Need Guidance For Your Technology Project?
Where do you find an expert who has the experience to make your project a success? At the highest level, you typically have three options to choose from:
- Use internal resources
- Get “free” consulting from a vendor
- Hire an independent consulting firm
This is an important choice as these options can lead to very different outcomes.
This can seem like the obvious choice. You know and trust your staff (hopefully). However, there can be risks with this option.
First, your staff is probably already quite busy. They may not have time to take on another project.
Second, they likely are not experienced in acquiring new technology. They may be great at keeping existing tools up and running. But are they knowledgeable about the current marketplace? Are they familiar with the players, and their strengths and weaknesses? Do they know what capabilities are available? What about pricing models and current market rates?
Without this current marketplace knowledge, you could end up selecting the wrong solution, or pay too much. There can be change orders and cost overruns. The wrong solution can increase the chance that your project could fail. And you could face ongoing service issues.
That doesn’t sound great.
“Free” consulting from a vendor
We all know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. There are always strings, or limitations, attached to a “free” offer.
Some consultants claim to be independent or vendor agnostic, but they are really sales agents for various vendors. This means that your choices will be limited to the vendors that they represent.
They offer free “consulting”, but they receive a commission on the back end for any product or service you eventually choose. In the end, you could end up paying more for your solution, because the vendor will most certainly pass on the cost of these commissions directly to you.
These “consultants” typically take the business to the vendor who gives them the biggest commission, and not necessarily the one that is best suited to the customer’s specific requirements.
When making a recommendation to you, will it be what’s best for you, or what’s best for them? If you end up with the wrong solution, you are at risk of project failure, change orders and cost overruns, and ongoing service issues.
Hire an independent consulting firm
You can avoid these conflicts of interests by hiring a truly vendor agnostic consultant, who does not receive vendor compensation for their recommendations. Consultants with extensive experience in similar projects can help you avoid common pitfalls and assist you in negotiating optimal rates.
There are two challenges with this option:
- Paying for the services. While there is no guarantee, often an experienced consultant can save you more than the cost of their fees by ensuring that you get the right solution for your organization, and negotiating the pricing based on current market knowledge. And you can be sure that you won’t be paying more to the vendor to cover the cost of their commissions!
- Finding the right consultant.
There is a solution!
The Society of Communication Technology Consultants (SCTC) is an association of independent consultants who are vetted for independence and experience. Members must meet requirements for experience in the industry, provide references, and agree to uphold the ethical and professional standards of the SCTC.
The screening process is thorough. Not every applicant is admitted.
In an industry without certifications for expertise or credibility, you can be sure that SCTC members have met rigorous requirements.