February 21, 2019 | Lee Mashburn | Vice President, Marketing
Third-party SAP and Oracle support is of rising interest to procurement, sourcing, and vendor management professionals because it promises high-quality service alongside dramatic cost savings and freedom of choice. Because switching to third-party support involves the direct replacement of Oracle and SAP maintenance services, decision-making merits a group effort, encompassing representatives from finance, legal, security, and especially IT – the most impacted stakeholders.
How IT professionals perceive third-party support may vary and be dependent on their role and level of responsibility. IT leaders are more apt to look first at the high-level business impact and may like the idea of a solution that squeezes out as much value as possible from established investments.
On the other hand, front-line IT staff often view third-party support through a more personal lens. They have slowly been conditioned by the software vendors to take on more of the day-to-day support of the enterprise applications, using the My Oracle Support portal or SAP’s Solution Manager. With the prospect of replacement of these tasks by a third-party, they might have job-related reservations.
In this post, we’ll focus on the IT leader and the top three objections you may encounter in your first conversations about third-party support. Make sure that you are prepared to answer these objections and to address any common misconceptions in the market.
First, Know Your Audience
According to Gartner surveys, prioritization is singled out as a key success factor for IT leaders. With so much on their plate, they are most likely focused on digital innovation, growth, security, and preparing their staffs for tomorrow’s digital world.
When it comes to replacing software vendor support from an original software publisher like Oracle or SAP, IT leaders will want to weigh in. They are always under pressure to address the largest line items in their budgets, and SAP and Oracle support are guaranteed to be on that list. The concept of better service for a fraction of the cost is appealing, but they will want to better understand the industry and the implications for the organization’s operations and their department.
Objection 1: “Third-party support will keep me from innovating.”
Innovation is never easy, and the journey towards IT improvement is confusing, costly, and complicated. It should never be rushed. IT leaders are examining multiple strategies for driving their on-premise enterprise software to the cloud, and they are being aggressively pushed to cloud solutions by Oracle and SAP even though the functionality of those new solutions is incomplete. The on-premise apps you have are stable and have years of value left to give, yet they have been pushed into an “end-of-life” mode to rush migration to Oracle’s and SAP’s cloud replacements.
You should explain that this is a common misconception. In fact, third-party support actually enables innovation. It starts by providing both high-caliber support and ongoing interoperability for reliable on-premise software. Then, IT leaders can take advantage of the immediate and dramatic savings on maintenance fees to fund new strategic growth. Because this is a reallocation of budget (think “found money” for IT), IT leadership gets innovation without the need to beg for more budget.
In prolonging the life of your existing on-premise software investments, third-party support extends the time IT Leaders need to sufficiently investigate and identify the right cloud strategy, whether it be hybrid or lock-in to SAP or Oracle. Thousands of organizations that have switched to third-party SAP or Oracle support are innovating – and using the extra money and time to do it the right way.
Objection 2: “A third-party can’t secure the software properly.”
Know that IT leaders perceive security as one of the top barriers to moving away from SAP or Oracle support. Oracle and SAP would like their customers to believe that they are the only vendors that can keep your enterprise software secure, and their advertising misrepresents third-party support as an inferior security solution. In fact, they may be covering up their own security protection inadequacies.
The best third-party providers offer a proactive, full technology stack solution that integrates accessible security experts, proven processes, modern detection tools, and continuous monitoring practices. It’s actually a superior approach to software vendor patches, which are often one-size fits all, late to the rescue, and intrusive and time-consuming to test and implement.
The third-party support vendor has offered to clearly explain its security processes and how they are certified under global standards. Make sure you arrange a meeting between your IT and security professionals and the third-party support security experts.
Objection 3: “My team will push back on third-party support.”
Overwhelming pressure from IT staff can be just as motivating to IT leaders as the pressure from above. Two common reasons why front-line IT staffers push back on third-party SAP and Oracle support:
- No more upgrades: Your enterprise gets upgrade rights to on-premise enhancements as part of software vendor support. But with virtually all on-premise applications from SAP and Oracle being placed in “end-of-life” mode, upgrades have stopped, and minor enhancements will not move the business strategy forward.
- No more online knowledgebase: When moving to third-party support, engineers lose access to the self-support portals of the software publisher. But with third-party support, there is no need for self-support. Engineers simply issue a ticket, and it is handled with unprecedented response speed and effectiveness as defined in the Service License Agreement (SLA).
Third-party support is what IT leaders can use to keep their staff relevant and able to embrace future conditions. IT staffs are spending more time than ever on self-service support and research, and your organization is paying exorbitant fees for lesser service and few-to-no upgrades from the software vendors.
The value no longer exists for on-premise software support given there are no longer regular upgrades and new functionality. By moving to third-party support, highly-qualified analysts will keep the existing systems you have run for many years humming, shouldering the burden instead of your IT team. This frees your IT professionals to become more valuable employees as they focus on the infrastructure of tomorrow.
Need More Help with Objections?
We can help you cut through the myths and build your business case as you determine if third-party SAP and Oracle support is right for your organization. Contact us to learn more or read more details about the Oracle and SAP solutions.