April 20, 2016 3:55 pm | Updated 9 months ago.
With the IT offshore outsourcing services industry maturing over a period of over four decades, there are now a large number of offshore services providers ranging in size from tens of billions of dollars to a few hundreds of thousands of dollars. A similar situation exists in the buyer’s space where there are organizations ranging from the ones that spend hundreds of millions of dollars in buying IT offshore outsourcing services to organizations that spend a few thousand dollars.
- Need for an aggregator platform for IT offshore outsourcing services: In a scenario like above that exists in the IT offshore outsourcing space today, where the behavior of the buyers and sellers are highly disparate, there is a need for a platform that provides an ecosystem that can meet the diverse needs of these buyers and sellers, irrespective of their size or their outsourcing budget etc. An Aggregator provides such a platform that enables the disparate base of Customers and Vendors of IT services to transact with each other.
- Expectations from an Aggregator platform: The Offshore Outsourcing Services provisioning model today is similar to what the hotel industry used to be prior to the players like Airbnb and hotels.com coming in; or what the taxi services used to be prior to Uber coming in. To ensure a smooth transition from the current model, the expectations from the Offshore Outsourcing Services Aggregator are:
- Efficiency: Given the outsourcing need of a customer, the Aggregator using its technology needs to be able to find quickly a set of right vendors that meets the expectations of the customer.
- Transparency: The vendor selection model used by the aggregator needs to be transparent and needs to provide a level playing field to all vendors that qualify to meet the requirements specified by the customer.
- Trust: Today, the relationship between the customer and the offshore outsourcing vendor is based on trust that has been built over the years of interaction between the customer and the vendor. Clearly, the customers will look to have similar trust in the capabilities and commitment of the offshore vendors proposed by the Aggregator platform. This, however, is in no way different from what used to happen in the hotel industry before Airbnb came in or in the travel industry before Expedia came in. The Aggregator platform for offshore outsourcing services will need to have a built-in mechanism to instill this trust between the customer and the vendor.
- Value delivery by the Aggregator platform: To ensure that the Aggregator platform meets the above expectations, it needs to address the following aspects:
- Smart Content Plan: The Aggregator platform needs to continuously source relevant content, not only for the buyers and sellers to understand the value that they can get from the Aggregator but more importantly to develop trust in each other that will lead to future transactions being carried out between them.
- Clear messaging: Equally important is the Aggregator platform to ensure that the messages communicated by its content clearly bring out what value the buyer and/or seller will derive from using the platform and in what timeframe. There should also be clarity on what risks are involved and what safeguards and risk mitigation plans have been put in place by the Aggregator platform.
- Audience plan: Clearly, not everything is suitable for everyone or for every situation. For example, a highly mission critical application may need to be developed using an in-house team and may really not be a candidate for using the aggregator platform. It is, therefore, necessary that the aggregator platform clearly articulates its audience plan relating to the size of business, size of the deal, criticality of deal etc.