2019 SSO Week Autumn Conference Wrap-Up: Future Operating Models Based on Digital Value-add

Naomi Secor

SSO Week Autumn Europe wrap up

Revolutionising Value

A very timely theme – “revolutionalising value” – at this year’s SSOW Autumn Event in Europe set the stage for 3 incredible days of knowledge sharing and networking with more than 200 practitioners. We explored specific strategies, tactics and technology to move European SSOs to the next level of value creation, both within their centres and enterprise-wide, and underpinned the discussion with a critical data point from SSON Analytics: There are now nearly 2000 captive/hybrid SSCs in Europe (as of May 2019) – more than double the number in 2010! This prompted me to check the Atlas Data Tool to find out just who these companies are. Pretty awesome stuff!

<<There are now nearly 2000 captive/hybrid SSCs in Europe – more than double the number in 2010.>>

Source: SSON Analytics

So, what does value creation look like for these Shared Services & GBS organisations? It’s hard to narrow down the 100+ examples shared during the conference! Here’s a top 6 for you.

1. Process Mining

Celonis took us through the old vs. new way of process mapping. From subjective, partial to objective, complete. From lengthy, costly to immediate, self-service. From one-time understanding to continuously enhancing. The room was packed with leaders eager to learn more about this powerful technology that helps companies become superfluid!

That conversation will continue at SSON’s complimentary Process Mining in Shared Services Digital Conference on 13-14 November.

2. Digital Business Services

Proservartner cut to the chase and provided a map of the business processes where RPA makes sense. Just to list a few: Periodic reporting, ERP transactions and repetitive tasks that employees carry out 50-60 times a day. RPA service provider NEOOPS addressed “what’s next” and how to increase the utilisation of the existing robotic workforce – a challenge the majority of SSOs can relate to.

Those starting their RPA journey can benefit from these 3 failures (aka Learnings) 1. Business processes not documented first 2. Workflows not documented first 3. Lack of formal change management plan.

3. Continuous Process Improvement

Key executives from Adaptive Group LTD shared the stage with Adidas and DLA Piper to explore methodologies to maximise the standard global operating model. The right foundation will allow you to maintain scope of processes, eliminate obsolete steps and ensure SLA levels.

Make sure your GPO strategy is mapped out at the global, site and GSS level.

4. Gender, Diversity & Inclusion within Business Services

Multiple studies now back up the fact that companies with a greater diversity quotient, (whether measured by gender, race, or class) perform better than their more homogenous counterparts. Avon and Ingram Micro shared best practices on diversifying the workforce, including a plan to design a recruitment strategy to encourage diversity.

Make it a priority to install D&I practices within your SSO.

5. Operating Models of the Future

Many organisations are building out their SSOs, with the end goal of becoming a GBS organisation. However, very few make it to full maturity. According to an SSON Analytics survey last year, only 36% of global SSOs had implemented GBS. This year’s survey shows a significant appetite for the GBS model. Where to start? Tecso shared their route to building a truly customer-centric GBS with a sharp focus on feedback, culture and team accountability.

One of the deep dive roundtables highlighted the capabilities that make a GBS world-class. It all about the letter “C”: Capacity, Capability, Culture, Cost, Control, and Compliance.

6. Drive Value Beyond Cost

To tie it all together, focusing on a few key priorities will help you “revolutionise value”. Get control over your end-to-end process oversight, apply intelligent automation technologies for process automations, leverage labor arbitrage to drive lower cost, and grow capacity through streamlined process.

In summary: Invest in CI and technology transformations and build a lean and agile, higher performing organisation.


It’s quite remarkable to see just how much Shared Services continues to deliver huge value by playing a key role in enterprise-wide transformation! Through automation initiatives, agile operating models AND overall intelligence captured through process optimisation and digital and human labour, our centres are delivering massive contribution.

It is a completely new world full of new opportunities for Shared Services and GBS. Let’s continue the conversation at the European Shared Services & Outsourcing Week on 11-14 May, 2020 at the Estoril Congress Center, Estoril, Portugal.

Register by Friday, 20th December 2019 to Save up to €1000!