Geeta Chopra, Field Marketing Manager – EMEA
Martin Biggs, Vice President and General Manager at Spinnaker Support, EMEA, joined the leadership team in January 2020. He is responsible for Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions, representing our services in the marketplace, managing the overall local operation, as well as providing strong leadership for growth and direction. Martin built his career leading complex IT services organisations in Europe and Asia Pacific, with a core focus on customer outcomes and retention. Martin studied at the University of Warwick and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.
Tell us a bit about yourself, including your role and responsibility
I arrived at Spinnaker Support after a 19-year career with IBM. During that time, I worked in and led multiple IT Services business units across the UK and for ten of those years, focusing on APAC, where I was based out of Singapore. Whilst in Asia, I spearheaded the engagement with Spinnaker Support before returning to the UK and building a strong pipeline based on Spinnaker Support’s highly impactful value proposition.
My wife and I left for Singapore in 2008, shortly after getting married and returned to the UK 10 years later with three small children in tow. Lockdown has rather demonstrated that children and my passion for music do not mix, but I still find the time for Formula One and Cricket, especially after seeing England play in Australia, Sri Lanka and India. There’s no getting in the way of a decent Test!
What first attracted you to Spinnaker Support?
During my tenure at IBM, I had outstanding interactions with the sales, engineering, and management teams from Spinnaker Support. The quality of people, the value proposition, and exceptional culture where clients and service delivery come first, set Spinnaker Support apart. I certainly felt an affinity, and this was something I wanted to be a part of. My general motto in business is that “people buy from people,” and Spinnaker sure delivers on this.
Looking back over the year, how have things changed at Spinnaker Support since you arrived?
Growth has been through the roof, and our focus has been to not only maintain the level of growth but also ensure that the high-quality standards we provide to our clients remain consistent. From an EMEA perspective, I have focused on building a sense of identity within the team and encouraging their passion through a very challenging period of COVID-19. Despite the highly disruptive environment, we’ve doubled the number of employees in EMEA over the last 12 months.
What do you hope to accomplish in the near future?
My first goal is to ensure my family get through lockdown without causing real damage to each other! From a business perspective, it’s to make sure we stay on the same trajectory and continue to deliver high quality support the way we always have. We’ve formed outstanding relationships with customers and delivered support as the core of what we do.
Providing that same quality of service, whilst doubling, if not tripling, the number of customers is something we will accomplish this year. Our business partners are also essential to our success, and I look forward to onboarding new ones. While all this may seem daunting, I’m excited by the talent we have on the team and foresee tremendous EMEA growth in 2021.
Where is the third-party support market going in 2021? What should enterprises running Oracle/ SAP expect to see?
In my view, the conditions remain very similar to what clients experienced in 2020. The software vendors will continue to force organisations to upgrade their software versions and/or migrate to their clouds, support spend will increase, and the impacts of COVID-19 will still be with us.
This combination of circumstances is even more reason for organisations to evaluate their software support. The third-party market has existed for over 15 years, and Gartner has predicted that the increasingly popular third-party software support market will triple to over $1 billion by 2023. It’s an ideal opportunity to buy time and save money to prepare for when the economic and technical landscape clears.
What do you feel are the greatest software challenges for enterprises?
I would say the greatest challenge for many organisations is knowing how to recover and accelerate when conditions become more normal. This means they should be cautious on what has to be cut, whether that is technology budget or employees, and what needs to stay. Cutting too many employees might put the business in balance for today’s economic status but will hinder it when moving forward into the growth phase.
At the same time, there is the demand from consumers for heightened digital engagement, putting IT transformation at the forefront of business decisions. So, I recommend organisations ask themselves, “Does today’s approach and software stack serve the needs of tomorrow’s service?”
What advice would you give an Oracle/ SAP enterprise that is considering a transition to third-party software support?
While the immediate benefits are obvious, there are organisations that are cynical to a new approach. Indeed, Oracle and SAP would be the first to say, “Don’t do it,” but I highly recommend you check out “The Sceptic’s Guide to Third-Party Support” for answers to many of the questions you may have. There are a handful of organisations that won’t necessarily see the huge benefits of switching support, but for those who do, now is the time to seriously consider the move.