The continuing economic woes around the globe are being compounded by an increasing shortage of critical specialist skills, leading enterprises to search outside the organisation for these. One of the popular means of overcoming this dearth of skills is to turn to labour brokers for assistance. However, Ascent Technology has noticed a shift in this trend developing, whereby corporations are instead turning to specialist consulting companies for assistance.
These enterprises are clearly recognising the added value to be found in using specialist consulting services organisations, says Ascent’s MD, Johan Lamberts. While there is no doubt that labour broking plays an important role in the business world, he says that certainly in terms of the Enterprise Database Management space, the advantages of using a specialist organisation can be summed up in just two words: ‘cheaper’ and ‘better’.
“It is ‘cheaper’ because a specialist organisation like Ascent always has a large number of permanently employed database administrators and consultants available to manage demand through a more cost effective, economies of scale resourcing model. Furthermore, it is ‘better’ because these same administrators and consultants also enable us to leverage one of the most comprehensive knowledge-base and expert database skills repositories in the industry,” he says.
“In addition, as a specialist, Ascent is tightly focused on this particular market space and only employs people with the skills relevant to this sector. We also invest in these permanent employees by ensuring they have and maintain the correct accreditations and that they are constantly honing their technical skills. This is coupled with the inherent intellectual property and strong methodology that Ascent has built over its twelve years of operation in this space. When all of this is taken into consideration, it is not really surprising to see more enterprises opting for a specialist like ourselves, rather than the more ad-hoc approach offered by labour broking.”
Lamberts says that furthermore, many enterprises have database systems comprising technologies from a variety of software vendors. Going the labour broking route would therefore require the organisation to hire several contractors with specific skills sets. On the other side of the coin, Ascent has fostered a heterogeneous database technology strategy; this enables the company to service and support complex mixed database technology environments easily and effectively.
“While it is unlikely that an enterprise will find a single contractor who has all the different skills sets required to manage a mixed database technology environment, it is possible to hire a single company like Ascent to not only do this, but to do it more cost effectively.”
Lamberts adds that it should be remembered that with labour broking services, the client is only provided access to an individual with a specific skills set. There are no skills guarantees, nor is there additional escalation available beyond that particular skills set.
Ascent, on the other hand, not only guarantees the skills on offer, but also offers the client access to additional resources in the form of some 35 highly skilled and experienced database administrators and consultants. In addition, the company is able to escalate any potential client issues right up to the level of the software vendors themselves, should this be necessary. This clearly offers a client access to a bouquet of resources and guarantees that are far beyond those on offer in the labour broking space.
“We have built a reputation on maintaining high levels of client satisfaction and our focus is always on service and suitability. In addition, we have the flexibility and adaptability that enables us to pay very close attention to our clients’ individual requirements, and thus we fulfil the role of trusted advisor to the client.”
“There certainly is a requirement in the market today for labour broking services. However, when it comes to something like Enterprise Database Management, choosing a specialist consulting services organisation is clearly the more logical option, as it offers greater benefits to the client. This is the reason Ascent has chosen to develop itself as the latter – we place a high premium on client satisfaction and believe the specialist consulting route offers greater value add to our clients than a more generalist labour broker approach ever could,” he concludes.