Category Archives: Managed Services

← Older posts

Offshore vs RPA, a tectonic shift in technology’s impact on Business Process Outsourcing

Posted on by Allan Watton Offshore va RPA

Traditional Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) looks to reduce costs for a client by migrating their more repetitive tasks to resources located in more cost-effective regions of the world. We are talking about outsourcing to the likes of India (where around three million people are engaged in work generated by the BPO sector) and the Philippines (where this number is currently around a million people), to name a few. However, there

Read More

Posted in blog, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The £213m Government Skills gap the NAO believes needs to be plugged.

Posted on by Allan Watton £213m Government Skills Gap

The NAO have reported that “A third of major government projects due to deliver in the next five years are rated as in doubt or unachievable unless action is taken to improve delivery” NAO Controller and Auditor Amyas Morse believes that the central issue lies in the digital skills gap that exists across many of these public sector projects. Morse feels that as “70% and 80% of their projects are

Read More

Posted in blog, Contract Management, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Relationship, Risk Management, successful Outsourcing relationship | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Active or Passive Management Best for your Outsourcing Relationship?

Posted on by Allan Watton Is Active or Passive Management best for your outsourcing relationship

Academic analysis of the outsourcing sector would likely compartmentalise partnership relationship management into two clear camps – active and passive. In the active management camp, clients take an overarching governance role that some might say risks stifling vendor creativity and expertise; in the passive management camp, others could suggest, the client leaves themselves open to a litany of potential unscrupulous activities they are ill-prepared to cope with. So, can either

Read More

Posted in blog, Contract Management, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Relationship, successful Outsourcing relationship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NAO’s review of Cabinet Office Shared Services Plan Finds Room for Improvement

Posted on by John King NAO’s review of Cabinet Office shared services plan finds room for improvement

In their ongoing drive to reduce costs while attempting to improve services, the government has long believed shared services to be the answer. Annual savings in the region of 20% are commonly cited by those using shared services centres to manage their back office functions, so the option certainly seems tempting. But when the NAO recently reviewed the Cabinet Office’s Next Generation Shared Services strategy they found that there was

Read More

Posted in Managed Services, Outsourcing, Public Sector | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

£500m of Atos contracts under review by Whitehall. Could your perfectly worded contract lead your project astray?

Posted on by John King £500m of Atos Contracts Under Review by Whitehall

Despite sticking to the letter of their contract, we see £500m of Atos contracts under review by Whitehall. Time and again you will hear us discussing the benefits of a well-worded contract, of the need for it to be clear, complete and flexible to the needs of the project. But what happens when it’s your perfectly worded contract that is working against you? Then, it seems, you need to be

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Public Sector | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Four supplier relationship lessons learned from the failure of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT)

Posted on by Allan Watton NHS Logo (Cartoon)

Selecting and managing suitable suppliers often requires a much greater emphasis on communicating your business outcomes to them, along with much more subtlety and finesse in managing the emotional stakes, than many realise. The importance of strong supplier relationships from the outset cannot be overstated and to achieve your business objectives it is essential that both sides feel adequately incentivised. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, as programmes, projects, and the

Read More

Posted in Cut Costs, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 5 steps to a successful service delivery partnership

Posted on by Allan Watton Innovation Partnership

The degree to which organisations engage in the strategic commissioning process can, however, greatly affect the future of their relationship with their service provider, and can even dictate whether they save money or incur costs that they never budgeted for. While saving money is often the main reason that companies go down the external service provision (or outsourcing) route, there are other potentially positive factors to consider. Outsourcing could improve

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, Managed Services, Outsourcing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Insource or Outsource? 3 key steps to decide the best route

Posted on by Allan Watton insource or outsource

Cutting costs is always high on the agenda. With the constant pressure on all to deliver against business targets during austerity measures, many organisations have looked to accelerate this process by, to some extent, outsourcing both back and front office services. Because the results have been very mixed, we are currently seeing lots of organisations trying to determine whether to go for second or third generation outsourcing/commissioning, or to bite

Read More

Posted in Managed Services, Outsourcing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Now Liverpool Direct is unwinding too…3 lessons learned to avoid the same thing happening to you

Posted on by Allan Watton training

It was only last week that we were (or so we thought) reporting on BT’s latest public sector partnership issues with One Connect and Lancashire County Council… and yet it’s BT’s relationship with Liverpool County Council that is in the spotlight today as Liverpool Direct has announced that it too is looking to wind down its operations. They say that bad news comes in threes. If you include BT’s breakup

Read More

Posted in Managed Services, Outsourcing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Failure of Southwest One: What Can We Learn?

Posted on by Allan Watton SouthWest One

In 2007, Somerset County Council struck a deal to outsource various services to a joint venture company. That company — Southwest One (SW1) — was intended to serve as a trailblazer that demonstrated how public and private organisations could work together to benefit the communities of the South West and further afield. However, at the end of March the death knell of the relationship was marked by news that Somerset

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Recovery, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , | Comments Off on The Failure of Southwest One: What Can We Learn?

How to Use an Expert to Fix a Failing Provider Relationship

Posted on by Richard Kerr Superglue and a broken ornament

It’s a common situation. An organisation is very disappointed with what they perceive to be unsatisfactory service delivery from a strategic provider and they want out of the contract. They appreciate that exiting a service provider, complex IT or strategic commissioning contract can open up a proverbial hornet’s nest, so they bring in an expert to assist in facilitating a relatively smooth process. If at that stage Best Practice Group

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Recovery, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Use an Expert to Fix a Failing Provider Relationship

Should Local Authorities Overcome Their Fear of Strategic Commissioning?

Posted on by Allan Watton How Local Authorities Can Overcome Their Fear of Strategic Commissioning

Although Councils are tasked with slashing budgets whilst maintaining (or even increasing) the quality of public services, the endorsement of strategic commissioning as a potential solution is seen by many councillors as dangerous ground upon which to tread. In fairness, their reticence is understandable. We recently reported that Cornwall County Council leader Alex Robertson was ousted from his role in the wake of his attempts to finalise a hefty strategic commissioning contract.

Read More

Posted in Cut Costs, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Public Sector | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Should Local Authorities Overcome Their Fear of Strategic Commissioning?

Why Strategic Commissioning Must Not Be Shunned by Struggling Local Authorities

Posted on by Allan Watton Why Strategic Commissioning Must Not Be Shunned by Struggling Local Authorities

Cornwall County Council leader Alec Robertson was ousted from his role last week in the wake of his attempts to finalise a hefty strategic commissioning contract. Robertson planned to outsource various Council services in a deal worth £300m. This followed the resignation of his deputy leader, Jim Currie, who protested Robertson’s eagerness to proceed vehemently. If this news demonstrates anything, it is that strategic commissioning is clearly under a great

Read More

Posted in Cut Costs, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Public Sector | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Why Strategic Commissioning Must Not Be Shunned by Struggling Local Authorities

Managed Service Provider Up For Sale? 3 Risks to Consider and 3 Steps to Take

Posted on by Allan Watton Northgate Managed Services

The news last Thursday that Northgate Managed Services has put itself up for sale comes as little surprise to those of us with extensive experience in the managed services sector. The company has been struggling to provide any significant return for its group and in turn, its investors. Despite a turnover in excess of £128m in the last financial year, Northgate MS made an operating profit of just £200,000 — and that

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Recovery, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Managed Service Provider Up For Sale? 3 Risks to Consider and 3 Steps to Take

Back to Basics: The Importance of Culture in a Service Commissioning Partnership

Posted on by Allan Watton The Importance of Culture in a Commissioning Partnership

There are many factors that you must bring under consideration when entering into a service commissioning partnership. You are no doubt familiar with the “usual suspects” — price and capability. It isn’t unreasonable for them to be key considerations — after all, the success of any commissioning partnership is typically defined by its cost and service delivery quality. But that does not mean that price and capability should be the only considerations.

Read More

Posted in Back to Basics, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Procurement, Project Management, Public Sector | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Back to Basics: The Importance of Culture in a Service Commissioning Partnership

Back to Basics: 5 Things You Must Do During a Commissioning Contract

Posted on by Allan Watton 5 Things You Must Do During a Commmissioning Contract

At Best Practice Group, we regularly get involved in established commissioning partnerships that are in dire need of revitalisation. More often than not, a client will seek out our services with the aim of dismantling their commissioning agreement with minimum damage caused. They are typically surprised when we tell them that we can in fact repair and replenish the partnership to such an extent that it meets (and exceeds) desired outcomes.

Read More

Posted in Back to Basics, Managed Services, Outsourcing | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Back to Basics: 5 Things You Must Do During a Commissioning Contract

Adult Social Care – Key Steps to Reducing Costs and Improving Performance

Posted on by Allan Watton Improving Adult Social Care Services: What Local Authorities Should be Doing

The following post focuses on one of the key issues explored in our new white paper on Adult Social Care Services. Download your free copy here. The age of austerity for public services is an established fact. The pain has been real, and continues to be both for Councils and for those who rely on their services. Against this backdrop, Councils will continue to be experiencing an ever-increasing demand for

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Procurement, Public Sector | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Adult Social Care – Key Steps to Reducing Costs and Improving Performance

NHS Trust Hit with Huge Monetary Penalty – Could It Have Been Avoided?

Posted on by Allan Watton NHS Trust Hit with Huge Monetary Penalty - Could It Have Been Avoided?

At Best Practice Group, one of our greatest frustrations is seeing major service provider relationships erode in a very public manner, when better management could not only have prevented such an outcome, but served to benefit both parties and led to a healthy long term relationship. That is why today I want to explore a recent incident in which Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust was charged with an enormous

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, Managed Services, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on NHS Trust Hit with Huge Monetary Penalty – Could It Have Been Avoided?

Your Service Provider’s Duty to Warn

Posted on by Allan Watton duty to warn

Have you ever been hit by unforeseen cost increases to your contracts? Did you feel your service provider really should have known about these costs and warned you about them in advance? Have you gone on to pay these costs? A recent court case judgment has re-enforced the ‘duty to warn’ that professional service providers (such as strategic/outsourcing/technology partners) have to their clients. The case, J Murphy & Sons Limited

Read More

Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Project Recovery | Tagged | 6 Comments

Is your Vendor Threatening to Quit your Project unless you Pay them more?

Posted on by Allan Watton Low offer vendor contract

A new court ruling will make them think again… DE BEERS v ATOS ORIGIN [2010] Have you ever had this happen to you? A vendor commences a major project – perhaps for a large software initiative, service commissioning or outsourcing. Part way through – say 6-12 months and they complain that you keep changing your mind (although you are pretty sure you don’t) about what you wanted; or perhaps they say

Read More

Posted in Cut Costs, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Recovery | Tagged | 1 Comment ← Older posts

Follow Best Practice Group