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Small But Perfectly Formed
by Laura Hood, Marketing Manager, Triton Consulting.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011

As well as all the large, well-known outsourcing providers there is an army of smaller, niche service providers out there who are expertly placed to provide high quality support.  Rather than outsourcing their IT systems lock stock and barrel, organisations can look to supplement their internal resources with niche technical skills for interim staffing, ad-hoc consultancy or even just as an “insurance policy” back-up.  Rather than outsourcing to a good “all-rounder”, organisations should look to specialist providers for the in-depth technical knowledge required to support mission critical systems.

Sometimes organisations looking to outsource can be put off by the relative small size of a potential services partner, however, size isn’t everything.  A niche services provider may be smaller than one of the large integrators but these organisations really know their stuff.  They have to because whether it’s database management, business process outsourcing or HR services, that service is at the core of their business. 

These organisations live and die by their reputation in the market, word of mouth is still one of the strongest marketing tools.  The old adage “jack of all trades, master of none” is one which specialist service providers are very familiar with, these organisations are good at what they do and do only what they’re good at, rather than trying to offer a bit of everything. 

A niche services provider can bring expert and often quite rare skills into an organisation.  Access to specialised resources, which may not be available or are in short supply internally, is a major factor for businesses looking at outsourcing, especially in terms of database management services. 

One of the key benefits of using a specialist service provider is the deep level of skills in their particular industry or technology.  Specialist service providers bring insight into how other companies are solving similar issues.  These “war stories” from previous engagements can really help build a customer’s knowledge of best practice. 

War stories
In working with may different types of customers over the years Triton have come across almost every database support issue possible!

One of our customers was running DB2 LUW and they had outsourced development to an offshore organisation as part of a larger outsourcing agreement.  They had just a small admin/support function locally, with no local DBA (database administrator) resource.

The offshore developers were complaining about poor query performance and were asking to move to another RDBMS (relational database management system).  The offshore developers were extremely highly skilled in SQL.  However, they had only basic database knowledge and no DB2-specific skills at all.

Working with the local admin staff and the offshore development team, Triton’s consultants were able to put in place a basic set of automated housekeeping routines which resolved performance issues. 

The moral of this story is really about choosing the best supplier for outsourcing.  Often a “one size fits all” approach isn’t the best way.  By combining skills from the niche service providers, organisations are able to ensure that they have the appropriate skills available.

Triton Consulting offer a range of DB2 resourcing, outsourcing and training services.

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