We often hear the age-old question: Why should we hire a third-party consulting firm instead of working with the software vendor directly?
Often, our clients are unaware of the potential advantages of working with a third-party, niche consulting firm—or that this option even exists. Moreover, we face a lot of misconceptions about receiving services from a partner rather than directly from the vendor.
Today, we’re diving into the details to help you make an informed decision on what’s best for your organization.
Third-Party Firm Lack the Vendor’s Expertise
Niche consulting firms survive on providing professional services, and they typically invest heavily in educational programs to keep personnel up to date on the latest product releases.
Also, consultants at these firms are the respected stars who are moving up in the organization—only the highest-skilled and most consultatively inclined find their way to and stay with such firms. This results in skillsets that are comparable (and sometimes better) than what the technology vendors can offer.
Software Vendors Prefer to Provide All Services
Because the margins of software and SaaS licenses are significantly higher than those of professional services, it’s in the best interest of technology vendors to limit services and strive to sell more licenses.
Often, these vendors prefer to partner with a network of consulting firms who can deliver high-quality third-party implementations and services.
It Voids the Warranty
It’s a common misconception that the warranty is voided with third-party technology services. The truth is that since most consulting firms partner directly with the original vendor, no warranties are voided.
In general, the individual and collective expertise of consultants at niche firms is not limited to a single-vendor technology, or even a single-client industry.
Instead, third-party consultants have know-how of ancillary technologies and industry-wide best practices, in addition to best practices for the specific solution in use. This often results in more creative and better-fitting solutions overall.
Working with a third-party consultancy can provide relief from single-supplier reliance and provide quicker engagement (especially in cases of a supplier backlog), cost competitiveness, and higher service levels.
Truer Customer Focus
Professional services personnel at product companies may be tempted to toe the company line, even when it’s questionable that their actions are in the customer’s best interest. For example, they might push the the use of a feature that is not ready for prime time, or shape client business rules or policies to fit the product, without exercising complete transparency.
In general, niche consulting firms aim to maximize their clients’ ROI from software investments. They will promote their partners’ products, but they also have more latitude to always act in the client’s best interest. Third-party consultants view the relationship as a long-term partnership without additional sales pressures and distractions.