Carnegie Mellon University has issued an exclusive license to a new spin-off firm, ITSqc, LLC, to continue and extend work begun at the university to establish best-practice models and certification procedures for the global sourcing of information technology-based services.
Since its inception in 2000, the Information Technology Services Qualification Center (ITSqc) has established standards for companies that provide services such as IT operations, applications development and management, back office operations, engineering design, payroll and telemarketing support, as well as for companies that purchase those services. Its eSourcing Capability Models — one for service providers and one for client organizations — provide a means to evaluate and improve service delivery, reduce risks and assess the value of the services. A research consortium that included major IT sourcing firms, clients and advisors has played a key role in developing and implementing the best-practice models.
Certification by the ITSqc has become a means for many providers, such as IBM’s Global Delivery Centers in Brazil and Argentina and Infosys BPO in India, to demonstrate their capabilities to key clients.
“The evolution of the Internet and the growth of the world’s telecommunications infrastructure now enables companies to seek out IT expertise from providers anywhere on the globe,” said Raj Reddy, professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon and chairman of the ITSqc Advisory Board. “But without a set of commonly accepted best practices, many providers will routinely fail to deliver on their promises and potential clients will have no basis for comparing prospective providers. By establishing these best practices, the ITSqc has helped to bring order to the sourcing marketplace.”
Principals in ITSqc, LLC, are Bill Hefley, a former associate teaching professor in the School of Computer Science’s Institute for Software Research (ISR) who is now on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business; Jeff Perdue, associate teaching professor in the ISR; and Jane Siegel, senior systems scientist in the ISR and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Siegel was the director of the ITSqc from its inception at the university. Hefley and Perdue joined in 2002 and played key roles in ITSqc’s development.
“Jane Siegel and her colleagues have done outstanding work to develop best-practice models for the IT sourcing industry,” said Bill Scherlis, ISR director. “Their work will serve as a template for developing similar performance evaluation standards for other service industries.”
Organizations may be certified by the ITSqc at one of five capability levels, based on their use of and adherence to the best-practice models. As a spin-off company, ITSqc, LLC, will support increased organizational certifications by allowing for new options for small and medium-sized service providers and clients.
“As an entity independent of the university, ITSqc, LLC, will be able to increase the speed of certifications, lower operating costs and launch new strategic partnerships,” Siegel said. This month, ITSqc, LLC, will begin offering executive education and training courses. It also is launching an expanded sponsors program and offering additional pilot capability assessment options.