Interesting things about ECM


Are you getting ripped off by your Oracle ECM consultant?

Filed under: General, Oracle UCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 8:24 pm


Its absolutely maddening! A couple of days ago I’ve got a call from Alex. He was too busy to help out a client and wondered if I could help them out. I asked what do they need done. Guess what? Yet another new Oracle ECM client was badly burnt by a large consulting shop.

First they paid $250/hr plus travel and accommodation for a consultant to come on site for two weeks and “design an implementation approach”. What they ended up getting for over $25,000.00 is a copy of their own technical architecture document with a few pages of Oracle “Planning and Implementation Guide” plugged in. That’s all! Like that wasn’t enough?

The client proceeded anyways. They invested in the Content Server licenses and needed ECM up… Another month and a 25% of their budget later they had a few requirements workshops done and a requirements gathering template partially filled in. They’ve seen a PM, BA, an ECM consultant and an architect. No results! Isn’t that NUTS?

That amount was sufficient to have their environments rolled out and users trained in ECM but all they got is a couple of useless documents. What a rip-off!

I understand that replying to an RFP costs money but why the client has to pay for it?

If any one of you tells me another story like this – I’ll be banging my head against the wall and screaming until my neighbour comes back from their night shift and stops me! I cannot take it anymore! Can’t you guys see who you hiring?

OK, I understand that frustration doesn’t help much so let me give you a few red flags look for

  • Forced methodology. When consultant “recommends” very insistently that you have them produce a document or other “artefact” because its required by their methodology – be sure to question that and get your own independent assessment of what kind of return will you’d be getting on this investment.
  • Withholding knowledge. Unless you plan on retaining the consulting shop indefinitely, put very specific controls in place regarding the knowledge transfer. Be sure that consultants are ready and willing to explain every step they take and help your full time staff to follow by their footsteps. Verbal promises on behalf of the sales team are usually not enough to get that in place.
  • Unnecessary consultants. Before authorizing a team of consultants to start working on your project – are you sure you understand what every one of them is doing? Are you sure you will be getting value for what you pay for EACH ONE of them?
  • Inflated estimates. This one hardly needs any explanation. As long as you don’t have in-house Oracle ECM expertise – you are completely at they mercy as far as the estimates are concerned. They are free to double and triple the time things actually take and you won’t even know when to object.
  • Weak or no guarantee. Typical 30 days guarantee when consultants fix the bugs you find after the project is complete – is not much help:
    • Does it protect you from the project taking five times longer then they promised?
    • What about the one that delivered five times less then you expected where everything over and above the out-of-the-box Content Server deployment is a “Change Request” and costs extra?
    • Also – do you seriously expect them to fix bugs FOR FREE at the same pace they did when they were paid? Come on! Those developers were reassigned to another project a week before your last payment came out!

Hope those will make you a little more prepared to deal with not-so-honest consultants or minimize your losses if you already have one of these by your side.

Can they still cheat you?

Well, now that you will be noticing the “tricks of the trade” it will be harder for them to do but many will continue to get away until you have an in house Oracle ECM expertise … and – despite of what they tell you

– you actually can get good working knowledge of Oracle ECM in just a few days and

NO – it won’t require sending your people for an expensive several day course.

For starters, why don’t you get a “sandbox” copy of Oracle ECM on your laptop? You can get an easy, step by step instructions here and simply play around with it. Online help, combined with information from this blog should get you pretty far, pretty fast.

I’m working a complete set of FREE or very LOW COST training materials to get you the knowledge you need as quick and easy as it is humanly possible – you can check out my video courses at And, of course, keep an eye on this blog.

That’s all for now,


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