A few months ago I wrote about British Sky Broadcasting’s legal win over EDS (now part of Hewlett-Packard), in which a London court ruled that EDS has to pay British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB) damages stemming from a lawsuit that alleged EDS of “deceit, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.” You can read about it here.
It was clear that the suit, and the ruling, was a stark reminder that providers need to deliver what they promise. But it is also serves as a vital lesson that organizations who seek and procure outsourcing services need to ensure they get what was promised. After all, BskyB may have won damages, but it had to muddle through a failed CRM system implementation and then go through a lengthy and likely expensive lawsuit. Who wants that?
Anyway, I had the chance to talk about this all with Anirban Dutta, a director at Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC). I figured Dutta would have some sage advice since he has spent much of his career working on outsourcing deals. If you recall, Dutta is the co-author of a new book, “Winning Strategies – Secrets to Clinching Multimillion-Dollar Deals,” which you can read about here. Dutta wrote the book, which looks closely at the winning strategies of those who’ve crafted and won high-value outsourcing deals, with Hetzel W. Folden, a VP at CSC.
Dutta listed several key tactics to ensure the outsourcing deal you sign for is the deal you get:
All of these tactics need to occur early in the sales cycle. For the most part, it is about communicating with the service provider upfront, and making sure you get all the information you need about who will run the outsourced services, and how they’ll run them, once the ink has dried on the contract.