Boutique Consultancies are Thriving

It's always refreshing to see the small guys doing well. When the more nimble Davids take on and beat the stronger and more established Golliaths there's a certain "root for the underdog" mentality those from the blogging peanut gallery like me like to latch onto. Seriously, I don't know about you, but I find it refreshing when boutiques win for the right business reasons (not because of some political relationship). This is because in many cases, I believe the boutiques can offer a deeper level of expertise (and some times at a better rate) than the larger, bigger branded firm. Given that our tax dollars are on the line, I hope that's why Censeo Consulting recently won a large contract with the Department of Defense. According to the announcement, Censeo's strategy, "Already approved by senior Air Force and Army officials, has resulted in single DoD-wide agreements with Verizon, Sprint-Nextel, Cingular, and T-Mobile as well as a comprehensive policy for managing wireless spend. Altogether, the new strategy is expected to save the Air Force and Army -- and ultimately taxpayers -- millions of the roughly $50 to $100 million the two services spend annually on wireless devices and services."

My kudos go out to Raj Sharma and his colleagues at Censeo in winning this engagement and saving us all -- at least US taxpayers -- the largest amount possible. In my view, there's far more innovation coming from the smaller firms in the Federal sector than from the fat cats from larger government-focused firms who have mooched supply chain and procurement contracts off of the Feds for far too long. Perhaps most important, without competition from upstarts like Censeo, the larger players have no incentive to improve their practices. In other words, the rise of small boutiques are critical to a healthy services ecosystem -- in the Federal government and beyond. Let's just hope that the best boutiques hang on for long enough to change things rather than selling out for a buck!

Jason Busch

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