How do you launch a Global Business Services model successfully?

How do you develop a Global Business Services from the bottom up? That’s the question Judy Harbert has been asking herself since taking over the GBS at Royal Philips, a health technology firm.

Julie is leveraging her experience in IBM’s BPO division to unleash value via a globally integrated set of functions.

Having ‘done it before’ Julie understood the pitfalls and challenges around getting governance and customer service right, and also really understood the need to combine process harmonization with technology to deliver the big wins. 

One of the biggest challenges that leaders in Julie's position come across is persuading customers who have been used to ‘local to local’ to buy into similar services but with a ‘global’ remit.  To ensure you don’t lose your valuable tribal knowledge, Julie explains, you need to have a strong transition model with specified ‘stage gates’ that allow you to capture the knowledge.

That, and a ‘customer-first’ approach is setting Royal Philips’ GBS in the right direction.


A strong governance process ensures that the team understands the elevator pitch on value, and that it has a seat at the table. "What’s key is that this is not seen as something that is being ‘done’ to the team, but that they have that stake," says Julie.

The real objective, though, will be to gather ‘proof points’ that demonstrate GBS success. This can come from R2R, P2P, … wherever, and will help persuade the business.

Once the customers come to you and request a part in the end-to-end process – that’s when you’ll know you've succeeded, Julie says. 

Watch the full interview with Barbara Hodge below, and make sure you tune in to SSON's free online SSO Week Digital event which brings together 10 of the most popular sessions at our recent European event in a convenient online format.