I’ve seen some great coverage of Capgemini’s new partnership with NetSuite, like this from ZDNet: “Capgemini, NetSuite launch ‘virtual company’ BPO toolkit.” And I’m a big fan of this quote from Phil Fersht, Founder and CEO at HfS Research: “Capgemini and NetSuite are ahead of the curve by creating a compelling suite of Cloud BPO offerings that are truly disruptive and breaking the mould of legacy BPO and ERP models.”
The headline message is very clear. If you’re an innovator, an entrepreneur, or even a corporate launching into a new country, the last thing you want is to worry about setting up back office functions to support your new enterprise. So what we’ve done is package up all the services, processes, software and infrastructure that you need to switch on the back office functions that are a potential distraction from your core aim of building a business. And it can be switched on (or off) and scaled up (or down) in a timeframe that would be unbelievable in a traditional BPO environment.

So where did the idea come from?

The initial idea for this Virtual Company solution came in a workshop with one of our largest clients. They were looking for a way to take the pain out of turning their innovations into new businesses. Every time they wanted to launch a new product business or set up in a new country, they were faced with the issue of having to build back office functions like Finance from the ground up – and integrate them with the wider corporate structure.
That’s an innovation killer, exactly as our CEO discussed earlier in the year.
So we put together a solution to provide a complete outsourced service – everything from the people and process through to the supporting technology. It is all pre-packaged and ready-to-go when the new business unit needs it.

Sounds simple? Let’s get into some more detail…

As I say, I like reading the press coverage but it comes to life when you start thinking about the real scenarios where the Virtual Company can be put to work.
Here are some examples of where the Virtual Company approach could work for a large corporate:

The other question I’m asked is exactly which back office functions can be delivered as part of the Virtual Company. The answer is that there’s no theoretical limit – we now have the capability to bolt together the people, process and technology that’s needed.
Let’s take the first example above – taking a new “complex” product into an existing market. Here’s how the division of responsibility between the client and the Virtual Company could look:

I think that illustrates the point perfectly. The client’s team are focused on the activities that are core to the market and the project, with the Virtual Company handling the rest.

So for the dreamers, the innovators, the entrepreneurs, I have a simple message. The future you always dreamt of, where you could concentrate on your product and your customers but have a smooth running business in the background, is finally here