Adjusting Outsourcing Relationships to a New Economic Reality

“Businesses are looking for service providers to help them manage the complexity and risk of deploying their infrastructure. They want to gain access to the skills and resources that help reduce cost, improve efficiencies and allow their internal IT resources to focus on key value-added areas that add business differentiation.” – Richard Dean, IDC

In today’s highly competitive business environment, even traditional companies are continually moving to improve their product offerings and attract new types of customers. Especially in information technology (IT), industry leaders focus on improving business process efficiency, while searching for competent allies in the supply chain to deliver complex solutions. Easy access of e-commerce lures many companies to expand their reach well beyond local boundaries into differing cultural and language environments. An order of complexity is added to the formula when the rollout of equipment and solutions extends to geographically diverse locations where companies may have no local presence and different local codes, regulations, standards and currencies are constantly subject to change.

For most companies, it is far too expensive and risky to build an international delivery and service organization. This is due to a variety of factors, such as import/export restrictions, cultural differences, local regulations and in-country presence. Therefore, many of these companies decide to collaborate with service partners whose strength lies in their international infrastructure. Even companies that historically have had an international framework are finding it cost-effective to outsource the delivery, installation and service of their product lines to partners who match their expertise and customer demographics.

This article concentrates on some of the issues and common problems facing multinational deployment projects, why partnership adds value, reduces risk and what IT companies should expect from their international service providers. The article also addresses potential solutions that help make a project successful. The focus of these solutions is on the value of strong project management, but other factors are considered as well, such as the importance of staging, installation and procurement.