In SIA's latest research around the overall managed services provider (MSP) market share, as well as a recent webinar on the topic, Tapfin had a very strong showing in both vendor-neutral and hybrid models (in vendor-neutral models, the MSP technically does not provide any preference to a specific staffing firm or parent). Overall, Tapfin managed $2.6 billion in vendor-neutral spending and $1.5 billion in the hybrid model. Allegis Group tied with Tapfin for the lead in the vendor-neutral model, while Adecco took the silver medal for hybrid approaches. Perhaps most surprising, because we typically don't associate IQNavigator with the MSP world as much as we used to due to their focus on technology, IQNavigator came in third in the vendor-neutral MSP model.
From our vantage point, the SIA data is useful to gauge broader marketplace and volume leaders (but not functional leaders, which we'll get to in a minute). It's also curious that VMS providers are managing some $76 billion in spend these days (inclusive of temporary/contract labor, SOW and outsourced services) and MSPs are managing only $48 billion. This finding alone suggests that self-managed programs remain quite healthy.
At the same time that the SIA data is important, companies should not get wrapped up in using it to create vendor and MSP shortlists. For example, in the VMS space alone, any organization failing to consider FieldGlass, IQNavigator, Beeline, PeopleFluent and Consol would be negligent in their analysis (and PeopleSoft shops should always shortlist Provade as well). Moreover, companies with a love affair of customizing enterprise software to the Nth degree might want to consider Emptoris' capabilities as well. Moreover, for SOW spend and managing complex categories, there are dozens of other category-specific vendors worthy of consideration in print, legal and marketing spend, as well as broader SOW providers like Emptoris and Ariba, which also offer capabilities in this area.
But perhaps most important of all, given the investment of effort in driving adoption and rolling out contingent, it would be foolhardy to not consult experts in evaluating and selecting the right VMS and SOW/project-based system -- not to mention confidentially learning from other peers in the industry. Which is exactly why the SIA Council model -- at least in my view -- is so appealing for companies wanting to jump-start or accelerate their services procurement efforts.
- Jason Busch