More than 45% of IT spending continues to go to the services -- Professional Services projects, Managed Services or Outsourcing Contracts, and IT Staff Augmentation. At the same time, COVID-19 has presented new challenges for clients in contracting these services and controlling their considerable costs.
Service contracts often do not scale to reflect business downturns and can be inflexible in response to abrupt changes in demand like those that many clients are now experiencing. Some agreements include critical and non-critical services to the business, making reductions even more difficult. Clients who need to cut operating expenses and still continue with high priority projects will want to adjust service level commitment to reflect the current business climate and a rapidly changing operating model but face an uphill battle with service providers who are often reluctant, or even unable to change.
Meanwhile, these providers are on the hunt for new ways to exploit your IT spend by category and supplier, analyzing how much business each of your vendors is getting and where they might penetrate. In this frenetic environment, clients must be prepared to evaluate the value they are realizing from their services investments and ask themselves:
Are you making suppliers compete for the services business wherever possible?
Do you have a proper vendor management system in place to guard against unwanted supplier expansion?
Is there an ability to create uncertainty around deals and increase buyer leverage?
Do you have access to current relevant market data?
In response to these issues, ClearEdge is investing in its ability to better assist clients with their IT services engagements by forming a partnership with eXceeding, a leading technology consulting firm with deep knowledge, expertise, and contacts in the IT services market. eXceeding brings an impartial, proven and laser-focused approach to optimizing value in IT services and outsourcing spend.
eXceeding provides expert advisory support to public and private sector organizations at the point of procuring new business or reviewing their procurement processes and procedures.
How did this partnership come about?
“For some time now, we have been planning to expand our Procurement Consultancy offer to the U.S.,” explained Steve Rowland, Managing Director of eXceeding. “We had been exploring setting up an independent office there, but a chance encounter with Jack Garrahan, the CEO at ClearEdge, presented the opportunity we’d been looking for.
“Very early into our first conversations, it was clear that we shared common values and a very similar goal – to ensure our clients were achieving the best possible value from their IT services investments.
“The current climate has undoubtedly shone a light on IT suppliers and how they manage the changing landscapes of areas such as working from home and digitalization. An IT provider’s ability to adapt, innovate and maintain ‘business as usual’ has never been more closely scrutinized.
“Couple that with added pressure on businesses to reduce spend and release budget to invest in innovations in IT, and you can see why the demand for expert consultants with up-to-date market experience is on the increase.
“We are pleased to be able to extend our consulting business into the U.S., and look forward to working with ClearEdge to help clients optimize their IT spend,” said Rowland.
How might the partnership impact clients?
With the addition of eXceeding resources, ClearEdge’s services practice can now offer a comprehensive and high level of technical support for discreet IT services and outsourcing transactions, as well as professional counsel over the life cycle of a client/service provider relationship.
Whether it is implementing a cost saving imperative or executing a specific services purchase, our newly expanded practice and processes can support and improve the broad category of IT services engagement activities as well as each of its specific components, depending on client need.
Here is a snapshot of the ClearEdge/eXceeding IT Services Practice:
Support clients with needs analysis and ongoing activities of a Professional Services, 3rd Party Labor, Outsourcing, and Managed Services spend transaction
Help define key areas of service needs to address and achieve your organization's goals
Offer Support Services Transaction Planning:
Project Goals Definition
Project Plan and Timeline
Support clients considering or already engaged in a Services RFP/SOW Contract/Negotiations
RFP Response Development and Evaluation
RFP Response Pricing Analysis
Vendor Q&A Assistance
Vendor Solution Presentation Participation and Vendor Negotiations
Provide Supplier Optimization and Consolidation Services
Evaluate and advise on reducing the number of suppliers to decrease costs while improving efficiency
Bringing your organization’s spend under control
Provide Supplier Transition and Project-Based Services
Develop exit management and transition strategy to make sure changes and terminations are smooth
Cost control and management of exit costs to ensure an efficient transition
Trained and accredited IT Services and Outsourcing mediation services
Vendor Management Analysis and Development-Based Services
Supply ongoing Supplier Relationship Management to drive contract innovation, monitor/manage SLAs, KPIs and Service Credits, manage change control and costs
Establish clear governance and vendor management processes focused on controlling the supplier’s strategy to expand within your organization
Ensure that proper process and procedures exist with your suppliers to deliver and execute on time, on budget and in scope
Statement of Work (SOW) Development Services
Assist in creating highly detailed SOWs that protect against primary cost overruns such as:
Client and Vendor Responsibilities
Change Control Protection
Termination and exit charges
Price Transparency and flexibility based on changing services needs
For more information on our RFP services, download our recent webinar on “Crafting Successful Managed Services RFPs,” or contact your ClearEdge representative.