Working with Boutique Versus Large companies for AEM Implementation services
Working with Boutique Versus Large Implementers for AEM Implementation Services


All companies looking for AEM implementation services face the decision between working with boutique versus large implementors. The decision can have major impacts on the type of service you will receive and how your company will be handled and valued. There are advantages and disadvantages to working with both, and this makes the decision even more of a challenge.

In order to begin making a decision, you must evaluate how important these AEM implementation services are for your firm and your long-term goals. You must step into the shoes of both boutique and larger AEM system integrators to understand how they view your company within their entire portfolio. Larger firms may have more experience because of their more expansive network and resources, but that comes at a substantial cost for clients–splitting these resources and sharing time.

a dice, pieces and a board of dice representing a game in progress
Choosing an AEM implementer is the same as choosing your next step in a game of dice.

First and foremost, when selecting what type of business to work with, consider how much work and attention you will get out of each dollar you spend. Larger enterprises have at least double and often many more clients than boutique firms. This means that everything the larger firm has to offer will have to be divided amongst their whole pipeline. With larger AEM implementation companies, that means a greater divisor. Businesses looking for AEM implementation services want dedicated attention, so whenever there is a problem, it can be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. If attention is the function of time divided by number of clients, then it is clear that smaller firms are the best choice if you require innovative and dedicated solutions.

Secondly, it is essential to consider the economic factor while doing a boutique versus larger implementer comparison. Specifically, how much a firm will value the amount you are paying them to result in a higher level of prioritization. The money you pay a business to handle your services will always be worth more to the smaller firm than the larger one. You want your deal to be gold for the company managing your services.

Furthermore, as a small firm offering AEM implementation services, we are truly invested in our client’s success and interpersonal relationships. People we work with mean more to us than simply being a source of revenue or a mechanism to hit profitability targets; we care about your business as much as you do, and we will strive to perform our best for mutual triumph.

In order for an AEM system integrator to see you as a key client and a massive opportunity, your deal size has to be massive compared to the other clients. This would mean that the money you are giving the business matters for that business to succeed. With larger firms, your deal size is a small fraction of their portfolio and likely equal to other clients, meaning that they don’t give your project much value.

Larger companies offering AEM implementation services have a variety of clients. This means they have to optimize systems and strategies to be implemented across the board for each client they have. Rather than fitting the system for the client, these firms fit clients into the systems. Even if their clients don’t necessarily fit in those “system boxes”, a larger firm will find a way to make their clients fit the firm’s process, not the other way around.

The other cost of having larger firms try to fit you into their systems is that these large businesses will be stubborn and refuse to adjust their strategies resulting in a lack of creativity. With your project, you desire the AEM implementer to adapt their work to fit your needs. Your case can be extremely specialized, and the result you get may not be optimal for the strategies you need. Creativity is the key to obtaining the best results.

Another point to consider is that if you choose to work with a large business, the majority of the people working on your case are junior and lower-level partners. With boutique firms, you have direct access to its top developers. The founder has oversight on all accounts, and higher, senior-level persons do the bulk of the work to ensure quality AEM implementation service. This means less chances for mistakes and/or miscommunication. When you call into these boutique AEM implementation firms, you have a higher likelihood of speaking with a senior representative or even a founding partner than you do at a larger firm.

Also, boutique firms work to ensure that they hire and keep the best resources because they can’t run the risk of sunk costs from a developer or tester not producing the needed results. For this, you know that everyone staffed on your project has gone through extensive interview and training processes to make sure they are the best possible candidates to be working at those firms.

Larger AEM implementation companies have their perks. With more experience comes more exposure to multiple industries and integrations, but an increased risk of inexperienced developers working on your project. Infrastructure and systems have been tested on a number of clients, and they have been optimized several times. With more experience comes more knowledge to be used in creating the best services. Larger companies have the ability to see which systems work and don’t with other clients. This allows them to optimize as they have an abundance of clients to churn through.

the choices of firms for AEM implementation services represented by doors

Both sides have their advantages. Working with larger firms for AEM implementation services grants you access to more experience because of the firm’s more expansive network and resources. You also feel confident that the systems have been tested and optimized therefore less likelihood of failure. With small firms you have greater emphasis to detail and dedication to quality service, especially from senior staff members. Since smaller firms have fewer clients, you are valued more highly and receive more customized attention. Ultimately, you must consider how important these implementation services are for your firm and your long term goals and make a decision from there.

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Ankur Mittal

September 12, 2018

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