November 21, 2019 | Larry Goldman | Sr. Director, Product Marketing
At Spinnaker Support, we were pleased with the fall publication of the first “Market Guide for Independent Third-Party Maintenance for IBM, Oracle and SAP Software,” which we are currently offering as a complimentary download. Two days later, Gartner published a second research piece on third-party support that received less coverage but is worth discussing.
“What CIOs Need to Know Before Adopting Third-Party Support for Oracle and SAP ERP,” written by Gartner Sr Director Analysts Denis Torii and Duy Nguyen, is now available to all Gartner customers. The research covers a narrower slice of the market (CIOs and ERPs), as opposed to the all-encompassing Market Guide, but in our opinion offers solid advice that aligns with what we also recommend to IT leaders.
A Timely Consideration of ERP Support
At Spinnaker Support, we have witnessed the rise in demand for third-party Oracle and SAP support in the increasing number of daily inquiries and Requests for Proposals (RFPs). The Gartner research offers trend information showing the magnitude of interest within the next two years:
- “By 2022, at least 90% of current SAP ECC customers will have evaluated whether third-party support is applicable for their current ERP strategies.”
- “By 2022, at least 70% of current Oracle on-premises ERP application customers will have evaluated whether third-party support is applicable for their current ERP strategies.”
We interpret this as strong evidence that considering third-party support is no longer a “should do” activity for CIOs with these ERP products, but a “must-do” task for strategic planning and the assessment of operational risk.
Key Insights from the Gartner Paper
The paper covers several areas of technology, capability, and needs for CIOs to consider. The authors’ top recommendations to CIOs include:
- “Decide if third-party support for ERP is a good fit by assessing pros and cons against enterprise goals in the context of your ERP strategy.”
- “Get your best deal by creating a competitive but realistic acquisition scenario.”
- “Set realistic expectations and layout potential risk impact by sharing a simple and singular vision with all enterprise leaders.”
Our Take on The Research
In our opinion, much of what is contained amounts to common sense, such as the need to understand the market and the call to thoroughly research and compare the capabilities of different vendors. That works well for CIOs who are entirely new to the topic, and we do recommend it. The paper may be of less use for more experienced IT teams, however there are valuable, high-level lessons for all CIOs.
Possibly the most useful section, we believe, is at the end: “Note 1 – Sample of Questions to Evaluate Readiness for Third-Party Support Adoption.” It’s a fairly comprehensive overview of the topics most important to the preparation for assessing support alternatives. The questions are practical and can be directly applied to kick off the useful internal conversations and enterprise “soul searching” required for planning and managing strategic changes like a transition to third-party software support.
The report is available to Gartner customers via the Gartner portal: https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3957361
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Gartner, What CIOs Need to Know Before Adopting Third-Party Support for Oracle and SAP ERP, 12 September 2019, Denis Torii, Duy Nguyen
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