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Managed Service Provider

SOW/Services Procurement Spend Management | Market Insights™

By | Market Insights™, Procurement

PO BPO vs MSP Clash of the Titans

Spend on third-party services is huge and growing, bringing attention to the need for better spend management capability.

Enter the titans of third-party services spend management – contingent workforce MSPs and Procurement Outsourcing BPOs. Given their history and expertise, these types of service providers are well-positioned to help manage this spend, but they have varying capabilities that are vital to understand when choosing between them.

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Contingent Labor Service Providers: The Winning Capabilities in 2017 | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Blog, Outsourcing

There’s no denying that the contingent workforce market is being disrupted by multiple forces – the emergence of statements of work (SoW) and independent contractors (IC) as significant new spend categories, the rapid evolution of analytics and supporting technologies, and rising buyer demand for total talent acquisition, to name just a few. Navigating through the maze of disruptions to rise to the top of the market is no easy feat for service providers in the space, but several have done so in 2017.

Following are the differentiating qualities and capabilities that earned a handful of providers their rightful spot as  Leaders in Everest Group’s Managed Service Provider (MSP) PEAK Matrix™ in 2017.

  • Fast, proactive responses to market trends: With SoW and IC emerging as new spend categories, the Leaders have differentiated themselves by taking early action in acquiring the capabilities needed to manage them. After starting out with the low hanging fruits such as payments, compliance, etc., these Leaders are now moving on to strategic areas of the value chain such as sourcing, category expertise, and negotiation. The Leaders are also making considerable headway in the emerging area of Total Talent Acquisition (TTA) by developing the requisite capabilities and leveraging their existing expertise in RPO and/or as an Managed Service Provider.
  • Technology ecosystem versus discrete technologies: The Leaders understand the need for and benefits of a talent ecosystem, which means offering an integrated set of tools that can help provide visibility and control over the entire talent acquisition function. These service providers have either developed or are in the final stages of developing a holistic technology architecture to serve the entire talent acquisition landscape. A prime example of this is the addition of SoW and IC management capabilities to the existing Vendor Management System (VMS) itself.
  • Next-gen analytics capabilities: While reporting and descriptive analytics have been around for a while, the true business potential of analytics technology can only be unleashed through predictive and prescriptive analytics. When you couple these with natural language programming (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), you create an easy-to-use, intuitive system that can greatly reduce the costs and spend associated with contingent labor. While the technology is still in nascent stages, the Leaders have started taking a few tentative steps down the road to acquiring these capabilities.
  • Capability to serve the entire market: the Managed Service Provider market is no longer restricted to certain geographies or large enterprises. Buyers from developing markets and mid-sized firms are starting to embrace and realize the benefits of an outsourced contingent workforce management program. The Leaders have introduced specialized offerings, such as evaluating the need for a contingent workforce management program and advising in the technology implementation stage, that make it practical for these first generation buyers to outsource their contingent workforce management.
  • Value-added services and customized solutions for experienced buyers: With a significant portion of their portfolio now consisting of second-and third-generation buyers, the Leaders have begun offering value-added services such as contingent talent branding and talent community management, which helps improve the candidate experience and results in better fill rates and acceptance ratios. They are also offering innovative payment models such as gainsharing or risk sharing programs, such as indemnification of contingent workforce management services.

While the Leaders in our 2017 Managed Service Provider PEAK Matrix™ have taken considerable steps to gain the title, the market is still wide open for innovative and proactive providers. Investing in new technologies and capabilities, and quickly addressing market trends will help other providers emerge victorious.