IBM Cooks Up Online Consultant Shopping
August 11, 2014 Dan Burger
What do you get when you cross consulting services with e-commerce? You get IT assessments from IBM that are only a mouse click away. Order online. Delivery within 24 hours. Credit card payments accepted. It’s called IBM Global Business Services Online and it comes in five flavors: social media, mobile app migration, application development analysis, and value-enhancement examinations of either SAP or Oracle applications.
These are not designed to address large-scale engagements and complex issues. The goal is to assess the current situation and recommend a product and a plan for accomplishing an improved and IBM-approved outcome. And the targets are business line executives other than CIOs.
The idea of providing assessments of hardware, software, and business processes is not new. IBM and its business partners have offered such services for quite some time. Security assessments are one of the most prevalent examples. These assessments were designed to raise red flags for companies that face regulatory compliance audits. Most of these assessment tools are free downloads. Like IBM’s just announced Global Business Services Online, these assessment services are offered as a method of getting acquainted without a face-to-face meeting and sales pitch.
The distinction, according to Sarah Diamond, general manager and global consulting leader of IBM Global Business Services, is that “this is a new model of engagement that expands our consulting capabilities to provide broader access to our world-class consultants and their expertise. [It] anticipates the demand for fast and simple access to digital solutions that are focused and easy to implement for any size business. New clients can get started quickly with analytics assessments and a range of other offerings to drive growth or improve engagement with their customers.”
Perhaps a more noteworthy distinction is the target market, which works outside the IT department.
IBM’s announcement states that Global Business Services Online falls in line with the company’s growing social business strategy and digital portfolio. For now, the service is only available to organizations in the US and UK.
If there’s nothing on today’s menu that flips your flapjacks, come back soon. IBM is expanding its menu. More of this, we’re told, is in the kitchen and being prepared.
Pricing was not disclosed, but a report published in InformationWeek referenced a $10,000 price tag on the social meeting assessment.