Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I believe that there is an increasing tendency for adoption of as-a-service operating models. These models focus on pay-for-outcomes as opposed to pay-for-effort. Organizations of all sizes and orientation are weighing the merits of buying defined services at defined prices as part of a broader strategy to reduce the deployment of capital, improve the agility of their operations, and leverage capacity that is provisioned variably in response to demand. 

Product-oriented companies that previously sold and delivered discrete components are needing to reorient their go-to-market and delivery models to respond to the buy-side interest in service-based offerings. These transformations encompass the entire spectrum of demand generation, sales, service delivery, client relationship management, and commercial contracting. Changes to financial reporting (e.g., revenue accounting, taxation, etc.) and supply chain networks are also implied.

Buy-side organizations (governments and commercial enterprises) are driving organizational and operating changes to more efficiently engage in service-based operations, whether these are internally provisioned, contracted to third-parties, or fulfilled as some form of market venture. The changes typically encompass resource realignment/restructure and shift of expense from CAPX to OPEX categories.  The design and implementation of enterprise shared services, for example, is one form of service-based operating construct. 

The transformation of business processes and operating/reporting functions to fully realize the benefits of this shift - as applied to either the provider of services or the consumer of services - requires considerable expertise across the spectrum of organizational change management; commercial contracting; monitoring, reporting and risk management; financial modeling; and asset management. New internal expertise is needed to fully realize the benefits of a buy-vs-build approach to business. Enabling trends that are accelerating the shift to service-based operations include Social Networks, Mobility, Big Data Analytics, and Cloud Services.  Open Source has its role as well. 

I will be leading a global practice committed to enabling successful adoption of "as-a-service" ecosystems. This means that we guide both those who want to buy service-based offerings and transition away from legacy resource-based models to make the shift. We also assist those organizations who seek to take service-based propositions to market to implement the commercial and operating structures to do so. This latter group includes both traditional product companies and newer-age participants in the "as a service" economy. 

I will be an advocate for the transformation towards SMAC-enabled "as a service" ecosystems. 

I decided that the best way for me to participate in this trend is from the vantage of architect, advisor, and implementation leader. I am building a team of like-minded consultants who will work through the methods of transition from resource-based operations to service-based. 

I have tested this concept/need with Private Equity, large enterprise (those outsourced and those with shared services) and with the technology community. The resounding response has been the need for enablers across the full spectrum of commercials, go-to-market, transition, operations, and governance. 

This is a space for which there is no current source of specialized expertise. So, I am excited to be able to pursue my passion in this way. 

Details to follow by mid-September. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On the verge of Wave 4

Summer's days are numbered.  I know this because my oldest daughter heads off for her freshman year at university in two weeks.  I also know this because my wife has increased the frequency of her questioning about my next job.

Truth be told, my summer was a balance between family, golf, and job-searching.  In turn, the highlights included ...

  • Visits to our Maine cottage, and a trip to Los Angeles with my two girls (so that they could see "One Direction" in concert)
  • A hole-in-one on Father's Day and generally good rounds at may new courses
  • A diverse spectrum of job conversations ranging from start-ups, to Private Equity, to mid-stage; consulting, research, and services
A few of my outreaches weren't answered, but most resulted in at least one substantial conversation.

For each conversation, I referred to the 'manifesto' that I published on LinkedIn which defines my passion for the "as a service" trend across industries.  That has been my standard for gauging alignment of interests.  I credit my friend Peter Fuda for this approach to soul-searching.  Peter's wisdom is posted for all at www.peterfuda.com

Having my framework committed to writing has been exceptionally helpful when presented with an opportunity by enthusiastic advocates.  Guardrails are really powerful.

So, I find myself on the verge of committing to the fourth wave of my career.  It will leverage the lessons (positive and otherwise) from my prior waves, and yet define a new experience.  I hope to touch, and be touched, by new colleagues and new Clients.  I also hope to advance the cause of "as a service" economic realities around Social/Mobile/Analytics/Cloud.

The most substantial recent relevation of importance was the significance of diversity in experience that I value.  Colleagues during my prior waves will attest to the fact that I enjoy learning via multitudes of activity.

So, Wave 4 is defined in my mind and I will lock this down imminently.  After a few more rounds of golf, another trip to Maine, and a weekend with my wife in Martha's Vineyard ... I will start calling on Clients on 16 September.

Thanks for your many kind notes and words of support.