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Delivering a Managed Services Solution to Satisfy Exponential Growth

Financial Services | Application Management, Managed Services

The client was experiencing exponential growth after being acquired by a larger organization. TEKsystems was commissioned to support the client’s efforts to align with its new parent company in order to keep pace with the rapid growth of the business.

Founded in 2005, the client provides payment processing solutions for consumers, merchants and issuers in the United States. The client is a subsidiary of a global payment, travel and expense management provider. TEKsystems has partnered with this client since 2011.

Technology advancements are putting greater pressure on businesses to invest more in their IT infrastructure, services and support. Companies frequently look to outside vendors to assist in these projects because they take time and resources away from core business projects or because IT is not their core competency. Vendor management is a complex and ongoing process that can involve dedicated internal time and resources to oversee.

Vendor management can become even more challenging following mergers or acquisitions. In many cases, each company comes to the table with its own set of vendors with whom they have established relationships. This can create a multi-vendor environment that is hard to navigate.

With increased demand and competition, businesses are looking for more in their vendor relationships. They need a strategic partner with talent management expertise to help them find the way through multiple vendors, providing analysis on how to increase time-to-productivity, retain quality talent and lower attrition rates, and how to make processes more efficient, in order to spend more time focusing on their business and less time on balancing vendor partnerships. They require a partner who aligns their resources and processes with the business goals of the company, ensuring that performance metrics are being set and they are adding enterprise value.

Manual testing,Microsoft .NET,Oracle

Upon being acquired by a global financial industry leader, the client went into hyper-growth mode and needed to scale its IT support rapidly. Its new parent company was pressing its various business imperatives onto the client, requiring that they ramp up and evolve their IT team in order to keep pace with those imperatives. Specifically, the client needed to quickly expand its IT support in two markets, New York City and St. Petersburg, Fla., to tackle multiple projects encompassing .NET, Oracle development, systems analysis and quality assurance. 

Aggressive timelines were associated with the client’s transition from a smaller technology company to part of a massive organization. The client did not have time to accomplish certain goals within the timeframe set by the parent organization. This meant that inefficiencies were being realized, including not securing the right people for the job, and not maximizing basic processes—such as invoicing, hiring, onboarding and vendor selection.

The client had existing vendor relationships prior to the acquisition; additionally, they had been given some direction regarding vendors that the parent company trusted. Given the wide scope of vendors that the client had direct and indirect relationships with, it was important that an effective vendor management, integration and alignment strategy be implemented. 

Although there were numerous vendors accessible, it was also critical to engage an IT partner that could provide the quality and volume of skill sets necessary within a time- and cost-effective manner in order to accommodate the exponential growth the client was experiencing. The ideal partner would help them assess areas where they could gain efficiency by better leveraging its robust vendor network.

TEKsystems sought to act as a strategic partner that would help the client through this transition by aligning with their business needs, finding the right people, and identifying opportunities to develop and strengthen their processes to make them more efficient and ultimately more productive.

Leveraging our vast pool of IT professionals and our resources already contributing to existing projects with the client, TEKsystems proposed implementing a managed services program spanning the two required markets of New York City and St. Petersburg, Fla. The program would be led by a dedicated engagement manager based in St. Petersburg who would take on the role of primary point of contact for the client and for our team of resources. In addition to the approximately 20 resources currently working on client initiatives, it was anticipated that we would need to more than quadruple our team in order to align with projected business growth. Our team would be comprised of critical skill sets including business and systems analysts, developers and project managers. We would be prepared to ramp up or ramp down the team as quickly as necessary in order to ensure consistent performance would be delivered to the client. This team would support the various tasks and initiatives the client was striving to achieve in order to keep pace with its parent organization.

TEKsystems would be responsible for the acquisition of resources, onboarding and coordination of training, as well as performance management. We would build a knowledge management and training plan that would help accelerate resources’ time-to-value. To maximize the efficiency of resources allocated to projects, a single consolidated invoice would be provided to the client on a monthly basis; the invoice would detail the breakdown of resources to projects. We would also begin tracking invaluable metrics that could be utilized in driving efficiency. Key metrics would include time to hire, invoice efficiency, professional retention, attrition rates and project alignment with the business’ goals.

TEKsystems was selected for this engagement because of our value-driven approach, experience managing large teams and ability to deliver top quality IT professionals.

TEKsystems successfully enabled the client to gain efficiencies by increasing team oversight, resource management and capacity planning, subsequently helping enhance the productivity of the business. We improved the selection, onboarding and training processes for retaining key resources, while reducing the resource management drain on internal client personnel. We also delivered consistent, quality resources and managed known resources across projects, eliminating waste and maximizing efficiency. TEKsystems also supported the consolidation of invoicing. As a result of our managed services support, the client is now more integrated and equipped to keep pace with the demands of its parent company.

At the commencement of this initiative, there were approximately 20 TEKsystems resources supporting other efforts for the client, and they would transition to support this engagement. The team scaled to approximately 75 resources, predominantly made up of .NET developers, Oracle testers and systems analysts.

TEKsystems supported several projects that the client required in order to align with its parent company. For example, we supported a mobile-friendly platform that integrated strategic business partners in order to dually drive revenue. In alignment with the parent company’s business goals, we also supported the creation of new worldwide applications that were essential to launching various products to merchants and consumers. 

Prior to our involvement, there was no transparent way to track the quality of resources being delivered across vendor partnerships. TEKsystems also built out metrics that the client could utilize in order to hold all vendors accountable to common expectations. Key metrics included: time to hire, time to onboard, resource count, attrition rates, resource satisfaction and client manager satisfaction. An effective vendor accountability strategy would help drive billing efficiency and resource quality, resulting in more work completed faster.

Also before this engagement, the parent company was less concerned with vendor management practices and more focused on the bottom line, not realizing the relationship between the two. Over time, our client point of contact saw the value in our role and became a champion of our brand. With our alignment and support, the client was able to demonstrate to its parent company the trade-off between cost vs. quality. 

  • Relationships. TEKsystems cultivated relationships with multiple client stakeholders. One of the points of contact at the client was promoted to an executive level during the program. Because we had already established a strong partnership from this executive’s perspective, we were able to branch out and access other influential peers and decision-makers and further build our credibility and trust with the client. We also had a long-standing relationship with another client stakeholder who had transitioned to the organization from a previous TEKsystems client, and this contact immediately showed confidence in our abilities.
  • Alignment. This engagement was constantly evolving and changing. TEKsystems’ approach to service management enabled us to maintain transparency and alignment. For example, we initially sold the program to a senior director and vice president. Within the first six months, these stakeholders left the company. As the organizational structure changed and expanded throughout our involvement, so too did the scope of our work and business requirements. Our ability to remain in alignment with the client throughout its internal shifts was essential to our success.
  • Resources. In parallel with the organizational structure changes, the needs for resources and skill sets were ever-changing. The technical skills required at the beginning of the engagement evolved and TEKsystems’ ability to scale and flex based on those needs was critical. Although we had to adapt and deliver with great versatility, the quality of our resources was not compromised. Compared to larger vendors and competitive peers, the client was pleased with TEKsystems’ resources in terms of quality and cost structure.