Collective Value: A First Hand Perspective

By March 19, 2013Collaboration

SEI provides problem solvers82732_229th_supply_and_services_company_collective_valueThe SEI approach to assigning our consultants to client projects is unique.  Unlike many other consulting firms, we don’t align our service offerings by functions (e.g. Financial Management, Human Resources, Information Systems) or Vertical (e.g. Banking, Healthcare, Capital Markets, Retail).  We staff problem solvers that are specialists in delivery and project execution.  These consultants can add value to our client’s most critical initiatives, regardless of technology, function, or industry; and we do it without excessive ramp up durations or by staffing junior consultants that are ‘learning on the job’.

What this means for our consultants? Diversity of Engagements and Unique Challenges!

As an SEI consultant, you could transition from a supply chain engagement in retail to a clinical application implementation in Healthcare to an Oracle Financials project in Financial services in three subsequent engagements.  With this approach, SEI offers many opportunities to put consultants outside their comfort zone and into challenging and rewarding engagements.   This also allows our consultants to apply their significant experience and expertise in a variety of client settings and industries.

SEI relies heavily on our Collective Value Delivery model to leverage the knowledge and experience of our entire consulting base to reduce ramp up time, and to provide specific subject matter expertise on the technology, industry, and problem at hand.

The following is an example of how I was able to leverage the Collective Value model in one of my recent engagements.

Collective Value in Action: Apache Camel

Given the growing popularity of Camel among our clients and throughout the industry, I had been looking forward to the opportunity to learn the tool. That opportunity came to fruition when I recently started a client engagement working on a new enterprise application integration (EAI) project built on Apache Camel.

I enjoy the challenge of learning a new technology as much as the next developer, but it can sometimes be stressful, especially when we’re laser focused on upholding the SEI standard of over-delivery and consistency for our clients. This is where the collaborative nature of the SEI culture shines. I was able to enter the engagement with the confidence that as long as I leveraged my experience and skill set to add significant value to the client in the areas that I was very comfortable in, I could leverage the shared knowledge of my fellow consultants when it came to the specific technology (in this case, Apache Camel), whether those consultants where at the client or just an e-mail away via the Dudes forum. The best part of it is that this company-wide assist doesn’t come at an increased cost to the client through change requests or a costly partner fly-by.  When you hire one of us, you get the collective knowledge of the entire organization.

For this project, another SEI consultant, Dave Hoy, was already working on this project.  Dave is an excellent developer, and had helped the client to vet several technologies. SEI prides itself as a vendor-neutral company. This is advantageous to both the consultant and the client since it frees the consultant to choose the best tool for the client while building trust that there’s no ulterior motive behind SEI’s recommendations. Leveraging Dave’s credibility with the client, knowledge of Camel, and history in assessing several technologies to address the client’s business problem, I was able to ramp up in a fraction of the time it would have taken on my own.

My experience learning Camel exemplifies SEI’s mission to hire consultants that are willing to put themselves outside of their comfort zone and to never be afraid to learn something new. Particularly in the technology space, the industry is so fast-paced it’s impossible for anyone to keep up with so many tools. Through our Collective Value approach, we’re able to offer not only a depth of knowledge in these technologies, but also great breadth.

(Image credit: U.S. Army 229th Supply And Services Company Unit Crest)

Trey Howard

About Trey Howard