The Disappearing Generalist Consultant By J.R. Simmons

When I joined the ranks of independent consultants 30 years ago, most consultants provided value by understanding a broad range of telecommunications services, options, and vendors. Much of the value offered to clients was the knowledge of how to get things done with the myriad of vendors -- not to mention the confusing bureaucracy of the big vendors (some things never change!). The most common telecom consultants were those who understood both telephone systems and telephone carrier services, including networking. A veritable one-man band.

When wide area data networks, became a common part of the clients' telecommunications landscape, it also became a knowledge demanded of the consultant. In fact, the gentleman that brought me into the consulting business hired me because I also understood data communications. As an old "telephone company guy," he did not have this background and knew that our clients needed the breadth of knowledge that spanned both voice and data services.

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