Shared Services and Outsourcing Open House 2014

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Each year, over 90% of our members request more information on benchmarking and solution/services recommendations …

That’s why SSON is hosting its first-ever virtual Shared Services & Outsourcing Open House, designed to showcase solutions that have proved successful for other practitioners, introduce the latest in automation technology, and share valuable tips on how to collaborate with solution-providers to get better results.

Please note that all session run on BST time - British Standard Time.

We invite you to join us, October 6-9, 2014, for 4 days of case studies, demos and Q&A sessions on the latest solutions and services – all accessible without leaving the office! 2014 sponsors and partners include:

We will be focusing on four topics that practitioners have identified as top of their list:

  1. Planning & Launching
  2. P2P / Reconciliation
  3. Automation / Continuous Improvement
  4. Benchmarking

View the Agenda at a Glance below:

Each session identifies a core challenge, leads with a case study based on vendor-driven implementation, and demos new technology that drives improved service. You also have the opportunity to ask searching questions about these new solutions and get answers that satisfy your pressing concerns.

As with all Open Houses, we encourage you to be active with questions and to bring your own real-life challenges to the table. There is no obligation for purchase, so feel free to use this time to gather as much knowledge as possible!

Registration is free: One online ticket allows you to attend any or all of the 8 sessions – you create your own agenda.

With the Shared Services industry in perpetual evolution, we understand how critical it is not just to maintain but to improve the value of your services through smart partnerships. SSON’s Open House series puts the latest technology solutions right in front of you, and allows you to ask both corporate practitioner as well as solution designer all the right questions.

Make sure you are up to date on the technology that can benefit you. Register now.

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Events Highlights

3 Ways this Online Event Will Benefit Your Bottom Line…

1. You can hear from practitioners who ‘get it’ alongside solution-providers without having to sit through a 60-minute sales pitch.

Hearing directly from practitioners means our sessions provide CONTEXT alongside CONTENT. Your peers will share their challenges and the solutions they adopted to get better results, as well as information on the service-providers they have worked with. This is a rare opportunity for peer-to-peer benchmarking – without sales pressure.


2. It’s a perfect way to build up your arsenal of possible partners, technologies and benchmarking case studies – so that you’re armed with solutions for current and potential challenges. 

Think of this Open House as a way to window-shop the industry, and to help you create a ‘wish list’ of capabilities you need in order to achieve your business goals. Our partners are here to answer questions and provide solutions to your challenges. Take advantage of the Q&A sessions!

3. It’s a free event, but you get a lot of additional stuff – valued at over £10k!

With your free online registration, you will receive a complimentary link to access all of the presentations post-event, regardless whether you joined the live sessions. On top of that, all practitioner registrants will receive free access for 3-months to NelsonHall’s NEAT Tool, an easy-to-use internet-based Vendor Assessment Program. (Combined, this is worth well over £10k!)

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Who Should Attend? (aside from you, of course…)

You are an active practitioner and …

• Have a current requirement for solutions and services relating to Benchmarking, P2P, Reconciliation, Automation / Continuous Improvement and/or Planning & Launching

• Need to gather knowledge and research on investment value for solutions and services relating to Benchmarking, P2P, Reconciliation, Automation / Continuous Improvement and/or Planning & Launching

• Are interested in keeping up with new technology in the shared services, outsourcing and transformation industry to maintain a competitive-edge

• Want to hear from practitioners from companies including ComputaCenter, O2 and Belgian Railways

• Are fairly new to SS&O and are seeking an engaging and interactive way of understanding common challenges practitioners face and how to overcome them

• Want to ensure you are up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry, and would appreciate some benchmarking opportunities


We invite you to join us, October 6-9, 2014, for 4 days of case studies, demos and Q&A sessions on the latest solutions and services – all accessible without leaving the office!


We invite you to join us, October 6-9, 2014, for 4 days of case studies, demos and Q&A sessions on the latest solutions and services – all accessible without leaving the office!


Topics & Agenda

We will be hosting 8 sessions across 4 days, with each day offering a morning and an afternoon session, and dedicated to one of 4 key topics:

1. Planning & Launching
2. P2P / Reconciliation
3. Automation / Continuous Improvement
4. Benchmarking

View the Agenda at a Glance below:

Each session identifies a core challenge, offers a case study showcasing measurable solutions, and demos new technology that supports improved service. You also have the opportunity to ask searching questions about these new solutions and get answers that satisfy your pressing concerns.

*Please note that all online event sessions will be in webinar format*

MORNING: 11:00am – 12:00pm GMT
AFTERNOON: 3:00pm – 4:00pm GMT

How to Drive Better Customer Communications and Business Processes for Improved Performance

Communications with customers, vendors and partners are an essential part of every business and of every Shared Services implementation. A solid communications framework, therefore, is the foundation for a successful launch, as it facilitates buy in; engages your customers, suppliers and stakeholders; and provides a mechanism for guiding change management as part of your implementation.

While every company has unique needs and challenges, OpenText's results-based solutions simplify the identification and adoption of the most effective communication solution to meet your stakeholders’ needs. Find out how StreamServe supports centralized, standardized business processes and sustainable service through reliable communications tools that, first, segment stakeholder groups; and second, tailor the right message.

Maria Granlöf, Principal Solution Consultant at OpenText

How to Manage a Shared Services Launch So it Sticks (Part 1)

Sustainable success is first and foremost about being realistic regarding what can and cannot be done in the first 6 months – and managing your customers’ expectations accordingly, says Jamie Davies. He was brought in by ComputaCenter to design, transition and run the new Finance SSC start-up in Budapest (Jamie helped transform BT’s GBS over the course of 8 years). In this session, he’ll remove your rose-tinted glasses to offer a realistic account of an SSO launch, and tell you how to hire a killer team. His experience stretches from Europe to India and Latin America, so listen out for his tips on location choice, too.

In this session Jamie will cover:

  • How to understand what’s expected from a SSC: What are the drivers?

  • Building a killer team

  • Choosing the best transition model and managing change

  • Tips on getting internal sponsorship and executive support

  • How to track and manage risk Location choices

Jamie Davies, Finance SSC Manager, ComputaCenter

How to Manage a Shared Services Launch So it Sticks (Part 2)

David O’Sullivan has seen most of it before, having learned the hard way.

Over the course of his career, he’s built up broad experience setting up Shared Services in multiple industries, countries and jurisdictions. He was head of Shared Services at Thomson Reuters, as well as Whirlpool, and since co-founding Chazey Partners in 2007 – specializing in Shared Services & Outsourcing, Business Transformation, and Technology enablement – has worked with dozens of companies to help stand up robust delivery models around the world.

Shared Services will feel like the loneliest place in the organization, he says, and yet, it might not have to be that hard.

When Chazey worked with Coca-Cola Hellenic to set up a new SSO, they launched a pilot in three countries at the same time, against cries of “It’ll never work” (it did). What really matters, he says, is to get it out of your head that launching a Shared Services is a “project” (like an IT implementation) and treat it like the new business start-up it is. And this business is about organizational solutions to business process problems.

“I saw tons of action back in the dotcom days, working with million-dollar start-ups and ratcheting up to 700 staff in a year. You need to apply that same focus and spirit to a Shared Services launch – because no one is really going to be your friend in the early days, and you need to know how to prepare yourself.”

David will emphasize the need to plan for a sustainable model, and rely on a strong governance framework to guide customer engagement. He’ll discuss some of the issues Jamie has faced and share suggestions on how to overcome some of the biggest bumps you’ll experience on the road.

Get answers on:

  • How to manage stakeholders’ expectations

  • Why to focus on culture first, and process second

  • Where technology fits into the solution

  • How to design a governance framework as a foundation for your partnership

  • How to engage your customers so they will follow you on the journey

David O'Sullivan, Partner, Chazey Partners


*Please note that all online event sessions will be in webinar format*

MORNING: 11:00am – 12:00pm GMT
AFTERNOON: 3:00pm – 4:00pm GMT

How to Generate Cost Savings from Supplier Invoices: A Comprehensive Technique to Improve Your Purchase-to-Pay Platform: A Case Study of Belgian Rail

Consider: 70% of invoices are still paper-based, and 30% require manual intervention. Surprised? Or resigned to this statistic? Belgian Rail has made it a priority to gain control over its invoice system as a means to managing vendors and payments more efficiently – and has the results to show for it.

Stephane Haelterman will share his extraordinary experience in P2P technology, and explain how using OpenText’s Invoice Management software has driven advances in two specific areas:

First, by eliminating time-consuming inaccuracies and exceptions so that invoices are paid on time and discounts applied; and second, by analyzing vendor data to identify which vendors consistently create invoicing issues.

The ability to shift away from these vendors has been a big value driver for Belgian Rail, as he will explain. In addition, Stephane will address:  

  • How to establish a baseline for measured improvement using value stream mapping for your entire purchase-to-pay process

  • How to streamline AP operations across and beyond a supplier network, for visibility into costs and supplier performance

  • How to configure user roles and streamline exception management

  • How to generate valuable business intelligence from your invoices  

For anyone considering an SAP Vendor Invoice solution, this session is a must.

Stephane Haelterman, Program Manager/Workflow Architect, NMBS/SNCB – Belgian Railways

How to Identify a “Broken” P2P Process – and Fix it

20 years ago the average P2P department was a world of paper purchase orders and manual processes with a general ‘black hole’ around supplier indebtedness. Finance Directors and Treasurers often maintained cash balances for overdue payments in any given month.

Today, as the Finance function has transformed, P2P has transformed with it, enabled by Supplier Self-Service, PO flipping, office robotics, and Tail-end & Spend Analytics. Working capital is now managed more strategically and procurement had evolved to a more ‘intelligent’ sourcing.

Wherever you fit in, you will benefit from the solutions presented in this webinar by Steria – the number one provider of P2P Business Process Services in the UK and Europe (Source: Nelson Hall).

Find out how to identify a broken P2P process and what to do about it.

Gerry Bolton, Head of Finance Transformation Consulting, Steria
with Subject Matter Experts: Iain Hayes, Lynn Millar, Martin Beasley

Technical Demonstration of OpenText's SAP Vendor Invoice Management Application

Find out which levers are most effective for improving P2P in this webinar and learn about the latest solutions to manage:

  • Spend analytics – link to strategic sourcing reviews to increase value-add through targeted supplier statement reconciliations
  • Process cost savings of up to 60%
  • Matching supplier invoices to authorized spend

*Please note that all online event sessions will be in webinar format*

MORNING: 11:00am – 12:00pm GMT
AFTERNOON: 3:00pm – 4:00pm GMT

How Robotics Is Solving Your Automation Challenges: A Guide to How and Where RPA Fits Into Your Business

Blue Prism can take most of the credit for developing RPA to where it is fast becoming a recognizable solution for Shared Services. But there are still a lot of questions. Here is where you’ll find answers.

While many providers are today slapping “lipstick on a pig” to pass off desktop automation or scripting as an RPA tool – beware! It’s not the same thing.

This webcast will explain the difference and ensure you have a clear picture of where and how robotics can add value to your processes.

Pat Geary, CMO of Blue Prism, will cover:

  • The benefit of RPA: cost, quality, time, scale (but what’s the investment?)

  • Which processes are the best candidates and why? What distinguishes a good opportunity?

  • What resources a company needs to bring to the table?

  • How to cost out a project? Is FTE-based thinking out the window? Is RPA sustainable?

  • How do you allow for Continuous Improvement in transactions?

  • How does RPA impact a) existing outsourcing contracts, b) new outsourcing contracts?

  • Do you go it alone or push your outsourcer to step up? And how do you recognize (and pay for) “true RPA” as opposed to desktop automation?

Pat Geary, CMO, Blue Prism

The ABC of RPA: How to Build Robotics Into Your Organization – a Case Study by O2/Telefónica UK

At leading telecommunications firm Telefónica (O2), Wayne Butterfield has transformed a 1.2 million transaction a month, 400-FTE offshore Back Office by integrating Robotic Process Automation to reduce manual labor & operational costs by over 30%.

The implementation of Blue Prism’s automation tool alone delivered benefits of over £500,000 in year one. Wayne is a champ of automation and he’ll be sharing how he did it with you.

Find out:

  • How to identify opportunities for robotics in your organization

  • Why RPA was the right solution for O2

  • What was easy and what was hard about implementing robotics

  • How robotic automation impacts business processes, and how to govern it

  • How to get your staff to embrace automation solutions around self service – and why this is important

Wayne Butterfield, Digital Service Performance Owner at Telefónica UK (O2)

Technical Demonstration

Technical Demonstration


*Please note that all online event sessions will be in webinar format*

MORNING: 11:00am – 12:00pm GMT
AFTERNOON: 3:00pm – 4:00pm GMT

Benchmarking:  Yes You Can! Why Benchmarking is a Key Element of Performance Improvement and How To Do it Yourself  

How and what to benchmark is the question most frequently asked by global Shared Services practitioners. Today we will help you solve this challenge – and we’ve brought in the big guns.   Nobody knows benchmarking like The Hackett Group does.

Dr. Penny Weller will be presenting key measures across different functions that characterize best practices. More importantly, she’ll help you understand how to select key metrics for your own internal benchmarking if an external benchmark is not possible (and it’s not as scary as it sounds). Tracking metrics internally helps you identify inhouse best practices by comparing different customers’ or regions’. These then become the drivers for performance improvement initiatives.

Join this discussion to find out:

Why measurement matters

  • Opportunities for improvement; the art and science of what’s possible

  • Encourage staff engagement to achieve improvement goals

  • Prioritize improvement projects  

Why benchmarking is a key element of performance improvement

  • Understand business performance through independent assessment

  • Clarify the business case for service delivery model; build roadmap

  • Understand technology adoption and realization of benefits  

Getting started

  • Distinguish between internal and external benchmarking

  • Encourage staff participation in selecting metrics.

  • What gets in the way of effectiveness?

  • Technology as enabler for tracking metrics

Hackett Group

Case Study: From Metrics to Analytics!
How Internal Benchmarks Are Exposing Gaps and Guiding Improvement in Human Resources  

Anupam Diwan is responsible for driving HR analytics through the financial services organization she works for, to better manage and leverage its Human Resource talent.  

“As a financial company, we are all about numbers,” says Anupam. “”But I was impressed to see how much this reliance on analytics stretched into HR support, too.“  

Anupam has helped set up a PMO to provide visibility of all HR projects and is now getting down to the business of analyzing the benchmarks to develop scorecards and dashboards, through Workday, to devise a winning workforce strategy.  

Find out which metrics are most valuable for charting HR’s progress, and learn how to track your internal progress across countries by way of robust and credible measures that tell a story.

Anupam will cover:

  • Dimensions of analytics

  • How to get to actionable insights from mere numbers

  • Measuring HR – what and how Process flow (with an example/case study) from data to metrics to actions to building strategy

  • Examples of metrics from Hiring, Turnover, Performance, HR Operations

  • What’s next? Predictive modeling! Are you ready?

Anupam Diwan is a Human Resources professional with broad experience in metrics and analytics.

Technical Demonstration

Technical Demonstration




Time and time again, the number 1 challenge our practitioners cite is benchmarking. And if you’re like 92% of the people we have surveyed, you are under pressure to validate your achievements – often in the face of strong resistance from customers. Alternatively, you may be looking for a measure of how your service levels compare with the industry, to guide your development.

Why is benchmarking so critical?

Benchmarking is critical because Shared Services cannot operate to its best capacity in isolation. Benchmarking provides a means of tracking current results, targeting future improvements, designing a realistic roadmap, and most importantly, comparing existing service levels against those achieved by others. Benchmarking identifies your strengths, weaknesses and gaps – and tells you where you need to go in order to become a Centre of Excellence. 3 reasons benchmarks support improved results:

  1. To provide proof of measureable improvement across agreed metrics, such as cost, quality, time, volume, etc. This kind of benchmarking is helpful to communicate value to customers/the Board, as well as track improvements as part of a Continuous Improvement initiative.

  2. To establish your SSO’s “ranking” compared to industry performance levels, and thereby identify areas of weakness or potential for improved service. In other words: to identify where the SSO displays strengths (value-drivers) by tracking “best practices”, and where it is lagging the performance of other SSOs. The value of this driver is in closing sub-standard performance gaps.

  3. To offer a robust indication of Return on Investment, in line with any other initiatives, on resource and investment. With today’s budgetary tightness extending to support services, there is a lot of pressure to prove “value”.

Benchmarking post-SSO output against pre-SSO service offers a reliable calculation of value-add compared to investment.

What now?

With the focus now on measurable results, “benchmarking” is a required tool in your arsenal. Learn more about some of the specialists that have developed significant competency in delivering benchmarking services, who can leverage their knowledge and political independence to support your benchmarking efforts.

Register today for SSON’s Open House Benchmarking Session, and find out how new technology can support your efforts to drive improved performance across your SSO.

P2P / Reconciliation

One of the areas consistently highlighted as offering significant opportunity for improvement is the procure-to-pay process. It offers easily measurable gains through automation-driven payment efficiencies, as well as through streamlined procurement practices, both of which release working capital, the lifeblood of organizations. The big differentiator in P2P has been automation, which has a massive impact on bringing down the relatively high cost of processing low value ticket items, for example.

Why is P2P automation important?

Companies that have embraced electronic solutions, have streamlined and standardized procurement practices, have more control over their payments cycles (DPO), and are able to drive down the cost and resource requirements for invoice payments. As a result, P2P automation plays a significant part in releasing cash to the business. Reconciliations, in particular, offers a lot of oportunity for improved performance through automated solutions.

Take action

A large segment of the market has yet to embrace the opportunities offered through P2P automation. By some estimates1, a full 2/3 of organizations are still currently stuck with manual processes and paper. Find out how to evaluate your current cost of P2P and how and where automation would impact your cost as well as quality of service.

Register today for SSON’s Open House P2P Automation Session, and find out how new technology can support your efforts to drive improved performance across your SSO.

Reference 1. Automating P2P to Improve Your Liquidity, SunTrust

Robotic Process Automation 

RPA is the latest buzz word in automation technology – but it is still relatively little understood.We will present an overview from the folks credited with coining the phrase (Blue Prism) which will explain – in plain English – what RPA means, what it can and cannot do, what it replaces, how to distinguish it from desktop automation or scripting, and why it is the solution that will be a "game-changer" for the industry, as many experts predict.

Why is RPA important?

It replaces FTEs with software that acts at the user interface level – in otherwords it is not embedded in the back end database and therefore does not require a complex IT implementation – and yet its results are powerful and have implications for how support services will be managed in the future. While inhouse operations are embracing the solution (see our case study by O2) providers will be incorporating some form of RPA into their services, too.

Be informed about what this means.

Take action

Register today for SSON’s Open House P2P Robotic Process Automation Session, and find out how new technology can support your efforts to drive improved performance across your SSO.

Planning & Launching / Governance Framework

The most popular workshop at our annual Shared Services & Outsourcing Weeks globally is ‘Planning and Launching for Shared Services’ / ‘Shared Services 101.’  For those of you who want to get a taste of how to run a successful implementation without leaving the office, we offer the Planning & Launching/Governance Open House session.

Why is Planning and Launching/Governance important?

If you don’t get the Planning and Governance Framework right, the rest of your implementation rests on shaky ground. There are a number of important factors to consider, including identifying processes to bring into scope, identifying stakeholders and developing targeted communications campaigns, and mapping out a deployment schedule. When Shared Services fail to live up to expectations, it is more often than not the result of one or another of the above being neglected.

Early success sets the foundation for future growth, as Chris Gunning, VP Finance for Unisys explains (Top 10 Changes You’ll See Post-SSC Launch): “[A few years into launch] there is increased appetite from the leadership team to build upon the success of the early years, including portfolio scope expansion and location diversification of the point of service delivery.” That means you, as a shared services leader, need to invest disproportionately in up-front planning and managing of expectations in order to maintain and even speed up momentum later on.

A robust Governance framework supporting day-to-day management is a key enabler for successful Shared Services. It offers a structure, defines roles, sets out escalation paths for issues resolutions, and guides development. Many Shared Services are set up as an extension of the existing leadership and management structure, but that alone will not provide the rigor of governance that is required. Learn more in this session.

Take action

Implementing Shared Services is stressful. While there is no way to eliminate this completely, the more effort you invest in preparation and in building a strong foundation, the better the transition, and the more positive the end result. This session will tell you what to expect in terms of challenges and obstacles, how to plan for these to pre-empt your project being derailed, and how to monitor and manage the new services delivery model through a robust and effective Governance framework.

Register today for SSON’s Open House Planning and Launching / Governance Session, and find out how to plan for, develop, and finally run, a truly successful SSO.


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About the Organizer

The Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON) is the largest and most established community of shared services and outsourcing executives, with over 78,000 active members globally. We provide the platform on which key industry experts and organisations share their experience, knowledge and tools, and SSO practitioners connect with others all over the world, face to face and online.

SSON’s global, multi-platform portfolio includes Shared Intelligence – a new and exclusive practitioner-only online community, SSO Pro – a specialised training course and certification program, the SSON Portal – the world’s most comprehensive and SS&O dedicated online resource and content center, and the SSON Events – ranging from flagship conferences to niche-specific meetings. Dedicated to practitioners involved with their organization’s shared services, outsourcing and transformation initiatives, SSON is the catalyst for conversation, connection and change that inspire the growth of our industry.

Access the SSON Portal for free on today.

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