Why Oracle and SAP don’t have New Year’s resolutions

Oracle/SAP don't agree to resolution SLA

It’s that time of year again. As 2019 ends and 2020 begins, you are probably considering your ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Promises we make to ourselves like going to the gym or starting a new hobby. You’ve probably seen a hundred blog and social posts already about how to make and keep your New Year’s resolution.

So, this got us thinking about our own resolutions, not to ourselves though, but to our customers.

Our business is all about providing resolutions to our customers when incidents occur and providing these resolutions efficiently and in good time.

You can sum up our resolutions (which we’ve had for 20+ years, not just starting this January) by examining our SLAs. These are the Service Level Agreements we have in place to define the quality and speed which we respond to and resolve our customer’s incidents.

SLAs are commonplace in every industry and are expected from customers now. Without an SLA, you’re effectively left with disparity and a sense from the provider of “well, we’ll get around to it when we can… You’ll hear from us… Eventually…”

If you’re receiving support currently from Oracle or SAP, the above responses might sound familiar.

Oracle and SAP probably haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution

That’s because both Oracle and SAP’s approach to resolutions in their SLAs are practically non-existent.

Oracle don’t do resolutions (or stick to them)

Oracle only offer SLAs for a response to an incident; they don’t provide a resolution SLA. So, you’ll get an estimate timescale on when you’ll hear back from them, but not when you can expect your issue to be fixed. The equivalent of which is knowing when you’ll hear back from your plumber, but not when they’ll be able to fix the flood.

Oracle don’t create an atmosphere of faith or trust to reassure their customers either. You can read in their “Oracle Software Technical Support Policies” document this disclaimer:

“Oracle’s failure to adhere to the times stated will not constitute a breach by Oracle.”

So not only are they vague about their resolution times, they have protected themselves, stating that if they fail to meet those vague timescales, they aren’t liable. Which also means they don’t have to offer any compensation or even any justifications for their performance.

SAP’s DIY resolution SLAs

SAP, like Oracle, provide response time SLAs but no resolution SLAs (unless you are paying for their top tier service). But even then, their ‘top-tier’ resolutions are anything but.

While Oracle believes in a “cross that bridge when we get to it” approach, SAP believe you’re better off crossing the bridge on your own. That’s because their personal definition of “problem resolving” reads: “SAP shall provide a solution, workaround or action plan for resolution”.

Instead of a vendor’s intervention, you will be given a plan designed to fix the incident yourself (which you and Google might have already tried). Then while you are trying to fix the issue yourself, SAP will helpfully mark the incident as resolved, because they’ve done their bit.

What can you expect from a third-party support provider?

So, the vendor’s approach to SLAs and support is not up to standard, but how do they compare with third-party providers like ourselves? Many imagine that because we cut Oracle and SAP support costs in half, we must provide a lower quality service.

But this is far from true, unlike the traditional vendors, our business is entirely focused on providing support, and this is evident from comparing our SLAs.

Beware though that not all third-parties provide a similar level of service. That’s why we’ve put together the below table outlining your options and their SLAs:

Provider Response SLA? Resolution SLA? Service Credits?
Support RevolutionYesYesYes
Rimini StreetYesNoNo
Spinnaker SupportYesNoNo
SAPYesPremium ServiceNo

(Data based on publicly available information 01/01/2020)

Rimini Street

Resources on their website will advise you that Rimini Street offer an average response time of less than five minutes – for critical issues – and their SLA guarantees a response within 15 minutes – again, for critical issues.

These are still response times, though. Their SLAs regarding resolution times, and their timescales for non-critical issues, are not defined. One aspect of their offered service which is perhaps too like Oracle’s.

Spinnaker Support

Spinnaker, on the other hand, advertise response to high priority tickets within 15 minutes. The official wording in their online resources goes as follows:

“For tickets of lower priority, SLAs provide equally reasonable response times. The leading objective is to ensure that every issue presented is successfully resolved in a timely manner.”

A respectable target… if a little vague. How long, precisely, is ‘a timely manner’? And you’ll notice that, once more, definitive figures for their resolution times have not been included.

Support Revolution’s SLAs

We not only provide both response and resolution SLAs, we also provide transparent reporting and service credits to compensate our customers if we ever miss our SLAs.

We have our own approach to SLAs. Firstly, we believe that SLAs should be made up of several, vital components:

  • Outline what services will be provided
  • Define the responsibilities of both parties
  • Measure performance, to ensure both parties are satisfied with the service provided
  • Track and report SLA performance on a regular basis
  • Provide dispute processes, in cases of escalation or dissatisfaction

With these components in mind, we set metrics to measure them – ensuring we use best practices and deliver to our customer’s requirements. And as part of those metrics, uniquely and quite crucially, we have a timeframe for both response and resolution.

Unlike the vendors listed above, we have defined our SLAs to include both, and to cover a wide variety of issues – not just the crucial ones. Plus, when we say resolution, we don’t mean we’ll resolve the issue by sending you a How-To guide; we will work hard to solve the problem for you. We may require some input on your part, but we would never just leave you to your own devices.

Upfront and honest

Hitting over 98% of our SLA targets is a key performance indicator, set by the Support Revolution Board of Directors. We scrupulously measure and deliver our high-quality service; with the results to prove it. Our 2019 SLA delivery looks like this:

Support Revolution 2019 SLAs

It’s clear to see that we have a great track record, and we’re proud of it. We even have a compensation practice in place, just in case we fail to reach our target. (A mentality that isn’t shared by Oracle or SAP.) If we fall outside SLA, we will provide service credits, of up to 16% of your monthly fee.

But as is stands, we have not issued one credit because of missed targets.

The Support Revolution resolution

We take our SLA’s very seriously; after all, they provide a clear indication on how we’re performing, and our service levels. We need to know that we’re fast, efficient and secure, just as our customer’s need to know it too.

“We are proud to be the only Oracle and SAP support provider to offer not only response AND resolution SLAs, but also service credit compensation if we ever miss these targets. We don’t just talk a big game, we show up and deliver every day of the year.”

Mark Smith, CEO of Support Revolution

If you want to read more about SLA’s, as well as why you shouldn’t put up with Oracle and SAP’s ambiguity, you can check out our SLA whitepaper using the link blow.

We also have another support SLA blog post, where we explore what makes a ‘crucial’ issue, plus a detailed look into our time-frames for resolution.

This year, while investigating your ERP support options, don’t settle for response-only SLAs or Do-It-Yourself support. Make it your resolution to find a higher level of support service and performance.

Join our revolution today.