Integreon suffers setback

Bad news for outsourcer Integreon as two top legal clients pull work back in-house

Last week was not a good one for the big beast of the outsourcing jungle, Integreon.

The company got hit by a double whammy of marquee clients turning their backs on it, at least partly. The week of hell kicked off with the news that Osborne Clarke was dramatically scaling back its use of the outsourcing provider by transferring most support services back into the firm.

Most of the 75 staff currently at Integreon in areas such as IT, learning and development, events, document services and client relationship management will move back to OC. Integreon will retain information services, business intelligence and the emergency contact line.

If that was bad, worse was to come at the tail end of the week, when CMS Cameron McKenna confirmed it was scaling back its facilities services arrangement.

Duncan Weston
Weston: considering alternative third-party provider

“We’re considering the possibility of an alternative third-party provider for one part of the facilities services currently provided by Integreon,” said CMS managing partner Duncan Weston.

As CMS is one of the biggest adopters of what Weston terms “total outsourcing”, having signed a £600m deal in May 2010 with Integreon for it to supply its

entire back-office function, this will have come as a bitter blow.

At the same time it emerged that last year TLT called time on its relationship with Integreon. Although the smaller firm had a smaller-scale deal with Integreon, focused on areas such as subscriptions management, when the contract came up for renewal it decided to end the relationship.

A spokesperson for TLT said the firm had grown since it had forged the deal with Integreon and its wider geographical spread created different needs it believed were better delivered by bringing these services back in-house.

Integreon is putting a brave face on the developments and is indeed continuing to work with both OC and CMS, but the feeling in the market is that a corner may have been turned in the trend for the completely outsourced solution. Whatever that means.