When Carol Borowski came to Citizens Bank two years ago, the company had about 50 strategic vendor partners. She says her job was to "figure out who were the right partners to keep, and to build a sourcing strategy."
But, she explains, the goal was not just to reduce the number of vendors; she was also expected to "drive our strategic vendor partners to provide us with key technology leadership, consulting, and day-to-day operational and delivery staff."
She achieved that objective, and today she and her staff primarily collaborate with two large vendors and their on- and offshore workers to help fulfill the bank's technology vision.
As senior vice president of strategic sourcing and testing at Citizens Bank, Borowski, 53, says her objective is to ensure that these partnerships deliver tactical benefits. That means working with the CIO and his leadership team to put together a plan that details what each partner should bring to the table and how that meets the bank's needs.
"I make sure they know what we need and work with them to drive it forward," she says. "Now we need to up the ante. They know our environment and application portfolio, so I want them to bring us ideas on where we can go with mobile, accelerated development, agile -- those kinds of things."
"As you look at the future, the ability to master working with a vendor partner with on- and offshore resources will become a critical way of doing business," she adds. "We're trying to get the best, so we can get that 24-hour clock working to get the speed and agility and quality we want."