Why Boutique Implementation Firms Make More Sense in a Time of Pandemic

Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, companies are finding that in many cases, boutique consulting firms are better suited to deliver large enterprise implementation projects than global SIs. With budget challenges and the need to deliver projects virtually, boutique firms offer clients several advantages including:


  • Specialization – The global SIs are a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to expertise around specific applications; they specialize in transformation projects that require a lot of business process re-engineering. Boutique firms like Pierce Washington, on the other hand, have deep application and business process expertise, that is more focused on the specific business process that a particular application addresses (e.g. quote-to-cash business process for CPQ applications). 80% of our implementation projects do not require full business transformation. In most cases, our client has a clear understanding of their business and a defined business process that requires some changes to best align the business process with the supporting application. In these cases, a boutique firm’s depth of application expertise is a lower risk proposition.


  • Experience and Expertise – Experience is extremely important when considering an implementation partner. Pierce Washington’s engagement managers are actively involved in every project and have been delivering enterprise implementations for 20+ years. Our project teams are run by architects who have led large enterprise projects and work closely with development teams to ensure they are supported, and coding based on a set of best practices that we’ve developed over years of application specific experience. Our project teams are typically more experienced than the global SI teams, especially as it relates to implementations of packaged applications.


  • Implementation Accelerators – Many boutique firms have developed implementation packages to accelerate the time-to-value for companies who need a faster ROI on capital projects and cannot afford a 12-month implementation. Pierce Washington has developed a six-week B2B eCommerce accelerator; this concept flies in the face of the global SI consulting model.


  • Pricing – Boutique firms deliver at lower cost and lower rates, often times with more experienced resources and a more flexible approach. These firms take advantage of their flexible business model and offerings, and tailor each engagement to a specific client. When capital projects are highly scrutinized, a quick return on investment is crucial to getting a strategic initiative approved. The faster delivery time and lower rates of boutique firms enable our clients to stretch their capital dollars and achieve more of their strategic business objectives.


  • Methodology – For years, the majority of Pierce Washington’s project delivery has been virtual, so COVID-19 has not changed the manner in which we deliver our projects. A virtual delivery model is the exact opposite of the global SI delivery model, so they are experiencing a dramatic change from how they’ve historically delivered projects. Global SIs are trying to learn the agile methodology, while boutique firms have been practicing and perfecting this approach for years.


To learn more about why a boutique firm is the best fit for your implementation in these unique times, reach out to Pierce Washington.


Rob Watters

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