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Managing Collaborative Relationships in a Crisis

COVID-19 and the resulting global lock down has put a huge strain on service delivery around the world. Call centres in India, the UK’s biggest delivery destination, almost closed overnight, with limited contingency planning for a wholesale, global close down. 


Mark Devonshire,

GSA Chairman and VP and Head of Client Delivery for EMEA/Latam, NTT Data Services

Steve Watson,

Principal Consultant, Peru Consulting

Mark Crichard,

Partner, RPC

Ravi Veerasubramanian,

GSA Council Member and Managing Consultant, Gibbs Hybrid

Event Summary

Some industries, such as travel and tourism, suspended nearly all operations, yet other industries, such as ecommerce have experienced a massive upturn. As a result, some services have effectively been mothballed whilst others asked to ramp up activity significantly overnight. There are ways of doing this correctly.

The GSA urges companies to follow industry best practice at this time. This is not a time for short termism and knee jerk reactions. Business will come back and companies and individuals will remember how they were treated at this time.

To help the industry navigate the storm the GSA is held an online tutorial on how to manage relationships to industry best practice even at times of crisis. This covered:

  • Relationship management is a combination of science and art
  • How to grow trust even in times of crisis
  • Governance problems
  • Managing fluctuating performance
  • Review of risk approach
  • Disaster recovery, business continuity and exit plans


Chris Halward - GSA Associate Director of Professional Development 


Mark Devonshire - GSA Chairman and VP and Head of Client Delivery for EMEA/Latam, NTT Data Services

Mark is Vice President and the Head of Client Delivery for NTT Data Services business across EMEA and LATAM. Mark’s reputation is in managing significant Global IT services businesses; ensuring delivery excellence, motivated people, innovation and ever increasing levels of customer satisfaction.

Mark is known for driving positive change, with a proven track record of delivering tech enabled transformational change programmes in complex business environments. Previously Mark worked for Capgemini, CSC, Fujitsu and London Underground.

Mark has held several Non-Executive roles within the NHS, where he was the Vice Chairman responsible for driving the ongoing transformation and assurance of a Trust undergoing significant change.

Mark holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from Loughbrough University.

Steve Watson - Principal Consultant, Peru Consulting

Mark Crichard - Partner, RPC

Ravi Veerasubramanian - GSA Council Member and Managing Consultant, Gibbs Hybrid

Sourcing is at the crossroads of significant change as enterprises increasingly partner and collaborate externally to succeed, innovate, disrupt and survive. I am very passionate about strategic sourcing being a true enabler of enterprise agility and value creation – all parties and players in today’s sourcing eco-system need to collaboratively evolve new capabilities, leverage digital opportunities. In 2020 and beyond – a core theme that I want to champion in and for the GSA is “making the enterprise buy-side market-place & processes more transparent, easier to navigate and less onerous for SMEs and start-ups. The current ways of working are too geared towards the established and large suppliers.

I am a currently a managed services sales leader on the sell-side. Prior to that I have spent a number of years as a sourcing advisor and transformation director on the buy-side - helping clients become more effective, agile & efficient by successfully transforming their outsourced services and supply chains. My core focus has always been on supporting CTOs, CIOs and CFOs transform their technology services and operations by supplying innovative solutions, adopting “game-changing” sourcing models and successfully navigating complex change whilst achieving significant commercial value.

Earlier in my career I worked sell-side, supply side in senior management roles in sales, client management, programme & services leadership and practice management with large global technology service providers and consulting firms.

I have an MBA from University of Warwick and bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Engineering. I have been living in the UK for the last 20 years but prior that have lived in India, Thailand, Africa and have spent time in North America. I live in the Chilterns, am married with two teenage children. My hobbies are travelling, running / general fitness training and reading.

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