Consultancy evolves

Carter Ho reflects on the inflection point that consultancy has reached and how the services consultants provide to clients need to evolve in order to keep up with the realities of the technology landscape.

Carter Ho, lead consultant, integrated technologies, Principle One, has had an extensive career spanning across job functions such as system integration, manufacturing, and consultancy.

His experience gives him a unique perspective on the business of AV. He says: “After working across multiple verticals, I am currently at Principle One. Principle One was primarily focusing on FSI clients and was starting to see inquiries about consultancy which signalled the fact that customer needs around consultancy had changed.”

Ho delves further into the evolution of consultancy as he sees it: “Professional design capabilities remain the core of consultancy’s offering, but the technology landscape has changed. End users for one have become much more knowledgeable about technology and the systems they are looking to deploy. Pair this with the wealth of information available at everyone’s fingertips as technology becomes simpler to deploy and you will start to realise that design is not really a differentiator. End users want projects to be managed and for consultants to provide the synchronisation between their expectations and the end product.”

He continues: “What we found, actually through a direct conversation with one of our clients, was that consultancy and integration need to go hand in hand because design and deployment need to be in sync.”

According to Ho, consultancy needs to be the glue that hold projects together. He elaborates: “For any project there can be multiple stakeholders spread across the globe. The installation can be in China, the end user’s design team can be in the US, and the finance team can be in the UK. And this is not even considering the multiple teams on-site from the end user’s side that are involved in the project and the multiple contractors that are required to get the installation finished from IT, MEP, to ELV. We believe that the consultant’s job is to be the layer of communication between all these stakeholders and parties while speaking to them in a familiar language. It is the consultant’s job to manage these hierarchies and ensure that the work is being done.”

Ho believes that Principle One is taking steps to address the market demand when it comes to consultancy. He concludes: “Principle One is still a systems integration company, our major asset or value is the fact that we can deploy and commission technology solutions to achieve the outcomes that our clients want. But consultancy is a natural progression of our offering to the market. We’re not just blindly installing products. We are talking with our clients; we are providing managed services which results in us having the perspective of maintenance staff, user help desk tickets and project managers. Leveraging this wealth of information and our expertise, we believe we can serve our clients and the market better.”

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