Outsourcing

Are you ready to outsource? Do you even need to outsource? We’ll help you answer those and other questions regarding outsourcing and your company.

Once we’ve determined that outsourcing will render your organisation more focused on your core competencies, more cost-effective, and more flexible, we’ll offer you the full spectrum of our services. Our specialists can assist you in every stage of the entire outsourcing life-cycle.

Starting from evaluating what can be outsourced, through finding the right outsourcing service provider, building the contract and agreements, getting everything in place, and managing the outsourcing relationship – we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Learn more about some of the outsourcing services we offer:

Outsourcing Contracts and Agreements

When an outsourcing project fails, both customer and service provider are quick to put the blame on the other party. But in most cases, the actual culprit was really just sitting there since day one – a poorly planned and implemented agreement.

We understand how costly and disruptive a failed outsourcing project can be for your business. That is why we put utmost attention to each contract and SLA (Service Level Agreement) that our customers enter into. This always reduces the likelihood of having unmet expectations, one of the major reasons why some outsourcing relationships fail.

We make sure that each agreement is fair, not only for our customers but also for the service providers themselves. Why? Because a disadvantaged provider will most likely end up delivering poor service as an offshoot of efforts to improve its profitability and ROI.

To accomplish this, we’ll thoroughly assess the infrastructure, resources, and expertise of your potential service provider to ensure they have the capability to meet your expectations. We’ll also make sure that their expectations are realistic and clear to you as well.

Here’s what you can expect from us when we start managing your outsourcing contracts and agreements:

  • A thorough assessment of your specific needs and the service provider’s profile to determine whether you have the right match before proceeding with any agreement.
  • Professional assistance when the time comes for you to discuss the scope of work, expected service levels, and when negotiating for appropriate pricing. We’ll also help you set up provisions for possible changes in the scope later on.
  • Expert counsel during drafting and finalisation of the contract and Service Level Agreements. Whenever applicable, we’ll help you propose penalties whenever service levels are not met and rewards when they are exceeded.
  • Regular reviews to determine whether everything agreed upon in the past, like pricing and service levels, are still realistic or competitive enough in view of current technological advancements and the prevailing social and economic environment.
  • Mediation expertise whenever the outsourcing project appears to be falling apart. We’ll work with you and the service provider to resolve conflicts and avoid the expensive exercise of having to terminate the contract. But if the best solution is to part ways, we’ll make sure you make an exit with the least disruption, missed opportunities and financial loss.

Application Outsourcing

I’m sure you’ve come to realise that to gain competitive advantage these days, you really need to invest in IT applications.

There are applications for enhancing your customer relationships, speeding up production, streamlining processes, advancing collaboration, protecting your systems from malware and many more. Selecting the right application, testing it, implementing it into your system, and then managing it can deviate resources which would have otherwise been used in other areas to build business value, increase profits, and enhance innovation.

Wouldn’t it be nice to unload yourself of the management processes which usually accompany IT applications? Actually, you can – through application outsourcing. Application outsourcing providers possess the expertise to either partially or fully assume responsibility of your IT applications.

Our job is to see to it that you link up with the provider who can best answer your needs. The overall proficiency of these providers spans both proprietary and opensource solutions, allowing them to cater to a wide range of preferences and budgetary limits. At the very least, they can provide professional support for well established applications.

If needed, they can develop applications for your organisation, taking charge of every step in the system development life-cycle: starting from system initiation, requirements analysis, through design, construction, acceptance and eventually to implementation.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy once we start managing your application outsourcing initiatives:

  • Freedom from time-consuming tasks such as installations, upgrades, configurations and repairs.
  • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • 24/7 support from well-trained personnel. This can substantially cut downtimes caused by inexperienced troubleshooting.
  • The option to have your applications housed in more secure and reliable environments with much higher availability and much lower planned/unplanned downtimes.
  • Dedicated specialists who can focus on providing better regulatory compliance and risk mitigation initiatives.

Infrastructure Outsourcing

Keeping up with the competition nowadays usually requires technological advancements as well as the capability to manage and maintain the infrastructure that has to support them. These undertakings can suck your resources dry.

If you’re looking to reduce costs even while improving the performance of your networks, servers, databases, firewalls, desktops and mobile devices, you might want to consider IT infrastructure outsourcing among your top options. Infrastructure outsourcing service providers have the resources dedicated to a stable, secure, scalable and always available IT infrastructure.

Typical service provider facilities include data centrers equipped with high-speed networks, reliable power, dependable security, as well as provisions for upgrades, consolidation, disaster recovery, or even business continuity.

These providers employ specialists and staff who can manage and maintain all of these for you. While your provider juggles your core IT-related tasks, you can keep your eye on the ball and refocus on your company’s business goals.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy out of infrastructure outsourcing:

  • Freedom from time-consuming tasks such as installations, upgrades, configurations and repairs.
  • Since service providers, who are expected to have better horizontal and vertical scalability, will deal with the technological intricacies, your company’s strategic development initiatives can proceed unhampered.
  • Greatly reduced electricity expenses as a result of consolidation.
  • Easier, faster, cheaper, and more reliable disaster-recovery solutions through virtualisation.
  • Lesser risks of disruptions caused by power outages, cyber attacks, or Internet connection downtimes.

Business Process Outsourcing

With the sheer number of business processes your company has to attend to, it wouldn’t be surprising if you rarely have room to innovate.

Through business process outsourcing, we can free a considerable part of your financial and manpower resources which are currently focused on routine activities. With more resources to drive innovative initiatives, you’ll be able to accelerate production, improve customer service, enhance overall business value, and arrive at a stronger bottom line.

Some of the business processes that may be outsourced include data entry, finance and accounting, form processing, procurement, and HR, among others. If you’re interested in finding answers to the what, how, who, and where of BPO, specific to your organisation, we’ll be happy to enlighten you.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy once we start managing your BPO initiatives:

  • Professional guidance to ensure that your BPO undertakings will really result in substantial savings and significant improvements to your organisation’s business value.
  • Careful monitoring of service levels to ensure faster turnaround, accurate data, and high quality outputs.
  • Expert evaluation of information handling processes to guarantee full confidentiality.
  • Professional and unbiased management dedicated to establishing a strong, reliable, and fruitful relationship between you and your provider.

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How Bombardier Inc. scored a Bulls Eye

When travelling anywhere in the world on land, sea or air, chances are, you will travel courtesy of something made by aerospace and transportation company Bombardier based in Montreal, Canada. In 2009, it set itself the goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. In other words, it hoped to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it was putting in.

By 2012, Bombardier concluded it was not going to become carbon neutral by 2020 at its current rate of progress. It discounted purchasing carbon offsets because it believed it would serve its interests better by introducing new energy-saving products to market faster. That way, it would achieve its objectives vicariously through the decisions of its customers. But that was not all that forward-thinking Bombardier did. It also set itself the following inward-facing objectives:

  • Reduce carbon footprint through efficient use of energy and less emissions
  • Involve the Bombardier workforce to raise awareness of behaving responsibly
  • Implement sustainable initiatives to further reduce the company carbon footprint

Specific Examples

At its Wichita site, Bombardier (a) fitted a white roof and insulation reducing summer energy consumption by 40%, (b) added an energy recovery wheel to balance air circulation, and (c) introduced skylights with integrated controllers to lower energy consumption by lighting.

At Mirabel, it enhanced the flue-gas management system by adding a pressure differential damper.

At Belfast, Bombardier (a) optimised HVAC systems to reduce pressure on chilling and air-handling plants, (b) installed solar panels on the roof, and (c) obtained approval for a waste-to-energy plant that will convert 120,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste material annually.

By the end of 2013, Bombardier had already beaten its immediate targets by:

  • Reducing energy consumption by 11% against 2009
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emission by 23% against 2009
  • Reducing water consumption by 6% against 2012

Future Plans

Bombardier will never stop striving to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. It has a number of other projects in the pipeline waiting for scarce resources to fund them. During 2014, it continued with energy efficient upgrades at its French, Hungarian, Polish, Swiss, and UK plants.

These include consumption monitoring systems, LEDs for workshop lighting, new heating systems, and outdoor energy-saving tower lighting. The monitoring is important because it helps Bombardier focus effort, and provides measured proof of progress.

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2015 ESOS Guidelines Chapter 1 ? Who Qualifies

The base criteria are any UK undertaking that employs more than 250 people and/or has a turnover in excess of ?50 million and/or has a balance sheet total greater than ?43 million. There is little point in attempting to separate off high polluting areas. If one corporate group qualifies for ESOS, then all the others are obligated to take part too. The sterling equivalents of ?38,937,777 and ?33,486,489 were set on 31 December 2014 and apply to the first compliance period.

Representatives of Overseas Entities

UK registered branches of foreign entities are treated as if fully UK owned. They also have to sign up if any overseas corporate element meets the threshold no matter where in the world. The deciding factor is common ownership throughout the ESOS system. ecoVaro appreciates this. We have seen European companies dumping pollution in under-regulated countries for far too long.

Generic Undertakings that Could Comply

The common factor is energy consumption and the organisation’s type of work is irrelevant. The Environmental Agency has provided the following generic checklist of undertakings that could qualify:

Limited CompaniesPublic CompaniesTrusts
PartnershipsPrivate Equity CompaniesLimited Liability Partnerships
Unincorporated AssociationsNot-for-Profit BodiesUniversities (Per Funding)

Organisations Close to Thresholds

Organisations that come close to, but do not quite meet the qualification threshold should cast their minds back to previous accounting periods, because ESOS considers current and previous years. The exact wording in the regulations states:

?Where, in any accounting period, an undertaking is a large undertaking (or a small or medium undertaking, as the case may be), it retains that status until it falls within the definition of a small or medium undertaking (or a large undertaking, as the case may be) for two consecutive accounting periods.?

Considering the ?50,000 penalty for not completing an assessment or making a false or misleading statement, it makes good sense for close misses to comply.

Joint Ventures and Participative Undertakings

If one element of a UK group qualifies for ESOS, then the others must follow suit with the highest one carrying responsibility. Franchisees are independent undertakings although they may collectively agree to participate. If trusts receive energy from a third party that must do an ESOS, then so must they. Private equity firms and private finance initiatives receive the same treatment as other enterprises. De-aggregations must be in writing following which separated ESOS accountability applies.

Without Desktop Virtualisation, you can’t attain True Business Continuity

Even if you’ve invested on virtualisation, off-site backup, redundancy, data replication, and other related technologies, I?m willing to bet your BC/DR program still lacks an important ingredient. I bet you’ve forgotten about your end users and their desktops.

Picture this. A major disaster strikes your city and brings your entire main site down. No problem. You’ve got all your data backed up on another site. You just need to connect to it and voila! you’ll be back up and running in no time.

Really?

Do you have PCs ready for your employees to use? Do those machines already have the necessary applications for working on your data? If you still have to install them, then that’s going to take a lot of precious time. When your users get a hold of those machines, will they be facing exactly the same interface that they’ve been used to?

If not, more time will be wasted as they try to familiarise themselves. By the time you’re able to declare ?business as usual?, you’ll have lost customer confidence (or even customers themselves), missed business opportunities, and dropped potential earnings.

That’s not going to happen with desktop virtualisation.

The beauty of?virtualisation

Virtualisation in general is a vital component in modern Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery strategies. For instance, by creating multiple copies of virtualised disks and implementing disk redundancy, your operations can continue even if a disk breaks down. Better yet, if you put copies on separate physical servers, then you can likewise continue even if a physical server breaks down.

You can take an even greater step by placing copies of those disks on an entirely separate geographical location so that if a disaster brings your entire main site down, you can still gain access to your data from the other site.

Because you’re essentially just dealing with files and not physical hardware, virtualisation makes the implementation of redundancy less costly, less tedious, greener, and more effective.

But virtualisation, when used for BC/DR, is mostly focused on the server side. As we’ve pointed out earlier in the article, server side BC/DR efforts are not enough. A significant share of business operations are also dependent on the client side.

Desktop virtualisation (DV) is very similar to server virtualisation. It comes with nearly the same kind of benefits too. That means, a virtualised desktop can be copied just like ordinary files. If you have a copy of a desktop, then you can easily use that if the active copy is destroyed.

In fact, if the PC on which the desktop is running becomes incapacitated, you can simply move to another machine, stream or install a copy of the virtualised desktop there, and get back into the action right away. If all your PCs are incapacitated after a disaster, rapid provisioning of your desktops will keep customers and stakeholders from waiting.

In addition to that, DV will enable your user interface to look like the one you had on your previous PC. This particular feature is actually very important to end users. You see, users normally have their own way of organising things on their desktops. The moment you put them in front of a desktop not their own, even if it has the same OS and the same set of applications, they?ll feel disoriented and won’t be able to perform optimally.

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