A rather dramatic title for a blog on managing an IT consultancy, I admit. So, why use it?
As a career consultant and professional services manager since the late 80’s, I see a pattern of behavior that repeats itself time and time again: for all the benefit Microsoft technologies can provide a client, and all the strengths a skilled Microsoft partner can provide the same client, at the end of the day most clients and partners find themselves rather dissatisfied with the experience. And yet, I see very little changes in the behavior of most clients or partners to address this issue.
Sure, as an industry we talk (a lot) about client retention, satisfaction and being trusted business advisors so as to create better, stickier clients. And, as clients, we talk (a lot) about vendor management, software selection, RFP processes, etc to better engage and work with a Microsoft partners. And yet such talk culminates in the same behavior each time: a client hires a vendor to do a specific job, expectations are usually different on each side, scope is defined on such mis-set expectations and, when the contracted project is done, the client feels they didn’t get full value and the partners feels they did the job well but are not appreciated.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing each time and expecting a different result, than clearly this constantly repeated behavior indicates a death of reason in the approach to Microsoft Client/Partner relationships.
The purpose behind this blog, then, is two-fold: to provide advice to partners and clients on how to better manage themselves and their relationships, and to engage open discussion and commentary around same. Our contributing authors will come from Microsoft, the Microsoft ecosystem (Partners and ISV’s) and Microsoft clients spanning all industries and all departments (accounting, ops, IT, marketing, sales). The goal is the development of a broad viewpoint on how to improve our ability to manage, and engage, Microsoft consultancies.