March 16, 2017 | Lee Mashburn | Vice President, Marketing
Spinnaker Support recently exhibited in Dubai as a Platinum sponsor at Gartner’s Symposium/Itxpo, which targets CIOs. Almost 600 delegates attended the event, representing organizations of all sizes and industries. Many of the attendees work for conglomerates and public sector agencies.
During the event, we met hundreds of the attending delegates at our booth and/or in our customer case study presentation (which overviewed how Oando PLC, one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solution providers, has reduced Oracle support fees by 60%). We found that most attendees were relatively unfamiliar with third-party maintenance and support for Oracle and SAP enterprise applications. However, virtually all people we talked with were intrigued by the prospects of saving 60+% on annual support fees while realizing a higher quality of service. Many began to see Spinnaker Support (and third-party support) as a possible accelerator for realizing their strategic plans and cloud migration visions. They were excited to hear that we support their custom code and deliver a range of technology stack advisory services as a standard element of annual support.
Because third-party support is relatively new to the Middle East region, we heard more basic questions and concerns than we hear in more mature markets. It was like going “back to the future,” reminding us of the earliest days of the third-party alternative. But, it didn’t take long for the IT experts attending the event to grasp the many value propositions we could bring to their enterprises.
The Middle East prospects we met brought a healthy mix of curiosity and apprehension, inquiring about:
- The legality of third-party support
- How the mega-vendors react
- What happens with patches
- Can they re-engage with the software vendor in the future
- Who else has done this and who is doing it in the region
- How they can learn more
We had long, substantive conversations with much interest for sure. To address some of the questions, we provided our white paper entitled Is Third-Party Support Right for Your Organization?
Compared to other Gartner CIO Symposiums we’ve sponsored, the Dubai event was smaller and cozier. The accommodations were quite luxurious and the food was exemplary. Most importantly, there was a strong appetite by CIOs and their staff members for a viable, safe alternative to SAP and Oracle-provided maintenance and support. In many cases, attendees expressed frustration with the cost and value of the support they receive today.
The overwhelming sentiment shared was the same as we’ve witnessed in all other regions of the world – users are tired of overpaying for an ever-decreasing level of support. We expect big things going forward in the Middle East region.