PULSE: Excellence in Strategic Partnerships Recognized (Part 1)

Excellence in Strategic Partnerships Recognized 

Partnerships become even more crucial and valuable in times of economic uncertainty. Leading companies who have forged strong relationships throughout changing times leading to collaborative and innovative outcomes have been recognized with IAOP’s Excellence in Strategic Partnership Awards. 

The 17 honorees were selected from companies that completed the optional section of the Global Outsourcing 100 application. Avasant, Colliers, HGS and Raya CX were repeat recipients from last year. 

For insights into the elements that go into making true partnerships, see stories in the first part of our series.

Avasant’s Partnership to Develop a Digital Jobs Career Selection Platform Wins Honors

A strong and ongoing partnership between Avasant and its public sector client in a developing outsourcing location has come up with a unique solution to address the dire need for large-scale digital skills capabilities post-pandemic. 
Working with its organizational partner, Avasant developed the Career Pathway Framework Digital Skill Selection Tool – a web tool that enables local students and job seekers in this emerging destination to select and explore the requirements needed to pursue their most suitable career option. 

This valuable online tool helps future applications identify and visualize the best-suited and relevant job to them within the digital services sector. Based on the role selected in four pathways, users can then view job and training requirements and career progression maps, and connect with training service providers. 

For this best-in-class partnership, Avasant has been recognized by IAOP with the 2022 Excellence in Strategic Partnerships award.   

“Today, strategic partnerships are pivotal to the success of enterprises seeking to up the ante on operational excellence, customer engagement and profit margins. The future requires ecosystems of aligned partnerships where collaboration is a vital component of the thrust towards building adaptability and greater resilience in the face of economic uncertainties,” said Anupam Govil, Managing Partner and Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships, Avasant.
“We are honored to once again accept IAOP’s recognition for Excellence in Strategic Partnerships. Avasant is committed to forging powerful and enduring alliances on a solid foundation of trust, transparency, and innovation,” he added.  

Tackling the Digital Jobs Shortage from the Grass Roots 

The solution grew out of Avasant Global Development practice’s ongoing work in more than 60 countries developing technology sector development strategies covering skill development and training platforms. This technology platform solution is part of a multi-year partnership with the client than spans multiple projects. 

A key challenge many developing locations face is the availability of talent platforms and digital skills tools that provide student and working populations with industry data on job roles and requirements to access those roles in terms of training and working experience. 

Avasant leveraged its extensive understanding of the local landscape and engaged local training providers and educational institutions to understand the challenges faced by providing training content that meets the requirements of governments to adjust to the new socio-economic reality. The firm conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews with employers, educational institutions, students and job seekers to understand the challenges they faced.  
Once rolled out, the Career Pathway Framework Digital Skill Selection Tool will:

  • Help build a more scalable and industry-relevant talent pool, which in turn, can stimulate investment activity in the sector
  • Contribute to better promotion of the global sector as a viable career path with multiple job opportunities, leading to increased interest and participation in global employment, including by previously disengaged populations
  • Create a model that facilitates continuous alignment between the training provided and industry needs 
  • Support the evolution toward higher-value services (job roles requiring digital skills) through workforce upskilling/reskilling 

The partners expect to successfully register over 2,000 youth to use the Career Pathway web tool to gain real-time information on local job opportunities, outsourcing industry information and access to training and career advisory modules.

It also is working with training resources to improve the employability of high school and university graduates as this country looks to build its workforce to access jobs higher up the employment value chain. 

The web tool also will support roles beyond Business Process Outsourcing and cover such areas as Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Digital Media, and Game Design.

Prepping Applicants for the New Era of Post-COVID Digitally-Enabled Services

The partnership also quickly adopted post-pandemic to conceptualize how the Career Path web tool could provide young persons with information about digital skills and related roles that fit well into the work-from-home model and also focused on online training options that did not require face-to-face learning. 

As a result, the Career Pathway Framework is a key tool in empowering youths in remote locations to use their mobile phones to access knowledge about available job roles and the training programs that can equip them to be a part of the global services delivery ecosystem.

“This partnership is a testament to the collaboration between the public and private sector entities and a great example of timely intervention, collaboration, leadership and solution development and deployment,” Avasant said in its award application. 

Colliers and Nestle’s Transformative Relationship Lauded  

A restructuring of Nestle’s real estate organization sparked a powerful transformation with partner Colliers that has elevated their strategic relationship to the highest level and produced award-winning results.  

Fueled by a reorganization in 2020, Colliers conducted workshops with Nestle’s RE team designed to identify and capitalize on key opportunities, resulting in the identification of 10 value-added initiatives. 

The successful implementation of the first four initiatives – stakeholder engagement, governance and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), portfolio optimization and retail portfolio management – has positively impacted many areas within the client organization. The remaining six initiatives also will be implemented. 

The combined Nestle/Colliers team leveraged the restructuring and developed multi-discipline teams (including outside, third-party subject matter experts) to create and implement the initiatives innovatively.

“Being innovative and proactive to seize opportunities for clients is fundamental to how we do business. We are proud to be Nestle’s trusted partner to help develop and implement value-add initiatives and also facilitate game-changing interaction with their stakeholders,” said Scott Nelson, CEO, Occupier Services, Global at Colliers. “To be recognized by IAOP for Excellence in Strategic Partnerships brings to life our commitment and ability to generate best-in-class solutions and more significant outcomes, faster.”

Rebranding Leads to Refocusing 

Working together, Colliers helped its customer overcome the challenges of engaging and training a team that had grown accustomed to a previous way of doing business and removing a stigma that real estate was a necessary evil rather than a competitive weapon. 

Nestle capitalized on the opportunity to rebrand as “GRE” or “Global Real Estate” and approach their mission with a clean slate. GRE now has a welcome seat at the table for strategic planning and regularly engages with HR and Finance executives who are stakeholders in achieving KPI targets. As a result of the powerful partnership, GRE has effectively proven its value, and is helping the real estate portfolio be used as an advantage.

Key quantitative metrics for engagement and portfolio financial measures have been implemented and the results are clear indicators that the relationship between GRE/Colliers and the business units is improving, and that significant value is being generated as a result.

“The results of this initiative are nothing short of transformational,” Colliers said in the award application. “By working collaboratively in the development of innovative processes to identify and implement improvements in stakeholder engagement and value-add reporting, the relationship between Nestle’s business units and GRE/Colliers is at an all-time high. The delivered value is being measured and reported in ways that are meaningful to the business leaders and GRE resources have elevated their strategic engagement enterprise-wide.” 

 HGS Moves Quickly like a Tiger to Migrate Contact Center Technology to Cloud 

Considering that migrating a single customer to new technology can take at least three months, moving a dozen BPO enterprise clients in multiple verticals from on-premise to Twilio, cloud contact center technology, in the same timeframe posed a significant challenge for HGS.

But with the right partner, it proved to be possible. 

Drawing on the strength of its partnership with Twilio and its expertise as a contact center technology and service provider, HGS successfully completed the fast changeover – earning an IAOP Excellence in Strategic Partnership award for its stand-out collaboration. 

“Over the past two and half years there’s been a heightened focus on advancing the customer experience,” says Venkatesh Korla, HGS Digital CEO. “Our strategic partnerships have given us the opportunity to not only do this with ease but generate long-term value and ROI for our clients. We’ve been able to move our clients from a place of uncertainty to trusting us to push the boundaries of innovation through our robust partnership catalog of Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, cloud and contact center transformation projects.” 

“To be recognized for these efforts is a true testament to our commitment to excellence and collaboration for greatness,” he added.

Collaboration Helps to Overcome Complexities 

To expedite the migration, HGS partnered with the Twilio engineering team to build customized migration plans for each customer, while leveraging self-developed plug-ins validated by Twilio’s team to address specific contact center needs.

Tiger teams were created to move quickly. Specific teams were focused on discovery; call flows and standard contact center requirements in the development phase; and higher-level requirements, including advanced contact center features, integrations, analytics and reporting. The discovery, build, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and go-live approach were staggered across a rolling schedule to accommodate the compressed timeframe.

The migration impacted the client’s contact center operations and customer service functions, IT, client services, workforce management, and analytics/reporting organizations. The transformation included moving nearly 750 agents and supervisors and as many as 75 real-time, historical and other data feeds to the Twilio software, allowing HGS to provide a high degree of programmability and personalization to its end clients and their customers.

“The scale and success of the migrations that HGS has completed in partnership with Twilio highlight a key transformation of the BPO business. The project methodology, compressed timeframe, complexity of each program, self-developed applications, and reporting and analytics transformation illustrate the innovation that this highly collaborative engagement has provided,” HGS said in the award application. 

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