A qualitative research on proper methods of marketing, pricing, and business relationship of Consulting-as-a-service: a case study of an IT consulting firm
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Servitization is a trend with the help of which the companies transfer their tangible products accompanied by service offerings. Consulting can be offered in a variety of models, from pure service like pure advice-giving to hiring out consultants as a real asset who will work in clients’ premises for several months and years. There is a trend in the consulting industry that is making consultants more involved in decision making and distancing them from being an adviser. The case company is a Scandinavian consulting firm, providing different consulting services, especially in IT. CaaS is a model in which the consultant as tangible assets who work in clients’ premises, will be provided as a service. Meaning that the clients will not get to choose a consultant based on the CV to work for them in a period; instead, they will acquire the result of the consultants' job, and it is the consultancy’s task to find appropriate consultants for reaching the defined outcomes. CaaS, with all its benefits for the customer, contains several challenges in the marketing process. The most important factors to be considered in the sales of CaaS are 1)to manage the brand image and preconceptions of the clients, 2)gaining their trust, 3)controlling and consider the irrational factors such as likeability of the contact persons, 4)understanding the clients’ needs, and 5)Managing the clients’ understanding of the offered service. Pricing is one of the first areas that clients consider. However, it does not mean that low prices are fascinating. The study based on the results concludes that CaaS is a highly tailored and complicated service model, and therefore needs to consider value-based pricing strategy and use innovative revenue models. Furthermore, the suitable pricing policies, as like other service offerings, are negotiated pricing and differentiated pricing that considers the clients and their purchase situation. There are several governance structures, and each of them is suitable for some relationships with particular specifications. Due to the high demand levels of trust and transparency, the flexibility of CaaS that makes it a win-win model by reducing the risk and increasing the flow of the projects, and the cooperative, and communicative attributes of model and case company, the Vested outsourcing was recognized to be a suitable relationship management model for the case company.
Master's thesis in Strategy and Management