Many professionals not well-versed in hiring a computer consulting professional to handle their technology concerns run into the problem of hiring an independent computer consultant or consulting firm that is not right for their businesses. Bringing up the following issues provided by Computer Consulting 101 can help delve deeper into the process and find the perfect computer consulting firm for the job:
IS THE COMPANY A RESELLER, COMPUTER CONSULTING COMPANY OR HYBRID PROVIDER?
Find out if the computer consulting company resells technology products, including hardware and software. Is the company a profit center, or can clients shop for products elsewhere but still hire the firm for needs analysis and procurement?
Professionals should also ask if the computer consulting firm exclusively uses or is obligated to recommend specific vendors, ISPs or telephone companies, or if the firm takes referral fees for sending professionals to certain vendors.
WHAT IS THE POLICY FOR COSTS, HIDDEN CHARGES AND BILLING PROCEDURES?
Companies should ask the computer consulting representative about the firm’s payment terms, rates and hourly minimums for billing, along with what is considered billable and not. For example, does the firm charge extra for travel time, phone support, online support and remote support? Similarly, is there a policy for after-hours or emergency service, and are there support contracts?
REFERENCES AND TESTIMONIALS
Those looking to hire a fitting computer consulting company should ask for details about a long-term small business account, along with more information about recently signed-on clients and even an example account that didn’t work out well. The right computer consulting firm will be able to provide positive references.
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND SKILLS
How does the computer consulting firm keep up with new developments in technology? What are clients billed for, more specifically?
TRAININNG AND SHARING KNOWLEDGE
How does the computer consulting firm feel about detailed user training, and what kind of training and support is provided as part of the contract? Professionals should also make sure to ask if the firm is willing to train the internal computer administrator for the company to work more independently, even if that task takes away from billable hours and job security.
Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg