I had the chance to catch up with my old friend (and longtime raider of my scotch cabinet) Phil Fersht over the weekend. After stints in the analyst, consulting and BPO worlds, Phil started HfS Research, which is now among the top — if not the preeminent — firm covering the business process outsourcing (BPO) and services industries. In addition, HfS covers related matters that impact service delivery, including the rise of robotic process automation.
Phil was in Chicago to host the latest HfS Blueprint session taking place through Wednesday this week — an event that is bringing together more than 50 senior shared services, BPO and IT practitioners, many of whom are speaking during the event. Many of the senior leaders from the BPO firms are in attendance and speaking as well. Phil told me the event was intentionally designed to be “heady” compared with other shared services and BPO industry events, which are more about networking than anything else with highly variable content (typical of procurement industry events as well, mind you). In the 2 sessions I sat in this morning, I can say the content was true to Phil’s goal. It made me think.
As a firm, HfS Research is doing extremely well, adding a number of senior hires in recent quarters. Phil also looks great and is taking more time for himself and his family than the 18-20 hour workdays that it took to get the thing started and ramped-up.
Seeing Phil and his team thrive is vindication of the small guy coming in and disrupting analyst convention. I also find the rise of HfS very much analogous to Spend Matters Network, even though our goals and end games are quite different. Spend Matters uses research and expert opinion to drive a B2B publishing, social media and research network. HfS leverages social approaches to drive an updated industry analyst model focused on disrupting coverage in the global BPO and services market.
It’s great to see Phil and his team putting on such a thoughtful show. I’ll share some additional dispatches and snippets from my limited time at the event this morning later this week.