Archive for the ‘IT services’ Category

Roadmap to Improving IT Services Profitability

June 11, 2008

Pricing excellence can lift the profitability of services businesses by 300-500 basis points. Getting there requires a well-structured, multi-functional approach with strong executive sponsorship. The size of the prize though is well worth the pain.

CONTEXT

The Professional Services (PS) business at product-led enterprise technology vendors often fails to live up to its potential. Managed properly, PS can play a key role in enabling customer loyalty, deepening account relationships, and channeling insights from the frontline back into product development. At many vendors, though, the PS business falls short of delivering on these objectives and is plagued by low overall profitability.

This post lays out an approach to improving PS profitability which we have refined over the course of working closely with several Fortune 100 technology providers.

CHALLENGE

Managers in Professional Services businesses often focus on reported utilization, i.e., volume, as the primary driver of improving overall profitability, followed by a focus on structural labor cost (e.g., on-shore vs. off-shore mix). Compounding the profitability challenge, billable utilization is often affected by the need to remediate product quality issues in the field.

RESOLUTION

Pricing though can yield large potential for improving aggregate profitability but is often an undermanaged area, as it resides at the intersection of services product management (strategic pricing), the services field (tactical pricing) and services operations (enabling infrastructure).

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HP – EDS: A good deal, actually

May 29, 2008

Is the EDS deal bad for HP shareholders? The market’s initial reaction suggests so, with HP losing several billion dollars in market cap because the deal introduces operational risk to what has been a remarkable turnaround / margin expansion story for HP investors.

A more in-depth look though at the likely strategic rationale, potential alternative targets and possible financial rationale leads us to conclude that the deal may not be so bad if you take a longer term perspective.

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