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Why use a Consultancy for Database Consolidation work?

During a recent, short project for one of our clients, a household name in credit cards, the consultant assigned gave me some interesting pointers as to why he was there.

The client was a massive global enterprise, with a huge Oracle Database estate. They had twice as many Oracle Technical staff as we did!
So why did this massive global company need us? What value can we possibly add to such a large team – surely they have all the resources they need from anywhere within their globalised IT department…

The reason became clear soon after the project started.

A typical reason is because an organisation doesn’t have the capacity and skills due to them focusing on day to day operational work, to worry about designing a multi-node globally stretched RAC system.

But there was another important reason – our Consultant has done this work hundreds of times and does this work day in day out. He understood every nuance, discrete challenge, glitches and gotchas off by heart for this specific technology, configuration and project.

Now, there were at least 6 Oracle ‘experts’ within this credit card company who worked in a Solution Architecture capacity – and all were capable of delivering a low level design, scope and project plan for the project: In 50 days!!

The reason for using a dsp Consultant is that they knew he could do it in 7 days.
Our guy could remove the learning curve, research and even some documentation because he’s done it all before.
So when other prospective clients argue over day rates (e.g. “£1,100 a day? You gotta be kidding. I’ll do it myself”), other prospective clients ask “what value will this knowledge bring to the bigger picture?”. They will also, of course, ask “is this company trying to have me on; is their guy just another optimistic junior consultant trying to use my budget to train himself up on something he’s never done before?”

That’s where trust comes in. When looking for specialist consultancy for a specific task, often the generic reseller/System Integrator/service provider will deal with a much wider range of solutions. They’ll have an Oracle consultant who does a bit of everything. But using a specialist firm only when you need them, with the assurance their other clients do the same, one can tap into a valuable resource pool that is unavailable in an IT department, or even in a larger IT Solution Provider – no matter how big or global they are.

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