Intended Outcomes: Dont lose sight of what should happen. Lets be clear, Im relatively sure my technology provider didnt intend for me to jump through hoops and fix their integration problems, but thats what happened. An organization using BPO should look for these detached integrations. Also, consider the efficacy of testing the outsourced processes acting in various roles (first-time buyer, preferred customer, even a delinquent customer) to see if the integrations work.
Additionally, BPO providers have to understand intended outcomes, and the potential unintended consequences of integration holes, and proactively developwith their clientswhat the intended outcomes should be in those situations.
Is the provider proposing to use ad-hoc data integration when the scenario lends itself more to process integration? For providers, vigilance around their clients current requirements and a bit of foresight about what the future holds might drive them from relatively simple data exchange to a service-oriented architecture and integration model.
Instrumentation: Regardless of the integration model, instrumentation just makes sense, enabling critical areas of measurement from data quality to SLA goals to regulatory compliance. Organizations need to understand the level of instrumentation within their providers infrastructure and what level of access they have to those measures. For providers, it is imperative they engineer instrumentation into their infrastructure, service offerings and culture.
In subsequent articles, Ill explore more of the challenges of BPO integration, and posit some potential approaches that can help providers and their clients achieve their intended outcomes.
Mark Cioni, president of MV Cioni Associates, has been helping global businesses to improve their decisions, operations and performance for over 25 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.