Contributors

The Hackett Group and EquaTerra Announce Joint Offerings

Complementary Expertise Provides an Unparalleled Combination Of Strategic Insourced and Outsourced Advisory Services Backed by Data

ATLANTA and NEW YORK, October 25, 2005 – The Hackett Group, a global business process advisory firm and an Answerthink company (NASDAQ: ANSR) and EquaTerra, a multi-national outsourcing and insourcing advisory firm, today announced an exclusive alliance designed to demonstrate how executives can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business functions through a blend of service delivery alternatives such as shared services, offshoring, and outsourcing.

 

The exclusive alliance will be formally launched at Hackett’s 2005 Business Process Sourcing Conference, “Balancing Costs with Business Effectiveness,” in Atlanta on October 26th (tomorrow). The companies will unveil jointly-managed Business Process Sourcing Executive Advisory Programs for Human Resources and Finance executives offering a tailored mix of benchmarking services, on-demand advisor access, empirical research, and peer learning opportunities. The combined membership of Hackett and EquaTerra benchmarking services will launch with over 50 client companies, including existing members of Hackett’s Finance Shared Services Advisory Program and EquaTerra’s EQuation HRO Programs.

 

The combined capabilities, knowledge base, and intellectual property of the two companies offers clients a comprehensive, objective, and high-impact set of services. Offerings will incorporate Hackett’s best practices research in business process sourcing with EquaTerra’s in-depth experience in HR, F&A, Procurement, and IT outsourcing performance and deal structure, gained through advisor support of more than 600 global business transformation, outsourcing, and outsourcing management projects.

 

EquaTerra Chairman Mark Hodges will present a keynote speech at Hackett’s Business Process Sourcing Conference at Atlanta’s Grand Hyatt Hotel on October 26, highlighting various service delivery alternatives clients employ to balance costs with business effectiveness. EquaTerra is the Marquis sponsor for this event, which will feature presentations by executives from more than a dozen companies, including Microsoft, NiSource, Dow Chemical, Delta Airlines, America Online, and Accenture, discussing an array of Business Process Sourcing topics. Hackett executives will also offer valuable Business Process Sourcing performance metrics and insights from The Hackett Group’s 2005 Book of Numbers© research.

 

According to David Dungan, a Hackett officer and COO of parent company Answerthink, “We have chosen to align with EquaTerra because they understand the complexity of not just IT outsourcing, but Business Process Outsourcing. What clients are learning in the emerging area of BPO is that the interdependencies within process groups such as cash disbursements or the revenue cycle are very different from those when outsourcing your servers or data storage. EquaTerra is the leading advisory firm in this area and has more knowledge and experience than anyone else in the industry. They have an impressive track record of helping companies make effective sourcing decisions and negotiate sustainable outsourcing relationships that are mutually beneficial to both the service provider and client.

 

“EquaTerra has demonstrated a clear understanding of BPO evaluation, the service provider marketplace, and what it takes to build and maintain a successful BPO relationship,” said Mr. Dungan. “Together, our joint offering will deliver a unique solution assisting clients in any phase of sourcing evaluation – pre-contract, contracting, or post-contract. It will combine Hackett sourcing knowledge garnered from ongoing benchmark studies and advisory programs with EquaTerra’s outsourcing advisory expertise.”

 

Mark Hodges, EquaTerra Chairman, stated, “Sourcing decisions can have a tremendous impact on the operations of a company. In order to evaluate the opportunity for success in outsourcing, shared services, or other sourcing alternatives, it is critical for companies to have detailed baseline performance metrics.  Having quantitative insight into world-class performance metrics and a clear understanding of the costs associated with the retained and outsourced components of an end-to-end process is essential to sourcing decisions and ongoing process management.  This is clearly Hackett’s area of expertise. They have built an industry-leading empirical knowledge base of what works and what doesn’t in business processes.

 

Mark Toon, EquaTerra CEO also mentioned, “Our clients routinely utilize Hackett’s benchmarking and advisory services in order to streamline their operations and cut costs, reduce overhead, and improve the strategic value they provide. Through our collaboration, Hackett and EquaTerra will synchronize our offerings in a complementary fashion that allows our clients to more easily compare internal vs. external service delivery alternatives before, during, and after a contract is signed.”

 

According to Don Chappel, chief financial officer of Williams, "We’ve worked individually with Hackett and EquaTerra during the past few years. Each has a lot to offer companies seeking to cut costs while improving effectiveness and strategic alignment. And they both have strong capabilities in helping companies optimize sourcing alternatives. Taken together, the synergy of offerings and the breadth and depth of their combined intellectual capital is exceptional."

 

Hackett’s research shows that world-class companies use outsourcing strategically to reduce cost in transaction-oriented areas. World-class HR organizations allocate 26 percent more of their transactional process costs to outsourcing than typical companies, helping them reduce total costs in this area by 19 percent.

 

About The Hackett Group
The Hackett Group (www.thehackettgroup.com), a business process advisory firm and an Answerthink company, is a world leader in best practice research, benchmarking and advisory services that empower executives to achieve world-class enterprise performance. Only The Hackett Group empirically defines world-class performance in sales, general and administrative (SG&A) and supply chain activities with analysis gained through 3,300 benchmark studies over 13 years at nearly 2,000 of the world’s leading companies.

 

The foundation of Hackett’s benchmarks, transformation services, and membership-based advisory programs is our proprietary database of Hackett-CertifiedSM Practices, approaches which are proven to correlate with superior performance metrics. This unparalleled knowledge repository enables Hackett business advisors to provide data, advice, and strategic insight with a level of integrity and authority available nowhere else.  As of this writing, Hackett clients comprise 96 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials, 77 percent of the Fortune 100 and 92 percent of the Dow Jones Global Titans Index.
More information on The Hackett Group is available: by phone at (770) 225-7300; by e-mail at info@thehackettgroup.com; or on the Web at www.thehackettgroup.com.
About EquaTerra
 
EquaTerra (www.equaterra.com) is focused solely on providing global corporations with outsourcing and insourcing advisory, research and governance services that enable them to achieve service delivery excellence for their SG&A processes. EquaTerra’s advisors average more than 20 years of industry, service provider and process experience with functional leadership in Finance & Accounting, HR, IT and Procurement, and have been involved in over 600 global business transformation, outsourcing and outsourcing governance projects.
For more information, please contact Lee Ann Moore at 713.669.9292;  leeann.moore@equaterra.com; www.equaterra.com.
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Hackett-Certified, Book of Numbers, and Hackett World-Class Passport are service marks of The Hackett Group.
This press release contains “forward looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Answerthink’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward looking statements. Factors that impact such forward looking statements include, among others, the ability of the products and services mentioned in this release to deliver the desired effect, our ability to effectively integrate acquisitions into our operations, our ability to attract additional business, our ability to effectively market and sell our recently launched y product offerings and other new services including those mentioned in this release, the timing of projects and the potential for contract cancellations by our customers, changes in expectations regarding the information technology industry, our ability to attract and retain skilled employees, possible changes in collections of accounts receivable, risks of competition, price and margin trends, changes in general economic conditions and interest rates as well as other risks detailed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004  filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Jolie Newman
+1 407.677.8404 (o)
+1 321.439.6670 (m)
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