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Xisource launched to help choose outsourcer

A new Web site is offering IT managers a free service that it claims will cut the time taken to choose an outsourcer by 70%.

A new Web site is offering IT managers a free service that it claims will cut the time taken to choose an outsourcer by 70%.

Caroline Davis.

Xisource has signed up 300 outsourcing vendors worldwide in fields including enterprise resource planning, customer...

relationship management and e-commerce. It hosts tools to manage the process for buyers and suppliers, from specifying business requirements through to awarding a contract to the selected supplier.

However, analysts said that although it may save time in the initial assessment of outsourcers, few users would manage the whole process online. Stratof Sarissamlis of Meta Group said, "A company choosing an ERP that its entire business will depend on will not go to the Web," he said. "The company will want to check out the outsourcer's references, see if it has done any work in the same country and for the same business sector."

He added that it could lead to pricing difficulties. "Outsourcing is not like buying products, even if a unit cost is given. There needs to be a negotiation phase, where issues such as monthly management payments and service levels are agreed."

The service generates income by charging the vendor 6.5% of any sales made. Although Xisource expects vendors to pass this cost onto buyers, it claims that using the site will increase competition between vendors resulting in shorter procurement times and reduced total cost of ownership.

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