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Our Consulting Approach ...


CONTACT US
     Our initial consultation costs only a bit of your time -   we start by sitting down with you and listening to your questions, concerns and ideas - in order to learn what you want.
   If you contact us, we'll get together with you for an hour or so, listen to you and provide some information on how to get you to where you want to be.

   If we both think Mercury can help, we will prepare a proposal for services that will explain:
  • The nature of the work we will do,
  • The benefit your organization will derive from the effort,
  • A breakdown of project schedule and deliverable items,
  • The full cost to you.
   You will know before work begins exactly what work will be done, what benefit the work will be to your organization and what your costs will be. 
   

Our experience and education in Business Management and Information Technology allows us to provide you with extraordinary assurance that our service will exceed your expectations, be on-time and be cost effective.
  Consulting FAQ's


A Philosophy
The recent and ongoing advances in technology are only remarkable if they can be effectively and efficiently applied - as a tool to help people do what they do, better.

Mercury is about helping you apply and integrate those technology tools into your organization.
 

Frequently Asked Questions about Consulting ...


Q. How expensive?

A. That Depends ...
   Our initial contact with you costs nothing - except a little of your time.

If we can help, any charges will be based on what we do for your organization and will be itemized in our proposal.

Please note that the charges we will quote to you for our services will typically be quoted as "Not to Exceed" - you will know up front what your maximum costs will be, before we begin.


Q. Is your approach any different than other consultants?

A. Dramatically different ...
   Most consulting firms (particularly in the technology industry) are affiliated with some particular brand of hardware or software, and they're more interested in marketing their brand than consulting. They'll do something similar to the approach I outlined above and call it a "Needs Analysis" - beware of that phrase ...

   If they're affiliated with Microsoft®, they are going to conclude that you "need" Microsoft® stuff,
   If they're affiliated with IBM™, they are going to conclude that you "need" IBM™ stuff,
   ...
   If their solution is a Hammer, your problem gets re-defined, 'til it looks like a Nail *,

   Mercury Business Systems has no affiliations with any brand of hardware or software.
   The only vested interest we have is the efficient, effective application of Information Technology and best practices in Business Process. Our focus is to point you to the most appropriate technology available, regardless of brand or supplier. (It might be Microsoft® or IBM™ - or it might not.) In any event, not having affiliations means we're not marketing any particular "wares."

* The "Hammer ... Nail" analogy is paraphrased from Eupsychian Management: A Journal by Abraham Maslow.


Q. Any other differences?

A. Use of Project Management and Systems Development Methodology ...

   Mercury applies strict, rigorous Project Management and Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies to every contract and project we take on. A successful project is not a matter of luck, nor do successful projects "just happen." Successful projects are those that are completed on-time, within budget and deliver what the client wanted - and they result from proper planning and project management.

    The SDLC methodology we use is a 7 Step process of getting from Problem Recognition (Step 1. - where we listen to what you want) to the on-going Maintenance of a completed system solution (Step 7.), in a logical, phased approach.

   Many consultants go immediately from their "Needs Analysis" (see above) phase, to the "Design" phase of their solution, typically with limited success.
   Mercury, on the other hand, will deliver a proposal after we have evaluated the basic feasibility of our recommended solution (or solution options):
  • Technical Feasibility - is the technology truly available, or is it "vaporware", etc.,
  • Operational Feasibility - what are the user training requirements, impacts to your current business processes, etc.,
  • Cost Feasibility - is the solution within your budget and will it provide a return on your investment.
   Incidently, the Feasibility Study is Step 2 of the SDLC methodology.

   The project management and system development methods we use are scalable - they can be applied to all projects, large and small. Mercury's Primary Consultant has performed project management functions (using these methods) on projects as diverse as simple database developments, to commercial software developments for Mercury clients, to multi-million dollar weapons system developments (involving multiple suppliers, sub-contractors, engineering disciplines, etc.) for various defense contractors and agencies. These methods work.

   


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