For instance one consultant working with a client on merger/acquisition due diligence and another consultant working on a unified data warehouse for a client with 36 different business units found via their Yammer posts that they shared similar problems. Both were using tools and techniques to onboard data from disparate businesses. Yammer helped the consultants realize they had something in common and to provide a forum for sharing, King says, ultimately resulting in better outcomes for clients.
Beyond cloud services, King also promotes use of social networking; it's mandatory for consultants to have LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and Facebook is encouraged. King says he has even won useful feedback and connections from posts he has made about articles he was reading on his Kindle e-reader.
Gurnet's use of social networking is also a business development tool. A comment King posted on LinkedIn elicited a response from an IT executive at a retail chain that led to a chat and then to an in-person meeting and ultimately a work engagement.
The social networks also provide a reservoir of professional experts that Gurnet can tap when it requires outside expertise on client engagements.
The firm has also referred potential clients to members of its social-network-based professional stable when it lacked the expertise they were seeking. Gurnet didn't get a contract, but it generated good will, he says.
This is important because the firm has no sales force. It does employ a part-time recruiter for hiring more consultants, and job notices generated by the recruiter are cut and pasted to individual consultant's LinkedIn pages to get the word out to its well qualified professional community, he says. That method works better than using a more generic jobs site like Monster.com, he says. "A Monster account is the last resort," he says. "I'd rather go with someone we know."
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