The fundamental crux of Deborah's argument is that consulting DNA is somehow a good thing for BPO. But if the procurement BPO industry is as good example as any to point a finger at, you could potentially argue the opposite as many of the big bust deals (of the past and today) -- from the original Deutsche Bank outsourcing implosion to the more recent BPO provider series of missteps at a "major CPG company" -- came at the deft hands of BPO providers coming from a parent organization with a consulting past. Now, you might argue that many of the more high profile missteps in procurement BPO logically involve a legacy consulting/BPO shop (e.g., Accenture, IBM), as it is these partners and executives who are good at selling the "big bang" procurement BPO deals that are more likely to fail -- and are higher profile when they do -- than the often more surgical strikes that the Indian firms begin to take before broader deals in many instances (not to mention ICG Commerce and others which often start on a more targeted, expert basis).
Yet I might take a more aggressive stance and suggest that consulting DNA might actually be a determinant when it comes to building a BPO operation -- at least consulting DNA at the core. As a former consultant, I know many of tricks of the trade. And I believe that fundamental, short-term value alignment is very different than camping alongside side the customer, rather than the client -- not to mention depending on your client to light the fires with you. Moreover, I don't believe the consulting generalist approach makes a lot of sense in complex indirect categories where true depth of subject matter expertise and complete end-to-end excellence is what counts relative to the "soft hands" of client management and isolated process management (e.g., institutionalizing a strategic sourcing process). Call me crazy, but I almost believe that in order to drive procurement BPO adoption to a new level, we must first focus on overcoming the well-known cock-ups of the hybrid consulting/BPO firms rather than anything else.