This year’s Excellence in Strategic Partnerships honorees are always exceptional – but even more so during the pandemic. These award winners have particularly stood out by demonstrating the critical importance of collaboration in this period of great change.
IAOP recognized 24 relationships between service providers and customers for their outstanding partnerships, innovation and outcomes with the award. Among the corporate members lauded were:
- Avasant with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
- CMS with SSE Systems
- Teleperformance with a food ordering and delivery platform
- Neo Group with HCL and Emergent Holdings
- NIX with Cengage
- Zinnov with Cisco
- HGS Digital with an international consumer electronics leader
- Colliers with Nokia
“Once again, we have a robust list of organizations not simply working together, but going above and beyond to partner for success,” said Debi Hamill, IAOP CEO. “We are pleased to honor these companies and their steadfast commitment to each other and to excellence. It has been a challenging 18-plus months for our industry and we are grateful for the continued dedication of those providing exceptional service and solutions as well as the buyers who lean in on collaboration for truly exceptional results.”
To be considered, organizations completed the optional portion of the Global Outsourcing 100 application dedicated to excellence in strategic partnerships and were asked to demonstrate collaborative problem solving, impactful innovation, as well as mutually beneficial outcomes and value. For more information on the award and the full list of winners, see Excellence in Strategic Partnerships Award
Excellence in Strategic Partnerships Awardee Profile: Neo Group
Neo Group demonstrated outstanding collaboration and co-creation working with HCL to move its customer, Emergent Group, from a waterfall software development approach to an agile development methodology.
This not commonly seen innovative and data-driven solution helped accelerate Emergent’s digital journey and reduced overall costs by more than 25 percent.
Peggy Crain, Governance Manager, Governance Support Services, Neo Group, shares lessons learned and how these key relationships have proven to be especially valuable during COVID-19:
How has your relationship with Emergent Holdings changed during the pandemic?
As a strategic partner to Emergent Holdings, we have continued to engage with them as a trusted advisor in all aspects of the pandemic response. The collaboration has focused on preventing supplier disruptions and enabling stable operations. This has all gone very well.
Our relationship with Emergent Holdings grew from trusted advisor to strategic partner during the pandemic. We all recognize the importance of collaborating as a team to achieve the best possible outcomes.
If you didn’t have a strong foundation before COVID-19, how would the outcome have been different?
Our existing relationship and foundation with Emergent Holdings meant we were able to engage quickly, using a shorthand of sorts that has developed over the years and through shared challenges, to accomplish the desired outcomes together. For example, we were able to ensure suppliers had appropriate attestations in place for all remote staff very efficiently because our relationship and trust were already in place prior to the pandemic. Absent that foundation, it is very possible that we would have had negative outcomes and/or missed service deadlines while trying to establish trust and a rhythm of collaboration.
What advice can you give others in the industry about moving forward from the pandemic and what is your outlook for the industry?
Good governance is the foundation of operations resilience and stable operations. An early warning risk intelligence system supports that.
We advise all of our clients to be prepared with a resilience plan and risk operations center-like approach to monitor and mitigate risks: risk intelligence, workflow tool(s) and a response center all working together. Our industry outlook is one with a robust future of proven resilience systems including lessons learned and improvements made as a result of the pandemic. This experience has helped all parties be better prepared for future disruptive events.