The case for temporary outsourcing
Everyone understands the concept of rather than to take over a function indefinitely.
outsourcing services. Basically, you identify The beauty of a service offering such as this is
a particular function that for whatever rea- that it maximizes use of channel partner technical
son you don’t want to do yourself and then assets. The engagement teams become expert
get someone else to do it. This has been an at implementation in particular solutions and
increasingly popular service are constantly being moved from
for vendors to offer, and chan- MIKE JUDE
customer to customer as new imple-nel partners also are okstarting to get mentations develop. It is common to
involved, with some success. have several in training so they can be
What if the customer doesn’t current on newer solutions.
really want to outsource, though, The challenge to the channel part-even if the organization lacks the ner, or the vendor for that matter, is
expertise or means to implement the composition of such a team. It
some necessary piece of IT infra- needs to encompass the required
structure? This hurdle has not only technical skills combined with train-prevented the delivery of services ing and management skills. The
by the channel but also caused team also needs to adopt a best-the abandonment of activities to improve the practices approach to support activities that
infrastructure within the enterprise. are well-documented and available for transfer.
While traditional professional services might This typically requires some client-specific cus-
be expected to fill this gap, a conventional tomization, so a technical writer is also a handy
engagement usually carries a hefty price tag member of such a team.
and leaves the customer in no particular state to The value to the channel is that, once the costs
support the infrastructure after the consultants associated with developing and documenting an
leave. Now, however, implementation process are covered, this sort
an evolving alter- of engagement can generate a longer and more
native is showing reliable income stream. It is not uncommon
great promise. It is for such engagements to evolve into full-blown
called “temporary outsourcing, and, for those that do not, the
o u t s o u r c i n g” o r longer duration typically leads to more than one
“interim managed generation of customer product acquisition.
support.” In some As IT gets more complex, the barrier to adop-
circles, it is also tion posed by a customer’s lack of experience
known as “interim operations management.” increasingly tends to throttle the consumption
What makes this arrangement unique is that of technology that can be truly transformational.
it places either vendor or channel partner tech- Channel partners still focused on product sales
nicians at customer sites armed with best-of- need to help ease adoption of those products.
class practices and procedures. The engagement Interim operations management can be a power-
typically lasts through implementation and for ful arrow in the quiver of the sales force, but only
a period directly following it and is designed if a partner is willing to invest in the creation of
to engage the enterprise IT staff for knowledge the appropriate implementation team. ´
transfer activities. The biggest value proposition
of the process, in fact, is the skills transfer. The Mike Jude is an analyst at Nemertes Research and
intent is to enable the enterprise to support itself can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The biggest value
proposition of the
process, in fact, is
the skills transfer.