsourcing corporate employees answered the survey. Of those, 46% were from North America, 22% from Europe and 24% from Asia or the Pacific Region. Of employee respondents, 18.3% were management or supervisory level, 81.7% were non-management.
2006 Best Managed Global Outsourcing Vendors
|Rank||Black Book Index||Company||Rank in 2005||Change from 2005||Est. 05 Revenue||Net Profit Margin||Employees||Leader||Services|
|1||95.1||Affiliated Computer Services (Public, NYSE:ACS): With new CEO and several key acquisitions, Fortune 500 ACS outperforms with 2006’s top ITO & BPO contracts, High standards & highest customer satisfaction scores.||10||+9||$4.4B||7.45%||52,000||Mark King||BPO, ITO, HRO|
|2||93.4||Satyam (Public, NYSE:SAY): This outsourcer who pioneered the offshore development center model for software delivery saw profits zoom 54% and record 36% growth. With Accenture’s former chief marketing officer onboard, Satyam won’t be satisfied being #2.||19||+17||$1.1B||22.81%||29,000||B. Rama Raju||BPO, ITO|
|3||92.9||Cognizant (Public, NASDAQ:CTSH): Agile, fast moving, touting a strong track record of delivering business results, One of BusinessWeek’s “Hot Growth” companies of 2006.||21||+18||$886M||18.34%||25,000||Lakshmi Narayanan||ITO, BPO|
|4||92.6||Perot Systems (Public, NYSE:PER): Awarded for superior ITO services, Perot delivered new industry solutions generating big revenue leaps with appreciable expansions into the government and healthcare revenue cycle outsourcing.||43||+39||$2B||5.20%||18,000||Peter A. Altabef||ITO|
|5||92.2||Infosys (Public, NASDAQ:INFY): Crossing over to $2B in Annual Revenue, INFY acquired Progeon BPO from Citicorp as profits jumped 31%.A corporate recruiting program aims to hire top talent grads from US universities this year.||25||+20||$2.2B||26.02%||58,000||Nandan M. Nilekani||ITO, BPO|
|6||91.9||Patni (Public, NYSE:PTI): New solutions and well-established, structured methodologies grew income 38%.||45||+39||$450M||12.41%||12,000||Narendra K. Patni ||ITO|
|7||91.4||TATA Consulting Services (Public, BOM:532540): Six of the Fortune Top 10 companies are among TCS’ valued customers. Pioneer in Indian outsourcing. Annual profits rose another 41% with broad Latin American expansion plans.||33||+26||$2.9B||21.97%||54,000||Subramanian Ramadorai||ITO|
|8||91.1||HCL (Public, BOM:532281): India’s original garage start-up, HCL Technologies ranked among the world’s Top 5 IT services companies & ranked #1 among the world's specialty offshore infrastructure service providers for two consecutive years.||14||+6||$757M||2.57%||13,000||Shiv Nadar||ITO|
|9||90.7||GenPact (Public, NYSE:GE): The largest BPO company in India, GenPact is the joint venture between GE and private equity firms. Honored as country’s most admired employer.||34||+25||$1B||12.25%||30,000||Pramod Bhasin||BPO|
|10||90.2||Mellon (Public, NYSE:MEL): Mellon’s efforts to create a complete working capital management solution was highlighted by the acquisition of SourceNet Solutions, a high performing provider of finance and accounting BPO services. Mellon sold its HRO to ACS to focus on asset management product lines. It’s paying off.||48||+38||$4.3B||18.88%||17,000||Leon Busch||BPO, HRO|
|11||88.9||Fiserv (Public, NASDAQ:FISV): With a new CEO and COO onboard, Fiserv was on the acquisition track, expanding its technological footprint in the insurance industry. Positive news and strong earnings propelled swiftly growing sales.||New||-||$4.06B||11.66%||23,000||Jeffrey Yabuki||BPO|
|12||86||ClientLogic (Private): Large global presence with 24 US-based BPO facilities. New Latin American centers greatly expand ClientLogic’s global footprint while simultaneously bolstering its bilingual and near-shore English services. Top CRM vendor.||New||-||$350M||n/a||22,000||David E. Garner||BPO|
|13||85.7||Hewlett Packard (Public, NYSE:HPQ): GM awarded more than $700 million in information technology services contracts over a five-year period. Cost reduction & accountability efforts cut over 15,000 jobs.||3||-10||$86.7B||4.07%||150,000||Mark Hurd||ITO|
|14||85.5||Convergys (Public, NYSE:CVG): Top performing, award winning CRM, Convergys, the largest holder of outsourced SAP licenses in the world, is expanding its 10-year SAP relationship to help accelerate and increase the global growth of its employee care business.||9||-5||$2.6B||4.89%||66,000||James F. Orr||Call, HRO|
|15||84.7||Capgemini (Public, EPA:CAP): Hard charging for North American business, revenue is up 33%, with outsourcing comprising over 38% of Capgemini’s total revenue base. ||5||-10||$6.9B||2.03%||60,000||Paul Hermelin||BPO, ITO|
|16||83.4||RR Donnelley (Public, NYSE:RRD): 140-year-old US firm that provides solutions in commercial printing, direct mail & financial printing Acquired two major BPOs in the year: OfficeTiger and Astron, creating processes and distribution for mission-critical information for the world’s largest companies.||42||+26||$8.4B||1.62%||50,000||Mark A. Angelson||BPO|
|17||82.9||EXL Service Holdings (Private): EXL is driven on a culture of values that has produced record growth and outstanding client satisfaction ratings in financial outsourcing services.||New||-||$344M||n/a||7,000||Rohit Kapoor||BPO|
|18||81.6||i-Flex Solutions (Public, BOM:532466): This zero-debt Indian company with 96% of sales originating from software exports offers specialized custom solutions and consulting services to 625 financial services industry customers in 120 countries focused in the lending industry.||32||+14||$323M||16.65%||6,000||Rajesh Hukku||ITO|
|19||80.7||Sutherland (Private): This global BPO anticipated the surge in the European market demand for global sourcing and invested to capture a large share of this business with top ranked global call centers.||11||-8||$200M||n/a||13,000||Dilip R. Vellodi||Call, BPO|
|20||80.5||CGI (Public, NYSE:GIB): Founded in 1976, Canada’s CGI is eighth largest independent information technology and business process services firms in the world. To improve bottom line performance, a 1,000 FTE reduction in force (RIF) distressed internals. 40% growth in 2005.||20||-||$3.28B||6.11%||25,000||Michael E. Roach||BPO|
|21||77.8||24/7 Customer (Private): Continual improvements earned 24/7 a distinction of being the best performing global call center, lowering attrition & actively mentoring workers to keep clients happy.||22||+1||$300M||n/a||7,000||P.V. Kannan ||ITO|
|22||76||Accenture (Public, NYSE:ACN): Acquired middle market BPOs. Outsourcing net revenues were $1.64 billion, or 40% of net revenues. Record results didn’t necessarily add up to high client satisfaction rankings as Accenture brings aboard a new chief leadership officer to re-train its 10,000+ managers in 2006.||2||-20||$17.1B||7.18%||123,000||Joellin Comerford||ITO, BPO, HRO|
|23||74.5||Ceridian (Public, NYSE:CEN): Signed 100th multinational payroll client. Operational and earnings targets well surpassed.||29||+6||$1.46B||9.56%||9,000||Ronald L. Turner||BPO, Call|
|24||73.6||SOFTTEK (Private): Mexico’s nearshore outsourcing alternative, Softtek aims to be America’s top BPO. Softtek is one of the few companies outside of India that has global delivery capabilities.||New||-||$140M||n/a||4,000||Blanca Trevino||BPO|
|25||71.2||ICICI OneSource (Private): This globally expanding BPO is backed by ICICI Group, which manages total assets of over $38 billion. Its flagship, ICICI Bank, is India's largest private sector retail bank.||7||-18||$123M||8.99%||8,500|
|26||70.6||WNS Global Services (Private): Rated as India’s top BPO for two consecutive years by NASSCOM, WNS was recently ranked best performing BPO by neoIT.||49||+23||$165M||n/a||12,000||Neeraj Bhargava||BPO|
|27||69.8||Outsource Partners International (Private): Largest outsourcing firm dedicated solely to finance and accounting functions, OPI beefed up the marketing team and opened expanded India operations, resulting in three-year revenue growth of 842%.||39||+12||$42.7M||n/a||1,000||Clarence T. Schmitz||ITO, BPO|
|28||69.6||Datamatics (Public, BOM:532528): IT consulting & software solution clients include 5 of top 10 Fortune 500 companies plus customers in 58 countries.116% revenue growth pumped Datamatics up to be third largest pure BPO in India.||38||+10||$30.3M||14.84%||2,000||Sriram Shrinivasan||BPO|
|29||69.4||EPAM (Private): With 83% annual growth, a high demand provider of software engineering outsourcing services in Central and Eastern Europe, Moskow’s EPAM is recognized as one of the top worldwide leaders in application development.||New||-||$60M||n/a||2,000||Arkadiy Dobkin||ITO|
|30||69.3||Ness Technologies (Public, NASDAQ:NSTC): Israel's leading IT services and outsourcing company is the big winner of regional BPO business, particularly in banking, insurance & finance. Acquisitions propelled prime growth.||New||-||$386M||n/a||7,000||Raviv Zoller||BPO|
|31||69.2||TeleTech Holdings, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:TTEC): The customer is king with Teletech, and TeleTech was king of new and expanded call center contracts this year. Nearly 60% of TeleTech's revenue is generated internationally with services offered in 150 languages from nearly every continent on the globe. ||New||-||$1.1B||2.93%||40,000||Kenneth D. Tuchman||Call|
|32||68.9||Oracle (Public, NASDAQ:ORCL): Oracle is fighting toe-to-toe with archrival SAP to retain customers picked up through its $20 billion worth of acquisitions, and Oracle's shopping spree has done little to solve the company's fundamental problem: sluggishness in its flagship database business.||12||-20||$11.8B||23.51%||50,000||Lawrence J. Ellison||ITO|
|33||68.3||PeopleSupport (Public, NASDAQ:PSPT): CRM- and AR-focused BPO, PeopleSupport reported record revenues and an increase in net income of 74 %. Lowering its dependence upon its biggest clients over the last few years from around 80% to around 50% and growing product lines while expanding the number of seats for its E-reps is putting big cash in the coffers.||New||-||$62.1M||32.27%||4,000||Lance Rosenzweig||Call|
|34||67.6||International Business Alliance (Private): IBA, an alliance of privately owned companies, is the largest IT service provider in Eastern Europe. IBM has been a major strategic partner of IBA from the outset.||New||-||$30M||n/a||1,000||Sergei Levteev||ITO|
|35||65.8||IBM Global Services (Public, NYSE:IBM): Big blue is getting bigger and betting big on outsourcing in India. BPO arm IBM-Daksh added over 10,000 staff in 12 months but overall management satisfaction dropped post acquisition from the top ranked position.||1||-34||$46.2B||9.33%||20,000||Ginni Rometty||BPO, ITO|
|36||63.5||EDS (Public, NYSE:EDS): A year of executive & strategic operational shake-ups, EDS completed the sale of its global consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, and established an office of the COO to increase alignment and drive change throughout its business operations including takeover of BPO giant MphasiS.||44||+8||$19.7B||1.52%||117,000||Michael H. Jordan||BPO, ITO|
|37||62.9||Hewitt (Public, NYSE:HEW): One year after Hewitt Associates merged with Exult, Inc., Hewitt sent shock waves through the HRO industry when it announced the retirement of its CEO at year end and the resignation of its president of HRO, effective immediately. At the same time, the company announced that it will be reviewing its guidance for the third quarter and full fiscal 2006 pending a review of its HRO contracts. Wall Street moved Hewitt's stock price down by 8% to a 52-week low on the day of these announcements.||13||-24||$2.9B||4.76%||22,000||Dale L. Gifford||HRO|
|38||61.4||vCustomer (Private): Handling tens of millions of customer contacts a month, vCustomer was named by BusinessWeek as a top-10 “Hot Player” in global outsourcing call centers. Overall satisfaction took a leap up.||47||+9||$80M||n/a||3,000||Sanjay Kumar||Call|
|39||58.9||MphasiS (Public, BOM:526299): EDS has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in MphasiS BFL Limited. With the addition of MphasiS and current expansion plans, EDS' total India work force is projected to exceed 20,000 by year end but management esteem fell.||4||-35||$205M||15.94%||12,000||Jaithirth Rao||BPO, ITO|
|56.3||Wipro (Public, NYSE:WIT): India’s second largest IT company grew revenue 30% and profit after tax grew by 27%. 5% revenue contribution from innovation initiatives. Management shake-ups caused concern and entry for smaller BPOs to compete.||6||-34||$2.3B||18.95%||55,000||Azim H. Premji||BPO, ITO, Call|
|41||55||Xansa (Public, LON:XAN): UK-based Xansa offers financial BPO to primarily European clients. Building sales momentum globally with key contract wins.||15||-26||$376M||3.67%||6,000||Alistair Cox||BPO|
|42||54.1||ADP (Public, NYSE:ADP): Revenues soared through enhanced HRO offerings, ADP pays 1 in 6 private sector workers in the US but competition is capturing payroll marketshare.||31||+11||$8.5B||12.38%||44,000||Arthur F. Weinbach||HRO|
|43||52.3||Caliber Point (Public, BOM:532129): Newcomer Caliber Point Business Solutions is the independent BPO arm of Hexaware Technologies, an IT & BPO services company.||New||-||$147.5M||n/a||5,000||Ashok Bildikar||BPO, ITO|
|44||51.6||Larsen & Toubro InfoTech (Public, BOM:500510): A subsidiary of one of Asia’s largest construction and engineering corporations and BusinessWeek Asia “Top 50” technology-driven giant, Larsen & Toubro Limited.||New||-||$2.1B||8.32%||24,000||Vijay Kumar Magapu||ITO|
|45||49.8||Luxoft (Private): Russia's leading software developer and IT services exporter has long-term clients including IBM, Boeing, Dell, and Deutsche Bank. Gaining momentum, Luxoft acquired IT Consulting International, New York-based financial services specialist & keeps growing.||New||-||$37.3M||n/a||2,000||Dmitriy Loschinin||ITO|
|46||49.3||eTelecare (Private): 70% growth in call center business spurs entry on the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq later this year or in early 2007.||New||-||$153M||n/a||7,000||John Harris||Call|
|47||49.1||Unisys (Public, NYSE:UIS): Troubles abound for UIS with RIFs & low morale chatter. Management challenged to react to lower profit margins and higher losses.||17||-30||$5.76B||-29.7%||36,000||Joseph W. McGrath||ITO|
|48||48.9||Freeborders (Private): Amassing a top notch creative executive team in the US, this technology outsourcing provider from China has secured $20 million in expansion capital from investors and is ready to expand.||New||-||n/a||n/a||1,000||Ramsey Walker||ITO|
|49||48.6||Computer Sciences Corp. (Public, NYSE:CSC): Big government contract wins but lower client satisfaction scores among large competitors, CSC explored potential sale of the company, then decided to go with a stock buyback program instead. It also announced that it will cut 5,300 jobs over the next two years, mainly from its European operations. Shaky times.||16||-33||$14.6B||3.95%||79,000||Van B. Honeycutt||ITO|
|50||48.4||SPi (Private): Philippines-based outsourcing leader in the healthcare, legal, publishing and transaction markets, SPi outperformed 15 former list winners & competitor BPOs to make the 2006 rankings. Honored recently as the top global leader in human capital development. Acquired in July 2006, at the time of this writing, by ePLDT.||New||-||-||n/a||6,500||Ernest L. Cu||BPO|
BPO: Business process outsourcing
Call: Call center outsourcing
HRO: Human resources outsourcing
ITO: Information technology outsourcing
Trends in Global Outsourcing
Change is a constant among outsourcing vendors. From last year to this year, the following 15 outsourcing vendors have fallen off the "Best Managed" list.
- Northrop Grumman IT
- Siemens Business Services
- Atos Origin
The following 10 companies have fallen in ranking from 2005:
The following “Freshman Firms” have moved onto the list in 2006:
- EXL Services
- Ness Technologies
- People Support
- IBA Group
- Caliber Point Hexaware
- Larsen & Toubro Infotech
The following 10 companies have made significant jumps in their 2006 ranking over 2005:
- TATA Consultancy Services
- RR Donnelly
- WNS Global
As you can see, the Indian IT outsourcing service sector has effectively challenged the dominance of the six global Goliaths:
- Hewlett Packard
As predicted last year by TPI, an outsourcing consulting firm, the outsourcing "big six" are seeing their dominance contested in the outsourcing deals that are in the TPI pipeline and in development. The company said that over 50% of the of the $100 billion worth of outsourcing contracts due for renewal globally in the next two years -- out of which $17 billion could come in the next six months -- have a significant offshoring component "much of which could come India's way."
"The Big Six of outsourcing could see their dominance challenged," said Dennis McGuire, founder and chairman, TPI. "Historically, buyers would outsource to a single vendor. Now they look for multiple vendors and specialists around the world."
When you examine the large outsourcing deals signed since September, this trend becomes evident.
In the biggest outsourcing deal coming out of Europe ever, when ABN Amro Bank awarded its $2.2 billion outsourcing contract in September last year, it didn't just go to the established players such as IBM and Accenture. About $400 million worth of contracts were awarded to TCS ($260 million) and Infosys ($140 million), two of India's offshore IT outsourcing service providers.
But what caused the biggest shift from old practices in the global IT outsourcing arena is the huge package of outsourcing contracts worth $7.5 billion that General Motors announced at the beginning of this month. It saw EDS, GM's longtime primary supplier, losing ground while Hewlett Packard -- ignored at times -- getting a lift. Although EDS, used to bagging about two-thirds of GM's outsourcing business, still managed to bag about half -- or $3.8 billion -- of the total deal, IBM, France's CapGemini and Compuware's Covisint along with HP ended up as the biggest encroachers.
Most significantly, for the first time ever GM recognized Wipro, one of India's top five IT services companies, as a tier-1 supplier by awarding it a $27 million contract directly, which Wipro says could scale up to $300 million over the next five years.
"Indian IT services firms are considered strong in the application maintenance and development space, and clients are breaking up their contracts accordingly and doling them out to the Indian IT firms," said TPI's McGuire.
McGuire stated that an examination of the deals on which TPI advised in 2005 also revealed a higher percentage of competitive offshore contracts (83%); he said the big six's share of this market is falling. In 2005 the group won only 37% of TPI-advised contracts involving offshoring, down from over half (52%) in 2004.
"Although historically, incumbent providers have tended to be retained almost as a matter of course, the increasing level and diversity of competition, coupled with a trend towards selective or single process outsourcing all mean that providers cannot rest on their laurels," said McGuire. "Client retention will increasingly depend on an incumbent's ability to offer a competitive proposition. This could mean significant changes in price and scope from the original contract."
The mega outsourcing deals that were struck internationally over the last six months to a year are showing us that instead of focusing on a single or limited number of outsourcing service providers, outsourcing buyers are increasingly splitting their contracts by competence. Savvy outsourcing buyers understand multiple vendor governance as the phenomenon matures.
As the offshore market continues to grow, these developments are worrisome for the Big Six.
The other challenge for the Big Six is the trend towards a larger number of smaller deals that provide entry for the growing number of global players looking for opportunities. With more client firms splitting up their contracts among several vendors, the average size of deals are coming down and the deals are being spread over a number of players including smaller players. Movement is to a bigger quantity of lesser, single-function agreements. Escalating use of multiple vendors is creating business prospects for an extensive set of providers, while mitigating the competitive advantage of the big six.
The momentum that was kicked-off last year with Indian homegrown software majors TCS and Infosys biting off $400-million chunk of the ABN-Amro deal was sustained when HCL Technologies bagged a $330-million five-year contract from DSG International.
Nevertheless, the big six are shifting into strong strategic posture. For one, they're reacting to this by setting up offshore service centers all over the world and offering their clients an array of destinations to counteract the India-based firms' assaults into globalizing their processes and ramping up service operations centers around the world.
For instance, IBM, EDS and Accenture currently employ over 60,000 employees in their Indian operations, and all three have acquired other outsourcing firms in recent months.
ACS, which boasts many top US clients and hundreds of service locations, was the only big six service provider to leap upward to command the top spot in the "Best Managed" ranking in 2006.
Brown & Wilson Group
The Black Book of Outsourcing home site
Purchase the The BlackBook of Outsourcing: How to Manage the Changes, Challenges and Opportunities Doug is co-author of the best-selling business book, The BlackBook of Outsourcing: How to Manage the Changes, Challenges and Opportunities (Wiley Publishers, 2005). He’s a principal of The Brown-Wilson Group, advisors and consultants to the outsourcing industry. With over 19 years experience in Fortune 50 corporations as well as start-up ventures, Doug now specializes in the corporate healthcare, education, government and service industry sectors. Originally starting his career as a hospital administrator and managed care executive with degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Houston, Doug's career evolved into senior operations, marketing and sales, including IT and outsourcing management. He serves as adjunct professor at Syracuse University's Outsourcing Management graduate and certification programs. Contact Douglas Brown at doug.brown (at) brown-wilson.com or visit http://www.brown-wilson.com.Scott is co-author of The Black Book of Outsourcing and co-founder of Brown & Wilson Advisors. Scott has been involved with designing, marketing and delivering outsourcing solutions in healthcare for more than 12 years. He has experience with multiple outsourcing models and has participated directly in numerous outsourcing transactions. Scott is also an entrepreneur and leading speaker on outsourcing’s silver lining, particularly in the healthcare and IT industries. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Scott serves as adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Outsourcing Management graduate program. Contact Scott Wilson at scott.wilson (at) brown-wilson.com or visit http://www.brown-wilson.com.