The traditional model of outsourcing used a single vendor/integrator for all tower management (e.g. data center, network, help desk, applications). Although this was considered "safe" because a single entity was responsible for all service levels, compromises were made in individual tower delivery, agility, transformation and technical adoption. A more recent model for large transactions is choosing the "best of breed" to address these deficiencies. With this multi-sourcing model, each tower may have a separate supplier. This allows the customer to choose the best service and pricing. However, under this model, the customer must determine how it will be protected when a major problem occurs (e.g. slow response time) and the separate vendors (e.g. network, data center, applications) claim that the slow response time is caused by the other vendor.  

Companies looking at multi-sourcing solutions should consider the following issues:

  • Governance methodology to address the challenges in managing multiple suppliers (e.g., avoiding multiple finger pointing)
  • Techniques to create a contract structure designed to "work together" without adding significant overhead and complexity
  • Allocating responsibility for service level failures
  • Third party oversight and operational visibility
  • Financial risk for service levels penalties
  • Further outsourcing savings with effective management
  • Planning for embracing change
  • Best practices in structuring agreements, including handling the "scourge of scope creep"