My friend Phil Fersht laments outsourcers are poor marketers. Marketing is easy if you are delivering standout solutions to customers.
Amazon does not need brag too much because most customers have seen it has a track record of price reductions. It has averaged 2-3 reductions in AWS pricing – every year! So different from the typical outsourcer who locks customers at pricing for 5 years and makes every excuse in the book to not pass along productivity improvements.
Kaggle does not need to brag much because large companies like GE and Merck know they can challenge its crowds of highly qualified professionals to tackle complex analytical problems. So different from the typical outsourcer who hires young, trains them for months, then sells busloads of that as their alternative.
It’s tough to market when you are chasing after software vendors as your major value proposition. Lord knows how many outsourcers have asked me “Who will be the next SAP?” Then hate to hear me say Workday or Netsuite because they have commoditized application support and upgrade services.
It’s is tough to market when your customers are telling their peers they are cutting back on outsourcing. At the InformationWeek conference today, CapitalOne presented on how they have gone from 75% outsourced to 75% insourced. In one of his first moves, GM CIO Randy Mott asked for several hundred HP EDS staff to be rebadged back.
So, here’s a simple suggestion. Focus on customer value and differentiated services and continuous improvement and as a bonus, Phil will find even your marketing has also improved!