Many years ago, our telecom operator outsourced customer bill printing. That was an example of the basic outsourcing, as the business process still stayed fragmented between the external provider, our company owing customer data and managing billing cycles, and the government post service collecting and sending envelopes. Of course, no SLAs, service credits, or else. Our benefit was only not to invest in the acquisition and maintenance of the expensive printing and enveloping machine.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Phillip Ideson, the founder of ProcureChange, a new Procurement-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider. You can listen to the entire interview on BMP Radio.
My first reaction to PaaS – one that I think is quite natural – is concern about what it will mean for today’s procurement practitioners if it catches on. Will we be outsourced the same way we have outsourced so many other formerly in-house capabilities?
As it turns out, however, the news is better than I expected. PaaS, far from being a threat to procurement, may be one way for us to achieve the strategic status we crave.