What BearingPoint's Chapter 11 filing means to you and me

BearingPoint's chapter 11 filing isn't good news for anybody.
Written by Paul Murphy, Contributor

A long time ago I worked for KPMG Consulting - and because I still have friends with what's left of the firm, the bankruptcy filing by its successor wasn't a great surprise.

BearingPoint's problem was always that it was structured and controlled by people whose goal was to make money - not people whose goal was to do consulting. As a result I'll offer two cheerless predictions:

  1. that their current re-organization plan will trigger an exodus by both the better qualified and the better connected - leaving the MBAs and nickel and dime merchants to sell their own dubious services to the once burned, and twice shy, survivors among the customer base; and,
  2. that the survivors will claim expertise on government medical information processing and position themselves as the go to guys on the tens of billions now going into medical records nationalization in the U.S.

So what's it mean to you and me? if you work for one of the surviving big consultancies it's one less competitor; if you work for an affected client, your chances of having your voice heard over the salesman's pitch from above just got a bit better; and, of course, there's exactly no practical chance that the medical records thing will ever produce anything that works, so all the people involved are really just going on the dole.

What it doesn't mean is the saddest thing of all: if you think this might be an opportunity to bring some serious talent back into line management, you'll find the pickings slim indeed - because their management's supposed bottom line focus fostered promotion on sales, not service.

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