A Platform for the Future of Consulting

The consultancy business is far more competitive than it used to be. Consultants know that they need to add more value and engage with their clients beyond the initial engagement. Result-based, data-driven solutions, with continual learning and interaction are the key to longer term, consistent opportunities. This applies across the consultancy spectrum.

SmartUp has created the perfect platform to help with this.

 

By Frank Meehan

There are very few companies left in the world who do not have a digital transformation or data focused strategy for their future. According to Forester, “Digital businesses map out customer journeys and ensure that products turn into plug-ins for broader digital propositions. These propositions are connected through data, communities, and collaboration.

As a consultant, you also need to think data, communities and collaboration — how a smart business thinks these days — about it’s product and customers.

 

Go digital

The future of consulting is about long term, immersive engagement with your customer, and that can only be delivered by a digital platform augmenting your services.

“No longer will consultants be creating their deliverables in a black box or behind a boardroom door. Instead, consultants will be expected to lend their expertise by embedding themselves in an organization and supporting capability growth throughout their engagement” Taylor Larson , Director of Strategy and Behavioral Design at Rêve Consulting in https://www.futureofeverything.io/future-consulting/

“The consulting industry will continue to grow, specifically within tech, due to the continuous development of new software, tools, and applications” Ray McKenzie, Founder & Principal of Red Beach Advisors

However, as FT.com has pointed out, the surge of interest in digital consulting also creates a skills challenge for consultants, many of whom are business analysts rather than technology specialists. This topic is looked at in depth in this article at www.9lenses.com, which states the problem as: “In order to meet the expectations of digital customers, consultants are forced to rethink their processes so that they are speeding time to value, building their differentiation and thought leadership and increasing the stickiness in their relationships all while protecting operating margin”

IBM Consulting picks up on this theme with James McMillan, an Associate Partner at IBM, commenting,“ What it’s come down to is this: Clients don’t need pure strategy — they need strategic technology. Our clients are seeking a partner that embodies the characteristic of the Digital Enterprise that they seek to become.” You can read more of this thoughts in the article here.

 

So how can you deliver a engaging, rewarding digital experience to your clients?

It really comes down to what can you do with your content. How to make it rewarding, digital, social and interactive?

How to use your content to create community of continual learning and engagement that enhances your product? Giving you up-sell or long term contract opportunities, via subscriptions, premium content, courses and more. Creating a platform for your customers to interact with you, and if you have rewards based gamification can really uncover deep insights and data about your customer that they will highly value.

At SmartUp, we recently started rolling out a solution for large customers using SmartUp communities to do exactly this.

Because, at it’s heart, SmartUp is a clever, community based system that makes your content engaging, fun and rewarding — mobile centric, gamified and peer-to-peer. Whether your content is around training, marketing, product, sales or anything really — it’s incredibly easy for you, your teams and clients to create and share interactive content.

We also have a unique advantage in the way we built the platform, which allows us to offer private sub-communities to your master community. So how does it work, and how would it work for you?

 

Create a master community, with sub-communities for clients.

First, you create a master community of your content, courses, etc. and then you just duplicate that, creating private or public communities for each client. The communities can be exact duplicates, or customized with more/less channels depending on the requirements, and each client is completely separated, plus can contribute in content and create their own channels in the community you’ve provided them. Providing a community not only of your content, but the ability for your client to contribute peer-to-peer content into the community themselves.

 

Flexible Channels and Streams

In a similar way to Slack, Dropbox, Gmail, you can create channels in the side menu, and each channel can have a number of streams, or sub-channels. This enables a granularity of topics that’s required for medium to large enterprises. Channels have great flexibility as well, as they can be hidden, open or private.

 

Add quizzes, polls, video, images +

The platform makes it very easy to add quizzes, polls, video, and images, within a bite-sized content environment. Users earn points for everything they do, with leaderboards for each channel and an overall leaderboard for the community. This lets you easily track your users as well as incentivize them.

 

Content creation

Content creation is very flexible. It’s super easy to create, and anyone in the community can do so. And you can add in elements from other content creation platforms that create web objects, like Articulate.

 

SmartUp is addictive

Wherever SmartUp has been rolled out, you see high usage on the platform 24/7, plus high content completion rates that average 88–90%. SmartUp offers a really effective way to roll out recommendations/content/training for your clients. You can also provide deep data analytics to them, looking at patterns in their teams knowledge.

 

Pricing is really simple

Finally, pricing is very straightforward. You just pay $25/user/year, for every client user you onboard onto the community. Everything else you charge is yours. If you charge, say, $200 for per user per year, you pay SmartUp $25 and keep the remaining $175. See below for an overview.

 

That’s how easy it is. It’s a powerful system that can transform any consultancy business into a digital platform. Some of the biggest consultancies, executive education and training providers are using SmartUp for their clients. Get in touch with me at frank@smartup.io to find out how we can do the same for you.

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