Canon: Offshore Managed Services

The Customer
Today, many companies are electing to save time and resources by sending their business processing requirements offshore, specialist companies can look after their needs faster, more efficiently, and at a lower cost. Established in 1994, Converga offers optimised solutions in business process outsourcing, operating in Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and the United States. Converga was acquired by Canon in 2015.

Seeing an ideal opportunity to marry the strengths of the two entities, Canon has transferred some of its business processes to Converga’s Philippines office. By doing so, it will help strengthen Converga’s service offering to not only Canon but an increasing number of customers.

The Challenge
The core aim of this project was to improve Canon’s business efficiency, lower overall costs, and to demonstrate to the market Canon’s confidence in Converga’s proven capabilities across banking, claims processing, sales order management, returns, credit and collections processing. To demonstrate this confidence Canon agreed to outsource over 200 roles to Converga.

An initial challenge was the number of business areas within Canon that had a poor perception of outsourced business solutions generally, so it was important to demonstrate the strengths of the Converga team, highlighting a proven track record and successful delivery.

Another challenge was change fatigue experienced by Canon employees. Canon’s Chief Information Officer, Luke Clark, explains “We’d only relatively recently had a major replacement of our core systems and processes. Whilst it was completed successfully, our teams were suffering from a fair degree of exhaustion associated with such a significant change. With the transition of processes to Converga, we asked largely the same group of Canon subject matter experts to spend time and effort to improve process documentation. Additionally, they were involved in the recruitment process and the training of the new Converga employees. It was a big ask, but with Converga’s strong transition framework in place, they were able to deliver all that we needed.”

The Solution
Canon key business stakeholders visited Manila for an early engagement meeting with the Converga Philippines team to get a real feel for the business and its culture. “Engaging business owners from day one and giving them a first-hand look at the people and the operations was absolutely critical to the success of the transition,” says Converga Program Manager, Shane Clarke. “Everyone returned energised and became really strong advocates for the project. To get that business buy-in at such an early stage was fantastic.”

A detailed transition plan, complete with tests and sign offs at each stage, ensured roles didn’t go live until everyone was ready. Converga had successfully used this method of checks and balances before, so Canon adopted this approach in bringing their services across.

Converga Philippines Country Manager, Daniel Alexander, confirms teamwork is a critical element to success. “We’re really proud of reaching that first migration milestone together. We’re already seeing great success and growth in our Philippines operations, companies are seeking to leverage the great capability that exists here. And Canon itself is a prime example of that success.”

To ensure a smooth transition from their current external service provider, Canon maintained existing open lines of communication throughout every stage of the project. Clarke believes this was an important element in the change. “The transparency of our plans enabled both parties to work together to achieve a successful migration. This meant Canon’s current processes weren’t destabilised and that was really reassuring to our customers.”

The Result
The ‘go-live’ day in mid December 2016 was a huge success. The first phase was delivered on-time and within budget, with 33 full time employees fully operational in Manila across a number of ‘order-to-cash’ processes.

Clarke elaborates on the post-implementation review undertaken to improve future transitions. “All aspects of the project were looked at. We went further than just the actual processes themselves. We sought feedback from the local recruitment team in Manila and from the new employees themselves to gauge how they felt the training and induction went. Along with checking in with the IT team to determine how easy it had been to set up the new starters and so on. Every single thing we could think of was reviewed.”

Converga has a library of resources it can go to market with and proven examples of successful transitions. “Our ever-expanding resource library is full of really useful tools and templates to manage transitions, making it as easy as possible for any company considering doing the same,” says Clarke.

The overall project is due to finish at the end of 2018. Canon’s Chief Information Officer, Luke Clark, says he’s really impressed with progress so far. “I could not be happier with the approach the Converga team has taken, and all the signs are positive for further great outcomes.”

Download case study: Canon – Offshore Managed Services (PDF)