March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020 | Larry Goldman | Senior Director, Product Marketing

Rest assured: there is no straight and narrow pathway that leads from Oracle-provided support to third-party software support. Despite what you may read in the popular press, the road to third-party support often looks less like a smooth highway vanishing into the horizon than a winding road with curves, potholes, and even a few unexpected turnabouts.

Over nearly 12 years, we’ve seen it all. While some customers commit to third-party software support within months, others can spend more than a year deliberating over whether it’s the right fit for their strategic financial and operational objectives. Some IT organizations decide quickly but are forced to wait until key stakeholders from procurement, legal, and security signal their buy-in.

And in some cases, an organization approaches us first for consulting and managed services, with no immediate need for – or even awareness of – third-party support. This Oracle case study illustrates that journey from services to full support.

Using Oracle Database for Insurance Reporting

Spinnaker Support has many customers in the insurance industry, from billion-dollar global entities to regional providers. One recent customer – who wishes to remain anonymous – is a non-profit insurance company based in Colorado, where it is the state’s leading health benefits company. We’ll call it “Health Insurance Company (HIC).”

HIC runs a relatively large Oracle Database, with the total Oracle environment (including Middleware, OBIEE, WebLogic, and more) representing half their storage, about 25 TB. This Oracle Technology is critical to HIC operations because it handles the reporting and analytics for multiple business units. The Oracle ecosystem must be continuously available because specific customers receive regular reports and data due to contractual obligations and requirements, including the Affordable Care Act and health exchanges.

The Impact of an Oracle Database Emergency

HIC’s 2018 IT strategy had been to replace this Oracle environment with a single, proprietary healthcare industry-specific system with the same reporting functionality. By 2019, HIC had selected and begun to implement the new system, but delays and competing priorities had left the Oracle system in place. What HIC was not counting on was that the existing system was less stable and well maintained than they knew. In early 2019, the database suffered a major, week-long outage.

HIC contacted Spinnaker Support for emergency Oracle services to turn back on the old Oracle Database, and that same day, Spinnaker Support’s consulting services team took the case and began to get the database back up and running smoothly. “The Spinnaker Support consulting team knew exactly what to do to give us a permanent fix,” said HIC’s Director of IT Infrastructure. “They resolved the configuration problems (why we couldn’t turn it back on) and the problems of talking to storage.”

Impressed with this expertise and determined to never again experience a similar outage, HIC engaged in further conversations with Spinnaker Support about becoming their sole provider for Oracle Database and Technology managed services. HIC hired Spinnaker Support in March of 2019 and soon learned of Spinnaker Support’s third-party Oracle Database and Technology support, which replaces Oracle’s annual maintenance and support. HIC then replaced Oracle-provided support with Spinnaker Support.

Spinnaker Support: A Single Vendor for All Oracle Database Services

The combination of managed services and third-party support is an ideal solution for HIC, because it has no interest in upgrades, plans to eventually decommission its Oracle Database, and is pleased with the prospect of immediate budget savings. Best of all, HIC was already working closely and collaboratively with Spinnaker Support, so consolidating services under a single vendor gave them far better value for their spend.

Read the entire case study to understand the bumpy road HIC traveled on their way to a full, successful service and support solution from Spinnaker Support.