Managing Multiple Service Providers

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    This brief piece by Bob McDowall of Bloor Research provides five challenge areas you’ll run into in the process of setting up a multi-sourcing environment. (Multi-sourcing means that you rely on more than a single vendor for the related services you’re outsourcing.)

    Here’s a bullet worth drilling down on:

    The time commitment to multisourcing can mean higher costs, at least initially, although the actual cost of managing multiple outsourcing vendors is difficult to quantify. This can only be determined empirically through the collection, storage and analysis of data captured during the conduct of the outsourcing relationship, although establishing clear sets of performance indicators – for example, uptime percentages – for major systems and data centres in the contractual agreements, will help target these figures.

    How do you know how much time you’re spending managing all those relationships? How many relationships is a single person able to manage? Since I don’t understand what Mr. McDowall is saying, I’ve sent off email asking him to explain it a bit. It would be a useful metric to be able to say, OK, in this type and size of organization outsourcing this type of work, here’s how many people you need to oversee the service provider relationship…

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