Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Choosing a Technology Consultant or Vendor

Alison Fine, has published a new report which overviews how a select group of human rights' organizations are and are not integrating social media into their operations. She has a lot of important things to say, but this "finding" in particular caught my attention.

"There was almost universal frustration voiced about using outside technology
consultants. The organizations felt that it was difficult to identify an appropriate one and felt that they were often left maintaining systems or tools for which they didn't feel qualified. Smaller organizations said that they could not afford help of any kind, particulary their own staff dedicated to technology."

Ugh! While I understand this sentiment and recognize that this is a problem in our sector, it's certainly not something that any consulting organization wants to hear.

Let's face it, many vendors sell nonprofits things they don't need. Right or wrong, it's their job, which leads to an important fact. Vendors are NOT consultants. Most are not skilled at or paid to provide objective analyses and recommendations to organizations. They are skilled at and paid to SELL specific solutions.

In order to address this reality, NPower created this guide, "Selecting the Right Technology Vendor." It is our hope that it will make you a more educated consumer when it comes to choosing a vendor.


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