Guest Blogs

Multi-Cloud Services: OFCOM and European Commission Diverge on Proposed Measures to Regulate the Cloud Infrastructure Market

by Fieldfisher - Telecoms Sector Group

On 14th July, the European Council confirmed that the draft compromise text for the European Data Act ("EU Data Act") was agreed by the Permanent Representative Committee following the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on 28th June. The EU Data Act aims to boost the EU’s data economy by, among other things, unlocking industrial data (and optimising its accessibility and use), facilitating, switching between cloud and edge services and fostering a competitive and reliable European cloud services market.

In a related development, OFCOM has provisionally proposed to refer the cloud infrastructure services market to the Competition and Markets Authority to carry out a market investigation OFCOM published its initial findings as part of its market study into public cloud services. The initial conclusions were that there were features of the cloud infrastructure services market that impeded competition in the UK (and that the market for cloud infrastructure services is currently heavily concentrated in the UK with AWS and Azure being the pre-eminent providers).

Read the full article here.

The Festival of Sourcing Reinforced my Sense of Responsibility 

by Matt Clarke Managing Director, Workforce Solutions at ADEC Innovations

Last week, at the Global Sourcing Association’s (GSA) excellent Festival of Sourcing event, I found my sense of responsibility reinvigorated.

On the one hand, that’s just what happens when you spend a few days with some of the most forward-thinking and purpose-driven buyers, suppliers and consultants in the world.

But I also think the GSA and SDUK deserve tremendous credit for managing to give vital topics like Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), impact sourcing, Net Zero and supplier diversity the gravitas they deserve while still managing to create a fun and positive atmosphere.

Read the full article here.

Sri Lanka – Building a Resilient Hub for Global Technology Development.

by Sithmi Erahapola, Intern at Azend Technologies

As an island nation, Sri Lanka has always relied on its own resources. During the age of seafaring, it became a strategic trade hub, the gateway to Southeast Asia and South Asia. Despite the Dutch, Portuguese, and British influences, the island has always managed to provide a unique allure to all those that visited and traded there. This has always been built on the bedrock of Sri Lankan resilience and ingenuity.

Even with COVID-19 shaking global supply chains and rattling economies, Sri Lanka pushed through to the best of its ability no matter the adversity. A prime example of its resilience is the thriving IT Industry. The sector has been steadily growing over the years to become one of the largest contributors to Sri Lanka’s economy.

Read the full article here.

Transforming the Business through the Digital Workplace

by Alexandru Tanase, Pratice Leader Digital Workplace Services at Stefanini EMEA

While businesses were already responding to the growing importance of digital, automation and improved efficiency prior to Covid-19, the pandemic clearly accelerated the need to embrace a new way of working. Stefanini also responded, consolidating its digital workplace offering to empower businesses seeking to meet changing employee requirements and the challenges of the new landscape.

This digital workplace not only provides businesses with a competitive advantage, enabling them to empower employees to work whenever and wherever they want – boosting productivity and an ability to recruit top talent – but delivers these results through the power of close collaboration.

“We believe in the power of co-creation – which means forming a deep partnership with our clients in order to harness the full potential of innovation by perfectly matching our solutions to our clients’ specific needs”, explains Alex Tanase, Practice Leader Digital Workplace Services at Stefanini EMEA.   

 Read the full article here.

You're not in this alone: Leading the way in Global Expansion with Strategic Partnerships

by Anna Vorobiova, Head of Business Development at Nix United 

As 2022 comes to an end, business leaders and decision-makers are getting ready for the start of 2023, giving priority to the goals that will ensure their success, despite the constraints of the current world. They need to think carefully about the strategy that will allow the company's ability to grow in 2023.

The global COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the Russo-Ukrainian War, and supply-chain disruptions in 2022 created further blocks to growth; global growth slowed from 6% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and is forecasted to slow down even more to 2.7% in 2023 by a recent IMF report.

A strategic partnership is one way to decrease the risk of business stagnation. Finding the right strategic ally is more important than ever for business expansion to reduce instability-causing factors. A strategic partnership can give you access to a larger pool of resources, expanding your customer base and your opportunities for business growth. Each ally will be able to contribute various perspectives, skills, and resources, which may result in a more inventive and effective approach to problem-solving.   

Read the full article here.

What is Sustainability & ESG

by Hemant Puthli, Managing Director & Partner at NEO Group

Agile sourcing is something all procurement and sourcing professionals are aware of as a concept and many claim to understand to a greater or lesser degree.  Many, indeed, are prepared to state that it is commonly used within their organisations.

However, experience in supporting pan-sector clients over the last few years, in developing sourcing and procurement strategies, suggests a somewhat different picture. There is a good degree of confusion around what agile sourcing actually means, why is it important and, more importantly, how and when it should be deployed.

Agile originates from, and is a very well understood term, in software development with a clear methodology and defined processes.  And, understandably, Agile as a term has become synonymous with corporate speed and flexibility.

Read the full article here.

Making a Difference and Impacting Lives

by Jehan Perinpanayagam, CEO of Infomate PVT LTD.

Leaders, do you look beyond your radar and ask how you can really make a difference and impact lives?

Corporate leaders oftentimes need to go beyond all the standard KPIs and targets to ask themselves a question that is frequently off the beaten path of their operational priorities. Consider for a moment why your company exists and what its main goals are. Today, we witness a growing number of corporate activists advocating diversity, equality, environmental concerns, and social issues. This prompts us to reconsider our goals and consider whether we can expand the influence that businesses can play. Majority of companies are aware that there are a lot more stakeholders and purposes that an organization may serve than the traditional model that is largely focused on shareholders. 

My selection at Infomate was the culmination of a spectacular set of occasions, so amazing that I continue to think there must have been a rationale.  This has been repeatedly reaffirmed over the course of our 17-year professional relationship as we have witnessed the enormous influence that businesses can truly have in improving communities, changing lives, and revolutionizing societies.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Read the full article here.

Agile Sourcing

by Rosalyn Olney, Partner at Source-Re

Agile sourcing is something all procurement and sourcing professionals are aware of as a concept and many claim to understand to a greater or lesser degree.  Many, indeed, are prepared to state that it is commonly used within their organisations.

However, experience in supporting pan-sector clients over the last few years, in developing sourcing and procurement strategies, suggests a somewhat different picture. There is a good degree of confusion around what agile sourcing actually means, why is it important and, more importantly, how and when it should be deployed.

Agile originates from, and is a very well understood term, in software development with a clear methodology and defined processes.  And, understandably, Agile as a term has become synonymous with corporate speed and flexibility.                       

Read the full article here.

What We've Learned This Year About the Future of Service

by Dave Pattman, MD Customer Experience at GoBeyond  Partners, Part of the Webhelp Group

At Webhelp we spend lots of time thinking about – and working on – what the future of customer service could look like. As we move into 2023 here’s some of what we’ve learned in the last year.

Customers are changing the game (so you’d better keep up). Let’s start with a reality check. Thanks to access to comparison services and available data, consumers are now experts in assessing products and services. Influenced by recommendations from their peers on social media and actively engaged with the brands they like, consumers bring their own fully-formed opinions of a brand’s service with them.                                                                                                                                                     

Read the full article here.

Colombia, The hidden jewel for outsourcing in Latin America

As early as 1981, the World Bank identified Colombia as one of the first countries to profit from the international move towards outsourcing, thanks to its skilled and competitive labour costs and easy access to communications. The development of the Internet in the early 2000s opened vast new opportunities in the sector and saw a surge of Business Process Outsourcing services. By 2007, the BPO sector was key in the Colombian outsourcing and offshoring industry and while call centres accounted for 59% of the overall BPO sector, it was notorious that Colombia’s outsourcing and offshoring industry was moving towards high-value, data and knowledge-based services.

Now, the BPO and KPO industries account for 3,5% of Colombia’s GDP and more than 25 international multinationals from these sectors have trusted Colombia and have opened operations in the country due to the great talent and service we provide to their clients in the US, Europe and the LATAM region. The BPO sector is one of the largest employment generators in the country. Drawing on a 50-million strong population and a young, well-educated, technically skilled workforce, the sector currently accounts for more than 700,000 employees.

Read the full blog here

How Stefanini Supported Hepster In Scaling their Business

Stefanini are proud to share an update on our collaboration with hepster, which is an insurance business headquartered in Germany. hepster’s CTO has spoken really enthusiastically about how the quality and speed of the service we've provided has played a really important role in hepster realizing their ambitious growth plans.

During our partnership, we’ve been able to code, test and debug applications, solve customer problems, identify improvements for existing systems and evaluate potential candidates for all hepster development teams.

Our work with hepster is just the latest in a series of exciting projects that are allowing us to innovate in order to co-create a better future.

Watch the video, where hepster’s CTO, Peter Schöning, and our very own Business Development Director, Karin De Man, discuss how we have made the partnership a success despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. You can read more about the partnership in this article.

Vietnam: A Hidden Gem for Outsourcing

by Chloe Trinh Tran, Content Writer and Mohan Naidu, Managing Director at FPT Software

In the era of uncertainty post-pandemic, businesses are presented with various adversities, one of which is IT talent shortages. Business leaders must explore new outsourcing models and locations to overcome this challenge. In recent years, Vietnam has emerged as an attractive outsourcing destination for enterprises worldwide due to its growing IT infrastructure, improving logistics, and regulatory environment:

·        Ranked 5th in Global Services Location Index (AT Kearney, 2021)

·        Tier 1 Emerging Offshore location in APAC (Gartner, 2019)

·        Ranked 9th in Top 10 Digital Nation (Tholons,)

·        Top 6 best locations for IT outsourcing, according to The Global Services Location Index (GSLI, 2021)

·        Ho Chi Minh City in Top Outsourcing Cities in 8 consecutive years (Tholons, 2009-2016)

Read the full article here.

Mauritius: Carving out its Niche in the Global Delivery Model

by Pratima Sewpal, Manager, ICT & Digital Services at EDB Mauritius

Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean, is an island of multiple facets and a mosaic of cultures. Long hailed as an ideal getaway destination for Europeans in quest of a luxury holiday, Mauritius has a lot more to offer besides the Sun, Sea and Sand.

From its roots as a traditional outsourcing destination, Mauritius has evolved into a thriving international and competitive ICT platform. The country has not only established itself as an attractive and cost competitive global services delivery destination but is also gaining prominence as an emerging tech hotspot as acknowledged in the Kearney Global Services Location Index 2021.

Read the full article here.

The Growing Tech Industry Will be The Driving Force In Ukraine’s Recovery

by Konstantin Vasyuk, Executive Director at IT Ukraine Association

In new military realities Ukrainian tech industry is staying stable and expanding sector of the national economy. Its rapid growth by more than 50% during 2019-2021 continued up to the War and in February 2022 resulted in the highest monthly indicator of export in the history of the Ukrainian tech market – $839 million.

Moreover, for 3 months of the war - from March to May – Ukrainian Tech demonstrated its resilience in the face of turmoil and 6% growth of computer services export compared to the same period of the previous year. For the first five months of 2022 the industry provided $ 3,2 billion worth of foreign currency incomes to the Ukrainian economy.

Read the full article here.

Turning Chatbots from a Frustrating Failure to a Flourishing Business Function

by Terry Walby, Co-Founder and CEO at OpenDialog AI

There are many aspects of life that drive us all crazy. But when it comes to dealing with brands, there is a real frontrunner in the frustrations steaks - chatbots. As a staple of online brand interactions they are something we’ve all had experiences with. Mostly poor ones.

Their inability to naturally communicate can leave users feeling anywhere from frustrated at best, to wanting no further interaction with the brand at worst. In the majority of cases they are as ineffective as they are prevalent and it’s time something was done about it.

Read the full article here.

South Africa: GBS/BPO Offshore Location of Choice

by Traci Freeman, Marketing & Growth at BPESA

During this auspicious festival, BPESA, as the national trade body and industry association for the Global Business Services (GBS) sector in South Africa had the opportunity to share case studies and success stories of global logo’s being serviced out of the country.

For the fourth consecutive year the sector has observed a rapid growth rate of 22% CAGR. The GBS sector which includes the expanse of CX, Shared and Professional Services as well as Digital and ITO has demonstrated resilience in the face of global disruptions.  Recognition as the Top CX offshore destination for the second consecutive year has resulted in an influx of large global brands and BPO’s being prompted by clients to consider the country as part of alternate geographical risk mitigation expansion strategies.  We are humbled to wear this accolade and do so with pride knowing that our global client community continues to see value in the South African GBS and BPO offering.

Read the full article here.

How to Accelerate Contracting and Enable Supplier Diversity

by David Jones, CEO & Founder at Claus.ify 

Did you know, most businesses have their own version of a Master Services Agreement, yet around 90% of the content of executed MSAs is substantively the same (though expressed in different words)? Why are we spending months negotiating positions when we already know where we’ll likely land? It’s expensive and it’s getting in the way of closing deals quickly. It’s not good business.

Then there is the fundamental problem with contracting – larger suppliers are often better-placed to assess and mitigate the risks of (pro)customer terms appended to RfPs, which effectively locks-out smaller suppliers. In a world where there is such a focus on diversity and equality, who is looking out for smaller businesses? What about supplier diversity?

Read the full article here.

Bangladesh – The Next ICT Powerhouse

by Russell T Ahmed, President at Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS)

With business services growing by 9% and the Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) by about 20% in 2021, the global business and technology industry is seeing the biggest economic boom since the era. These present great opportunities as companies embark on digital transformation. But there are challenges too. And the biggest challenge facing the industry right now is the talent crisis. The UK alone has 1 million tech vacancies, with software developers being in high demand. Traditional sources like India, are themselves experiencing a shortage in human resources. This crisis is further exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. As such, the UK tech industry is looking for other delivery destinations and service providers. Bangladesh is a clear alternative.

Read the full article here.

How to build a Global Business Services even in times of Corona

by Constanze Nusperling, Head of Global Business Services at Avient Corporation and GSA Executive Council Member

In case you have ever set up a new business unit in your company, you will be aware how time-consuming this can be - especially when the unit is as emotionally charged as Global Business Services (i.e. the further development of traditional Shared Services into a global, multifunctional structure). If on top of that, Corona gets in the way, and you cannot travel anywhere, some out of the box thinking is required to achieve your goals nevertheless.

Read the full article here.

The Rebirth of the Contact Centre; Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS)

by Alistair Niederer, Head of EMEA at TTEC and member of the GSA Executive Council

At a recent GSA Pop-up event a panel of leading industry speakers and CX experts including myself and Tony Chambers, Head of Digital at TTEC EMEA discussed the concept of ‘Contact Centre as a Service’ (CCaaS).

So, what is CCaaS?  Contact Centre as a Service is a software deployment model that enables companies to only purchase the technology they need and is commonly operated by a vendor to reduce IT, integration, and support costs.  CCaaS solutions are most commonly deployed as a cloud-based CX solution in contact centres, but in some instances, an on-site CCaaS software solution is more ideal.

Read the full article here.

The Future of Contracting

by Simon Lightman, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland and member of the GSA Executive Council

On Tuesday 9th March I had the pleasure of taking part in a roundtable discussion on the future of contracting as part of the GSA’s Festival of Sourcing (click here for a recording of the session).  

The session was moderated by Chris Bates, Partner at Ashurst LLP, with the following panellists and I was joined on the panel but Arnab Dutt OBE (Chair, Social Value Policy Unit at Federation of Small Businesses), Joel Walker (Global Head of Corporate Services Procurement at Vodafone) and Ian Puddy (Partner at Independent Advisor Network).

Read the full article here.

Wellbeing for 2021 - A Review of the Impacts of Home Working

by Joe Williams, Supplier Governance Manager at Aviva and member of the GSA Executive Council

The Covid pandemic has been a huge challenge for businesses across all sectors and industry, however in amongst the challenges some notable opportunities are presenting themselves. A recent survey completed by the City of London Corporation indicated that (of 52 COL based firms) 60% of COL firms were reviewing their space requirements. Pre pandemic figures suggested that less than 1 in 4 members of staff were working from home (WFH) at least one day a week prior to the pandemic compared to an expectation that from the end of the pandemic that this will increase to 3 in 4 staff members WFH at least once a week. At the GSA, we know that a large portion of our member base are also reviewing their property footprints (as we have done ourselves) with an expectation that more of our people will move to virtual way of working on a more frequent basis.

Read the full article here.

Don't Make your CFO Grumpy Just Because You're Going Cloud Native!

by Ravi Veerasubramanian, Director, Cloud and Digital Managed Services at NTT Data UK

CTOs and IT teams love the public cloud (IaaS and PaaS) for the elasticity, feature-set, ease of use and flexibility. Its freed them up from some many constraints they've lived with....

BUT : Do you know a CFO who loves surprises - unpredictable, unforecasted OPEX and unplanned CAPEX makes them grumpy...

Read the full article here.

Five Ways to Wellbeing: Revamped

by Eleanor Thompson, Alliances Manager at Fivetran and member of the GSA Executive Council

Right back at the beginning of lockdown I wrote a piece on the Five Ways to Wellbeing. It was helpful for some people at the time but I think it’s in need of a more realistic refresh. The pandemic has continued for longer than I think many of us expected and for me, the novelty of Zoom quizzes, Instagram workouts, and baking banana bread has really started to wear off. 

Read the full article here.

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