Infosys: On and Offshore, Long-Time Procurement BPO Contender Ups Its Spend Management Game (Part 2)

In the first post in this series, I provided some backdrop on Infosys' global procurement BPO capabilities, client delivery and engagement models. In this post today, we'll take a deeper at how Infosys goes to market with its S&P (sourcing and procurement) offerings, including drilling into how it differentiates technology-wise from other Indian-based providers. For solution segmentation, Infosys structures its overall capabilities into three distinctive areas: transactional, judgment-based and strategic decision support. Transactional support includes all the areas you would expect: eProcurement, invoice automation, catalog management, supplier onboarding, supplier management, etc. But what separates out Infosys from other Indian rivals is a combination of external partnership (e.g., SAP) and platform hosting capability as well as homegrown components.

Infosys' Procurement Workbench capability was built in conjunction with Microsoft and delivers a range of capabilities including basic spend analysis, performance/vendor management reporting and high-level dashboards that provide insight into overall procurement operating performance. With SAP, Infosys brings a combination of both development and hosting expertise (though they do not deliver a multi-tenant SRM environment). The Infosys SAP team includes over 100 resources skilled in SAP SRM, working to deliver a range of services including overall package selection/evaluation, implementation, roll-outs, technical developments, hosting (if required) and general upgrade and service support.

Spend Matters believes that along with IBX/Capgemini and Hubwoo, Infosys is in a select class of BPO providers that can call themselves true SAP SRM experts without the clouded legacy of past implementations gone awry that many still associate with some of the bigger names in the SI/outsourcing space. However, the specific capabilities of all three named above are not necessarily substitutes for each other. Hence, potential customers should better understand the third-party requirements they need prior to engaging with a BPO provider in the SAP SRM or related procurement technology areas.

Another area where Infosys helps to differentiate itself from other BPOs in the technology arena is their Contract Administration Platform (ICAP), which includes both enabling contract management technology as well as legal support services. Spend Matters is not aware of another similar bundling of solutions from a single provider that combine what's now often termed as "knowledge process outsourcing" (KPO) in the legal area with a contract management platform. However, companies evaluating ICAP should also look at best of breed contract management vendors like Upside that may provide capabilities which materially exceed what an integrated KPO/technology provider is capability of delivering in this area based on their own unique operating requirements.

Stay tuned for further coverage of Infosys.

Jason Busch

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