April 5, 2018 | Lee Mashburn | Vice President, Marketing
There are many sources of information that compare features and benefits of software vendor support to third-party support. Oracle customers can investigate the differences using websites, blogs, analyst notes, etc. Rather than focus on features, this blog considers differences in philosophy, approach, business objectives, and service goals.
Oracle is a software and technology company that aspires to become the dominant player in the cloud. They want customers for life, preferably paying customers. Software support drives massive revenues with 90% profit margins, fueling Oracle’s investment in cloud solutions and their shift away from on-premise applications. Oracle seems to use support as a lever to move customers through a perpetual innovation cycle. Support is largely an end to a means.
Spinnaker Support has a different business objective. Support is a means to an end. Profits, which don’t approach the 90% level, are promptly reinvested to improve service quality and breadth. Over 70% of our employees serve customers every day, delivering high-quality, responsive, and personalized support. We don’t expect to keep customers for life, understanding that customers want the flexibility to embrace new technologies as they emerge.
Support and Service Personalization
The centerpiece of Oracle-provided support is a portal, called My Oracle Support – promoted as a one-stop shop support solution for Oracle customers. Maintenance-paying customers can search for solutions, download patches and updates, access tools, collaborate in the community, and create new service requests. Automated tools confirm service request severity level and push out links to information that might relate to the service request description. To us, this self-support model seems anything but personal.
Spinnaker Support delivers highly personalized support. It’s a completely different approach and philosophy. Every Spinnaker Support customer gets a dedicated Account Support Lead (ASL), very experienced and battle-tested. After thorough due diligence, a team of named engineers and archivists are assigned to each account, based on the customer’s application environment, technology stack, ticket history, geographic footprint, language requirements, IT staff capabilities, planned IT roadmap, etc. This team becomes intimately knowledgeable, which is reflected in faster response, quicker issue resolution, higher value concerning ongoing interoperability, etc. This a quite different from a portal-based, self-service model.
Service Issue Ownership and Accountability
Oracle’s support infrastructure is not designed to drive cross-functional teamwork for issue resolution. Product-based support resources, no doubt very knowledgeable, work in silos. Teaming across products, technology stack components, interfaces, non-Oracle products, etc. to identify and resolve issues is often rarely performed well and drives little-to-no issue ownership. Oracle never works in customized code to troubleshoot and fix issues – even though the majority of support issues originate in customized code. Service requests can be stopped until customers prove that the issue is not caused or impacted by customized code.
Spinnaker Support does not care where an issue originates: applications, technology stack, standard code, custom code, interfaces, etc. We share in the ownership of our customers’ issues and are helping resolve many issues that occur outside the base application code. The teams we assemble for customers combine application, development, technology, security, interoperability, managed services, cloud, and other experts. Our SLAs mandate quick response and our only objective is to ensure that every issue presented to us is successfully and promptly resolved.
Spinnaker Support focuses all resources and investments to achieve service excellence, as measured by the collective voices of our customers. We define service excellence as offering the most valuable services, delivered by elite engineers, and achieving best-in-class customer satisfaction, retention, and willingness to recommend.