October 21, 2021

Drew Dismuke | Sr. Solutions Architect 

 

“How do you fix problems if you don’t have access to the code?” 

As one of Spinnaker Support’s senior solutions architects, I am often asked this by prospective customers. The truth is that there are many ways we can address break/fix issues. The exact answer depends on both the specific issue you’re experiencing and the product in which you’re seeing it. 

To answer at a high level, we can address issues like parameter changes, application reconfigurations, custom code or code extensions, and architecture reconfiguration. Our support engineers are experts in their field.  

The key is getting to the root cause of your issue and figuring out exactly what is causing it to happen. Once we have that, we can find creative ways to circumvent the issue.  

An Example of How We Address Code Issues 

To illustrate my point, I want to share a real-life example from one of our customers. This organization started with us in 2015 and is still with us today. When they first switched to Spinnaker Support, they had a ticket open with the vendor for over a year with no solution. This was one of the first tickets they transferred to us, and it gave us an opportunity to show what we can do.  

The Problem: 

The customer experienced a bug in the service contracts module in Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). When terminating a service contract early, if the contract effectivity was based on days, the credit invoice revenue recognition time period was incorrect. However, when the contract effectivity was based on months or years, the termination worked correctly.  

The Solution: 

The source code behind this functionality is “wrapped,” which means we don’t have access to see or change the code. In situations like this, we must get creative.  

Since we knew the conditions that were causing the bug to be triggered and couldn’t change the source code, we had to figure out a way to stop the termination process from encountering the bug while still allowing the customer to use the functionality.  

Our support engineer felt the best way to accomplish this was to create a pre-cursor that would check the time format for any service contract being terminated, and if the time was in days, convert it to months. Whenever we implement solutions that involve custom code in EBS, we deploy them as a customization in the custom top using Oracle’s customization standards.  

Within a short time, we had a solution back to the customer, and after regression testing, the customer implemented this solution into their production environment. 

A Different Way of Thinking about Break/Fix 

The example above is typical of how we solve issues. Our engineers review issues for the source and context of the problem. After considering the most applicable approach, we provide an equal or superior solution based on how you are using the existing technology. We do not provide temporary “band-aid” solutions that solve the immediate problem but fail to address the root cause. 

Many times, the software publisher’s proposed fix is to upgrade the version, use an existing patch, or wait until a patch is eventually made available. These could make the problem disappear but also take longer to apply and break customizations. Fixes of these types may not be feasible for a business that needs to have its systems back up and running smoothly.  

Whether the software is EBS, Hyperion, or PeopleSoft, Spinnaker Support offers an entirely different break/fix approach and philosophy from that of Oracle or SAP: we strive to successfully resolve every issue you present in a timely and comprehensive manner (certainly far, far less than a year), whether that issue occurs in standard code or not. 

For more details, read about our break/fix services, including five ways in which our break/fix model excels when compared to Oracle and SAP. 

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