Letters to the editor
Following are responses to an FCW.com poll question that asked,
"Does a consulting firm lose its objectivity if it's owned by a product
There may be an unintentional but psychological pressure to promote
the parent company's solutions. It may not be that way, of course, but it
may be the perception of potential clients.
Some clients may not care, providing that the best value is provided.
Some very open management may allow potential clients to inspect recommendations
to permit them to assess those recommendations. Such openness may not give
away business secrets but may demonstrate the fairness of decisions.
And then there are the results. Will PwC Consulting feed IBM Corp. insider
information to allow IBM to bid unfairly? ("IBM spurs concern with bid for PwC.") Who is worried? Is this a rerun of
the joint consultant-auditor firm?
It obviously would have an effect. Although the consulting firm may
recommend any product, there will exist a more robust pre-sale support from
their owner/manufacturer. But, I have worked with companies who are interested
in the sale of support and are not interested in the product itself. The
profit margins are slim and competition is tough for products, but the sale
of support does not carry large overhead costs.
City of Nogales, Ariz.
It is certainly possible for a consulting firm to remain objective when
owned by a product manufacturer. But, they will always live under a cloud
of suspicion, even when they act with the utmost integrity.
Name withheld by request