Capgemini: BPO’s Next Top Model
The sustained interest in business process outsourcing (BPO) in areas like finance and accounting is testament to the appeal of cost savings in difficult economic times, but companies are not blind to the long-term implications of BPO. They want quick wins, but they understand that outsourcing agreements are transformational, not tactical.
Leading consulting, technology and outsourcing services provider Capgemini is helping clients shorten their journey to optimal BPO implementation, whilst also delivering the flexibility, reduced risk and sustainable value that enable an organisation to transform its business model for the future.
Building on Capgemini’s BPOpen™ technology platform, the Global Process Model (GPM©) leverages innovative outsourcing work flow technologies, including new process-monitoring and performance-management tools, to pave the way for quicker, smoother transition to an outsourcing model. Its backers believe that GPM can reduce the typical time frame from a maximum of three years to around 18 months.
"GPM is more than a work flow technology. It is a complete environment – a set of processes aligned with a client’s needs, a set of controls and performance metrics – that we predict will get a client very quickly to a Best-in-Class position through the degree of standardisation it delivers, and the value it creates,’ says Neil Shepherd, Capgemini’s head of product development, BPO.
Shepherd joined Capgemini in late 2008 to steer the development of GPM in response to market demand and in line with the company’s evolving internal capabilities in areas like knowledge management. For him, the key to GPM is that it not only offers a quicker route to world-class F&A outsourcing, but also targets long-term, sustainable value.
"It offers speed-to-value, which means not just the speed of the transition but the speed of transformational change within the organisation. We train staff through our Finance Academy and because the target operating model is the GPM and therefore known, the training is accelerated. This means the transition is compressed, and that we can improve the value that is delivered at the end," he remarks. Clients also want transformation with reduced risk, and GPM helps with that. It speeds up the process in a managed way so that if circumstances are changing rapidly around a business then exposure to those changes is reduced," adds Tony Kelly, Capgemini’s product marketing director.
Enduring end-to-end value
GPM provides the process environment in which companies can not only target the bottom line benefits of BPO – cost reduction, process improvement and standardisation – but also targets topline benefits through Capgemini’s Business Insight capability, which focuses on extracting client value through applying business analytics to end-to-end processes such as order-to-cash.
"Most F&A outsourcing is in traditional transactional areas like accounts payable and general accounting, but to deliver maximum value you must think about end-to-end processes.
"Accounts payable should inform procurement, general accounting should inform management reporting and decision-making," explains Shepherd.
Furthermore, the GPM is unique in using 3D metrics, adding a measure of value to the standard measures of efficiency and effectiveness in a BPO engagement, which not only enables clients to make the link between outsourced F&A processes and the broader, end-to-end cycles that shape a company’s decision-making process, but also gives them the flexibility they need in volatile times.
"Clients get the added benefit that we continue to develop GPM. Best practice continues to evolve and we constantly target those improvements. GPM offers a quick, low-risk way to meet your objectives and supports continuous process improvement," says Shepherd.
Kelly agrees: "There is no endgame in BPO, only a journey, so we need to provide a vehicle for best practice now and in the long term."
Many of Capgemini’s existing clients are currently transitioning to GPM, and new clients are likely to follow, as few could fail to be tempted by a short cut to sustainable value.