Neil Barton

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Top 10 Benchmarkers?

There was an extraordinary announcement back in June at The Black Book Of Outsourcing. (You may need to sign in at their visitor page first, then choose "Outsourcing Benchmarkers" from their list.) Here's their top 10 (with my comments in italics and brackets afterwards).

1. NAUTILUS
(An excellent benchmarker, to be sure, with some very good people, and apparently growing fast. But by what criteria are they the world's number one? Certainly not by revenue or market share.)

2. HACKETT
(Known for their cost benchmarking of business processes, and also have [I believe] a high level benchmark for I.T. costs. But I have never seen them propose for an outsourcing benchmark, let alone win and deliver one. Pretty lucky to be at number two.)

3. IDC
(IDC do price benchmarking on IT products such as PCs. But, as far as I know, they have no capability to price benchmark outsourcing contracts, and do not even bid for such work.)

4. EQUATERRA
(Sure, a well established outsourcing transaction advisor. Perhaps they do some approximate benchmarking of a customer's baseline costs to help build the business case? But a benchmarker of outsourced contracts? Not in my experience.)

5. COMPASS
(At last, at number five, we find a benchmarker who is actually active in the outsourcing market. Though Compass themselves prefer to be regarded as a full service management consultancy than as a benchmarker.)

6. PA CONSULTING
(See Equaterra above.)

7. GARTNER
(In my opinion, Gartner are the market leader by revenue and market share. I've never seen any customer satisfaction data, but there must be some reason why they win so many benchmarks. What did they do to languish down at number seven?)

8. MATURITY
(In Europe, they are regarded as the number three benchmarker by revenue and market share. They have people with a track record, and plenty of references, though they have not been in the market as long as Gartner or Compass. Deserve a higher ranking than this. Some activity in the US, but little active marketing.)

9. GLOBAL INFORMATION PARTNERS
(Global operate some cost-benchmarks for members of their partner organisation, The Information Forum. Not active in price benchmarks of outsourcers, as far as I know. No significant presence outside the US.)

10. PWC
(See PA Consulting above.)

The authors claim that they have carried out "the only annual, independent, non-biased ranking of 300 outsourcing advisors and 4,500 vendors". I can't imagine where they got their benchmarking responses from. It certainly wasn't the benchmarking community that I know.