The securing of a fair starting position in the RFP may possibly require additional measures such as the provision of more detailed information for external bidders and obtaining the necessary cooperation of the current provider. In particular, care should be taken to ensure that the information concerning the required service level and quantities contained in the RFP is sufficiently precise.
A minimum of two providers from among the bids submitted in response to the RFP are invited to participate in the due diligence procedure. The improved negotiating position for the company from a competitive due diligence procedure generally justifies the increased expenses for the handling of a number of bidders.
The goal of the due diligence for the provider is to evaluate the IT organization he will be taking over and to disclose any risks involved. In addition, data for solution concepts are collected, mutual assumptions are concretized during joint work meetings, and the key pillars of the agreement are drawn up.
The company makes information for the due diligence available in a data room. Much of this information can be provided by the current provider, of course, which means that the provider‘s cooperation must be secured in advance. In the ideal case, reporting or corresponding cooperation obligations are already included in the current outsourcing agreement, obligating the current provider to provide relevant information.
The due diligence procedure is followed by the contractual negotiations. The renegotiation of an agreement opens the door especially to flexibilization of the contractual relationship and improvement of its manageability. One way to keep the agreement flexible is to utilize pricing models with corridors: prices remain constant within these corridors and rise or fall in a predefined manner when outside of them. Caution is advised when agreeing on minimum purchase quantities because values which are too high restrict flexibility. If investments were made during the first outsourcing period in modern systems which will now be taken over, the minimum term of the agreement and the minimum purchase quantities should be reduced. Management of the costs can be assured by selecting billing units which can be influenced directly by the company. For example, the number of users or the number of workplace systems can be influenced directly while the number of malfunctions reported to the service desk can be controlled only to some extent and, indeed, will rise drastically if the provider‘s performance is poor. The right to terminate single service specifications will also increase flexibility. An agreement term which is too long also reduces flexibility. Three to five years can be taken as a standard. The fears that a provider will have little incentive to make investments if the agreement runs for a shorter period can be countered by the inclusion of innovation clauses which require a budget for investments.Next page