Beacon Consulting Group (BCG) based in Illinois is an expert Business Intelligence software services provider, offering best-in-class technical implementation and management consulting for many industries. BCG leverages premium business intelligence tools from IBM and provides relevant business analytics training to help clients achieve maximum ROI. In conversation with CIO Applications, Nadeem Rahman, president of Beacon Consulting Group shares core insights on their unique value proposition and sustainable solutions.
Give us a brief outline of Beacon Consulting’s history and your current market position.
Beacon Consulting Group was established in 2006 in Hoffman Estates, IL with a small group of consultants who served global leasing, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies. In the last ten years, Beacon has grown tremendously and continues to expand into other verticals to provide a wider range of solutions.
We work with global Fortune 500 clients as well as smaller local companies and have consultants who are local, national, or offshore. Earlier in 2018, BCG acquired another IBM Partner, Aspen Associates adding more consultants with finance, distribution, supply chain, retail, and manufacturing clients. All our employees, no matter where they are based have the same focus which is to provide great service to our customers. My philosophy has always been to respect our customers and staff and that message runs throughout the organization.
Walk us through some of the prominent technologies presently impacting businesses and how can organizations that leverage IBM solutions make the most of these emerging trends?
In the last five years, cloud and AI have garnered significant interest from our clients. Organizations across industries are realizing that cloud can be secure as well as cost-effective. Cloud applications are gaining such momentum that in the next three years, on-premise sites and applications will be diminishing.
When it comes to AI, the use of chatbots and machine learning applications is exploding. However, we have only scratched the surface in AI and strongly believe that IBM Watson should be the backbone of this technology!
Another trend that is redefining the business world is big data. Besides traditional business reporting, organizations are realizing the importance of deriving meaningful insights from their vast data reserves to understand the market, products, and consumer patterns.
What according to you are some of the key challenges faced by CIOs when it comes to implementing modern day technologies?
At present managing data, cloud technologies, and security are very important mandates at corporations. Years ago, providing key performance indicators (KPIs) was good enough, but today it’s all about providing the correct data at the correct time with security as the main ingredient.
Communication is key for large projects and we like to deliver our projects within 90 days or less
In addition, mobile application development is in high demand and companies must adopt an agile approach and rethink their applications to streamline processes for the mobile user. Creating applications that allow customers to use their mobile devices to build / update orders, make payments, check statuses, and concise reporting is crucial.
How exactly do IBM solutions drive value and improve business performance?
With a plethora of BI solutions in the market, organizations are often confused about which solution to pick as a standard for their organization. IBM products, especially the IBM Watson applications have the ability to scale—start small and grow exponentially. IBM applications are easy to use, can be implemented on-premise or in the cloud, and provide access to compelling reports and dashboards. My suggestion is to invest time in learning IBM products and it pays back a hundred-fold.
Elaborate on your solutions implementation strategy and your partnership with IBM.
Every organization has data but how you protect and present the data is crucial. We use IBM products to open new opportunities for clients as well as design solutions to address their business issues.
At the onset of any project, we listen to a client’s requirement to determine which type of solution could be a fit for their timeline and budget. Many customers are overwhelmed about getting started with an analytics project, which in our experience is normal, and we help clients see through their forest of data. We also work with a strong IBM support team to solve issues quickly. IBM also allows its partners trial access to applications and services that we take advantage of.
Could you please cite one or two case studies on how you have enabled clients to overcome hurdles with your innovative array of solutions?
We primarily work with IBM Analytic BI tools and it’s hard to pick one or two case studies as there are so many “ah hah” moments that our clients have experienced. As organizations go through multiple business acquisitions, they are constantly on the lookout for solutions that allow them to quickly consolidate data from different systems. IBM Framework Manager or IBM App Connect Professional are some of the most powerful tools to combine and present data, and no other vendor in the BI world can match up to the leading edge that IBM provides. With IBM Analytics, organizations receive one version of the truth and can build complete trust in the data. Moreover, IBM enables companies to deliver strategic reporting that identify trends, graphs, and mapping and also extend their reporting capabilities outside the organization to suppliers and vendors.
What according to you are the distinct features of Beacon Consulting that differentiates it from its peers?
We always go back to basics and like to deliver simple solutions that our customers can easily understand and manage. Communication is key for large projects and we like to deliver our projects within 90 days or less. Our customers appreciate this approach and it encourages customer participation where we work alongside them. Customers understand and know that we have their best interest in mind and we always think—if this was our business, would we make the same decision.
What does the future hold for your organization?
The IBM Watson products are phenomenal, and we are very excited about using them and introducing Watson to more of our customers.
We are continually looking for opportunities to grow our client and services base and our acquisition of Aspen Associates was a move in that direction. We recently started a new campaign called “WORKMYDATANOW.com” which is focusing on more reporting options plus expanding on our prebuilt data warehouse and reporting solutions previously restricted to distribution, leasing, and manufacturing companies to more industries.