Teaching Cases

Teaching cases on outsourcing and offshoring published in Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases

Kotlarsky, J. and L. P. Willcocks (2012). 'Special issue on global sourcing of business and IT services (Editorial).' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 57-60.
Jaiswal, V. and N. Levina (2012). 'J-TRADING: full circle outsourcing.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 61-70.

Abstract:

J-TRADING is a US-based arm of a Japanese keiretsu that is focused on commodity trading between the East and North America counting about 350 employees in the US. It has experienced problems with its information technology (IT) infrastructure and help-desk functions. IT employees were not motivated to work on these rather mundane tasks leading to quality and cost issues. J-TRADING CIO decided to solve the problem by outsourcing both functions. The case relays J-TRADING’s outsourcing journey through its ups and downs discussing the process of vendor evaluation and selection, task transition, relationship management, and business outcomes. The case provides full financial details necessary for financial analysis and asks students to evaluate the sourcing decision itself as well as vendor selection and governance processes. It also asks students to elaborate on alternative sourcing approaches such as offshoring and cloud-based solutions.

Su, F. and J.-Y. Mao (2012). 'Market choices of a Chinese outsourcing vendor: The Case of ChilTech company.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 71-78.

Abstract:

This case describes a Chinese software outsourcing vendor’s struggle with its market choices, in response to the rippling effect of the global financial crisis. It also introduces Chinese software outsourcing vendors’ capability development, market conditions, and idiosyncrasies. ChiITech is representative of Chinese software vendors, in terms of its development history, environment conditions, experience of the financial crisis, and countermeasures. Students can learn about the evolution and current status of the China- Japan software outsourcing industry through this case, and more specifically how vendors make market choices in a highly volatile market.

Kotlarsky, J. and L. Bognar (2012). 'Understanding the process of backsourcing: two cases of process and product backsourcing in Europe.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 79–86.

 Abstract:

Backsourcing, defined generally as bringing services outsourced to a third party back inhouse, is now a growing phenomenon. The decision to backsource has several significant implications for an organization, as it requires the organization to manage organizational change, reintegrate knowledge, and develop new capabilities and competences. Taking into account there is very limited empirical evidence of how to successfully accomplish the backsourcing process, two case studies included in this teaching case offer additional insight into the process of backsourcing. To prepare students for case analysis, this teaching case starts by describing the backsourcing phenomenon, followed by an overview of the backsourcing trend, and includes a brief review of the relevant literature that mainly focuses on backsourcing decisions and touches on critical success factors for implementing a backsourcing initiative. This is followed by two case studies that describe two essentially different examples of backsourcing. The first case study (MediaCorp) deals with the example of backsourcing IT hosting services, which is considered a business process, whereas the second case study (ITServCorp) talks about bringing an IT product development back in-house. However, regardless of the nature of the backsourced activity, analysis of these two cases allows deeper understanding of the process through which the backsourcing initiative has been implemented. Therefore, while each case can be used separately to analyze different aspects of backsourcing, they also can be analyzed in a comparative manner to better understand the process of backsourcing.

Oshri, I. (2012). 'Who moved my shared service centre?' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 87-97.

Abstract:

In a search for an optimized global business service operation, firms set up and relocate shared service centres around the globe. This teaching case examines the migration process of IBM procurement shared service centre from Budapest to Sofia. The teaching case describes the challenges that the teams in Budapest and Sofia faced and the migration methodology applied and later on adapted in order to meet the transition objectives. The teaching case concludes by challenging IBM’s migration approach.

Babin, R., C. Schuster and T. Rogers (2012). 'Building innovation into the outsourcing relationship: a case study.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 98–103.

Abstract:

This teaching case has been developed for a global consumer products company. Interviews from several outsourcing managers and executives within the company have contributed to the case. This case focuses on how a company can build innovation into an outsourcing relationship when it has not been explicitly stated in the outsourcing agreement. The two fictitious companies in this case are Bentley & Brooks (B&B) (the client) and AlphaCorp (the provider). Both companies are based on, but are not accurate portrayals of actual companies that are anonymous. The case is a composite of several actual outsourcing cases between the two companies. B&B has outsourced much of their human resource operations and IT support. They have been frustrated that their global outsource provider, AlphaCorp, has not been able to bring innovation to the relationship. In the outsourcing contract, innovation was not expressly identified, but was certainly discussed during the outsourcing proposal and negotiations. In addition, the ability of AlphaCorp to deliver consistent quality of service on a global basis has been uneven, particularly in Latin America. You will be asked to take on the role of a B&B employee who is part of a team looking into the innovation problem. The team has been asked to provide answers to three key questions and to present their recommendations to a panel of senior executives of B&B.

TCarmel, E. (2012). 'Lifebushido: the challenge of the crowdsourcing labor markets.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 104-106.

Abstract:

A small US-based crowdsourcing platform illustrates the entrepreneurial challenges in a new ‘industry’ – the crowdsourcing industry. The firm’s president founded and manages a virtual firm, which he launched even before the term crowdsourcing was coined. He has chosen to focus his firm, initially, on selling labor services to the American real estate market. Now that he has successfully built a network of reliable providers and repeat clients, his dilemma is how to grow his firm.

Carmel, E. and G. Vaia (2012). 'Healthware S.p.A. – from an underdeveloped region of Italy – can it be a global firm?' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 107-109.

Abstract:

Healthware, a digital communication agency specializing in healthcare, is based in Salerno Italy. The firm has 72 employees in two countries as well as clients in 14 countries. The case illustrates the location trade-offs of operating – and growing – a global digital company far from the epicenter of Italian business. The theme is universal. Once the firm is far from a nation’s epicenter, a dynamism may be absent but the advantages are quite tangible: lower costs and employee stability. This teaching case is based on actual companies, people, and events, though some details have been dramatized or disguised.

Carmel, E. (2012). 'Finding a niche in the global software marketplace: the case of the Peruvian firm LOLIMSA, Technologias para Salud.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 110-114.

Abstract:

In 2005, a successful Peruvian-based software company was seeking to grow by exporting its software products. The case illustrates the entrepreneurial challenges in selling software products from a developing nation that is not on the forefront of the technology world. LOLIMSA has successfully grown its market into several Latin countries outside of Peru. The firm is considering trying to enter the lucrative American market for the second time, but knows that the investment in market entry is substantial.

Vitasek, K., K. Manrodt and S. Krishna (2012). 'Changing the game of outsourcing – the Microsoft OneFinance case.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases 2: 46–56.

Abstract:

This case concerns Microsoft’s attempt to completely restructure its major global finance processes and operations through what the authors call a Vested Outsourcing agreement. In February 2007, Microsoft signed an outsourcing agreement with Accenture, with an original contract term of 7 years at a value of US$185 million. This was extended 2 years later, to 2018, with expanded scope, and a total contract value of $330 million. Called the OneFinance initiative, the effort outsourced nearly all back office finance transactions spread across 95 countries to service provider Accenture under a new kind of outsourcing model. Under the agreement the parties operate under incentives to improve performance and deliver increased value year-over-year, while sharing in the risks and rewards of doing so. The case focuses on the rationale for this distinctive approach to outsourcing and transformational change, and provides details of the definitions of work, measurements, pricing models and governance structures adopted. The fine-grained account of the OneFinance outsourcing arrangements provides an opportunity to identify the distinctive principles and practices adopted by the parties. Readers can compare and contrast the case with other outsourcing deals and assess the challenges in choosing the supplier and the approach. The case also invites an assessment of the risks being incurred, the inherent implementation and operational challenges and how they might be met. The case also raises questions about what levels of success might be achieved, and what conditions would need to be present for success. Finally, the case raises the issue of whether, and if so how, this distinctive ‘vested’ approach could be adopted elsewhere.

Abbott, P., Y. Zheng and R. Du (2013). 'Innovation through collaborative partnerships: creating the MSN News for iPad app at VanceInfo Technologies.' Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases.

Abstract:

This teaching case focuses on a collaborative project between a major software and services outsourcing company in China (VanceInfo Technologies) and one of its major Western clients (Microsoft Inc.). VanceInfo and Microsoft had been engaged in a long-term client/vendor relationship since 1997 and the project had been the result of this long-term partnership arrangement. The project was deemed quite successful and innovative; hence it provided an opportunity to determine how collaborative innovation could work between two remote and culturally different supply chain partners and how the lessons from this project could be used to inform SSO providers of ways in which they could move up the value chain to more client-focused value added services. The case looks in-depth at the actual working practices that enabled the distributed Microsoft/VanceInfo team to produce a market-led innovative product. Agile methods were highly integral to the functioning of those work practices and are quite carefully scrutinised from the point of view of how they were adapted for use in a distributed, cross-cultural environment. Users of the case study will be asked to formulate answers to several questions geared towards providing general guidelines that SSO providers can follow to achieve similar successful outcomes.

Ranganathan, C., P. Krishnan and R. Glickman (2007). 'Crafting and executing an offshore IT sourcing strategy: GlobShop’s experience.' Journal of Information Technology 22: 440–450.

Abstract:

This teaching case discusses the decisions facing GlobShop, a global travel-retail company, in its efforts to offshore a significant portion of its information technology (IT) work. In response to the business challenges that arose due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the company decided to outsource many of its IT activities to an Indian vendor. This case traces the key decisions made by the CIO and the challenges that were encountered during the planning and execution of the company’s offshore sourcing strategy. These decisions pertain to the choice of tasks to be offshored, decisions about the vendor and the nature of sourcing arrangement, managing the vendor relationship and change management issues induced by offshoring. As GlobShop nears the completion of its 3-year agreement with the offshore vendor, the CIO is faced with decisions regarding continuing offshore outsourcing, extending the contract and related implications for the future of IT organization at GlobShop.

Thorogood, A., P. Yetton, A. Vlasic and J. Spiller (2004). 'Raise your glasses – the water’s magic! Strategic IT at SA Water: a case study in alignment, outsourcing and governance.' Journal of Information Technology 19: 130–139.

Abstract:

The South Australian Water case study illustrates the management challenges in aligning Information Technology with business objectives in a publicly owned corporation. To achieve the alignment, the new CIO begins by refreshing the IT infrastructure to support the required business applications. When the Government establishes ‘Improved water quality’ as a major corporate goal, the CIO seeks to add value to the business by developing a quality reporting system that leverages the existing technology. At the same time, he demonstrates to the corporation the IT function’s capability to deliver business value through the management of multiple outsourcing vendors.