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TECHNOLOGY, OUTSOURCING, AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS

RPA & Cognitive Congress Dallas (RPA Congress) is bringing together service delivery and automation professionals on January 17−18 for a frank and pragmatic discussion about robotic process automation (RPA), the benefits and opportunities of this technology, and the real-world challenges of implementation. This discussion will address the organizational transformation necessary to fully maximize returns, including quantifying, unlocking, scaling, and supercharging RPA.

Ed Hansen, a partner in our technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions group, will be running the three-part “The Power of Collaboration” series at the RPA Congress. This trio of audience-driven, live-content creation sessions integrated into the main two-day agenda is designed to ensure attendees leave with their RPA, artificial intelligence, and robotics questions answered. The Power of Collaboration series will include submissions of questions and issues, collective prioritization and discussion, team solution development, and panel Q&A. Ed will foster a competitive atmosphere and focus on the toughest questions first.

Join Morgan Lewis at our New York office on Thursday, December 14, as Morgan Lewis teams up with the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) to provide a full-day Executive Immersion Program. Geared toward sourcing professionals and in-house counsel, the program consists of an interactive master class and deep-dive workshops designed to enhance competencies in contracting and negotiating while keeping up with industry trends. Speakers at the event include Morgan Lewis partners Ed Hansen, Vito Petretti, and Don Shelkey.

The Executive Immersion Program will include multiple workshops designed to enhance participants’ understanding and knowledge of how innovations in business are constantly driving change in sourcing practices and strategies. The interactive master workshop on contracting and negotiating will feature real-world examples from professionals experienced in leading technology-enabled transformation and managing outsourcing deals.

On December 14, Morgan Lewis will team up with the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) to provide a full-day Executive Immersion Program in New York. Geared toward sourcing professionals and in-house counsel, the program consists of an interactive master class and deep-dive workshops designed to enhance competencies in contracting and negotiating while keeping up with industry trends. Speakers at the event include Morgan Lewis partners Ed Hansen, Vito Petretti, and Don Shelkey.

On Thursday, November 2, Edward J. Hansen, a partner in our technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions group, will present a session on “Pricing and Financial Structures in Outsourcing,” as part of PLI’s “Outsourcing 2017: ITO, BPO, and Cloud” Program. Ed will discuss different pricing models, how to choose the right financial structure for your deal objectives, key pricing terms, and common pricing mistakes to avoid.

The entire event consists of two consecutive days of programming (November 2, 9:00 am–5:00 pm, and November 3, 9:00 am–3:30 pm) at the PLI New York Center, 1177 Avenue of the Americas, New York. There will also be a webcast of the program running concurrently.

Ed’s session is scheduled for 2:45 pm–3:45 pm on November 2.

Additional information on the full PLI Program, registration, fees, and CLE credits can be found here.

On Wednesday, October 11, Edward J. Hansen, a partner in our technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions group, will be presenting a case study titled “Is Your BPO Robo-Ready?” at The Conference Board’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for Shared Services Seminar. The case study will explore the intersection of outsourcing and robotics process automation (RPA) and include topics such as how RPA impacts sourcing and affects the outsourcing business model, as well as how contingencies in existing deals may introduce the benefits of RPA.

The daylong seminar will begin at 8:00am at The Conference Board Conference Center, 845 Third Avenue, New York, and will conclude at 4:45pm.

Ed’s presentation will be at 2:10–3:10pm.

Additional information on the seminar and registration can be found here.

KPMG Global Advisory and HfS Research reported in a joint survey that the outsourcing and shared services market continues to be in a state of change in 2017, pointing to a combination of business drivers and technological advances as the cause.

The global business services (GBS) model (which delivers core business processes such as finance and accounting, human resources, information technology (IT), sourcing and procurement, and internal customer care to organizations) is the most prevalent model in organizations with revenues greater than $5 billion, and shows sustained growth. Smaller companies continue to adopt more centralized operating models.

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a societal transformation based on a virtuous circle of constantly improving connectivity, integration, data, intelligence, and automation. One important element of this transformation is the workplace. As early IoT adopters are discovering, though, workplace implementation is often a slog rather than a splash.

Get By with a Little Help from Your End-to-Ends

According to a report from HCL Technologies, in partnership with Vanson Bourne, many companies are “not taking the right path to overcome” the security, scalability, interoperability, and other difficult IoT challenges they face. The report reiterates the value of the approach we highlighted in a recent post—engage experienced external providers to help formulate and execute end-to-end IoT solutions. Companies can distinguish themselves by working with outside experts to choose and customize a secure and scalable platform, unlock asset value, manage support and maintenance, connect silos, curb IoT-related costs, and turn data into actionable insight.

In the upcoming webinar, “The Next Frontier: How Robots and Automation Are Changing Outsourcing and Technology Agreements,” partner Ed Hansen will discuss some key issues and best practices for companies making adjustments to outsourcing and technology agreements in light of the rapid growth of, and risks and opportunities associated with, automation tools.
Topics will include the following:

  • Adjusting to shifts in services and pricing models
  • Addressing robotics and automation in scope and service-level documents
  • Capturing the efficiencies of automation in the short and long term
  • Changing personnel, pricing, and intellectual property provisions

The one-hour webinar will be held on Thursday, May 11, at 12:00 pm ET. You can learn more about and register for this event here.

In the first part of this two-part series, we briefly discussed three contract models and how they correlate complexity with shifting technology landscapes. The third model looked at where outsourcing and robotics intersect, and we stated that much of the success of this integrated model will rest with the fee schedule, how pricing is set up, and how the risk of transformation is shifted.

When contracting for complex relationships, it’s always a good idea to pay careful attention to how the fees work and how the fees will drive behaviors. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to have a fee structure and program objectives that either are unrelated, or, worse, drive behaviors that create severe headwinds for the program. This is one of the reasons why we encourage taking a team approach to these deals by integrating the legal, business, and technical teams very early in the process to form an integrated deal team.

The introduction of robotics into outsourcing provides a classic example of the interplay between fees, risk shifting, and ultimate deal success.

If you have been around technology-centric work for a while, you may have come to realize that many “technology” programs really aren’t about technology at all—the technology simply functions as a conduit for business change. A classic example of this phenomenon occurs in enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects, which used to have very high rates of failure, typically because companies didn’t realize the amount of “heaving lifting” that was required from an organizational change management perspective. This also tends to be true for other process-driven work such as business process outsourcing (BPO), and it seems to be the common denominator that has held through various evolutions of technology.

Regardless of the flavor of the technology being used, it can be very helpful to look to the contracting strategy that is required to meet the business objective. Let’s review three examples and use in-house hosted robotics to illustrate the changing technology.

Client Participation Considerations

Among the most important aspects to look at during contracting is whether there will be significant client participation required to make the project a success. If the project involves simple software licensing, for example, then everything the seller has to accomplish is contained within the four corners of the contract. A contract like this is complete as written and is relatively simple in its execution. Commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) is an example of this; if you get the software that you contracted to buy, the contract has been completely performed and the transaction was successful.