In one of our last articles in this series, we discussed current trends of Shared Service Centers regarding process excellence, innovative technologies, value-added service portfolio and a skilled workforce. Now we will focus on the next maturity level of Digital Shared Service Centers: Virtual Delivery Centers.

Maturity Levels of (Digital) Shared Service Centers

Having identified the trends and current developments in digitalization and automation in the context of Digital Shared Service Centers, we now want to use the opportunity to introduce Virtual Delivery Centers (VDC) as the next maturity level in this blog article. On its journey to become “digital”, a Shared Service Center runs through several maturity stages, continuously expanding its functional scope and automating services and processes (see Figure 1: Capgemini Consulting Maturity Model for Digital Shared Service Centers).


Figure 1: Capgemini Consulting Maturity Model for Digital Shared Service Centers

In their first level of maturity (Stage 1), SSC offer decentralized services on an analog basis, mostly focused on a few corporate functions. The development towards stage 2 then mainly evolves around expanding the functional and/or geographical scope, while operating based on a decentralized steering and organization. In stage 3, centralization and standardization potentials are being realized leveraging on digital interfaces and partly automating processes. Once centralized and standardized, these services are being combined in a cross-functional platform operating as a Multi-Tower Shared Service Center, allowing the quick plug-in of additional services or regions and usually already making use of a standardized IT landscape (e.g. common ERP system). In this stage, automation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to realize further cost and efficiency potentials based on already centralized, standardized processes. The final stage then is the Virtual Delivery Center (VDC) which increases efficiencies even further by making full use of all new automation technologies, including not just RPA but also Artificial Intelligence and Cloud solutions. This leap forward brings with it a new business model for Shared Services combining human and virtual delivery.

Virtual Delivery Centers (VDC)

The VDC is the future of Shared Services: a multi-tower digital SSC that increased its automation grade to the highest degree, offering a digital product and service portfolio while making use of the high efficiency potentials new technologies are offering. Hence, the VDC is the answer to business leaders’ search for further quality and efficiency increases, when traditional sourcing solutions like centralization, standardization and offshoring have already reached their limits. With various combined technologies from ERP to RPA and Artificial Intelligence, the VDC can benefit from all „Five senses of intelligent automation“, describing the new technologies’ interaction capabilities: Listen/talk, watch, remember, think and act Leveraging on these functionalities, a VDC can offer intelligent, automated services for both back-office and front-office processes and completely change the quality and speed of delivery as well as customer interaction. To realize the full potential of technology and offer fully automated services wherever possible, a VDC will not only master the technological opportunities but build on a holistic digital operating model. A digital operating model acts as a framework bringing together the governance, technology, methodology and skills required to deliver business operations with the support of a virtual workforce on a flexible and agile platform. Benefits further include a high level of scalability, flexibility and standardization of services while simultaneously increasing the customer experience. The key for successfully transforming a Shared Service Center towards a Virtual Delivery Center is to address all dimensions mentioned above while answering to the specific business needs. To master this challenge, Capgemini Consulting recommends a unique holistic approach as outlined below.

Capgemini’s approach to Virtual Delivery Centers

To further develop an existing SSC towards full virtual delivery maturity requires a holistic view of all operating model dimensions and related processes. A charm of the respective technologies is that they allow for quick and highly targeted results (e.g. with chatbots or process mining). As mentioned before it is nevertheless essential to combine the strategic, operational, technical and cultural aspects. To achieve this, Capgemini Consulting follows a holistic approach covering all these dimensions in one framework, designed to yield quick results while aiming for sustainable solutions: Together with our collaborative implementation approach, an end-to-end solution is designed and customized to match our clients’ needs and requirements. We are careful to always find the right speed to quickly gain momentum while taking care to leave no one behind. In addition to deep process, methods and technology expertise, a professional Change & Transformation Management and communication are key success factor in the context of increasing automation. This enables the organization to get a well-founded understanding of the intended solutions early-on. To learn more about Capgemini’s approach to VDC from a technical perspective, please have a look at the new “Virtual Delivery Center: Enabling Intelligent Automation” brochure explaining our Automation Drive suite.

How Capgemini Consulting helps its clients to stay ahead of the curve

Over the years, Capgemini has gained substantial experience in setting up and further developing SSC and outsourcing solutions. Helping its clients to stay ahead of the curve in all (digital) transformation has always been our mission and passion, making us one of the leading consulting companies in this field. Consequently, Capgemini’s focus is constantly shifting to deliver leading technologies, from a people focus in the 1990s (“Lift and Shift”), through process and enterprise transformation in the earlier 2000s (increasing the customer focus) up to our current strive for excellence in Intelligent Automation with the required Digital Operating Models. Our leading in-house capabilities combined with our broad partner network enable us to master topics from Robotic Process Automation to Artificial Intelligence – the key ingredients for our Virtual Delivery Center approach.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Virtual Delivery Centers are the future of Digital Shared Service Centers.
  • Their digitalization is driven by various new technologies and tools, including Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence.
  • By making full use of these opportunities, VDC are offering highest cost and quality efficiencies while simultaneously improving quality and customer experience.

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About the Author:

Working in Capgemini Consulting’s Corporate Strategy team in Central Europe, Felix M. Schirmer advises our clients globally in topics around digital strategy and supports them in successful transformations. If you have any further questions or want to discuss these topics in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact the author Felix M. Schirmer.