HP: IT consultancy 'not only for big guns'

IT consulting services need not always be million-dollar projects and can be suitable for small companies, too, says exec from tech vendor's consultancy arm.

SINGAPORE--IT consulting services are not always expensive and can cost as little as tens of thousands of dollars, so small companies can also benefit from such services to discover "the whole picture" of an IT project, say executives from Hewlett-Packard's IT consultancy arm.

In a briefing here Friday, Mohan Krishnan, Asia-Pacific and Japan vice president and managing partner for technology consulting at HP's technology services group, said: "Consulting is definitely not only for the big guns, small companies also engage with us.

"Consulting can be a US$50,000 engagement [and] it doesn't have to be a US$5 million engagement. It is a question of what they want to do." For instance, Krishnan's team helped a startup establish its business plan which the young company then used to secure financing. That client later grew to become a multi-million dollar business, he said.

That said, he noted that "complex engagements" such as ageing infrastructure or inefficient systems were areas where HP's technology services could provide "quick wins and quick savings" for large companies.

He said the company's announcement last week to spin off its PC unit might "possibly" have an effect on its consultancy arm, but whether or not it eventually would remains to be seen. Regardless, he stressed that HP's technology services projects involves third-party products.

The consultancy provides the "best of breed" offerings to its customers, which may mean multi-vendor products will be used in the project instead of a pure HP environment, Krishnan said.

HP last week also announced plans to acquire content management software maker, Autonomy.

Asked about the impact of the acquisition on his team, Krishnan said plans of the integration into HP's enterprise business group has not been laid out yet. He added, however, that the company regularly makes acquisitions and "integrates these acquisitions very well".

Going through the processes
According to Adrian Crowther, business consultant of solutions infrastructure practice for HP's technology services, HP clients looking for "IT transformation" typically go through a three-level process which includes transformation experience and business benefit workshops, and strategic architecture and roadmap implementations.

The transformation experience workshop provides an organization a quick way to understand the value proposition of a particular technology as well as a three-month roadmap of what needs to be done, Crowther said. If the client decides to proceed with the implementation, the business benefit workshop looks at the "people-side" of the business where the technology's value proposition is explained to users and feedback collected from the users.

After understanding the needs of the users, HP then helps the client review the information and establish a technology roadmap, he said, adding that the entire process can take less a month to complete.