May 2008 – The ability to report on key business metrics via customer portals has become a deciding factor in today’s outsourcing contracts as businesses demand greater transparency and accountability from their suppliers. That’s according to leading business intelligence company, Yellowfin, which says it is increasingly providing solutions to outsourcing companies whose customers want them to underpin their offerings with advanced reporting tools and customer portals so they can monitor the outsourcer’s performance in real time.
Yellowfin CEO, Glen Rabie said momentum for outsourcing continues to grow as businesses seek to lower their costs by leveraging the capabilities of specialist providers. However, he said companies on their second or third round of outsourcing contracts have learned the hard lessons from past experience and now expect far more of their suppliers than simply reducing their expenses.
“In the early days of outsourcing, companies just looked at their transaction costs and didn’t think through all the implications for their business,” Mr Rabie said. “This meant that those who outsourced their HR function had less control over how they met their regulatory and insurance obligations, while companies outsourcing their marketing or product fulfillment lost access to key customer data.”
Mr Rabie said today’s outsourcing customers are driving a new level of service delivery by requiring their supply partners to provide extensive reporting of a wide range of business metrics to enable them to track their KPIs and ensure they meet their regulatory obligations.
“Regardless of whether they are a full service provider or deliver Software as a Service online, today’s outsourcers are expected to demonstrate a level of sophistication in their business intelligence that keeps the customer fully informed about the function being outsourced.”
Yellowfin Levels the Playing Field The business realities of outsourcing as a low margin, high volume approach means that small and mid-sized outsourcers can rarely afford expensive business intelligence tools, which is where Yellowfin’s affordable, web-based solutions come in.
“Yellowfin takes the hard work and expense out of business intelligence with intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that integrate seamlessly into clients’ existing systems and provide real-time access to a full array of reporting, analysis and collaboration tools via an online portal,” said Mr Rabie.
One of Yellowfin’s clients recently won a major outsourcing contract on the strength of its ability to provide the customer with online, searchable access to detailed business analytics about the outsourced function.
“Customers are no longer willing to simply give up control of any part of their organisation and nor should they. They want the reporting capabilities and transparency that will enable them to track their performance in all areas of the business, regardless of who actually delivers the service.”
Mr Rabie said advances in technology made it possible for outsourcing companies to provide secure access to customer and transactional records online.
“We’re increasingly seeing situations where contracts are being awarded on the strength of the outsourcer’s ability to support their service delivery with business metrics and analytics. Indeed, companies which fail to leverage these technological advances to enhance their offerings are destined to lose market share to their more proactive competitors,” he said.