March 14, 2018 | Larry Goldman | Senior Director, Product Marketing
How to Counter Their Objections and Win Them Over
You want to squeeze out as much value as possible from your Oracle investments. You’ve done your due diligence on third-party Oracle support, and you understand the business case and benefits to your budget and organization. Now you need to get your IT team on board.
First, Gauge Your Audience
Be aware that front-line IT staff often view third-party support through a personal lens and may have job-related reservations. They probably will not care about cost savings with the same passion you do. They may be afraid of the unknown, or they may be defensive towards any changes that alter their perceived importance to the organization.
Then again, they may be unhappy with Oracle’s long-term push towards a self-service support model via the My Oracle Support portal. They may be missing the one-on-one contact with Oracle experts that used to be the hallmark of Oracle support, or they may be frustrated with the large backlog of service requests that Oracle cannot or will not resolve in a reasonable time frame. If this is the case, then your switch to third-party software support should be a far smoother journey.
Change Is Hard – Common Objections
In the best of all worlds, your team will follow your lead and fall in line with the move. More likely, you’ll experience some initial resistance from those who are invested in the status quo and cling to familiar processes. Here are the top three objections we hear and suggestions for how you can address them for Spinnaker Support.
THEIR OBJECTION: Saving money is fine, but not at the expense of service quality.
Third-party software support dramatically lowers costs but that also means lower quality service (aka “you get what you pay for”).
Your Response to Your Team
This is not true. It’s natural to want to directly compare the features of the two service models, but you should understand that they are remarkably different in their philosophy, approach, business objectives, and service goals:
- Oracle takes a software-first approach: They promote self-service over live interactions, are not designed to work cross-functionally, and limit the types of issues they will solve (i.e., won’t cover code customizations).
- Third-party takes a service-first approach: Spinnaker Support, as an example, focuses all its resources and investments towards service excellence. This includes assigned experts for each customer, SLAs that mandate quick, personalized response, and cross-functional teams that combine application, development, technology, security, interoperability, managed services, cloud, and other expertise.
Cost savings are important, but not the only driver. Organizations that have switched rate third-party support as higher in value, responsiveness, and effectiveness.
THEIR OBJECTION: Dropping Oracle Support means losing access to the My Oracle Support portal.
The Oracle Support model is the best and only way to support business-critical software.
Your Response to Your Team
Yes, you’re going to lose access to the My Oracle Support portal. But for organizations with stable on-premise systems, that loss is more than compensated for by the gains. First, vendors like Spinnaker Support create for you a searchable library on your network that includes licensed, uninstalled upgrades, patches, and related materials of relevant software and data that a client is legally entitled to download and store. Our team will have all the information we need for the applications we run.
Second, you no longer need the portal. You will have an assigned team of application experts on call to help when new problems do occur, and the SLAs mean that they will respond far more quickly and escalate problems proactively. This includes solving issues with customizations, interoperability, and P3 and P4 requests that never seem to get adequately resolved by Oracle. It’s a more direct support model, like what Oracle used to provide.
THEIR OBJECTION: Without patches, we’ll be exposed on our data security.
Oracle security patches are the best way to protect data.
Your Response to Your Team
Yes, you will no longer receive security patches from Oracle. But…
- How many patches have been available for your older applications and versions?
- How often have you been installing them?
- How often have these patches broken functionality?
- How many security issues exist that patches cannot solve?
Patches are time-consuming, complex, inconvenient, costly to implement, and – worst of all – reactive. The actual goal for security is not to try to remove or remediate all weaknesses with a single tool (both impossible and impractical), but to reduce security risks down to an acceptable level with a variety of tools and controls.
Third-party providers like Spinnaker Support consult with you closely to understand your specific security needs and deploy compensating controls, virtual patches, and proactive monitoring when and where required. It’s security that fits you, not the Oracle one-size-fits-all approach.
Change can be daunting. It’s natural for your IT team to offer challenges, so prepare ahead of your critical conversations, and include them in your selection process when possible. And if getting them on board requires putting them in front of the third-party vendor, by all means, do so. Those with a vested interest in the Oracle enterprise applications may want to ask tough technical questions to ensure third-parties can handle the heat. Transform your team’s objections to educational opportunities for both your organization and the vendor.
Third-party support can be good for the organization and create career opportunities for your team. By off-loading the day-to-day demands of support, the IT team can be trained and re-deployed to focus on newer, more relevant technology initiatives that help the company innovate and grow. Make sure that they know that. For a deeper dive, we recommend our white paper “What IT Leaders Need to Know About Third-Party Oracle and SAP Support”.