Building Professional Services

The Sirens’ Song

First edition; 288 pages
ISBN 0-13-035389-2
( by:Mitch Peterson, Steve O’Conner, Harris Kern, Thomas Lah )

Building Professional Services


How to build a winning professional services organization.

Companies worldwide are discovering outstanding growth opportunities in professional services-but building professional services organizations at “product-centric” firms can be extremely challenging. Now, three leading experts present a comprehensive guide to creating professional services organizations, managing them to maturity, and delivering both quality services and superior margins. Building Professional Services introduces a complete, practical framework for delivering the full spectrum of professional services—from support and education services to managed, consulting, and productized services.

  • Managing the professional services business at every stage of its lifecycle
  • Focusing on the key factors that drive success: revenue, references, and repeatability
  • Responding to the unique challenges faced by professional services in product-based companies
  • Aligning services with the rest of the organization
  • Establishing effective metrics and business review processes
  • The four phases of building a successful professional services organization
  • Frameworks for organization, project delivery, solutions development, and operational infrastructure
  • Customer engagement models and workflows

Drawing on their experience working with leading technology service providers, the authors cover every aspect of professional services: strategy, tactics, and operations. From financial models to customer relationships, Building Professional Services will help you transform the promise of services into a profitable reality. “This book is a significant contribution and a practical guide to a fast-evolving frontier. With clearly expressed views and recommendations, it will stimulate both thought and action.”—David H. Maister, co-author of First Among Equals”Extraordinary insight into the issues faced when building a professional services business unit at a product company.” — Kenneth Coleman, Sr. Vice President of Silicon Graphics and retired CEO of K&S Solutions Harris Kern’s Enterprise Computing Institute SeriesSolutions for IT Professionals.

About the Author

Mitchel Peterson has held a variety of financial and operational roles for more than 18 years. Most recently, he was the Senior Manager of Strategic Planning and Communications for SGI’s Professional Services Organization and was responsible for developing and implementing strategic and tactical programs.

Steve O’Connor has held both business and IT services leadership roles for over 20 years. He served as Vice President for Professional Services at SGI and before that, as SGI’s Chief Information Officer.

Thomas E. Lah has more than 15 years of experience in IT and consulting. As Director of Solutions Engineering at Silicon Graphics, he led a team responsible for developing and launching a professional services consulting organization on a global basis and growing it from zero to $150 million in four years.

Harris Kern, formerly Sun’s Data Center and System Administrator Manager in Milpitas, CA, now supports marketing and sales worldwide. He implemented and then supported Sun’s first 24-hour, 7-day-a-week UNIX production environment for mission-critical applications.

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