Not too long ago, the Shared Services & Outsourcing Network was brought to my attention. Even though I was afraid that it might be another Supply Chain Social Network, I decided to check it out anyway. I’m glad I did. It’s along the lines of the type of Knowledge Network that I’ve been promoting behind the scenes for a while now — and I’m glad to see that they’re starting to appear.
The site supports two types of members: Premium Member and Associate Member. Premium memberships cost 149.99 a year and come with exclusive access to Shared Services News magazine, regular e-newsletters, full access to online articles, and upcoming job section access and three free job postings a year. Free associate memberships come with access to some of the articles on the site, the regular monthly newsletter, up to four specialist alerts, and basic access to the upcoming job section.
I signed up for a free associate membership. The Industry News goes back four months, and is indexed on five topics (strategy & governance, process & technology, people & culture, customer satisfaction, and globalization) and four functions (human resources, IT, finance & accounting, and other). The networking is limited to knowledge sharing Q&A forums and Blogs (which include Peter Allen from TPI, Sam Poston of ScottMadden Inc, Dave Griebl of Monster Worldwide, and Ed Martinez of BellSouth Affiliate Services Corporation). The event listings are reasonably well populated, and broken down by Continent and Country and there are numerous resources for on-line learning including interviews, presentations, podcasts, and webinars.
In all, I think it’s a good resource for sourcing professionals who need to manage shared services or outsource business processes. There’s a significant amount of information available for free members, and with over 7,000 global members, a wealth of information available for premium members – which I believe would be a great investment for any organization that’s looking for a shared services or outsourcing partner. Take a few moments and check it out. I think it will be worth your time.