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Since all our Ongoing Operational Services Contracts are customized to perfectly match our customer’s business requirements, the first step is always to analyze the existing service landscape, determine what can be done to save money and improve service levels, and create a detailed plan for how to get there. We call this business process consulting, the first step on the path to business process outsourcing or BPO.
We have over twenty years experience in this space, and it is our core competency at WebConsult. We have handled everything from extremely hostile takeovers to smooth collaborative ones, and have not failed to deliver any of our projects.
The scope of our Business Process Consulting offering is to create the vision of the targeted steady-state Service Levels, and a detailed plan for how to get there. This is a very rapid process, with clearly defined data inputs, which typically lasts one month. The deliverables generated by this offering are:
Of course, after a BPC engagement, we wold prefer to continue to our Transformation Service and on to steady state operations, and we will credit the cost of the BPC against those future activities, if the customer chooses to proceed with the plan, but in some cases the customers may choose to use the analysis provided in BPC to improve their own service delivery, which they are free to do. We are sufficiently confident in our expertise that we believe we will continue to the next offering in most cases. It is difficult to transition to a different support landscape without impacting service levels, even if you have a roadmap.
Our ongoing BPO offering, is governed by our detailed Operational Services contracts, and is tailored to the specific needs of our clients; there is no one size fits all. These contracts are typically delivered through our ongoing operations arm, Phoenix Operations, and are governed by adherence to business specific Service Level Commitments. The focus is to deliver on all activities that can be linked to an objectively measurable SLA ( development projects beyond minor enhancements, with timelines and budgets are excluded, and delivered by WebConsult, the consulting organization).
The scope of an ongoing operational services contract can be quite narrow, taking on the part the client wants to outsource, or it can be as broad as delivering all Operational services, leaving the business free to focus on sales and revenue. The toolsets used to deliver can also vary from customer to customer. Typical services include:
For every service that is included in the scope, an objectively measured SLA is specified, with financial penalties for non compliance, which typically kick in after a three months burn in period post go-live. Typical SLA examples could be % uptime for systems, or Mean Time to Fix for application issues, or % of issues fixed on first touch by the Helpdesk.
Typically the contracts would also include quarter on quarter SLA improvement targets, and ticket number reduction targets, as the service should continuously improve and all businesses ideally want no tickets.
Every year, there will be a cost reduction target as well, reducing the ongoing monthly service charge.
The monthly service charge will not be dependent on ticket count, but on SLA compliance. If we hit the SLA targets the cost will be predictable, if we occasionally miss, the cost will be reduced thanks to the financial penalties. This renders predictability and budgeting easier for our customers. Obviously we are betting we hardly ever miss.
Regardless of a heterogenous support landscape, we must deliver the end to end results to the business or suffer the SLA penalties.
One of our differentiators is that we believe in intelligent automation. We do not have armies of cheap guys; we have well piad competent professionals who use automation to deliver the repetitive grunt work and focus on root causes, solving the underlying problems so they don’t recur again.
This Offering is all about the journey, getting from wherever you are now to where you want to be. This offering tackles the most challenging part of the process, the migration from existing providers to the newly defined Operational Services paradigm. In spite of the effort during our initial analysis, and in spite of the most detailed and careful planning, circumstances can and will pop up, driven usually by the unwillingness of existing providers to transition, which require the plan to evolve on an ongoing basis; the knowledge of when and how to evolve to meet the changing challenges comes only from experience, and WebConsult’s team has been doing this for over twenty years.
The objectives of the project addressed by your transformation services team is simple; they have to transition the formal responsibility for ongoing operational services to the new team, without negatively impacting the service levels delivered to the business. Easy to say… hard to do.
Our objective is to make it look seamless. We budget these transformation projects fixed bid, flat fee, and assume all the risk until everything in scope is formally handed off and services are being provided by our Operations team. Real time status for the transformation projects will be provided through the WebConsult Projects Framework, to keep everyone abreast of the progress, challenges and risks.
We are incentivized to make this happen as quickly as possible, as the project is fixed bid for us. Our operations team is incentivized to not accept the handover responsibility before they are sure they can deliver the SLA commitments, as they will be penalized for non-delivery. The end result is a project that happens as fast as possible, consistent with the SLA quality commitments, the best outcome for the customer.
The handoff processes, which formally transition responsibility from the transformation team to the operational services team, also need to be signed off in every case by the customer. Part of the project deliverables are always to put in place mechanisms to objectively measure the SLA commitments, so everyone will be able to observe and ensure the impact to the existing Service Levels are respected.
About the client
Rompetrol, a division of KazMunayGas, is the largest oil company in Romania, with a presence in several other East European countries. With an extensive network of service stations and the largest rafiney in Eastern Europe, the company has outsourced its entire IT function and implemented SAP as its ERP system.
The working challenge
Rompetrol was not satisfied with the terms of the contract with their existing provider, which were very restrictive, and maximizing the profits of the provider. The contract had a five year term, with severe cancellation penalties. Rompetrol engaged WebConsult to figure out how to decouple from the existing provider on a very aggressive timetable of three months. The scope was to provide Tiered support for the entire environment, infrastructure, ERP, CRM and custom applications, totaling 113 applications and over 1000 sites. This was done through a JV structure with the Kazakhs, WebConsult managing the analysis and transition, as well as providing the ongoing support management of the JV.
Understandably, the existing provider was very keen for the project to fail, as this would have forced Rompetrol to renew the contract for five years. The project was therefore a "hostile takeover", which introduced significant challenges to the task.
We partenered with IPsoft, a world leader in infrastructure management, which is a pioneer in AI to deliver this project, with Webconsult focusing on building the required custom Application Support functions.
One of the biggest challenges was the lack of accurate documentation, as the existing provider refused to giveany access to the support infrastructure, knowledgebases or ticketing system.
We had a team of specialists reverse engineer how things worked for the major custom built applications, and IPsoft had some sophisticated discovery tools that could build a picture of the network infrastructure. We sat with the users and went through their user documentation to understand the system landscape.
Taking control of the network infrastructure, with over 1000 routers, was a real challenge since the client had to pay a substantial amount as contract indemnity to the existing provider. We used an AI-assited bot to rapidly change the passwords accross the network, defeating two Easter eggs designed to crash the network during takeover. Within hours, the entire network was being monitored and managed by our engineers without significant business damage.
On the application side, all attempts at knowledge transfer were denied by the existing provider, so we build the knowledge base and the application support infrastructure from scratch. We over-provisioned the support resources to handle the expected increase in incidents. A 5% decrease in Service Level Compliance was experienced the first month, but by the second month we had exceeded the previous Service Levels by 30% and by the end of our first quarter burn in period, had improved SLA performance by over 100%.
In the end, we delivered cost savings of over 38% and significant ticket count reduction as well.
About the client
Based in Austin, Texas, Trilogy acts as the operational arm of ESW Capital and Think3 goups who focus on buying, strengthening and growing mature business software companies. By taking advantage of Trilogy's unique operating platform, ESW and Think3 revitalize acquisitions for sustainable success while making customer satisfaction a top priority. Trilogy and its affiliated companies have been in the enterprise software space since 1988 and the group includes notable brands such as Aurea, DevFactory, Ignite Technologies, Versata and Zephyrtel.
The working challenge
Trilogy needed a highly efficient methodology to quicky evaluate, close and integrate $5m-$100m+TTM revenue acquisitions into consolidated, customer focused AWS cloud operational model or remote teams accross 120 countries to support the brand CEO's delivery of 70% margin targets.
Due dilligence: we developed and implemented a repeatable process surrounding simple due dilligence templates and analysis frameworks across all functional areas (customer support, human resources, finance, engineering, ITOps, SaaSOps, professional services) which eliminated the need for over 50% of the pre-close meetings with the acquisition target's SME. Implemented automation to consume data from the templates reducing manual work by 50%; built new dashboard to provide visibility of key KPIs allowing us to eliminate over 80% of pre-close status meetings. The streamlining of the pre-close phase resulted in delivering top-notch due dilligence decision artefacts within 30 days.
Integration: We developed and implemented an effective and efficient system to integrate all functional areas of the legacy company into Trilogy's consolidated operations within 90 days. A combination of agile methodologies and automation allowed us to deliver quality knowledge transfer and complex system migrations to Trilogy's cloud operations seamlessly and allowing for restructuring.
Restructuring: We developed a multinational compliant people restructuring methodology resulting in significant HR savings by eliminating redundant positions, changing from employment to contract roles and switching to a work-from-home model. We developed processes to quickly eliminate/reduce redundand vendor expenses that was replaced by Trilogy's consolidated operational model; we've recovered up to 50% of facility costs by subletting or negociating early termination.
Building the team: we built a 100% remote world class scalable A&I team to build, execute and continuously improve the due dilligence, integration and restructuring phases of the acquisition.
Beyond the initial challenge we achieved continuous improvement quarter-over-quarter by additional process improvements and automation resulteing in 25% additional savings.
About the client
Avanade is a JV between Accenture and Microsoft, founded to implement business specific solutions utilizing Microsoft-based technologies. It is very lean, with very little administrative overhead and a lot of the best Microsoft certified professionals in the world.
The working challenge
When it launched, it was a very different kind of startup, opening 18 offices worldwide at one. It started with roughly 300 ex Microsoft and 600 ex Accenture consultants, and had to rapidly build an IT and operations framework to support its business. This was the very definition of "hitting the ground running". The company launched and email was originally run on a PC sitting on someone's desk in Seattle. Robert Altinger, a WebConsult founding partner, and several resources that went on to become WebConsult resources, was the Director of Worldwide IT Operations at launch. We were challenged to develop and implement an entire IT and Operations framework from scratch, while the company was already launching around us.
The custom solution
Avanade was one of the first companies to implement a "hot desk" approach. Most of the consultants were out at client sites, so we needed an infrastructure that would support remote work immediatly. We needed a procurement strategy to ensure that everyone got appropriately configured laptops very quickly to start.
We then had to design and implement an IT infrastructure strategy. We developed a mesh VPN network linking all offices and deployed three regional datacenters in Seattle, Frankfurt and Singapore. We deployed our application servers in all three datacenters in a highly resilient configuration to address the latency issues. Due to the Microsoft mandate, everything was done using pure Microsoft solutions as a showcase.
For applications and infrastructure support, we implemented whate was then a state of the art monitoring solution which automated scripting for several kinds of automated problem resolutions and a lot of self help functionality, since the userbase was all very technically proficient.
To save money, we came up with a relatively unique IT support paradigm: those consultants that were "on the bench"awaiting customer engagements were drafted to help handle the Tier 2 technical support resolutions. This meant that we had high turnover in the support team as they were deployed on customer-facing engagements, and we needed really disciplined support ticketing systems, knowledgebases and processes in order to maintain the required SLAs.
From a standing start, the team that became WebConsult designed, launched and implemented the infrastructure, monitoring, hardware, procurement, datacenters, core applications, CRM, ERP, Knowledgebases and the application support for all sites in 9 months.
About the client
MS Licensing, based in Reno, Nevada is the Licensing arm of Microsoft, where the bulk of Microsoft's product revenue is booked. The licensing business is essentially split between retail and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). When a computer maker such as Dell sells a PC, it comes with a license for Windows and other preinstalled software. This is validated by a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) issued by MS Licensing, attesting that the product is a genuine MS software license.
The working challenge
The COA stickers were produced by 85 Authorized Replicators and distributed to OEM wordwide. The challange was to ensure that the system that validated the authenticity of Microsoft software installations had the right information based on valid COAs issued.
This was done utilizing the word's largest Biztalk implementation, handling the queuing of updates to an extremely large SQL server based cluster in Redmond.
WebConsult designed and implemented an enhancement to the network infrastructure, introducing an improved firewall, monitoring and VPN network topology, which was deployed remotely to 87 sites worldwide.
We redesigned the application to allow for business rule changes by making the logic table driven in SQL, rather than in the front of the code.
After implementation, our efforts enabled Microsoft to improve the revenue recognition for a multibillion dollar worldwide business