Lexmark aims to be the world’s best global imaging solutions company, delivering “unsurpassed service and products that provide unmatched value in the eyes of our customers.” To support this mission, one of Lexmark’s ongoing initiatives has been to achieve a streamlined end-to-end business process for internal and customer-facing operations. Lexmark’s IT team is fundamental to the success of this, and so it regularly assesses the company’s technology stack, needs, and budget.
For over eight years, Lexmark’s call centre and services have relied on Oracle’s Siebel CRM solution. The e-commerce section on their site website, through which customers order printers, runs on Oracle ATG Commerce 11.2. Both Siebel and ATG were heavily customised over the years, and became an integral part of the stable business processes developed by Lexmark. Siebel, for example, receives around 22,000alerts each day from customer printer products requesting new supplies. Siebel uses custom logic to evaluate the request, and if the automated batch jobs for this service were not to work as promised, the results could be problematic.
But despite the vital role of these systems, the IT team pinpointed them as candidates for replacement. Not only was the annual Oracle Support for Siebel and ATG a sizeable IT budget item, there were no new product updates available to help Lexmark meet the evolving needs of its operations. Lexmark was also frustrated with its support, including slow support response times and the lack of direct contact with engineers who had readily available expertise with these older solutions.
We knew that we were going to end our use of Siebel and then ATG. Maintenance was very expensive. We had a highly customized Siebel product, so we required some level of ongoing support until we shut it down. – Craig Greenholt, ITC VMO & IT Infrastructure Architect
Lexmark’s challenge then was to discover a partner with deep Siebel and ATG knowledge that could take over from Oracle Support and help keep the business running during the anticipated migration.
The Lexmark IT team decided to tackle replacing Siebel first, but leaving Oracle Support would require a third-party support provider that could also cover ATG. They reached out to colleagues and performed a search for vendors. Their initial conversations with another large third-party provider were discouraging despite multiple conversations and onsite visits.
After a renewed search, they secured a personal recommendation and introduction to Spinnaker Support. Aside from initial conversations, Spinnaker Support follows a standard evaluation process that begins with a thorough validation of fit, discovery process under a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and scoping of support needs. Spinnaker Support assessed Lexmark’s historical support cases, validated their Oracle licences and actual software use, and estimated their ongoing annual maintenance costs and needs.
Spinnaker Support then presented Lexmark with a proposal, pricing, draught Master Services Agreement (MSA), and a draught Statement of Work (SOW). Based on Lexmark’s requirements and concerns, Spinnaker Support provided customer references and offered complete operational transparency through deeper dives into areas like security, risk profiles, and tax and regulatory compliance.
As they concluded the evaluation and contracting processes, Lexmark was pleased to have found a partner with a “much better feel for supporting the environment and not conflicting with Oracle’s licensing specific needs.” Ultimately, Lexmark chose Spinnaker Support because it easily met their support requirements and they felt comfortable with the management and staff that would be working directly with their team.
In late 2017, Lexmark signed an agreement with Spinnaker Support for Siebel and ATG support services and, after notifying its existing provider, began onboarding with Spinnaker Support’s customer success team and Siebel and ATG engineers.
Onboarding is an established, multi-step process for transitioning to third-party support. It starts with the assignment of a named account leader and support team, a formal kick-off meeting, and the creation of an archive (a searchable library on Lexmark’s network with all the relevant software, data, and licensed, software upgrades and patches that they were legally entitled to while still on Oracle Support). This is followed by the overall knowledge transfer, tools training, and final transition from the software publisher support. The Spinnaker Support team completed all steps smoothly and quickly for Lexmark.
Now, after the transition, Lexmark developers and IT leads receive day-to-day break/fix support, configuration support, general enquiry support, on-call application user help services, and technology advisory services. Spinnaker Support provides regular tax, legal and regulatory updates and comprehensive Seven-Point Security and vulnerability protection. And Lexmark directly benefits from services not available under standard Oracle Support, including custom code support, interoperability support, and Oracle License Compliance Assurance and Audit Defence.
With Spinnaker Support, Lexmark receives responsive support, an assigned team of familiar Siebel and ATG experts, and a reliable partner for all its support needs – all at a much-reduced price. Spinnaker Support has resolved day-to-day issues as well as advised on interoperability projects such as the conversion of Siebel from using Google email to Outlook email.
“We like the ease of use, the ease of opening tickets, and the ability to escalate when needed,” said Craig Greenholt. “Spinnaker Support often responds within two minutes of our logging an issue, and the support skillset with Spinnaker Support has been so much better. Early on, we had a problem with Siebel that we had not been able to fix for over a year. After transitioning, Spinnaker Support just jumped in and resolved it.”
“The support is timely,” said Rachana Patnaik, Siebel Developer at Lexmark. “A few months back, we had latency issues in Siebel, and our Spinnaker Support engineer showed the database team that there was a deadlock in Siebel that was affecting the entire app’s performance. He had it figured out and resolved in a half hour, but if you are waiting longer on an issue, Spinnaker Support always checks in to see if we are comfortable and provides an update. “Lexmark appreciates Spinnaker engineers joining calls to drive a solution, rather than simply looking over logs to respond.
Lexmark has realised significant savings on its annual support, compared to what they were previously paying. They put the savings back into the IT department to fund continuous improvement and automation, and to support the streamlined, end-to-end business process initiative. Current projects include an investment into the Internet of Things (IoT), service desk ticket creation automation, and the automated monitoring, tracking, fixing, and re-initiation of job failures.
In the spring of 2019, Lexmark renewed their Spinnaker Support contract for an additional two years.
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