GEP Slips in Under the Outsourcing Radar (Part 1)

As usual, we're a bit slow in publishing our deeper-dive analysis of the many briefings, demonstrations and reference discussions we have each week. Yet one provider we're really looking forward to publishing our detailed first take on is GEP. Between Thomas and I, we've spent a good two days going over presentations, demonstrations, reference calls discussions and various notes covering GEP, a provider that is a bit of an enigma. Part BPO, part software provider (with its own toolset) and part consultancy, there's really no one else quite like them in the market. While we'll save our detailed take on them for a post series starting in the next two weeks, we thought we would include a bit of background given their recently published 2011 performance.

According to the news from earlier in March, GEP reported "an annual growth in the range of 20-25 percent in revenues and profits in 2011" in part based on signing "several" new clients including NetApp, University of Michigan, Maple Leaf Foods, Bissell and Essilor in the services/BPO arena as well as a number of new accounts in the source-to-pay software area including Standard Chartered Bank, Manpower Inc., American Cancer Society and Bio-Rad Laboratories. For those who have followed the evolution of the procurement software and services market in the past fifteen years, it's been the rare case that a provider has been able to excel at both areas. The road is riddled with the spent shells of providers aiming for both targets including FreeMarkets, eBreviate/AT Kearney and many others. Even Ariba, recently, exited the services arena -- and they meant it this time -- after using it as the crux of their turnaround post the .com challenges.

GEP, though, is clearly doing something differently. It's a recipe that even Indian-based BPOs have yet to figure out. To wit, build software yourself (vs. primarily relying on third-party platforms), round out capabilities through acquisition, invest in a range of services and market intelligence capabilities with large offshore bench strength to back it up and go to market with a true smorgasbord of options for prospects and customers. And, of course, focus on certain sectors that play to your strengths. In this case, GEP has a few, including utilities where it now intends to "leverage its acquisition of Enporion to expand its P2P footprint in the Energy & Utilities sector." For past Spend Matters coverage on this acquisition, please click here and here).

Stay tuned as our "preview" post on GEP continues.

- Jason Busch

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