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How to pick a consultant to work with?

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Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia
Accepted Solution

How to pick a consultant to work with?

First, as many of you may know, I’m not an ACC (I was one) and I don’t sell (product or services) direct to end-users. Our main role is supporting ACT! Consultants, Resellers and add-on vendors around the world.

That being said, I always recommend getting an ACC involved in the implementation of ACT! as a good idea for anyone who wants to maximise their Return on Investment.

It’s not just a question of figuring out how to use it… most people can figure out the basics of ACT! very quickly. It’s a question of customising the power of the product to make the best use of functions that you might not look for (and therefore not find) or utilising add-ons to add functions that are not in the core product.

Investing in a suitably skilled ACC will save you money if you factor in the costs of your own staff that many people forget. To assume you can always do it cheaper yourself is to devalue your own work.

It’s also useful to note that not all ACCs have the same skills and you need to pick one that can do what you need – just like picking a hair-dresser or a builder. Some ACCs have more technical skills, some have better business skills. Some have a more available support staff SLA and some are better trainers.

So, other than cost (which I'd argue should not be a deciding factor), what questions do you think a user needs to ask a prospective consultant to select the right one for their project?

If you're a consultant, what questions from a client makes you feel that this is a client who knows what they want and that will work with you in providing the best solution and most pain-free roll-out possible?

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Accepted by topic author GLComputing
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: How to pick a consultant to work with?

[ Edited ]

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Solution
Accepted by topic author GLComputing
‎09-25-2015 03:20 AM
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: How to pick a consultant to work with?

[ Edited ]
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 128
Country: USA

Re: How to pick a consultant to work with?

your link is down

is there a web board that rates consultants, i have some very bad outsourcing experience especially

to third world countries with limited or no laws to protect one self.

since this forum is act7 bias is there another source for info.

 

server stats: Ms Svr Std 2k8, Ms SQL Svr 2k8 R2 build 10.50.4302, ACT! Premium (Web) 2014 v16.0.291.0_HotFix5, 16GIG Memory
http://www.act.com/support/getting-started-documentation
http://www.act.com/support/downloads/act-premium-v16
http://kb.swiftpage.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/36097kwAdministrator%27s%20Guide
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 128
Country: USA

Re: How to pick a consultant to work with?

in addition it is my understanding ACC are certified by levels if true what are the

different degree of levels or certification

 

thanks

server stats: Ms Svr Std 2k8, Ms SQL Svr 2k8 R2 build 10.50.4302, ACT! Premium (Web) 2014 v16.0.291.0_HotFix5, 16GIG Memory
http://www.act.com/support/getting-started-documentation
http://www.act.com/support/downloads/act-premium-v16
http://kb.swiftpage.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/36097kwAdministrator%27s%20Guide
Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,545
Country: New_Zealand

Re: How to pick a consultant to work with?

[ Edited ]

A neutral, definitive and current rating of consultants skills and capacities doesn't exist.

I don't think it is possible within the structure as it exists. The vendor, Sage as it was, are motivated primarily by sales volumes and hence the ratings attributed as Platinum, Gold and Bronze in NA are sales focused rather than influenced by experience, relevant skills or capacity. Very loosely, probably Platinum rated organizations have the capacity and skills to handle most things. 

 

If you look at the cautionary statement on the lists of CCs as published by Sage, this tells the story:

"Sage does not warrant or guarantee the quality of the advice or other work provided or performed by any of the service providers in this list. Platinum, Gold and Bronze designations are made based on the Certified Consultant's total sales for Sage ACT!, Sage Peachtree, Sage Timeslips and/or Sage Daceasy products and are not a reflection of a Certified Consultants technical expertise.".

 

Customers just need to ask for references and ask the right questions. My rule of thumb is that if a consultant emphasizes products over process, i.e., they lead with a promotion on product and/or services rather than addressing the business requirements with intelligent questions about the business need, then be wary.

 

 

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
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Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,679
Country: Australia

Re: How to pick a consultant to work with?


gleo wrote:

... if a consultant emphasizes products over process, i.e., they lead with a promotion on product and/or services rather than addressing the business requirements with intelligent questions about the business need, then be wary.


Amen.

 

Those that compete on price do so because they can't (or choose not to) compete on quality of work.

 

Price may win the short-term, but it does not win in the long term.

 

Ben.