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Guruprasad R

rgp1981@gmail.com
+91-8971050233

Agenda
1

What is Consulting?

Types of Consulting

IT consulting

Discussion Questions

1.

Why does anyone need a consultant?

2.

How potential clients analyze consultants for hire?

3.

What makes an outstanding consultant?

Consultant
A consultant is simply anyone who gives advice or
performs other services of a professional or
semiprofessional nature in return for compensation.

Areas of Business Consulting

IT Consultant
IT consulting is a field that focuses on advising
businesses

on

how

best

to

use

information

technology to meet their business objectives.

General Types of IT Consulting


BPR

ERP

IT
Consulting

Security
Consultant

Audit

Convergence of IT and Management Consulting

Why Does Anyone Need a Consultant Anyway?


Need for
Personnel

IT

How Potential Clients Analyze Consultants for Hire


1.

Can you add something to companys total output?

2.

Will your expertise bring company any closer to its


goals?

3.

Can you make company work more effectively?

4.

Will you save company time and money?

5.

Within budget, can you do a comprehensive and


effective job?

What Makes an Outstanding Consultant?


1. Acceptability
Ability to get along with client
Not so much what you say but how you say

2. Ability to diagnose problems


One of most significant criteria

3. Ability to find solutions


After diagnosis, suggest right course of action

What Makes an Outstanding Consultant?


4. Technical expertise and knowledge
Technical expertise in a field is important
Expertise comes from education, experience,
personal skills

5. Communication skills
Superior communication (written/oral)

What Makes an Outstanding Consultant?


6.

Marketing and selling abilities


A good marketer and a good salesperson
Sell an intangible product

7.

Management skills
Ability to manage a business
Ability to run projects

Career progression-IT Consultant


Lead/Principle Consultant

Consultant/Senior Consultant

Entry Level Consultant

More focused on Domain Consulting


Sales
Little focus on ERP implementation

ERP Implementation
Pre-sales
Domain

ERP implementation
Assist in Pre-sales

Expert
in
2
Domains/Industries

or

more

Expert in more than 2 tools but


does
not
participate
in
Implementation

Expert in 1 or 2 Tools/
Packages(ORACLE/SAP etc)
Good knowledge in 1 or 2
domains
Learn on the jobTools/ Packages(ORACLE/SAP
etc)
Focus on One Domain/Industry

Critical skills for a consultant


Interpersonal
Consulting
Technical

Listening

Powerful
questioning

Intuition

Interpersonal
skills

Acknowle
dgement

Empathy

Articulating
whats going
on

Listening
Story-The Zen Master and the Professor
Inferences
In order to listen you must first give the other person a chance to speak
To be a good listener, you must set aside your personal beliefs and biases
Listening is more about paying attention to other persons thought than your
own
Listening is all about relinquishing your personal views and hearing with a open
mind(Not a blank mind)

Active Listening
Active Listening is a structured form of listening and responding, and
the associated behaviours that focus attention on the speaker.
An active listener not only pays attention to the substance of the
conversation but also the speakers intent and underlying feelings.

Presentation Skills-Presenting Ideas/Responding


to situations.

Questioning
1

Questioning Skills

Open Ended and Close Ended Questions

Questioning
The answer you get lies in the question you ask!
From the preceding anecdote, what inferences can you draw? Read the
statements below and state whether you agree or disagree with these inferences.
o
o
o
o

To question effectively, we must be cautious and never trust a stranger's (or


strange) answers.
To question effectively, we must question comprehensively, i.e. get the
entire background information before taking any action.
To question effectively, we must question intelligently and leave no room
for ambiguity or innuendo.
To question effectively, we must already know the answer. Otherwise, we
may look foolish or be proved wrong.

Questioning
Open-Ended Questions - Such questions do not restrict responses to
specifics.
Close-Ended Questions - Such questions restrict responses to specifics.

Check your understanding


What are the characteristics of a good question? Select all the options that
apply.
o

A good question is never ambiguous about the issue of aspect being questioned.

A good question is always based on some assumptions about the person being
questioned.

A good question always elicits a yes' no response.

A good question is framed such that the person being questioned is clear about
the information required.

Questioning
Smithson, a consultant, wants to know the exact number of resources
required by his client. Here are a few questions Smithson plans to ask his
client. Identify the problem with each question.
o
o
o

Did you know we are the largest IT Consulting services firm in this city?
Do you wish to employ resources with some experience?
How many resources do you employ?
Communication Blocker

Irrelevant Question

Ambiguous Question

Questioning
Smithson is in a discussion to find out the exact resource requirements of
his client. The client doesn't seem too sure of the exact numbers and has not
been able to give Smithson a definite response. which question could
Smithson use to get the desired reply?
o

Come on, Donald. Do tell me your exact requirements.

Would you then say that you require 40 Technical engineers? Or is the
figure different?

Let us begin over again. Can you tell me the exact strength of the company?

Open Ended and Close ended questions


Gain Agreement

Gather Background
Information

Present available and


relevant alternatives

Elicit Specific Needs


and Problems

Open Ended and Close ended questions

Open Ended and Close ended questions

The types of open-ended and close-ended questions:


Broad Scoped Open-Ended (BSOE) questions
Narrow Scoped Open-Ended (NSOE) questions
Alternative Choice Close-Ended (ACCE) questions
Single Outcome close-Ended (SOCE) questions

Broad scoped open ended questions


Sales Scenario: Brandon, a representative
Brandon needs to get a feel of the business
and his first objective is to elicit background
information. what question should he pose to
Ms Tan?
o
o

Are you looking for faster connectivity or safety of


data transfer over your Intranet?
Please tell me about the companys strength and the
kind of Internet connections in use across all the
locations.
Do you think our product will suit your need?

Broad scoped open ended questions

Non-Intrusive, helps elicit background information, do not


focus on specifics.
Starting a conversation.

Narrow scoped open ended questions (PROBING)


Having obtained background information from Ms Tan, Brandons next objective
is to narrow down to specific problem being faced. What question should he use
for this purpose?
o

Tell me more about the state of Internet connections used by the company.

Are you looking for faster connectivity or safety of data transfer over the
Intranet?

what is the reason that there are no Internet connections for half the staff?

Do you think our product will meet your need?

Narrow scoped open ended questions

Extract specific detailed information


Narrow down the discussion on specific problem area
Steering a conversation.

Narrow scoped open ended questions

Alternative choice close ended Qns


Brandons objective is to get Ms Tan to choose a solution from available options.
Which question will elicit such a response?
o

Would the Firewall Combo pack suit you more, or are you inclined towards
Speedy Netster? I can give you more details of both.

What about the problems the HR is facing regarding tracking leave


applications? We offer HR software solutions as well.

Is it a deal then? shall we close on it?

Alternative choice close ended Qns

Enable the client to choose from option.


Pre-decided

Single outcome close ended Qns

The last stage where negotiations are concluded.


Get the other person to agree or disagree with you.

Summary-Basics of asking Questions


1.

Asking questions establishes a two-way communication channel


between people.

2.

To keep the communication channel open and arrive at the desired


answer, it is necessary to ask the right question.

3.

To ask a correct question, you must keep the situation, the context
and the intent in mind.

4.

Incorrect questioning may result in blocked, missed or distorted


communication.

Summary-Basics of asking Questions


1.
2.
3.

Questions are of two basic types - open-ended and close-ended. Openended questions help gather information.
Close-ended questions are used to restrict the choice between
alternatives and to get a yes or 'no answer.
BSOE, NSOE, ACCE and SOCE.

Summary-Effective strategies for probing


1.
2.
3.
4.

5.

Prepare: Gather background information about the people you are to meet and
their probable requirements and concerns.
Frame objectives: Decide on objectives that you want to fulfill through the
probing exercise.
Adopt a Dynamic Approach: Analyze and use the information provided to you to
construct more meaningful questions, keeping in view your objectives.
Extract all Relevant Information: Use BSOE questions to encourage people to
speak at length. By doing this, you get vital information and enough time to use
that information to construct meaningful follow-up questions.
Extract Specific Responses: Use NSOE and ACCE questions to steer the
conversation towards a desired response. Once an issue gets clearly defined,
close it using a suitable SOCE question.

ERP Packages
ERP softwares

Well integrated spanning across almost all business functions

Built on Industry Standard best practices.


Referred to as Vanilla solution or COTS (Commercially off the shelf)
Catering to multiple industries, Multiple geographies.
Caters to specific industries
ORACLE Vs. SAP Vs. Microsoft Dynamics

ERP Consultant
Configure the system to suit the customers business process
Expert in a specific module, product and domain
Understand the industry nuances for a specific industry
Know the standard business processes
Interact with business users or process owners and advise them on changing
the organizations business process to standard or configure the system to suit
the business process of the organization.

Role of an ERP implementation Consultant


AS-IS process documentation
Mapping and GAP analysis
TO-BE process documentation
Configure the system, Act as a bridge between the customers and the application
development team for customization.
Prepare test scripts for testing the configured scenarios.
End user manual creation and user training

The Big Customer Concern


We dont want to change our business processes-Customer
BPR Vs. Customization?

Customization could be
very expensive

Scenario

ERP Vendors & SI


A Customer would need to :
1.

Select an ERP software from product Vendor.

2.

Ask their preferred system integrators (SIs) to redesign their


architectures to reflect proposed changes in their business processes.

The integrators will advise customers on issues relating to architectures, security,


governance, performance, network requirements, BPR and change management.

Cost= License Cost + Implementation cost


Implementation cost > 3 to 4 times License cost

Types-IT/Consulting firms

Offer ERP packages


and Database
applications.
Customizes an
application package
to a particular clients
needs, and then
charges back for it
through an up-front
installation charge
and a monthly fee.

Misc.

Oracle, SAP,
MECOMS,
Microsoft, Subex.
Basically product
companies.

Focus

Examples

Application Service Providers (ASPs)


Also focusing on
developing their ERP
solutions using cloud
technologies.(Iaas
and SaaS).
Building Mobile Apps
to complement their
ERP software's

Types-IT/Consulting firms

Large system
implementation and
integration projects.
Tend to conduct
higher-priced
projects, where they
could leverage their
scale. Individual
firms usually
specialize in either
technology or
strategy

Misc.

Accenture, Price
Waterhouse Coopers
(now a part of IBM),
Cambridge
Technology Partners
(now a part of
Novell), IBM.
Infosys, HCL, TCS
amongst Indian
firms

Focus

Examples

Systems Integrators
Reinvent themselves
by spinning off
separate business
consulting divisions,
acquiring smaller
firms that had
business consulting
experience, and
using aggressive
hiring programs to
build capabilities.

Types-IT/Consulting firms

View web strategy as


an extension of their
traditional business
strategy roles. They
used their powerful
brands and high-level
client relationships to
move into the ebusiness space, but
rarely go beyond
strategy into actual
application
development.

Misc.

McKinsey, Boston
Consulting
Group(BCG)

Focus

Examples

Management consultants
These companies
continue to lead
with strategy and
organization
consulting. IT
consulting remains
secondary to
strategy.

Types-IT/Consulting firms
Web design, Analytics, BI and Mobility solution firms

Focus

Smaller undifferentiated firms that emphasize technical


delivery with little focus on business strategy. An
estimated 4,500 firms in this category launched
specifically for the delivery of web-enabled applications,
mobile applications, IOT, niche cloud technology and
services, Big Data, Analytics, HADOOP etc.

Dealing with Customers


Mindset, Understanding and orientation towards IT
-Indian clients Vs clients abroad

Price conscious Vs Quality Conscious customers

Pre-Sales

Product
Knowledge

Prospecting

Approach

Needs
Assessment

Customer
Presentation

Discovery
Preparation
Proposal Creation
Demonstration
Product Management assistance

Sales Close

Follow-up

The FUTURE of IT Consulting

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is the idea that items not commonly thought of as
computers will be able to record and transmit data in an "Internet Like"
fashion.

Items may not use the standard TCP/IP stack to communicate. They may use
RFID, NFC, Bluetooth or some other wireless communication technology.

Items will record data using Input devices such as Accelerometers,


Thermometers, GPS units or other ways besides Keyboards and Mice.

Power for devices can come from long lasting batteries that can last for a year
or more, or from sources such as a persons body motion.

What is Internet of Everything then?


For your Reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_Things
http://readwrite.com/tag/internet-of-things
http://www.zdnet.com/topic-tapping-m2m-the-internet-of-things

Edge computing
Pushing the intelligence to the EDGE of the network and
send only relevant data
Converged world has devices with computing power
Price of devices and Bandwidth getting cheaper is the
driver for this thought

Why Edge computing?

Problems

Reduces load on network

-Bad configurations

Reduces load on servers

-Hacking

Offers new functionality

-License costs

Migrating to Edge Computing


Centralized Management
Interoperability of equipment
APIs/Extendibility
Support and updates

Virtualization and Cloud computing

Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a philosophy that separates the
Application from the OS, from the Hardware running it.
S/W

Server OS

Hardware

Virtual Computers

But Remember Virtual Computing is not the same as Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing-Web Applications


Web applications are a part of cloud computing.
Written

using

standard

languages.
Java script, Html, PHP etc.

WWW

programming

Cloud Computing-Clustering
Normally used in Database applications
Eg: MySQL, Oracle Database
Clusters can have computers with different
hardware, OS
Clusters will have data replication
Performs
management

load

balancing

and

failure

Cloud Computing-Application servers


What if I didnt want all what the terminal services (OS environment) provides?
All my employees have good laptops with lot of processing power.
What if I just want Adobe Photoshop to be accessible to all my employees and I
dont want to install it on all the machines?

Remember these are not Web applications; these are real applications!

Cloud Computing-Public Vs Private cloud


Power of Cloud- but you want to have it in your server room-Go for Private
Cloud.
Public cloud is when your hardware or software is sitting on the internet on
somebody's server.

Cloud Computing-SaaS
Software as a service-Provided as Web Applications or Application Servers
Why go with Saas?
Spend less upfront
Maintenance Costs
Concerns:
Dependent on the Vendor
Internet Bandwidth
Service Contracts-What you pay is what you get
Can you export your data if you dont want to use the software, scalability

Cloud Computing-Iaas
Infrastructure as a service-Move the Equipment into the cloud; Telephone
systems, Servers, Firewall etc.
Cost of bandwidth is one of the big reasons why most of this is going to cloud
Pay as you use or fixed price for a specified configuration.
Eg: For a Configuration Linux Server OS, 1000GB Space, 12 GB of RAM and
50GB of data transfer-Pay 100 Dollars
Reduces Maintenance cost.

Cloud Computing-Paas
Platform as a service-For the programmers
Platform to just dump your code without worrying about anything else.
Google Ap Engine, Amazon Services, GoDaddy etc.
Dependent on the Vendor. Migrating may not be easy
Dedicated servers Vs PaaS- I/O performance & Cost

THANK YOU!