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New META Group Study Finds Many Help Desk Outsourcers "Not Making the Grade".

High Customer Dissatisfaction Is Pushing Clients

to Consider a New Breed of Outsourcers or to "Re-Insource"

META Group Inc. (NASDAQ: METG) today announced that, according to a recent analysis of Global 2000 companies that currently outsource their IT help desks, a majority of these companies are unhappy with their current relationship. According to META Group, this dissatisfaction is forcing many organizations to "re-insource" the help desk function or turn to alternative providers. The reasons behind this alarming trend are split between inadequate vendor services and mismanaged or poorly structured user deals and unreasonable expectations.

The recent META Group study, which ranked the capabilities of help desk outsourcers, found the majority of vendors are receiving below-par feedback from their clients. Interestingly, the challenges and strains causing this dissatisfaction are the same forces driving more people to turn to outsourcers to solve their own help desk woes. META Group predicts that by 2001 over 75% of Global 2000 companies will outsource some function of their help desk.

This dramatic growth, estimated by META Group to be in excess of 35% annually, increases the risk of further discontent. META Group published this research to assist its clients in identifying the appropriate vendors for their specific needs and requirements. In addition, META Group found that re-insourcing is not always the best solution, as the same issues causing the outsourcing relationship to fail will also cause internal help desk service to suffer.

"One common thread found among those vendors receiving positive marks from its clients was a strong project methodology that combines help desk consulting, process, and technology expertise with a strong pool of resources to help fill the seats," said Kurt Johnson, senior program director in META Group's Services & Systems Management Strategies (SSMS) service. "It is critical that potential outsourcing candidates identify vendors capable of delivering this new type of service."

The META Group study ranks vendors according to different market segments and targets:

-- Tactical niche providers -- Full-scale help desk outsourcers -- Desktop life-cycle outsourcing vendors -- Full-range outsourcers

Vendors are ranked by a wide variety of topics, including quality of service, geographical coverage, technical infrastructure, personnel recruitment and retention, and flexible service levels.

The help desk vendor rankings is the first component of META Group's Outsourcing Index, which is based on information gleaned through its integrated research, advisory services, and consulting. A summary of the help desk vendor rankings can be found on META Group's Web site at

About SSMS

SSMS provides research and analysis focused on the management of shared computing infrastructures and applications. Clients receive valuable assistance managing the business of IT through a combination of strategic analysis, architectural guidance, vendor/product evaluations, and practical recommendations. Particular attention is paid to the organizational, financial, and service level management implications of IT's increasing role as an internal vendor of services. In addition, SSMS offers users unlimited telephone consultation, written research, strategic plan and architecture review, contract review, and on-site briefings.

About META Group

META Group helps companies make better information technology (IT) decisions by providing research and unlimited analyst consultation relevant to their specific business needs. Offering advisory services, consulting/benchmarking, and publications that span the full spectrum of IT, META Group addresses the latest technologies, industry trends, and business challenges. With more than 1,600 client companies worldwide, META Group differentiates itself from other information providers through its commitment to highly personal service (enabling "analysis in context"), bottom-line answers, and objectivity. To support this promise, META Group maintains a client-to-analyst ratio of 50:1 -- the lowest in the industry -- and reinvests almost 50% of its revenue back into research and client services. For details, connect with

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 3, 1998
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