During the system integrator (SI) vetting \/ bidding process for your digital transformation, you likely explored all of the competing SI\u2019s capabilities and skills. \u00a0As a result of this value-based contest you then selected the SI that best fit your needs. \u00a0You have been well coached in your career to understand that talent wins, and you have done your best to select the finest talent presented by your SI.\nAfter the contracts are signed, the greatest potential for value erosion starts. \u00a0Companies get focused on working to reduce the number of hours an SI spends on a project vs. attempting to maximize the value of every dollar spent. \u00a0When you decided to go with an Accenture, IBM, or Deloitte you signed up based on the value proposition of the organization \u2013 not simply the skills and talents of the individuals assigned to your project. \u00a0If your decision was based on skills and talents alone, then you probably should have gone \u00e0 la carte to the independent consultant market, certainly a much better deal for the money.\nYour line of questioning should be, \u201cHow do I increase the value I receive from my SI? \u00a0Doesn\u2019t this engagement come with a manual?\u201d\u00a0 To understand how to amplify the value of your SI we need to go back to the core value propositions of these large firms. \u00a0Let\u2019s break them down this way:\n\nImplementation processes \u2013 SI firms utilize proven methodologies to configure systems, deploy business processes, and manage large-scale programs.\nAssets \u2013 With the inventory of previous projects at their disposal, SI\u2019s possess a number of accelerators, pre-configured solutions, presentations, and position papers.\nKnow-how \u2013 I will define this as the collective intellectual brain-power of the organization. \u00a0Your SI\u2019s access to talent is staggering when you consider the size of these firms. \u00a0Accenture, for example, has 450,000 employees.\nRelationships \u2013 Now extend the number of employees at each firm and multiply that figure by the contacts they have at software companies, your customers, your suppliers, and competitors in your industry. \u00a0Fully respecting the confidentiality agreements signed with these business partners, there is great value in being able to tap into the insights and intellectual capital that these relationships provide.\nAccess to leading edge technology \u2013 These large SI\u2019s study new technologies and provide evaluations to their front-line consultants. \u00a0Part of their value proposition is that they will have a deep understanding of the technology in order to assist their clients. \u00a0These firms establish centers for testing new technologies in order to understand what does and does not work. \u00a0The value the SI brings is that they should have already observed failures and found solutions within their own centers, thereby sparing your organization from similar challenges.\n\nAs mentioned above, the bid process was designed to evaluate the SI on all of these aspects of value. However, we tend to ultimately derive 99% of the value received from the SI individuals assigned to the project and only 1% from the remaining part of the firm. \nSo, how do you tap into these assets?\nFrom my experience the best way to amplify value is by developing internal systems and procedures that directly incorporate the assessment of SI value extraction. \u00a0Let\u2019s look at 5 examples:\n1. \u00a0Phase launch\nAt the start of any new phase of the project, incorporate a step for your SI to deliver scrubbed deliverables from 3-5 past clients that are relevant to your situation. \u00a0\nResult: \u00a0You have a clear understanding of what the objective of the phase should be and access to alternative solutions and ideas that you may not have considered.\n2. \u00a0Problem \/ Issue escalation\nAt the beginning of the program and at appropriately timed intervals, request a complete overview of the SI\u2019s organizational structure and the internal business processes related to issue \/ problem resolution. \u00a0Then make sure that your own internal program \/ problem resolution process incorporates this channel. \u00a0Measure the performance of this channel to deliver value and review it in your high-level program steering committees. \u00a0\nResult: \u00a0You will have the full attention of the Sr. SI leader and problems will be resolved quickly and efficiently.\n3. \u00a0Best practice reviews \/ lunch and learns\nThis takes a bit of work, but the payoff can be significant. \u00a0The key concept here is that SI\u2019s have a wealth of knowledge about IT practices, industry best practices, functional best practices, and program management. \u00a0This knowledge is valuable to your organization beyond just your project team. \u00a0SI\u2019s have ready-made \/ canned material for marketing purposes that they are more than willing to share to the right audience. Make it happen by scheduling sessions well into the future.\nResult:\u00a0 You will derive value, the business will derive value, and the SI has the potential opportunity to make a sale. \u00a0I call that win-win-win. \u00a0But it only happens by scheduling and picking exactly the right topics. \u00a0Perhaps your change management team should be in charge of this activity.\n4. \u00a0Bench reviews\nWhen the SI proposed staffing for your project, probably only 10% of the firm was available for your assignment. \u00a0This means that 90% of the talent was not considered.\u00a0 This doesn\u2019t mean that it should not be actively considered in the future. \u00a0Concentrate on the existing gaps and weakness of the project team, and constantly look to improve. \u00a0\nResult: \u00a0Conduct formal reviews of top candidates by job grade on a bi-monthly basis. \u00a0Build this into the plan.\n5. \u00a0Quality reviews\nMost of the big SI\u2019s will provide quality assessment (QA) reviews as a component of the program engagement. \u00a0This tends to be a risk assessment related to their ability to achieve the parameters of the contract. \u00a0Use your seat as the customer to insist that the partner executing the QA utilizes all the appropriate assets of the SI. \u00a0Make specific recommendations related to the assets of the firm that are not being brought to bear on the project. \u00a0Specifically, I would look for pre-programmed routines, pre-developed documentations, or presentations. \u00a0You would not believe how many times the same presentation gets generated over and over again, client after client. \u00a0Each time the SI spends time developing the presentation\u2026say 10 hours\u2019 worth, they earn $2000 dollars. \u00a0\nResult:\u00a0 Take advantage of your authority to dictate what the QA should entail.\nThese are just a few of the ways to amplify the value of your SI. \u00a0Don\u2019t you wish these engagements came with a user manual?