Microsoft SharePoint

Who Ya Gonna Call?

I attended a presentation in the city yesterday, put on by a Microsoft Business Partner. The partner in question has just created a new position — a person to drive / encourage SharePoint success in client organizations. I’ll call him Fred, but that’s not his name.

So Fred’s job is to turn up at one of the partner’s clients, and look into whether the said client is getting a business return from SharePoint, and if not, to then give some counsel, advice and direction about what should happen. Given my focus when working with clients, I stridently believe that this type of work is essential … but … I have a problem with a business partner doing it with internal staff.

Here’s the problem as I see it: How does the client know whether the advice given is in their best interests, or in the business partner’s best interests? If Fred looks into the use of SharePoint, and recommends (a) more infrastructure, (b) more development, or (c) more consulting, on what basis does the client trust that Fred has said that to improve what the client does vs scheduling the partner’s developers and IT admin consultants.

Help me out here (comments please!):
(1) At your firm, would you ask someone like Fred (partner-aligned) for input?
(2) If you would, what would make you trust his or her advice?
(3) If you would not, where would you go for that input?