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 manufacturer?"

Any firm performing information technology consultant services, whether owned by a product manufacturer or not, is obligated to provide the best service to a customer it is capable of.

Further, most people performing consultant services know the "best" products for a given customer infrastructure and will do what is "right" for that customer, even if it means using a product from another product vendor. Otherwise, the customer will soon learn that its consultant is not being objective and will look for a different company to perform consulting services. In addition, the consulting firm will soon get the reputation of being biased in its work.

Accordingly, it is highly unlikely that the product manufacturer will put pressure on its consulting arm to move product. Rather, by keeping the consulting arm independent, the manufacturer gains invaluable knowledge of areas where its product line falls short.

Paul Kossler Independent IT consultant

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A consulting firm by virtue of its name is to study the area of business in which it has expertise and then make recommendations to change or enhance that area to improve the way it does business.

Unfortunately when a product is involved, this changes. When a consulting firm is owned by a company that has a product for sale, it throws best practices out the window and wants its customer base or potential customers to conform to the way its product works. The consulting group intentionally or unintentionally leads the customer in the direction of the product instead of what is best for the customer.

Name withheld by request

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