As a systems integrator and consultancy, we at Smart421 frequently have to justify to potential clients why they should use us, and explain what value we provide to their organisation.
Thinking on this point, which is primarily an issue for sales and marketing types, you will also realise that this applies at a personal level too – as an individual, during regular personnel reviews, or if you are job hunting, people need to explain the value that you bring to a company. I’m not gong to discuss the approaches that bring best results in these particular aspects (hey, we are all in competition at some level or other, but if you want to make a pitch to join Smart421 you can certainly check on our job openings and apply – a good pitch from you can get you into the team).
Back to the consultancy aspect, a prospective client has to feel comfortable that we will provide a level of service that they will be happy with, and that helps them in achieving something that they may not otherwise be able to do at that time. So what are clients buying? Two things, I would say. First is the approach that we bring in working to resolve their problems. Second is the experience and expertise that we hold as a company.
Smart421 has expertise over the whole area of the software lifecycle, right from strategy, enteprise architecture and analysis through to application design, development, delivery and support. We also handle migration and retirement of systems at the end of their useful life too. Within that whole range, we have knowledge of numerous software products and platforms, alternative project management approaches, quality controlled processes for delivery and service management as well as our own controls for staff and finances as required for any company.
If a single person held all of these skills, how valuable do you think they would be to your company?
An application from someone that could list and validate all of this knowledge on their C.V. would seem almost unbelievable. But that is what you get if you use our services – access to all of that knowledge and expertise, provided on either an individual or team basis.
Any commercial agreement will of course define the terms of each particular engagement, so you don’t get endless access to all of this just through using an individual consultant. That consultant does however have this backup to refer to, increasing their value substantially to the end client. For a team of consultants, that provides more of the same, through greater points of contact and an enhanced collective viewpoint. If you could create a small internal team with this large amount and range of knowledge, imagine the potential benefits to your business.
When project work is handled by Smart421, this same set of skills and knowledge will be used to assure reliable delivery, using best practice and with our commitment to providing the best solution to meet client needs.
Enough of the sales pitch. I just thought it worthwhile to put forward some viewpoints about the value of using at Smart421, especially from the point of view of being part of the team that has to deliver on our promises.
So next time you are considering the use of third-party resources and question the value over that of internal resources, or plain hired-in contractors, this should provide some food for thought about what you are actually buying from such a consultancy.