Between Outsourcing and Managed Service Outsourcing.

For several decades now, the business world has been experiencing repeated economic cycles of outsourcing, i.e. the outsourcing of individual tasks, processes or structures of a company to external service providers. The reasons for outsourcing can vary greatly and are closely linked to the individual needs of the company and the general economic conditions.

Often, however, are two reasons in particular at the centre of the decision to outsource:

  • By outsourcing support processes such as IT infrastructure or facility management, companies can concentrate more on their core tasks.
  • The client's support processes are integrated into the contractor's core task. This allows synergies to be created between independent clients and cost reductions to be established.

In the ideal case, a fruitful win-win relationship is created between client and contractor.

Within the framework of classic outsourcing, the assets and resources associated with the task are completely transferred to the contractor. For example, personnel, IT systems and the like are completely taken over by the contractor. Accordingly, outsourcing for companies often means elementary changes in the corporate structure and therefore a great deal of effort.

Managed Service. For this reason, an alternative to outsourcing has established itself in the IT sector: The Managed Service. Similar to classical outsourcing, the client transfers the responsibility for providing certain services to a so-called Managed Service Provider. A frequent example of such a procedure is the takeover of operations for operative applications, middleware or infrastructure. The central difference to outsourcing is that the resources and assets remain in the possession of the client. The Managed Service Provider is exclusively responsible for providing the defined services and has access to the necessary business areas for this purpose.

In this way, companies can achieve similar synergies and cost effects as in outsourcing. However, the impact on the holistic corporate structure is often much smaller. Since the resources remain in the hands of the client, the change of a Managed Service Provider is usually associated with significantly less effort than with a comparable outsourcing partner.

Managed Process. The Managed Service model has so far established itself almost exclusively in IT. The reason for this is that IT resources and services can often be easily distinguished from each other. This is often much more difficult in other business areas. Nevertheless, the concept is also interesting for other business sectors. The Managed Process transfers the core idea of Managed Services to business processes of all kinds.

In this model, a company transfers certain tasks to a managed process provider, but always retains responsibility for the overall process within its own company. In this way, business processes can be individually supported, optimized or extended.

One such example of a managed process is Intelligent Recruitment Process Outsourcing (iRPO) from FEL GmbH. Instead of completely outsourcing personnel services, including resources, from one's own company, processes can be specifically optimized and expanded through defined service packages. For example, iRPO can extend the reach of a company's existing job advertisements through multi-posting. Also applicable in practice are application handling, external processing of applicant communication, active sourcing and reporting. These pre-defined sub-processes can be seamlessly integrated into existing HR processes and offer contracting companies direct added value without the need for the company to establish the process itself on a long-term basis.

(c) Lennard Scheffler, Hamburg