STEP 4: Partners, Suppliers, Vendors - Developing & Implementing your Service Management Model

Probably the most overlooked and one of the most critical aspects...

· Partners,Suppliers,Vendors

No matter which assignment I have been engaged at in the Wellington market; without exception it has been a porridge of suppliers & vendors.

Some IT services are provided by in-house teams, many are outsourced to service providers - and those in New Zealand will know the All of Government (AoG) and Telecommunications as a Service (TaaS) construct very, very, well.

And so the Service Model construct is critical. In this porridge (I will call it khichdi) you have in-house teams providing support for services that can not be outsourced, service aggregators and a number of specialist service providers.

From my experience - many/most service providers have been local, but in the mix are the local representatives and offices of global players and Indian IT majors; many of the global players will also have an element of off-shore service delivery.

So this is a complex list of ingredients as it is. And if someone was starting from a clean slate, this would be challenging, but relatively manageable.

In today's real world though, many services are already being delivered and many of the suppliers and vendors are already in place. What is really happening is that either new services are being added or refreshed, or the supplier/vendor mix is being re-balanced.

So the khichdi is already cooked - ingredients are being added or removed, cooks are being changed - and all this is being done as the customer is actually consuming it.

The cooks themselves speak different languages. 

A typical team will have a mix of legal, procurement & business accountants - they speak one language (commercial, legal, numbers, business case). Architects will be speaking another dialect (TOGAF, strategy, roadmap). Sales & pre-sales speaking of BAFO and the high level solution. Techies and the engineers diving into the detailed technical solution. The service and support crew talking ITIL processes. The auditors speaking in COBIT & governance, security team talking ISO27000 & NZISM and the project managers talking project plans using Prince2 and PMP terminology.

Somewhere in there is also the voice of the customer !

And so the vendor or supplier model, and what it takes to engage with them, is perhaps one of the most overlooked and one of the most critical aspects when implementing a service model.

And now this post to do with suppliers and vendors.

If you have covered the steps described above, you are now in a position to start to engage with partners. Steps: .


Your first workshop should be commercial centric, where the desired outcome is an agreement on the operational construct. What I mean by this is an agreement on services, and high level roles and responsibilities.


Following this, you should develop agreements with partners including contracts, SLA’s, SOW’s, pricing and take up for when the solution is in production.

3. SLAS, OLAS, RACI, High Level Process Interlock

Depending on the service model, you will need to make sure back to back SLAs and OLAs are in place and your workshops should start defining high level RACI, process interlocks, and most importantly, what tools will be used and who will have what level of access to them.

This diagram below to succinctly describe what needs to be done.

As a note, this will not work unless you know what your overall service model will look like.

Partners, Suppliers and Vendors - key in a service management model

Coming up next: Customers, People, Processes and Tools.

Note: similar version published by IT Professionals NZ in their IITP Techblog 7th September 2016

There are more than a few nuances as organisations undertake the journey to transformation, digital or otherwise. Service Management is a key component to success.

Sunit Prakash has had many successes in organisational transformation on a global and local scale.

More importantly he bears the battle scars from the many lessons learnt. Don’t be one of the walking wounded - or worse. Call him and head off some of the challenges before you even get to the pass.

#ServiceManagement #ITIL #ITSM #Transformation #Transition #Partners #Suppliers #Vendors #Outsourcing #Multisourcing #PartnerStrategy @ServiceAggregators #TaaS #AoG