The Six Million-Dollar Questions

Every GBS Leader Wants To Know

Stephen Hosley
Stephen Hosley
SVP, Global Business Services
A business leader with 20+ years of experience in driving operational excellence programs. After serving top organisations such as KPMG, Hackett, and AoL, Stephen is currently the SVP of Estee Lauder’s first-ever GBS organization – One Source.
Caroline Basyn
Sashi Narahari
Founder and CEO
CEO and Founder of HighRadius, a Fintech enterprise SaaS company that leverages AI-based Autonomous Systems to help companies automate Accounts Receivable and Treasury. Sashi’s leadership has secured the trust of 200+ Global 2000 companies.

Podcast Summary:
Six Million-Dollar Questions every GBS Leader wants to Know

Misc:Your midlife crisis story is the most touching story I’ve heard. So for the other GBS leaders here, who want to find out more about this ability to recruit onshore, where should they look things up?
Key Points
  • I created a start-up to prove that you can have an onshore BPO successful in commercial operation.
  • We did it with military spouses and veterans- kind of a community that was overlooked by the commercial community.
  • I plugged into a government-run agency, which the military spouses are affiliated with it.
  • Military Spouse Employment Partnership (M.S.E.P.)
    • There are many big multinational plugins there
    • It’s an untapped talent pool of really skilled men and women
    • That’s how Liberty Source was founded with that group of people
Million-Dollar Question #1: You founded Liberty Source as an alternative to BPOs. So, based on your experience, which model would you recommend, Outsourcing or a Captive Center?
Key Points
  • Today, every business model is changing at a record pace.
  • The decision is all about creating as many levels of opportunities as possible.
  • The answer is to go for a Hybrid Model, because why wouldn’t you have both the oars in the water.
    • By outsourcing to a BPO will give you the advantage of talent and maybe a geography footprint that is different from yours
    • Through captive centers, you can pivot quickly when needed because it’s all about staying relevant to the business.
Million-Dollar Question #2:Harmonize and standardize first versus lift and shift. What’s the right approach in your view?
Key Points
  • The world is swiftly moving towards ‘lift & shift’ first and that’s the way we should do it.
  • BPOs are a lot more capable when you can set your economic terms and contracts the right way.
  • The processes may not have a huge end-user impact but are surely less risky.
  • You need to be aware of your whole portfolio of services since each one of them will have different needs.
  • Lift and shift doesn’t mean you don’t transform your processes- you just transform after you shift the process.
Million-Dollar Question #3:You’ve been keen on transforming GBS with a mix of automation. What is your view on tools like RPA and maybe a little bit on AI if you’ve done anything in that space?
Key Points
  • RPA is becoming the new face of the technology in the GBS space
  • Take any process, the ERPs are known to have the technical roadmaps and RPA acts as the sprinklers on top of it.
  • RPA may conflict with the IT process roadmap.
  • When the ERP is ready to be deployed, we can just turn off the RPA, so it won’t disrupt the destination in their roadmap.
  • RPA always acts as the bridging mechanism.
  • Never jump into RPA without knowing your end processes because it will contaminate the process further.
Million Dollar Question #4: How do you transform GBS from a cost-cutting function to a revenue driver function- potentially a strategic partner with your business stakeholders?
Key Points
  • It’s very similar to playing baseball, you can’t skip first base, which is the cost-cutting strategy.
  • Once you are clear with the first base, you can move towards the second base, which is the value-add strategy.
  • OneSource – Estee Global Business Strategy
    • Started by clearing the first base of cost-cutting for 3-4 years
    • Any process that came to One Source was at least 1/3rd cheaper through a mix of BPO, RPA, and Process Reengineering
    • Then started thinking about value-add since it’s about getting the right product to the right consumer at the right time.
    • Today we find people coming to One Source, seeking help for streamlining their processes.
    • And then we fix the process because it’s not just about saving that 1/3rd dollar.
    • We dig the process to figure out what is holding up the collateral from getting to the counter-front.
  • Select your key customers who really value you to tell the story of how you leverage internal GBS for something more than just saving cost
Million Dollar Question #5: What’s your view on the trade-off between ERP solutions like SAP or Oracle and software platforms like HighRadius, Coupa, BlackLine, and others.
Key Points
  • ERPs were a bit oversold in the past years with a mindset that it could do everything- proved wrong over the years.
  • ERPs are definitely adaptive, agile, and responsive to the ever evolving requirements from the end-users.
  • But this was years and years ago, and today we have much better software offering a better experience for the end-users than the ERPs.
  • ERPs are still standing in the marketplace, but when you have broad end-user exposure, those are total SaaS zones.
Million Dollar Question #6: What parting advice would you like to leave for your listeners?
Key Points
  • Think and manage GBS like a business.
  • GBS is expanding and evolving every year, and now you can be a GBS practitioner just like in Finance or HR.
  • I’ve been in GBS and I’ve taken spins through running P&Ls because CEOs saw I spoke about GBS like it was a division.
  • One thing that makes GBS more exciting is that it continues to evolve and challenges you to manage it with the latest best practices.
  • The Estee Story-
    • One of the chapters I didn’t have was about a strong culture that we talked about- ‘connecting hearts’.
    • We have a top note, heart note, and bass note as Estee’s core cultural value
  • The three notes in Estee-
    • Top Note- Being easy to work with
    • Heart Note- Keeping employees at the center of everything
    • Bass Note- Bringing results to the business each and every day

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