Vested Outsourcing, Second Edition: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing

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Innovations in Talent Management: University of Tennessee. Author: Future of Sourcing Awards.

Can you outline why your team embarked on this project and the problem that needed to be solved? How were things done originally and what was the inspiration to innovate the process? UT researchers saw common threads in those successful relationships.

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These successful relationships worked jointly towards shared goals to drive innovation, create value, and reward success. They consciously laid the foundation of trust, most often with deep levels of transparency.

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Simply put, a win for the buyer was a win for the service provider. Thus was the Vested business model born. What KPIs did you use to measure success for this project? For example: performance, customer satisfaction, revenue, sales or relevant financial gains? There were no KPIs in the traditional sense of that term — but rather a shared vision that guiding UT researchers and a small group of advocates for our work which we referred to a mavens inspired by the term out of the book The Tipping Point in how to get ideas to spread. Our metrics were really the progress we had against our shared vision and our desired outcomes centered on education, dissemination and ultimately implementation of the Vested methodology.

Success would be when real organization began to get real results from applying the learnings of our research — changing the world one deal at a time. Our first major milestone was simply around dissemination of our research and started with the first Vested book published in , Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing. The UT research library also now includes 18 white papers and 18 case studies.

See The Vested website for more information about the books and research library. In addition to those publications, UT has developed comprehensive courseware programs — both online and classroom — for the study and implementation of Vested ideas and agreements that change the mindset and landscape of how organizations outsource Those programs have grown exponentially: Today more than companies have sent nearly people to study Vested in one or more UT courses offered in its Certified Deal Architect program.

We have taught courses across the globe including South Africa and Saudi Arabia all with the emphasize to change the world one deal at a time through educating people on the art, science and practice of how to create and sustain highly collaborative business relationships.

To date, 57 companies have employed the Vested methodology in an effort to improve their outsourcing relationships.

Vested Outsourcing, Second Edition : Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing

How do you plan to ensure that the new model remains relevant and adapts to the future needs of the market? We are continuously revising, refining and improving the UT courses. The first Vested book is now in its second edition. Together, Microsoft and Accenture worked out how they would measure the success of the OneFinance.

This "together" attitude helped the companies get beyond the "I-win-you-lose" approach typically associated with outsourcing agreements focused heavily on SLAs. The vision of transforming its back office finance processes would hinge on getting the pricing model economics right. It was imperative to design the pricing model aimed at compensating Accenture for achieving transformational results beyond simply performing base services. After extensive deliberation, the team agreed on a strategy to use a hybrid pricing approach that included four building blocks—base services, other services, infrastructure and incentivized transformation.

The building blocks, when combined, created an overall pricing model that would not only be fair, but would provide significant incentives to drive productivity and transformation efforts. Elements of the process model included use of a global pricing model with a local adjustment; a fee at risk approach using a productivity index to ensure productivity gains; volume-banding to allow for flexibility and to capture the effect of fixed asset volumes and use of a gain-share incentive structure.

These elements are discussed at length in a University of Tennessee white paper on Microsoft OneFinance.

Second Edition Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing Vested Outsourcing

Getting the business model and contract right was only the first step. A successful outsourcing relationship is only as good as the governance that follows the signing ceremony.

What happens after signing is what matters, most especially in a Vested partnership. The OneFinance team believed if they did a good job picking the right partner, a trusted expert in its field, they would manage the business with a minimal headcount. Microsoft decided to invest in a sound and flexible governance structure would be used in lieu of paying employees to watch over Accenture doing the work. Microsoft wanted to stress insight and transformation, not oversight. Microsoft and Accenture purposefully and strategically crafted a governance structure that would best allow for this to happen.

A key component of the governance structure was balancing regional execution needs and corporate needs to drive standardization and transformation. The parties moved beyond lip service of saying they wanted transformation and invested in a resources and process that would drive transformation. Microsoft and Accenture also invested in a "2 in a Box" peer-to-peer governance structure to foster decision making, encourage timely issue resolution at the lowest possible levels, and drive consensus on implementing changes in their transformation initiatives. The peer-to-peer relationships proved to valuable in ensuring the companies stayed in alignment. The companies also invested heavily in communication tools and processes that allowed the parties to work transparently. Today the OneFinance initiative outsources back office finance transactions in 96 countries to Accenture. While awards are nice, it is the results that matter. Within the first two years the team had reduced the number of systems used to manage finance operations from to less than 40 and achieved impressive operational service levels at But the best result comes from getting to sleep at night.

Together Microsoft and Accenture have conquered compliance.

Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing

Accenture has a future revenue stream as part of a long-term contract that most service providers would envy. The OneFinance contract is the essence of a Vested relationship. While Microsoft believes it is on the path to achieve what it set out to achieve, it did it with the help of a business partner. Using the Vested model, Microsoft and Accenture share a vision and they share success.

They are on the same creative and innovative journey, working together to drive out waste and create world-class financial processes and a sustainable infrastructure for the twenty-first century. The Vested model and framework can and should be the foundation for a win-win outsourcing arrangement.

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I encourage you to challenge your thinking. To help you start your journey, UT has created four free modules of online courseware — Vested Outsourcing Orientation. Reach Shared Services professionals through cost-effective marketing opportunities to deliver your message, position yourself as a thought leader, and introduce new products, techniques and strategies to the market.

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