Why is Advisement from Oracle Consulting Companies so Dishonest?

Last Updated on March 21, 2021 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • There are plenty of firms that perform Oracle advisement, but the advice ends up being rigged due to financial incentives.
  • Large companies use advisement to provide advice that leads to other businesses.

Introduction

Many consulting companies provide advice and perform anything from software selection assistance to supporting various analytical initiatives. However, none of the larger and very few others actually see themselves in the decision support business as a business. In this article, we will describe why this is such a problem.

Our References for This Article

If you want to see our references for this article and other related Brightwork articles, see this link.

Lack of Financial Bias Notice: The vast majority of content available on the Internet about Oracle is marketing fiddle-faddle published by Oracle, Oracle partners, or media entities paid by Oracle to run their marketing on the media website. Each one of these entities tries to hide its financial bias from readers. The article below is very different.

  • First, it is published by a research entity.
  • Second, no one paid for this article to be written, and it is not pretending to inform you while being rigged to sell you software or consulting services. Unlike nearly every other article you will find from Google on this topic, it has had no input from any company's marketing or sales department. 

The Financial Incentives at Oracle Consulting Firms

To attain and retain a leadership position at an Oracle consulting firm, one must bring in roughly $2 million in revenues per year. There is no way to attain this quote by performing smaller projects, of which software selection and analytical initiatives would be examples. To attain this yearly quota, one needs to sell implementations. Decision support projects tend to smaller, shorter, and offer less stable consulting revenue. For a company with a significant overhead (offices, support staff, large senior member compensation), smaller projects of this nature are not sustaining.

Secondly, one of the best ways to sell implementations is to position oneself as a “trusted advisor” and then sell out the client’s interests by directing them to implement the possible software. This means acting to promote Oracle software, regardless of the fit with the client requirements, the cost, the maturity of the application, and another factor related to things that make the software a good match for a particular client.

The Implication of How Incentives are Structured

This means that Oracle consulting companies are unreliable for providing software selection support as they have a massive financial bias. Oracle consulting companies will claim major domain expertise as a reason for using them in an advisement capacity. Still, even the deepest domain expertise cannot overcome financial bias. In truth, the decisions are normally filtered through the consulting company’s senior management, with little freedom given to the more junior members of the organization. They possess most of the domain expertise.

An Oracle consulting company may take the advisement or selection project, but only as a means to gain more future work. When they report back to their other senior members, success is measured by how much further business is obtained (at KPMG, the catchphrase is “penetrate and radiate.”) The concept of providing objective analysis and then rolling off of the project is only measured as a failure.

Having discussed this topic with several experienced consultants, we were told that recommending solutions based on financial bias is “the way that it is.” Further, it is good because the benefits flow to the consulting firm with the strongest relationship. The trick is not to tell the client that you are doing it. And this is considered perfectly normal in the Oracle consulting field.

Conclusion

There is no feasible way for senior members of Oracle consulting firms to attain or maintain their positions without putting their clients’ financial incentives ahead. None of the major Oracle consulting firms and very few of the smaller Oracle consulting firms have a model that allows for anything but grabbing implementation business by any means possible. And one of the best means is to pretend to provide decision support.