Okay, if you are so good, why not work for Oracle or another consulting group?
The big corporate consulting model doesn't suit me professionally or personally. I don't believe that you need to be on-site all the time to solve a customer's problem. More often than not, on-site means lack of action. Instead, I work primarily from my home office, traveling to customer sites as needed - at the beginning until the challenge is fleshed out, at milestones along the way, and at the end when refining the implementation. In today's world of instant messaging, cell phones, e-mail, and VPNs, as-needed communication is more efficient than artificially forced together time. Besides, not being on-site all the time reduces travel expenses which means an even more cost-effective solution for my clients.
But I'm used to on-site consultants - won't you at least need a desk?
I know, it is different from what you may be used to with big consulting companies, but I don't believe I should move in and take up residency. As an independent consultant, I can be more successful by solving a customer problem and moving on to the next customer than I could if I were to latch on to one customer until they tired of seeing me around or were bled dry. Generally, because I don't have the same overhead that a corporate consultant does (corporate distractions, e-mails, meetings, etc.), I can get a problem solved much faster. So, no desk required - just a network connection!
If you don't always work on-site, how will I know that you are working on my problem?
You'll know! Even if there is a finalized spec-doc, there are bound to be questions of interpretation, snags in the data to be used, or even unexpected gotchas found during implementation. In other words, it is impossible to develop a Configurator Extension / Functional Companion or build and modify a Configurator model without frequent communication. Also, at the end of every week, I'll send a status report about what transpired during the week. And of course there will be incremental model or code changes in the development instance.
Can you also do BOM setup? Inventory? Catalogs? Pricing?
There are ways to setup the items and the BOM to work more efficiently with Configurator and I'll work closely with your expert on these issues. But generally, the item setup tasks and Configurator tasks are distinct enough that it makes sense to keep them separate. So, whether you have other consultants who are Oracle Apps specialists already working on your solution or you have in-house expertise, either of them is a better choice for setting up BOM, Inventory, Catalogs, Pricing, etc.. (If you are looking for a consultant in these areas and haven't found one, contact me for recommendations.)
My company requires that I work through an approved vendor; can I still work with you?
For those companies that have corporate policies about approved vendors, I do work through some 3rd party consulting houses. Contact me and we can work out whether I am already affiliated with one of your company's approved consulting companies or who I should contact to become affiliated with your company's preferred consulting provider.
Do you do documentation too?
I always like to start with some form of documentation that both the client and I have agreed to. It doesn't do anyone any good for me to implement something that my client doesn't need. The extent of the documentation is up to the client - it could conform to Oracle's standards to fit in with a larger Oracle implementation, fit into the client's specific template, or just be an ad hoc thing that states the basics. At the conclusion of my work, in addition to providing my weekly notes, I'll also generally produce a document that details how to use the Functional Companion or Configurator Extension or a document that describes the model structure and how it should be maintained and modified in the future. Although I'll always be happy to get more business from my clients in the future, I don't want to leave clients dependent upon me for minor changes that are more efficiently done in-house.
What is a "Functional Companion" or a "Configurator Extension"?
Oracle Configurator provides the ability to extend the runtime behavior through Java class files. By creating the appropriate Java class files and tying them into your model, you can augment the runtime behavior to match what you need for your business. Historically, these Java class files were called "Functional Companions" but more recently, to reduce confusion, they have been renamed to "Configurator Extensions".
How do we get started?
Send me an e-mail briefly describing the problem and include a phone number so we can begin a dialog to address your needs.
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