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Keeping compliant (without the vendor)

Don’t believe everything the mega-vendors tell you. 

We are aware of the concerns that organisations may have when considering third-party support. Oracle and SAP like to warn their customers of our service (but it’s not the first time they’ve misinformed customers: read our guide on common vendor traps). Due to a lengthy legal battle between a vendor and another provider, some ask ‘is third-party support legal?’ – the answer to which is: yes, absolutely. 

Another matter to address is that of compliance. Mega-vendors like Oracle and SAP like to substantiate the rumour that ‘only vendor-provided support’ for your critical systems will maintain your compliance in the eyes of regulators.  

It is simply not the case. 

The cost of compliance

It is easy to understand Oracle and SAP’s logic. Advising that only vendor-provided support can keep organisations compliant means more customers staying on their support models, paying costly support fees, and (in the mega-vendors’ ideal world) upgrading when their product versions eventually fall out of top-tier support. 

It retains customers and keeps them upgrading – all from that little idea. 

Oracle even went so far as to introduce Market Driven Support (MDS), a bespoke service that can help organisations stay supported even past the vendor’s support cut-off dates. Oracle’s advice with MDS is that it can support an organisation’s critical systems, and therefore ‘remain compliant without needing to upgrade.’ 

The irony here is that our service has already allowed organisations to do that, for several years now… 

The truth of the matter is much simpler. Yes, organisations can stay compliant with vendor support, and they can stay compliant with a third-party provider like Support Revolution. The general rule is that organisations must have their software supported to remain compliant. 

That is more or less it. Notice compliance doesn’t specify who has to provide the support. 

What does ‘being supported’ require?

So, what sort of requirements does your support provider have to meet? 

Incident resolution

Your support provider needs to be there in case anything goes wrong. If your critical systems encounter an error, therein lies significant risk of loss in productivity, revenue, reputation – and of course, falling out of compliance. 

Interestingly, however, while the mega-vendors believe you need their service in these instances, they still haven’t committed to an SLA on their incident resolution times. There is no definitive commitment on when your issue will be fixed (if it gets fixed at all). Often, the vendors have been known to direct users to self-help guides, then close incident reports altogether. 

If anything, this neatly demonstrates that the vendors believe their support is the ‘only’ option (in addition to the high price tag they add to it). If you’re the only one supplying a service, you get to define what that service does (and doesn’t) provide, and how much it costs, right? 

Fortunately, it isn’t the case. The core of our service is our incident resolution procedure, backed by our committed response and resolution SLAs. 

Legislative changes

Legislative changes most commonly occur on an annual basis. They can also occur due to a one-off change made necessary by a legal act or regulatory reform. 

In these moments, you need a support provider that can update your system and make necessary changes to your processes, to therefore keep you compliant with the latest legislative requirements. This can also be known as ‘payroll patching.’ 

Once again, Oracle and SAP will provide this service as part of their vendor-provided support, but their version leaves much to be desired. The vendors produce patches to cover all regulatory changes for all customers, usually necessitating multiple rounds of testing to ensure functionality is protected. It is very much a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, even though it seldom fits all. 

And that’s if you’re still entitled to patching from the vendor, and not on an older, unsupported model. 

We too can provide legislative patches. A key difference, however, is that we create tailormade patches to fit each individual customer’s setup. We test your patches on your testing environments so we know they will work for you.   

Overall, much like the incident resolution, our legislative patching can be implemented faster and more effectively than the vendors. 

Providing support for compliance authorities 

In our time, Support Revolution has provided support for a wide variety of organisations and industries, ranging from local government, huge financial organisations, police forces, and banks. 

These are large, authoritative organisations that have entrusted us to fulfil their software support requirements, serving as the perfect example that you don’t need your original vendor. The organisations we have helped have plenty of strict compliance regulations to consider, and we are more than capable of meeting their requirements – with the added bonus of a bespoke service for a greatly reduced price. 

A better alternative to vendor support 

There is no truth to the idea that you must use ‘only vendor-provided support.’ Not only is there another way, there is arguably a better way: third-party support. 

We’ve established that the compliance aspect only needs to be provided by a top-tier support partner. Now you know support partners like Support Revolution can meet your full compliance needs, you just need to compare support services on quality, price and trust. In FY21, we met 99.4% of our SLAs. We also saved our customers an average of 63% on their support bills. And you already know that we support governing bodies and compliance authorities. 

We’ve provided Oracle and SAP support for over 22 years. We know how to provide an exceptional level of support that the vendors can’t compete with; support is all we do. Having previously been an Oracle and SAP partner, we are well versed in what it means to be compliant. 

Still compliant but cost effective 

Always remember the vendors’ motives. It is in their best interests to keep the idea alive that vendor-provided support is the only option. It’s a way of keeping organisations uncertain, hoping they’ll then make a decision based on fear.  

Because then, you’ll stick to the vendors’ support models, keep upgrading to maintain top-tier support, and continue to hand over hundreds of thousands (if not millions) to the vendor every year. 

But don’t let them mislead you. If some of the leading governing bodies can use third-party support, then so can your organisation. 

To find out more about compliance contact us today! 

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