In a service business when something cataclysmic happens, the firm can rarely be sold as a single asset. Witness what is happening with Satyam today after the fraud disclosure. Even at one-tenth its valuation compared to a year prior, it is too toxic for many interested buyers. Instead, it is gradually leaking staff and customers – two of its biggest assets.
When Oracle sued SAP accusing theft at TomorrowNow (“TN”), SAP similarly tried to sell the TN unit. But with the lawsuit hanging, the unit proved impossible to sell. Instead its staff and customers were told to move on as they shuttered the group last October.
One beneficiary in the TN closure has been Spinnaker. I caught up with Matt Stava, one of the founders of the firm based in Denver, CO. He said they had picked up 30 TN employees who were focused on J.D. Edwards third party maintenance, and along with them came over 70 customers (a few former TN customers went to other 3PM firms, and some went back to Oracle support).
What makes Spinnaker different from other 3PM firms like Rimini Street?
4 differentiators from the conversation:
- they focus exclusively on JDE. Rimini covers other Oracle acquired products like PeopleSoft and Siebel and has even expanded to SAP 3PM
- they emphasize service and customer intimacy while staying price competitive. They have a average 9 minute callback track record. Each customer has a named support engineer, creating a personable client relationship. (this is more of a differentiator against Oracle itself. Other 3PM also have competitive customer service and accelerated delivery of fixes and regulatory updates)
- their engineers have over 14 years of experience supporting JDE on various platforms (JDE was a local partner, also headquartered in Denver prior to acquisition by Oracle) – so can offer systems integration and other consultative services not just 3PM
- they are already global. 20% of their customers are non-US and several of their US customers have global operations and leverage Spinnaker staff in London and Singapore.
The conversation mostly focused on how they are different from other 3PM.
Kind of telling we did not even need to discuss why customers should consider staying with Oracle’s own support.