In IT business consulting is often considered as dirty word.
May be because in practice there are two major kinds of consulting - "formal" consulting, when some entity have to use consulting services to meet some formal requirements, and "parachute" consulting, when the role of consulting services are either to formally confirm that something is "right" or to state that something is "best" in some particular situation or, in relative rare cases, to qualify something as not good enough for some particular job and hence to skip it from the selection process, silently giving advantage to other products or solutions. In both of these forms the decisions are already made and the consultant role is to take the responsibility for pointing to (or avoiding of) particular product or solution and hence to keep management clear from responsibility for their decisions.
However there is another kind of consulting services - and we believe that they are really useful - when the consultant is just giving an additional opinion for specific problem or situation. It is clear that there is no such thing as best decision or solution in almost all cases - however often there is most effective and reasonable approach in many of them.
In all cases the companies and individuals differ by their behavior when some problems have to be solved. Some of them are looking for ready-made solution and tend to follow formal way of resolving the situation, some are awaiting the problem to go away or to be somehow solved by itself, some are absolutely sure that they already know the perfect solution and may only need formal external confirmation that they are right.
We cannot and will not help in any of the above situations. Our consulting services only exist to help decision makers, who want to make professional and informed decisions by careful comparison of pros and cons for each particular solution or approach. In such cases we can provide our professional opinion. We are not experienced enough to state (and we will avoid to try to suggest) what our customers should do, we are only experienced enough to help our customer to be informed and prepared for the consequences of their own decisions to the possible extent by providing fair, clear and straight comparison of the possible approaches.
In the IT business usually there are many different ways something to be achieved and often many of them are working - to some extent at least. On the other hand there are very few cases when specific approach to specific problem does not matter. In majority of situations the difference between solutions is in simplicity, clearness and manageability, which directly reflects to the desired or possible expenses and, indirectly, to profit margin.
Unless someone is having absolutely brightest and best protected idea or has to solve absolutely trivial problem, it is expected that behavior of achieving the goals have to be at least comparable with the effectiveness of the competitors. In all these cases we believe that a little bit more information and few different opinions are in every case very helpful for our customers and their projects.
If you are looking for fair and professional opinion, without any external influence, we may be the right partner for you. And even if we think that we are not - we will be absolutely correct and will let you know why we believe that our opinion cannot be in any help for you - we will never afford to lose our customers time and money for nothing.
Usually our customers are looking for our opinion in some specific situations. Most often, of course, is when someone is having strong feeling that something is wrong with their project, but does not have enough facts to correctly figure out why is this. Unfortunately there are hundreds of thousands of failed projects just because even at the last stage customers tend to believe that the things are almost done and there are just few small fixes, which will make the product successful after few days - which, of course, never happen actually. In all cases the general rule is that if your product or solution is not ready and stable enough within six months, then it will most probably never be, if you continue to proceed without significant changes of the approach - please note the wording - we are not saying that it should be completed, it just need to be stable and ready enough for about such period.
In almost all cases we are contacted for our opinion so late, that there is no adequate approach to keep the project in timeline and even to save the project at all or at least to keep some parts of it. So if you are uneasy or confused you should take an external, third party, opinion as soon as practicable. If there are no serious problems and your discomfort is just result of too much perfectionism or stress from pressure - you will still not lose almost anything. However if there are deep and major design or implementation problems, you will risk to lose almost all of your efforts and even significant part of your investment.
Fortunately some customers are looking for our opinion before starting particular project. This is the perfect case for both parties, as the customer will be protected by the professional backup of the consultant and will be prepared for possible catches and traps. We believe that this have to be done always - for a very small and usually not significant fraction of your investment you can rely on professional opinion from correct, discreet and loyal partner.
Last, but not least, sometimes we are contacted for consultations related to very rare, new or not very popular technologies. Although, by definition, nobody can be experienced enough in such fields, usually we are accepting such challenges with pleasure and proud. In all cases we tend to be not about trivial, but dedicated to development of technology and knowledge. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any project or activity, regardless how many of our colleagues were not interested and refused to be involved. We like to work hard so that our customers to try to achieve hardest and even impossible.