The Value of Certifications among Offshore Service Providers

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    Phillip J. Hatch, president of offshore outsourcing research and advisory firm Ventoro, just emailed me a link to a wildly valuable report he published last year and that I have never read before.

    The title is rather drab (“Offshore 2005 Research: Preliminary Findings and Conclusions”), but don’t let that turn you off. Mr. Hatch polled 5,231 executives from North America and Europe, as well as 303 offshore outsourcing vendors to derive the statistics and “collective wisdom” he shares in his report.

    Let me just share one interesting excerpt, on “The Value of Certifications.”

    When reviewing the Offshore Outsourcing Vendor market, you will notice almost all vendors display an incredible list of certifications. We found there is significant value in these certifications and encourage you to find a vendor with the top certifications.

    Further, we recommend you support your selected vendor in pursuing and maintaining such certifications. We believe this effort will pay dividends over time.

    However, these certifications are not the answer to all problems. These certifications typically do nothing to directly facilitate the working relationship between you and the vendor but help the vendor improve their internal operations. When selecting a vendor, take time to find a company that has heavily invested in developing a formal customer engagement methodology in addition to chasing certifications.

    In our research, we found when vendors invest as much money in developing a comprehensive customer engagement methodology as they do in pursuing CMM, ISO, etc., the probability of success for each engagement substantially improves. To highlight our findings, we compared a sampling of SEI CMM Level 5 assessed firms, without a formal customer engagement methodology, to those firms SEI CMM Level 5 firms claiming to invest as heavily in their customer engagement methodology as they do with their CMM type assessment.

    If I’m interpreting this correctly, Mr. Hatch is saying that a service provider with CMM Level 5 certification but little investment in a customer engagement methodology had about a 52% success rate with their projects. The success rate went up to 64% when the service provider dedicated equal resources to both.

    You can download your copy of this 115-page PDF report here:

    http://www.ventoro.com/Offshore2005ResearchFindings.pdf

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