IBM Global Services and EDS have joined Carnegie Mellon University's IT Services Qualification Centre Consortium in the US, which aims to provide standards to evaluate firms providing IT outsourcing.
The companies will help to refine the Centre's eSourcing Capability Model (eSCM) for service providers, and will participate in the development and use of other best practice models which the Centre expects will become de facto standards for global outsourcing.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science have developed a methodology to rate outsourcing firms, and established the Centre in June 2000 to certify their capabilities.
After initial training, consortium members and other qualified organisations are authorised to use the eSCM to evaluate service providers.
"We expect the eSCM for service providers and clients to become de facto standards for organisations involved in outsourcing, just as the Capability Maturity Model for Software became a de facto standard for software development activities," said Jane Siegel, head of the IT Services Qualification Centre Consortium.
Terry Milholland, senior vice president at EDS, added: "Developing a capability model for the outsourcing market raises the industry performance standards for suppliers, and presents our customers with better criteria for selecting outsourcing providers."
Tony Macina, general manager of global service delivery at IBM Global Services, said: "Customers and IT services providers stand to benefit from an independent benchmark based on open industry standards that measures the value and capabilities delivered over the life of a multi-year IT outsourcing contract."
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