Unilever-IBM FAO Deal: Best Outsourcing Engagement
13/04/2008
The FAO Research report detailing engagements of the honorees and those of all nominated companies for the 2008 "FAO Research Awards of Distinction"
Unilever EMEA-IBM Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) deal has secured the top position in "2008 FAO Research Awards of Distinction," the awards by FAO Research, a research firm focused on the FAO and procurement outsourcing markets. The research firm recognized 10 most referenced FAO engagements that have undergone renewals and scope increases to expand their long-term FAO partnerships.

According to research firm, the Unilever-IBM FAO contract is "a groundbreaking success thus far, with the potential to expand significantly within the entire Unilever organization."

"In 2005, Unilever embarked upon an ambitious, global change program called "One Unilever" to streamline the organization to increase growth and competitiveness in its markets. Unilever Europe wanted to act with speed but carefully to achieve its highly ambitious objectives for change. It hired sourcing advisory firm EquaTerra to understand the underlying economics of an outsourcing model and the dynamics of the FAO market. To optimize cost synergies/savings of its finance business process in Europe and to leverage its scale, Unilever EMEA ultimately selected IBM as its FAO provider, even though it had stronger business relationships with some competing bidders. Unilever ultimately chose IBM based on its ability to demonstrate a realistic "future state" for the company to achieve its ambitious transformation goals and growth agenda and how IBM could help Unilever Europe get there," according to the study.

Gijsbert de Zoeten, Managing Director, Unilever Finance Business Services ? Europe (left) and Jean-Stephane Payraudeau, Director ? Senior Project Executive, IBM (right)

Gijsbert de Zoeten, Managing Director, Unilever Finance Business Services ? Europe (left) and Jean-Stephane Payraudeau, Director ? Senior Project Executive, IBM (right)

"The size, scale and scope of change required for IBM to complete transition successfully, let alone manage this complex engagement at the same time that Unilever EMEA embarked upon a global change agenda, are unprecedented in the FAO market," according to FAO Research. Unilever now has pan-European service management that provides greater access to finance information for decision-making and continuous improvements worldwide. Unilever Europe went from a loose federation of 24 countries with three different processes by business unit per country to an integrated operation.

Other partnerships that made to the list are: BT-Accenture, GlaxoSmithKline-Genpact, Avago Technologies-Wipro BPO, BBC-Xansa, AOL-CGS, D3P-VWA, Church's Chicken-WNS Global Services, and U.S. Government Defense Contractor- Campass BPO.

Winners of the 2008 FAO Research Awards of Distinction

Buyer Service Provider
1.) Unilever IBM
2.) British Telecommunications (BT) Accenture
3). GlaxoSmithKline Genpact
4). Avago Technologies Wipro BPO
5). BBC Xansa
6). AOL Computer Generated Solutions (CGS) -Romania
7). D3Publisher (D3P) of America Vengroff, Williams & Associates (VWA)
8). Centrica WNS Global Services
9). Church's Chicken WNS Global Services
10). U.S. Government Defense Contractor Campass BPO
Source: FAO Research
Winners of 2008 FAO Awards of Distinction Announced by FAO Research Leading Research Firm Honors Companies for Achievements with their Existing FAO Contracts Boston, MA ? April 9, 2008 ? FAO Research, Inc., the only research firm focused exclusively on the Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) and Procurement Outsourcing (PO) markets, today announced the winners of its annual "FAO Research Awards of Distinction." The 2008 winners represent corporations, their advisors (as applicable) and outsourcing service providers who are recognized and applauded at collaborating to demonstrate best practices in meeting finance & accounting (F&A) operational and business objectives. The 2008 "FAO Research Awards of Distinction" recognize engagements in two categories: FAO buyer organizations with greater than USD$5 Billion in annual revenue · 1st Place ? Unilever EMEA and IBM · 2nd Place ? British Telecommunications (BT) and Accenture · 3rd Place ? GlaxoSmithKline and Genpact FAO buyer organizations with less than USD$5 Billion in annual revenue · Top Honor ? Avago Technologies and Wipro BPO FAO Research also gave "honorable mention" to the following FAO contracts: · Centrica (with Alsbridge) and WNS Global Services · BBC (with PwC) and Xansa Nomination criteria judged by FAO Research analysts included quantifiable factors (like size of contract, time into deployment, cost savings, etc.) as well as, but not limited to: · Alleviating business pains · Business transformation · Database/infrastructure consolidation/modernization · "Road map" (game plan for sequence/timeline of multiple process deployments) · Transition program · Ease/rapidity of deployment(s) · Increased efficiency in processes · Relationship/team building · Return on investment "The recognized FAO engagements demonstrate the maturation and increased sophistication of organizations in viewing FAO as a strategy to improve business operations," says Lisa Ross, CEO of FAO Research. "While cost savings and labor arbitrage are important considerations, the strategic advantages of improved process efficiency are being realized along with consolidation of disparate systems. The evolution of engagements to harness the long-term benefits represents the next generation of this market that FAO Research terms "FAO 2.0." The teams honored in our 2008 'FAO Research Awards of Distinction' reflect this vision in action." The FAO Research report detailing engagements of the honorees and those of all nominated companies for the 2008 "FAO Research Awards of Distinction" is available by request on a complimentary basis at www.faoresearch.com. About FAO Research, Inc FAO Research, Inc. is the only independent research firm worldwide focused exclusively on the Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) and Procurement Outsourcing (PO) markets. FAO Research conducts market research, performs custom services and hosts events for FAO/PO service providers, advisors and companies that want to better understand market activity, the supplier landscape and buyer needs. With frequent publishing of reports, events and unbiased viewpoints, FAO Research is a trusted source worldwide for impartial research and opinions. For more information, visit www.faoresearch.com. Press Contact: Lisa Ross, CEO FAO Research, Inc. 617-787-3267 Weblog: http://faoresearch.typepad.com/outsourcing_perspectives