RealTime IT News

Interliant Probes Outer Limits of Outsourcing

Taking outsourcing to the next level, Interliant, Inc. has announced plans to commission Dallas technology management firm the Feld Group to fill newly created COO position for the ASP.

"It's a significant move and a natural evolution," Interliant CEO and President Herb Hribar told ASP News. "We're establishing a partnership." A partnership that combines the speed and experience gains of outsourcing with the control of maintaining an in-house management team, Hribar said. "The key here is speed. You have a group of people who have done this before, so you won't have the delays. We're going to build it in-house, build it right and build it rapidly," he said.

Heading the Feld Group operations team is Bruce Graham, who will fill the newly created post of chief operating officer for Interliant. Graham reports to Hribar and will serve as an elected Interliant officer.

"It's really not outsourcing," Hribar said. "Bruce will be a full-time employee who brings us the type of experience we need to bring us to the next level as a company. I think we have the best group of people in the industry, and Bruce will give us a real point of focus."

"The line will become invisible," Graham added. "People won't see me as working for the Feld Group, but as a member of the Interliant team." Unlike traditional management consulting firms, the Feld Group manages day-to-day operations as well as high-level consultation, in effect acting as both architect and general contractor to build their clients' management infrastructure. This type of relationship usually lasts from 2-5 years, depending on the needs and goals of the company, Graham said.

Graham is charged with executing Interliant's blueprint for a scalable and integrated solution set, aligning product development, delivery and ongoing support under common leadership. He and his Feld Group team also will accelerate the integration of Interliant's acquired companies, supporting its core offerings including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and collaboration applications.

Departments reporting to Graham include Product Management, Engineering, Data Center Operations, Customer Care, Network and Information Technologies, Consulting & Professional Services and Human Resources.

This Partnership is a Two-way Street
As part of the agreement, Interliant and the Feld Group also have formed a strategic alliance by which Interliant will become the Feld Group's exclusive Web hosting and ASP partner for all referrals or recommendations of Feld Group clients, as well as its preferred partner for IT consulting/professional services business. The Feld Group also will outsource to Interliant all of its internal Web and application hosting and related IT and professional services needs, on a price-competitive basis.

"The Feld Group will be buyers of Interliant's services, as well as referrers," Graham said. "We work with several Fortune 200 companies in a CIO or strategic consultant capacity, so our partnership will benefit everyone involved."

The Feld Group has taken on complex operational initiatives for such clients as Delta Air Lines, Burlington Northern, First Data Resources and Westinghouse/CBS.

Graham previously worked with Feld Group client AmeriServe Food Distribution, Inc., a $9 billion privately held, Dallas-based food service distribution company, where he was responsible for all facets of operations and IT management, including the integration of disparate technologies resulting from a merger and the deployment of a new ERP solution. He additionally held the position of CIO at the Oshawa Group Ltd, a $6 billion Canadian company, where he oversaw the development and initial implementation of a $250 million IT strategy. As