Although you've probably heard its CMM (Capability Maturity Model), you may not realize that the Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics [OUSD (AT&L)]. Curiously, Indian software firms especially seem to have embraced the CMM even more than US firms, perhaps as a means of establishing their credibility. At any rate, achieving CMM Level 5 status has long been viewed as a respected badge of honor among Indian and Asian firms. Now, Carnegie Mellon is working with the IT community to establish a new standard for eSourcing and BPO, the eSourcing Capability Model for Service Providers (eSCM-SP) v2.

According to the site, the eSCM-SP, which was developed by a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team from Carnegie Mellon University, Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Accenture, IBM Global Services, and EDS, addresses the critical issues related to IT-enabled sourcing (eSourcing). Sourcing providers use the eSCM-SP and its accompanying methods to systematically determine their existing capabilities. The Model is used for capability improvement and for certification at a Capability Level. Clients use the eSCM-SP as a means to compare service providers during their selection process.