Whitaker-Taylor Insights

On-site Consultancy vs Remote: Choose Which One Is Right for Your Business Needs

Apr 18, 2016 4:45:51 PM / by Felicia Jones


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Seasoned SAP and SuccessFactors professionals always seem to be in high demand. When looking to augment staff or projects with a consultant, companies sometimes have trouble choosing between remote and on-site consultants. The use of remote consultants grows rapidly as companies grapple with the cost of securing quality SAP and SuccessFactors implementation, training, and assistance. Honestly, I’m surprised when I hear how many companies continue to employ consultants on-site week in and week out, given that hourly billing rates of these professionals are steadily increasing, not to mention that most companies pay travel expenses as well to bring consultants on-site.

So why do so many companies stick with the on-site consultant model? Well, as with most questions in business and in life, the answer is somewhat complicated. While remote consultancy is not new, businesses don’t always have the tools or structure in place to capitalize on it successfully.  

A company must evaluate its business needs, technical limitations, budget, communication preferences, and company culture. Weighing the importance of each of these factors against the pros and cons of remote versus on-site consultancy can help a company see clearly which choice for an implementation partner is the best one. Take a look at the pros and cons of each model in the chart below. 

REMOTE CONSULTANCY

ON-SITE CONSULTANCY

Pay only for the service hours provided

Invoiced 40+ hours each week regardless of hours worked

Pool of SAP/SuccessFactors consultants available with all areas of SAP/SuccessFactors HR expertise when needed

May need to hire multiple consultants to cover required areas of expertise, increasing costs. Better option if one professional can provide the needed expertise

Goes on-site on an as-needed basis

On-site each week from Blue Print through Hypercare

Reduces travel expenses; can use these savings in other areas of the project; no office/work space required

Budget must account for ongoing regularly scheduled travel expenses and must provide work space and equipment.

Uses email, phone, Skype, instant messaging, and other web-based applications to communicate

Available for face-to-face discussions and side-by-side training

May be available at varying hours of the day; can multi-task during delays caused by the client

Available mostly during client’s business hours; inefficient use of time if client availability or technical problems cause delays.   Non-business hour support equates to additional costs.

Remote-access training can allow greater flexibility with schedules of multiple employees

Less schedule flexibility, but face-to-face interaction during training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to each model. Sometimes a mix of on-site and remote consultancy is the best option for a client. However, if your company cutlture and technical capabilities allow for a remote consultant, you can realize significant cost savings and the benefits of expanded flexibility and expertise.


 

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Topics: Extended Team Services

Felicia Jones
Written by: Felicia Jones

As Whitaker-Taylor’s Customer Engagement Director, Felicia Jones brings more than 20 years Human Resources management experience, 15 years of those years in the SAP environment. Felicia has a strong background in Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, HR Transformation, HRO strategy, Global Payroll, Benefits, Compensation and Talent Management.