SSON Announces 2013 Excellence Awards Winners at Shared Services & Outsourcing Week in Orlando

Awards Serve as Industry Benchmark for Excellence in Service Delivery

[March 8, 2013 – Orlando] The Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON), the largest and most established community of shared services and outsourcing professionals, this week announced the winners of the 2013 Excellence Awards for the North American region. The awards are sponsored by ISG.

Presented during the 17thAnnual North American Shared Services & Outsourcing Week Conference in Orlando, these awards recognize those organizations that have demonstrated best practices while generating measurable results in the core competencies of shared services and outsourcing.

Nearly 800 industry professionals attending Shared Services & Outsourcing Week looked on as the winners were acknowledged for excellence in five categories, including Culture, Value Creation, Improvement & Innovation, Customer Services, and People & Communication. A separate award, launched in 2011, honors an individual having made a significant "Personal Contribution" to thought leadership.

Commenting on the awards, SSON event producer Naomi Secor said:

"The SSON Awards offer organizations – whether big or small – the opportunity to shine a light on their achievements and be honored in front of their peers. The shared services & outsourcing community is very supportive of each other, understanding only too well the pressures its leaders are operating under. The 2013 awards again demonstrate the value of the shared services model in supporting companies’ business objectives, especially in the more trying markets of the last years."

Judges Edward Martinez, Richard Rowan, Michael Garvey, and Ed Hansen were on hand to announce, to a packed hall, the winners and runner ups in each category.

SAP emerged as a real winner of the day, twice being honored for Excellence in Customer Service and in Culture Creation.

A list of winners and runner-ups is below:

Excellence in People & Communication
Winner: Levi Strauss
Runner Up: Unisys

Judges’ comments: "What impressed us most about Levi Strauss’s application was that the company was very specific about the steps it took and it was easy to see the differentiators as a result. The learning and development program that was established internally, and its focus on skills enhancement, have resulted in significant successes."

Excellence in Value Creation
Winner: Intel
Runner Up: AOL

Judges’ comments: Value does not equal cost savings. Rather, we are looking for value-add: an additional contribution that had not existed before. The winner [Intel] took on a massive HR project, bringing 900 process into the shared services center, and applying the best learnings to them. You simply can’t beat what the team at Intel has achieved. What really stood out for us was the fact that, while metrics were important, they also considered "humanistics". They did not want to leave anyone behind. In creating value for the HR group, significant value has been created for Intel itself; and that’s what we are looking for!"

Excellence in Improvement & Innovation
Winner : Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Runner Up: Bimbo S.A. de C.V.

Judges’ comments: "Each of the applications we considered demonstrated success, but as judges, we look for multiple criteria. Hard cost savings are always important, but so is the level of quality, control, cost avoidance, risk management, and project discipline – as well as cross functional and customer impacts. The two organizations that stood out demonstrated these attributes, specifically consolidation, centralization and standardization enabled by automation via web-based technology. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, applied standardization, centralization and ownership of the employee on-boarding process using web-based technology, and achieved significant savings and quality improvements."

Excellence in Culture Creation
Winner: SAP Americas, Inc.
Runner Up: U.S. Department of the Interior

Judges’ comments: "When it comes to culture, SAP impressed through its dedication to getting the shared services team to interact with its customers more effectively. Of particular note was the fact that, due to the downturn in the economy, the SAP shared services team found itself with a significant number of MBAs in entry-level positions. To maximize this untapped potential, leadership and mentoring programs were made available which are supporting career evolutions."

Excellence in Customer Services
Winner: SAP Americas, Inc.
Runner Up: U.S. Department of the Interior

Judges’ comments: "Customers are key, and again the team from SAP impressed with the excellence of its processes, clearly laying out their goals and tactics to achieving customer satisfaction. In fact, not only did they want to improve their customer satisfaction metrics, but they set themselves the target of raising these metrics to nine. They also managed to reduce the costs of meeting customers’ needs by a limiting any unnecessary resources."

Finally: The People’s Choice Award

This individual is elected by the public at large based on a short-list posted online. The People’s Choice Award for Personal Contribution to the Industry (North America) this year was presented to Rick Arpin, Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller at MGM Resorts. [Read about Rick’s thoughts onSix Sigma/Leanimplementations.]

In accepting the award, Rick said: "It’s fine to have ideas, but there’s a team of people in Las Vegas that implements really well and that is very dedicated to this cause. I am sharing this award with them."

The North American SSON Excellence Awards are announced annually, at the flagship event held in the Spring. For more information, please visit or

About the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON)

The SSON was established in the mid-nineties, ad is today the largest and most established community of shared services and outsourcing professionals, with over 60,000 members world-wide.

SSON supports its members through events as well as online resources, training [SSOPro], and networking opportunities. SSON staff work from offices in New York, London, Singapore, Sydney, Berlin and Dubai to research current trends and developments in shared services.

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For inquiries, contact:

Barbara Hodge, Editor, SSON

1 904 824 3631