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Three Perspectives on Analytics and BPM (Part I of II)

The increasing use of analytics is redefining Business Process Management. Alsbridge Managing Director Bill Huber recently interviewed Paul Burton, Senior VP and Head of Analytics and Research at Genpact. Here’s a transcript of their conversation.

BH: Tell me about your background and current role at Genpact.

PB: I’ve now been with Genpact for seven months and am responsible for the analytics business worldwide. We have a global footprint with the majority of our customers located in Western Europe and the US. Our delivery capabilities are also global, with the largest population in India. It’s important to understand that the analytics business is not a traditional BPO business, and has more of the flavor of a consultancy with an industrialization/execution capability. A big part of our delivery is the onshore/on premise team, and we continue to invest in our onshore capabilities to drive analytical skills into the market. We currently have about 6,000 resources in our analytics business.

We have seen three primary views of the world in the analytics business, which shape the strategies that companies take to the market. The first is the pure technology view, taken by large legacy companies in the technology space. Their premise is that analytics is largely driven by better hardware and software. The problem with this view is that the track record of return on investment in terms of the business value of the analytics has been less than what C-level executives had expected. Looking across the market, we are seeing a lot of disappointment with this approach.

The second approach is one taken by pure analytics firms. For them, it’s all about putting more and brighter people in front of the customers, and solving math problems to deliver business insights. The challenge here is that the insights rarely become industrialized and part of the future state business processes utilized by the clients

The third view is where Genpact is. Technology is just an enabler. Clients don’t have math problems, they have business problems. The process component is critical.  Clients want to take insights and industrialize them, to make them repeatable at scale, so that the processes used to run the company become analytical processes. In this approach, self-learning and redesigned and reimagined processes provide a big bump in value realization

Genpact leads with process experts who focus the client on what they are trying to accomplish and how that delivers benefit to the company.  It’s about using the right lens and the right definition, which leads to specific solutions containing applied analytics and technology which are then embedded in business processes. These analytics enriched processes are not static, but rather are “self-aware”; learning evolving, growing, and never the same.

BH: How important is “analytics” to the future of BPM?

PB: Most clients are overtaxed and want a quick solution to whatever problem they are facing.  The perception of a quick fix seems satisfying, but does not yield long term results.  It’s critical to focus on cultural change to embed analytics into core processes that clients use to run the company.

Our objective is to start with domain and process and reimagine them to take a discontinuous jump forward.  The context is that 1) there will continue to be pressure in back office because cost cutting is not going away, 2) there is an increasing need for customer centricity – knowing your customer and market better and in real time.  The business objective through analytics is having a one-to-one relationship with each client even if you have thousands of clients.

In part two of this discussion Paul Burton will discuss what keeps him up at night.

About the author

Bill is a sourcing industry leader and active proponent of helping to create professional standards and best practices. His areas of expertise include sourcing strategies, shared services and contract negotiations. Throughout his career he has been responsible for both business development and delivery of strategic advisory services in procurement, vendor management and operational transformation.