Zensar Technologies Launches First Time Offshoring Initiative

Offshoring now seen by many as a strategic initiative for any software organisation that is serious about competing globally was given a massive boost with a new initiative aimed at the critical "virgin" market First Time Offshoring, launched by Zensar Technologies at the Gartner Outsourcing and IT Services Summit 2007.

Krishna Ramaswami, Head of Operations for Global Outsourcing Services at Zensar Technologies, revealed to an audience of leading UK and European companies a unique FTO package designed exclusively for organisations who had either yet to offshore or who had done so but had been less than satisfied with results achieved.

Mr Ramaswami, speaking at the sixth annual Gartner Outsourcing and IT Services Summit in London, told his audience that many companies across the world were aware of offshoring but had not taken the first step, for a variety of reasons, ranging from whether the time was right for them to outsource, to how they would retain control, whether there might be a cultural mismatch, what implications there might be on security and how the whole process would be managed.

"Promoting wage disparity to achieve cost savings has been a significant contributor to failed offshore initiatives, primarily because other hidden costs of infrastructure, due diligence etc are not articulated. They believed they must achieve massive, often unrealistic, cost savings on outsourcing. The real savings however come on achieving steady state, 12-18 months into the engagement", said Mr Ramaswami.

"As the confidence builds, we also see relationships build from just cost saving to more value adding services that include key BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) areas and KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing)", he added.

To address potential barriers to achieving FTO, Zensar had completed several months of obtaining customer opinion and feedback. From this research it had developed a process to provide reassurance and reinforce the offshoring message, demonstrate expertise and support the decision-making process, as well as achieving buy-in from users in addition to decision makers.

Zensar's view of the offshoring market segments comprises three major categories - First Time Offshorers, Dissatisfied Offshorers and Educated, Experienced Offshorers. The First Timers need reassurance and guidance; the Dissatisfied need a guarantee of success and customer references and the Experienced need to move to the next level of the value chain, with continuous productivity and cost improvements through proactive initiatives.

Zensar's answer has been to produce its five-stage FTO Service Pack. The five stages making up the FTO are:
Leadership Team Imperatives Workshop agree on the need for FTO, identify expectations, educate and draw up an Action Plan;
Offshore Readiness Study assessing the customer's readiness, looking at its applications, people, processes and technology, looking at risks and presenting a high level business case for offshoring;
Application Portfolio Assessment Mapping applications, categorizing them and giving priority to applications best suited for FTO;
Offshore Analysis Study Defining a roadmap and offshoring plan, with strategy, timelines, transitioning and defining business benefits and ROI;
Phase 1 identification Deciding on the first implementation, building a plan and team and formulating a contract.

"We believe our approach gives first timers a unique chance to learn and better understand what they are getting into. They control their involvement and can then feel much more confident as they move forward. This approach will be an important milestone in the concept of FTO being introduced to a vast new range of organisations".

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