Exela Technologies is a global leader in business process automation that runs a portion of their business on SAP Business Suite (ECC). Exela relies on ECC6 to manage the business, from sales and distribution to manufacturing to service management to human resources (for reporting and service) and to financial accounting and controlling (FICO). The business also runs SAP Business Warehouse (BW), SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), and several other SAP applications. The company had combined 13 disparate systems into a single SAP instance, and the system was mature, low risk, and SarbanesOxley (SOX)-compliant. They had invested 20 years into their stable SAP ECC6 application system. While they did have a moderate amount of customization on the service management side, the remainder of the system was fairly standard, with the functionality working smoothly and as designed.
For that reason, Exela had no immediate plans to upgrade its ECC6 application. Their internal SAP team was challenged, however, by management’s directive to reduce steep SAP support costs and still provide proper service following a post-acquisition staff reduction. In addition, the SAP team needed to find a company that could provide more responsive customer service with quicker issue resolution.
With SAP’s support, we never spoke with anyone. Now, with Spinnaker Support, it’s 3-4 times better than SAP was. We talk to a real person and have a real resolution. It’s like you found the switch to the light in a dark room.
-Craig McBroom, Business Analyst
The Director of Business Application Management took up the challenge and initiated a search for support alternatives. Faced with less than half the SAP staff as before the companywide cost-cutting initiative, he wanted to assess his options and make a transition
within a short period.
He instructed his team to identify and vet the top third-party support vendors. The Exela Technologies team met with several companies, compared the different support models, and solicited bids. They found that Spinnaker Support met their technology and expertise requirements and were particularly impressed with the competitive pricing and the highly positive online reviews regarding its dedication to customer service.
Exela Technologies selected Spinnaker Support as its third-party software support vendor. Spinnaker Support is a leading global provider of third-party support and managed services for SAP Business Suite (ECC) and over 120 SAP products.
Third-party software support replaces SAP’s annual support, is less than half the cost of SAP support, and provides more services than traditional support through an expert global team. When switching to Spinnaker Support, SAP customers gain more comprehensive and responsive service, save on their support fees, and can remain on applications such as ECC for as long as they want.
Immediately after signing the contract, Spinnaker Support assigned a team of named SAP senior software engineers to work with the Exela Technologies SAP team. They became familiar with the business processes, SAP and related applications, and system architecture including BPC, their oldest system.
Exela Technologies immediately achieved its cost reduction goals with Spinnaker Support, receiving 60% hard cost savings from what they had been spending on their annual fees to SAP. As part of the overall Exela consolidation plans, these savings were applied to help increase shareholder value. Exela Technologies plans to stay with Spinnaker Support for its ECC6 support needs for the foreseeable future.
Exela has been highly impressed with Spinnaker Support’s responsiveness and the overall service. “We know if we’re having an issue, someone will respond within 30 minutes. If it’s a high priority, we immediately talk with someone through email, a phone
conversation, or a screen share,” said McBroom.
The internal Exela Technologies SAP team now has the 24/7 support they need to maintain the smooth operations of their global ECC system and SAP applications. Since assuming support responsibility, Spinnaker Support has resolved a wide variety of reporting, error, and workflow tickets for Exela and assisted with unexpected connection issues during a recent BPC upgrade. Exela ran a project to move all hardware from a Dallas, Texas center to new hardware in Troy, Michigan. This included two recalculation servers to help send out process reports from BW, and Spinnaker Support assisted with the configuration settings.
It was a little scary leaving the SAP ‘mothership,’ but the onboarding process was extremely easy. Everyone I’ve met is interested in helping. We should have done it sooner.
-Craig McBroom, Business Analyst
Exela Technologies was also able to take advantage of one of Spinnaker Support’s other SAP services, project consulting. Exela enlisted Spinnaker Support to help move their SAP ecosystem and BW from a physical server to a virtual server. “Spinnaker Support layered it into the work they were already doing for us, and we completed the project in 2-3 weeks,” said McBroom. “Despite a few long nights, which is normal, it worked out well, and we felt as if the Spinnaker Support team was right here with us the whole time.”
To continuously improve on the working relationship with Exela Technologies, Spinnaker Support regularly elicits feedback from users of the services. One Exela employee recently responded, “Support for SAP ECC is great overall. As long as I have a say in things, we will continue to enjoy working with Spinnaker Support.”
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