Experienced consultants can help you deliver an effective, comprehensive managed file transfer (MFT) implementation to IT, management, and users.
But what level of expertise should your consultant offer? And what should MFT consulting services include? Here are three different ways to get the most value from your MFT consultant or consulting team:
1. Invest in a bundle.
If your MFT solution provider bundles consulting services with software, take advantage.
Why bundles? Because they can lower the price of consulting for the MFT implementation you were going to pursue anyway. They’re also a good way to focus consulting services around your pre-determined goals for testing, deployment, and user adoption. If the software aspect of the bundle already “fits” those goals, the consulting aspect will complement them, too.
For example, Attachmate bundles services according to the type of file transfer organizations seek to manage:
- User-to-user: 3-day deployment service and support comes standard with user-friendly MFT features like drag-and-drop, email attachments, and web browser support for user-to-user transfers.
- Business-to-business: Additional consulting (5 total days) is included with the B2B bundle we designed for organizations struggling with partner integration.
- Application-to-application: Connectivity to multiple hosts and intranets can lead to a more intricate implementation process; for this bundle, we include 8 days of on-site service and support.
Bundles like these drive down the overall cost of consulting in addition to matching services to the type of implementation you require. Long story short: if you thought MFT consulting could only increase the cost of an implementation, bundles can be a great way to work consulting into your project budget.
2. When possible, avoid third parties.
When third party firms tempt you with lower fees, consider what might happen if their services prove ineffective.
User training is a great example. If you train users right the first time, you won’t have to do it again. It’s a simple concept, but what would happen if you did have to train users a second time? Or what if a consultant’s program didn’t include an effective communication initiative to remind users of the organization’s imperative to improve data security? Adoption rates might lag, forcing you to invest in additional consulting to fix the problem.
For these reasons, you should seriously consider the consulting services your MFT solution provider already offers. Even if they appear more expensive (they won’t always, by the way), the provider’s expertise is indispensable. They’ll help you “get it right” the first time, so you avoid additional hassle and expense in the future.
And if consulting services already come in a bundle, it’s a no-brainer, right?
3. Leverage knowledge and experience.
Implementation consultants nearly always assist with testing, training, and measuring adoption, but what other kinds of support can your consultant deliver?
Depending on how you plan to exploit MFT, issues as diverse as automation, process and application integration, and mobile device support could quickly widen the scope of your deployment and require additional infrastructure and training investments. Why not have your MFT consultant help you determine the appropriate scope based on your short and long-term business needs?
Take automation. Automating file transfers among internal users and external partners can alleviate your administrative burden and boost operating efficiency – that’s well-known. But did your pre-deployment technical blueprint account for every possible opening for automation? How would you know if it didn’t?
Your MFT consultant can help you answer questions like these to better define your scope. The knowledge and expertise is available, so why not take advantage of it?
Sure, consulting includes showing up, training users, and answering questions. That’s implementation consulting at its most basic. But consultants aren’t robots built to follow a rigid program – they’re problem solvers. Have them solve your biggest file transfer problems, and improve the return on your MFT investment.
This is the final post in a 10-part series on managing file transfers. Read earlier posts here. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to for more news and information on MFT.