Palisade Compliance: Who is Support Revolution and how do you help Oracle customers?
Support Revolution: Support Revolution started as an Oracle partner 25 years ago this September. When we started, we did implementations, managed services, upgrades, completely new installations of the Oracle software. Then about 12 years ago, our CEO Mark Smith looked at the market, spoke to a lot of customers who didn’t want to keep investing in Oracle and keep paying support and maintenance or upgrading continuously. In 2012 we changed the direction of the business to replace Oracle support with our support service. This helps customers reduce their costs and gain a bit of flexibility. In 2019 we cancelled our Oracle partnership, and since then the sole focus has been third-party support and maintenance.
PC: You also do SAP support, correct?
SR: Yes. We started as an Oracle partner and then within a couple of years we moved into being an SAP partner too. It made sense that we not only provided third-party support for Oracle, but for SAP as well. A lot of our SAP customers are running Oracle technology within the database and the middleware side of things as well.
PC: Last year and this year Oracle publicized they are announcing an 8% support cost increase in the States and Europe. What customer reactions have you seen to that?
SR: It’s difficult for one because of the cost of living and the financial crises that are coming. For a lot of organizations, Oracle have always put their prices up annually to account for inflation and rises. Typically, we’ve seen anywhere between 3-5%. We’re headquartered in the UK and Europe, but we service our customers globally. The clients that we work with are used to 3%, 5%, and 8%, and especially in this climate, they don’t know where they are going to find the money for the extra 8% to pay for a support service. They are usually struggling to finance already. For us the 8% on top of the market-driven support, on top of the sustaining support fees or the extended support fees – the phone’s been ringing off the hook. We’ve had a lot of marketing activity as well with people coming to the website and contacting us to see what they’re able to do.
I think the cost savings speak for themselves. Working with, particularly Oracle customers, to navigate the world of third-party support to understand that the cost savings are great, but can we do this? What other benefits do we get? It’s working with companies and clients to pass the understanding of cost savings and all the great benefits that you get in third-party support by cutting those fees by at least 50%. In most cases, we average around 72% [savings] for most of our clients that we work with.
PC: Oracle would love all their customers to turn in their perpetual licenses and become subscription customers on OCI. However, companies want to move to other clouds like Google, Microsoft, or Azure. We constantly see Oracle saying certain clouds are not supported. When customers come to you, are you going to support them in any cloud?
SR: Yes, absolutely. We have customers that are on-premise at the moment and want to go to AWS, so it makes sense these customers do it within the first 12 months.
If you are an Oracle software user who wants to go to cloud, do it in the first 12 months of moving to third-party support.
What you’re doing is taking your current environment and guaranteeing it’s going to be suitable and accredited to move to cloud. You absolutely can be in 3rd party support and still have a cloud system. You just have infrastructure as a cloud system rather than a SaaS solution as well. IT gives flexibility. A lot of clients have a cloud-first strategy and it’s not just to OCI, there are other options. As long as you are licensed properly. We can support any cloud that the customer wants to reside in.
PC: Oracle says they don’t support RAC in the cloud. Do you support customers’ implementations of RAC in the cloud?
SR: Yes, we do. It’s just providing support for your appropriate licenses in the cloud environment. As long as it’s licensed appropriately, we can and do provide support in the cloud for RAC. The difference between 3rd party support is that everything we do is bespoke. It’s all about getting to the root cause of the problem, no matter where they’re hosted, no matter what operating system or the version of the software. All we’re doing is providing support for the licenses and software they’re using.
PC: If a new customer comes to Support Revolution, how do they get supported by you? What does the relationship look like?
SR: When a new customer comes to us, they are given named consultants that they will work with depending on the products that they’ve moved across our support service. They will be given consultants within their specific wheelhouses for those products. Those named individuals will get to know the client and their business, understand all of their customizations and year-end process, payroll processing, busy times of year, etc. They’ll have multiple contacts across multiple different products.
When they call into our service desk, they’ll have a named service desk manager that will also be allocated to that client and account that they’re working with, and they will then triage the ticket and the ticket will be allocated to the named consultants that are allocated to the client. This is on a 24/7 basis – it doesn’t matter when they call us, they’ll still be allocated depending on where they are. The consultant will be the person responsible for closing that ticket. You’ll only be speaking to one individual at a time. We use consultants with a minimum of 17 years’ experience, and they have to have Oracle qualifications because we want not only a response, but a solution.
PC: What is your ideal client? Who would best be served by your services?
SR: Usually the ideal customer is one that says, “You know what, Oracle isn’t a long-term strategy for us.” Not in the next 12 months, but in the next three to five years. The client may want to start decommissioning or decompiling some of their Oracle systems and want to move to a complete SaaS model. They have critical systems that need to be maintained. Followed closely by customers who need to make cost savings. Cost savings are definitely the climate we’re in now.
PC: The NY cynical guy who’s been dealing with Oracle for 25 years has to ask: What’s the catch?
SR: Once you leave Oracle, you’re not entitled to any new software that they release under those CSIs. But if you look back over the last five years, there have been no major changes, no incredible new functionality. If you look at the applications, a lot of them were on terminal release and others are going to be unsupported very soon.
When you go through it with the customers, what have they actually gained? What has been the ROI for all these upgrades done in the last 5 years?
We have a self-service portal in our remedy system that our customers have access to use. We have tens of thousands of knowledge base articles in there. If a customer wants to self-service, they can. Be we suggest that you don’t – allow us to look at your systems for you and then you and your teams can look into the future. If there isn’t going to be a new release and the functionality isn’t what you need it to be, then there is no catch. You just get better support.
PC: If I’m a customer and I’m thinking about third party support, what does that process look like? How do I get started?
SR: The first thing is to reach out to us. Visit our website and understand what services we do. Get in contact with our team and we will kick things off with an introductory meeting to understand more about your organization, current setup, and where you want to be going in the future. We’ll look at your pain points, digital transformations, business plan, and see how we can help.
YES. Oracle will support you in a non-Oracle public cloud – read our post.
This article about escaping the Oracle support trap was written in conjunction with Support Revolution.