Jim Brull

 

Not all software consulting companies are the same, and since business software changes usually develop into long-term engagements, it’s a smart idea to be prepared when you’re comparing all your options. With that in mind, here are a few things to stay alert about while you’re selecting a new software consulting company for your current and future business needs.

Note: If you’re specifically looking for a guide to help you compare Oracle consulting services, check out our previous blog on that topic.

1. They Should Have an Opinion

It’s a good thing for any software consulting company you choose to have an opinion. After all, they work with various types of software and client setups all day every day. It’s only natural that they should develop informed viewpoints. However, it’s not okay if a consultant you’re considering seems to be forcing you toward a specific solution.

Your company is your own and it relies on your unique business objectives, no one else’s. Only you can determine the right software for your organization, so you’ll want to ensure that the consultant you choose is knowledgeable, yet unbiased in their opinions.

To make an informed decision, you’ll need clear facts and detailed pros and cons – and you’ll want to make sure your consultant can explain even complex technological concepts to you in ways that you can confidently understand. If you’re dealing with a biased consulting company, you’ll have a hard time figuring out if they’re presenting you with the full picture. Not having all the facts could lead to a less-than-ideal decision on your part.

Pro Tip: It’s often easy to spot a biased software consulting company. All you have to do is listen carefully to what they say when they’re presenting your options. If the company you’re working with consistently ignores or glosses over potential software failings in a single product, or they have nothing but bad things to say about a different, yet well-known and well-regarded competing product… well, you may want to reconsider your options for consulting.

2. Internal Resources Matter

If there’s one thing we all know about computers, it’s that they’re frustrating. Pretty much every time anyone sits down to update, upgrade, or otherwise enhance or troubleshoot their computer, they can guarantee that the process will take far longer than expected.

How many times have you attempted to perform a “quick and simple” software installation and then found yourself still at your desk hours later scratching your head trying to figure out why the computer isn’t responding correctly?

Here’s a secret that may surprise you: an experienced software consulting company will have frustrating experiences too! The fact is, computer software has surprising quirks that even the most long-term IT pro has to resolve. The larger the project, the larger the quirks.

If you’re considering a global rollout for mission-critical ERP software, that’s guaranteed to be a complex, frustrating project. If the software consultant you choose doesn’t have the right internal resources to handle a wide variety of frustrating issues, they may have to call in outside consultants to help them problem-solve faster… and that outside consultant can drive up your costs and drag down your timelines.

Pro Tip: When you speak with prospective software consulting companies, ask them about their various departments, the industries they work with, and their areas of expertise so you can get an idea about their internal capabilities. As you listen to their responses, remember that it’s not necessarily the size of the company that matters but the diversity of their talents and the experience of their consultants. The more they can handle, the better off you are.

3. Cost Is Only One of Many Value Drivers

You already know that high costs don’t always equate to high quality, but when you’re hiring a software consultant with deep technological expertise that you don’t share, you may struggle to determine other indicators of excellence.

Though cost is an important concern in your selection process, you can also asses a prospective consultant based on:

  • Methodology

Make sure your chosen consultant can clearly explain how they will implement your new software, as well as why they do it that way. Think something should be done faster or slower? Want to focus on phased upgrades as opposed to a “big bang” upgrade in which everything across the company changes at once? Carefully weigh your needs with each consultant’s process – and definitely decide against consultants with deal-breaker methodologies like leaving out security and compliance procedures.

  • Timeline

Faster work comes at a higher cost, but if your company is working against a hard deadline, such as when your current software is reaching end of life or when your licenses are expiring, it’s important that you ensure your consultant has the resources and availability to meet your timeline with a little wiggle room to spare. If you’re waiting until the last hour to secure a consultant, it’s worth it to pay more to get the right one who can meet your needs and keep your company running smoothly.

  • Project Understanding

Sometimes a consultant just “gets” you, your company, and your project needs. In other words, the consultant is on your wavelength. Working with someone who truly understands what you’re trying to accomplish (and why) can ease the software consultation process immensely. You can trust that a consultant who fully understands you will also provide additional value for your company in the long term that other software consulting companies, no matter how talented, could ever hope to match.

While You’re Considering Options…

As you compile your list of potential software consulting companies, consider Centroid. For the past 20 years, we’ve focused on becoming the most knowledgeable expert in the Oracle ecosystem and we’re proud to say that Centroid consulting professionals have more experience with today’s cutting-edge solutions than anyone else in the industry.

Whether you’re looking to implement new solutions for AI, cloud, or data security, or if you simply want reliable global operations built on rock-solid, full-featured Oracle solutions, you can trust that you’ll get turnkey service from Centroid all the way from your first exploratory consultation through migration, managed services, and support.

But, of course, the most important thing to check first is whether our software consulting company can meet your specific needs.

 

If you’re considering Oracle solutions, we invite you to set up an introductory appointment with Centroid to see if we’re a good fit for your project.