Analyze This...

Who are the researchers that provide the shared services and outsourcing sector with so much of the data we rely on? And what’s their BIG IDEA?

Katrina Menzigian on "driving leveragability"

SSON: Katrina, you’ve recently assumed leadership of Research for F&A, Procurement and HR outsourcing, at Everest. Given your breadth of coverage, could you share with us some of the trends you are seeing in the marketplace? Let’s start with F&A – how do you think the FAO market is evolving?

Katrina Menzigian: One of the big things I am seeing in finance and accounting is the issue of "driving leveragability," and using technology to drive a lot of that leveragability. I see two major trends. The first is creating leveragability of the technology itself, from the supplier side – so you see some movement towards a platform BPO model. It is still early days, and in fact we are doing some research this summer on understanding where the market is going. Suffice to say this should make things less expensive and easier from the buyer’s side.

The second trend is towards using technology to make other aspects of the FAO delivery model more leveragable. So for example, technology can support the management of analytics between customers, to bring more value to a larger base of clients. Or technology could create more of a "shared services" environment within a service delivery model, again from a supplier’s perspective. Another option is that technology could support the integration of learning and best practices across different client implementations.
We are trying to better understand this evolution, and are working on a report that will look at technology’s impact in FAO, with a special focus on platform FAO.

SSON: And what are some of the trends you are seeing in procurement outsourcing?

Katrina Menzigian: The key message here is that procurement is increasingly being looked at as an end-to-end approach. The market increasingly understands the value and potential of linking procurement from sourcing through to payables. So the full concept of source-to-pay is being better understood by all parties. Most procurement deals still start off in one area and migrate to other areas over time. But we are starting to see a better appreciation of the potential of procurement outsourcing on the part of the buyers who recognize the connectedness of the process. Another area in which we are seeing some movement, at least from the supplier side, is in linking the procurement process with the finance process; specifically, adding a layer of financial management to the procurement process. So we are seeing more integration, from a supplier’s standpoint, between their procurement and finance & accounting processes. In terms of our research, we are focusing on specific vertical industry issues. Last month we looked at manufacturing, and this month [June] we are looking at procurement in financial services.

SSON: And what about HR outsourcing?

Katrina Menzigian:In HRO, I think we are entering a new phase in the supplier landscape, or even the overall market, really. We’re seeing buyers de-emphasizing end-to-end, multi-process HRO engagements, and instead, we are seeing more of an approach that starts with a particular area, or even looks at multiple areas but treats them all individually. So we are increasingly seeing a likelihood of having multiple service providers supporting the HR function of a particular company. The reason for this might be that certain processes like recruitment, talent management or learning are difficult to service sustainably as part of a multi-process agreement. A single service provider’s capability may not be as compelling across all these different processes. So buyers may decide to maintain these processes inhouse, or farm them out to specialist players. As a result, niche players will continue to excel as they specialize in these areas. It is interesting to see how buyers react to this as their contracts come up for renewal. We are putting together a report looking at the factors affecting and influencing the renewal process in HRO, and the implications and outcomes of these renewal decisions. Another report we are working on will map out the current RPO supplier landscape.

SSON: You’ve been at Everest for two years now. What are some of the defining moments in your career? What stands out for you?

Katrina Menzigian: For me, having the opportunity to help shape the strategic direction of both suppliers and buyers is very exciting. When the head of the BPO platform of a multinational service company asks you in for a one-on-one meeting to discuss his BPO strategy, that is a thrill. Or when the chief strategy officer of a leading HR service provider asks for your opinion, that recognition is tremendously rewarding. So, as analysts, we do have a chance to shape the thinking of industry leaders in this space. The same happens on the buyers’ side, of course, but there the impact tends to be felt in the longer term.

About Katrina Menzigian

15 years total, 2 with Everest

Current Roles and Responsibilities
Lead analyst responsible for F&A, Procurement and HR outsourcing services at Everest

Previous Experience
Vice President, BPO Services Research, IDC
Research and consulting role at GLOBALnet, American University of Armenia, and Edward R. Murrow Center for International Communications

Master of arts in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Boston.
Double-bachelor of arts, University of California at Berkeley

Named one of FAO Today magazine’s 2008 FAO Superstars

English and Armenian

Latest Research
Things You Must Know Before Your FAO Contract Expires
Global FAO Supplier Landscape – Differentiate to Get Noticed
PO Annual Report – Shifting Buyer Preferences Dictate New Engagement Models
Multi-Country Payroll Outsourcing (MCPO): A New Approach to an Old Problem

About Everest Research Institute
Everest Research Institute is an independent research and analysis organization, founded by Everest Group to serve as a central source of strategic intelligence, analysis, and actionable insight for leading corporations.