How Applications Management Services can truly meet business needs
Stefanini has provided Applications Management Services (AMS) for over a decade. During this time, Stefanini has gained extensive insight into the opportunities AMS can deliver for clients.
However, it is also clear that many businesses aren’t realizing the full benefits of AMS and are unhappy with their AMS providers.
Here, we take a look at what a more effective approach to AMS looks like and how businesses could benefit.
More than cost containment
AMS outsourcing is traditionally associated with cost-reduction, particularly through ‘labor cost arbitrage’ – moving work to low-cost countries. The problem with this cost-focus approach is there is a risk locations are selected solely on cost, which can result in silos, disconnection within the business and a team that is less able to meet business needs. This might because of different time zones or because an inexperienced team is unfamiliar with the technology used by their clients.
Customers will appreciate the opportunity to reduce costs, but they’ll probably realize they’re being sold short. They’re looking for innovation and transformation to deliver real business change.
This is what defines Stefanini’s approach to AMS. One-off cost reductions through labor arbitrage must be complemented by a transformation approach that delivers sustainable savings and solutions that can adapt to fluctuating business needs.
This innovation and transformation relies on true collaboration. That means outsourcing partners work closely with experts within the client’s organization to devise and execute solutions.
Cost containment often prevents this from happening because a less experienced offshore team develops solutions with little or no understanding of the clients’ business. Stefanini favors nearshoring to ensure a geographical and cultural proximity with its AMS clients in order to deliver maximum results.
Mihail Mitru, Applications Presales Manager at Stefanini, says: “AMS has the power to transform how businesses operate for the better and extends far beyond mere cost containment. With a focus on innovation and transformation, and a delivery model that allows for close collaboration – which our multi-lingual skills and nearshoring approach facilitates – applications management can play a key role in enabling businesses to realise their strategic aims.”
Continuous improvement beats SLAs
Another way AMS falls short is in how too many providers measure its effectiveness.
All too often, this is based on service-level agreements (SLAs), leading to a target-driven, tick-box approach. This can mean while issues are addressed with quick-fix workarounds, rather than long-term solutions being put in place to address the root cause of problems.
Stefanini prefers a continuous improvement model – in which real problems are addressed and tangible value is delivered on an ongoing basis, in collaboration with the entire business.
Dragos, Barbulescu, AMS Service Manager, says: “SLAs aren’t the best way to assess the effectiveness of an AMS offering. There can be a significant difference between the success of the service quality on paper and how the customer perceives the service they’re receiving.
“Instead, offering a team of specialist experts, who can work truly collaboratively with their clients and offer industry-specific advice is a powerful way to ensure customers are getting real value.”