Industry Developments: SAP Third-Party Maintenance Provider Launches Specialized Practice

Enterprise resource planning (ERP), SAP, Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)—the supply chain is filled with a plethora of different systems available for business applications. And choosing the right one to streamline your business processes and maximize on investment can be downright daunting at times with the number of solutions available on the market today. But regardless of the system, suppliers, distributors, manufacturers and other key players along the supply chain conveyor belt must also initiate the right internal formulas and processes from the top down that work specifically for their business model.

“One of the fundamental problems with a vendor or software provider support approach is the one-size fits all philosophy,” explained Matt Stava, Managing Principal of Spinnaker Support. “Customers are under constant pressure from the vendor to undergo forced and costly upgrades to stay compliant with the vendor’s support policies which consumes significant internal resource to apply bundled sets of patches and fixes. Recent industry sponsored surveys of the ERP marketplace have confirmed that the No. 1 reason customers upgrade is to remain compliant with support, not because of the ROI or enhanced business value being delivered by the changes in the software.”

What’s more, every chief information officer is being tasked with the competing demands to deliver strategic initiatives that will help the organization delivery top line growth while also reducing the cost structure within the enterprise, Stava added.

“All companies face these similar challenges with high cost of vendor support, limited budgets and no ROI for continued upgrades to the existing deployment,” said Stava. “In a recent survey, 57 percent of companies are now considering third-party support as a means to reduce their maintenance support spend in order to reinvest savings in technologies that can enable the continued growth of their business.”

Industry developments

To meet such demand, Spinnaker Support, a provider of SAP third-party maintenance, launched a SAP practice to provide businesses with new options to vendor-only maintenance and support.

Driven by customer demand, market opportunity, and significant experience in other ERP applications, Spinnaker Support’s offering will support all ECC and R/3 versions. The maintenance and support services include experienced staff; dedicated and assigned support engineers; immediate response time (average of eight minutes to speak live with an engineer); customizations support; deep understanding of their environment; interactive troubleshooting and issue resolution; and 24x7x365, global support coverage.

“There are no minimum employee size or revenue requirements—just the desire for better service at a lower price,” explained Stava. “We don’t require our customers to perform any upgrades or bundled maintenance deployments. We focus on an interactive troubleshooting and issue resolution practice that is focused on ensuring that our customer’s specific environment remains stable and we resolve the issues that affect their daily use of the software.” 

Through the service, Spinnaker Support customers receive an immediate savings of approximately 50 percent off their annual vendor support fees that recur on an annual basis.

“When you couple this with a more personalized, higher-quality support model for both your vanilla and customized code, the elimination of spend relating to upgrades, recurring support packs or enhancement pack updates, customers can experience year-on-year savings in excess of 70 percent,” Stava confirmed. “In fact, we estimate that a SAP customer spending $300,000 on annual SAP support could save an estimated $2.7 Million over five years.  That is significant savings that could be re-directed to other strategic initiatives or dropped directly to the bottom-line results of a company.”

Spinnaker Support focuses its software maintenance structure on “mission critical” applications, which allows the company to provide the most experienced support and consulting professionals in the industry. Its engineering support team averages over 15 years of expert-level experience with the JD Edwards and SAP applications. The Spinnaker SAP practice also provides co-sourcing services that are not available with competitors. These services include: basis administration, managed services and on demand, ad-hoc support services.

For those customers seeking a higher quality, lower cost alternative to vendor maintenance and support; Spinnaker Support provides all the SAP system support services required via cost-effective, personalized maintenance for SAP ECC, MySAP ERP and R/3 users.  Additional service value-adds include:

  • Customization Support: Spinnaker Support understands that companies require the flexibility to make modifications to the base software in order to address their specific business needs. Our software engineers guide our customers through root-cause analysis of issues related to custom SAP programs. We make certain that our customers SAP ERP application code is running correctly, customized or not.
  • Co-Sourcing: Spinnaker’s Co-Sourcing model delivers traditional managed and Ad-hoc support services in a manner that offers significant advantages over traditional outsourcing channels. By having a single source for one’s Co-Souring (Level 2/3) and Software Maintenance (Level 4) means, users can leverage the synergies of a single partner who has a deep understanding of your specific deployment and support requirements.


“When a customer reports a critical issue, our team begins working immediately in collaboration with the customer to resolve the issue,” said Stava. “We in essence become an expert extension of their internal support team. This combination of experience, quick response, and around-the-clock support coverage has proven to be the most effective means of supporting our customers, thus having a direct impact in reducing the ever increasing costs of application downtime and on-going software maintenance.”

Shawn du Plessis, Vice President of Global Support for Spinnaker’s SAP practice, will lead the solution offering to provide customers in the market with their SAP maintenance services.

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