Spinnaker Adds JDE Consulting to 3rd Party Maintenance Business
March 16, 2010 Alex Woodie
Eighteen months after the launch of its third-party maintenance business for JD Edwards, Spinnaker Support last week announced the formation of a new consulting division that’s dedicated to serving the custom development needs of its JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne clients.
Spinnaker quietly entered the third-party maintenance business for JD Edwards in August 2008 as an extension of its supply chain consulting and outsourcing business, which had been around for most of the decade. While the Denver, Colorado, company did consulting work in the area of supply chain planning and execution, it did not perform general-purpose development work on behalf of its clients.
According to Spinnaker CEO Matt Stava, there is definitely room in the industry for companies that offer third-party maintenance and development. “We noticed a gap in the market,” Stava says. “There was not a single provider who was offering both third-party support and consulting services for JD Edwards users.”
It’s probably worth pointing out that other companies that offer third-party JDE maintenance also provide some consulting services. netCustomer, for instance, provides “value-add services” beyond core maintenance and support, such as report and interface development, customization, and testing, a company spokesman said. But it is apparent that demand for JDE consulting is on the upswing, especially as the economy forces companies to squeeze more useful life out of their ERP installations, and the JDE talent pool shrinks.
Companies that sign up with Spinnaker to avoid paying the 22 percent maintenance fee Oracle charges JDE users are also looking for custom development work, the company says. “Our support business has doubled over the past year and half, yet we continued to hear from companies who wanted to perform upgrades or product enhancements prior to selecting third-party support,” Stava says. “Now clients can choose Spinnaker Support to perform both the upgrade and then support their steady-state environment.”
Spinnaker’s new consulting division will be headed up by Kurt Moydell, a 20-year veteran in the consulting and managed services industries. Additionally, Spinnaker announced that it’s hiring more JDE support professionals for its Europe and Asia offices, and investing more in the JDE user group community.
The third-party maintenance business for JDE continues to evolve in a helter-skelter style underneath Oracle’s giant shadow. In January, Oracle sued one of the leaders in the third-party maintenance business, Rimini Street, over intellectual property (IP) issues. Rimini Street denies the charges and is fighting back against Oracle in federal court in Nevada.
The Oracle-Rimini Street case bares an eerie similarity to the lawsuit Oracle filed in March 2007 against TomorrowNow, which then was a leader in the third-party maintenance business, and a subsidiary of SAP. Accused of stealing Oracle’s IP and “corporate theft on a grand scale,” SAP ultimately shut down the TomorrowNow support business in July 2008, which provided a big opening for Rimini-Street and others.
With all the lawsuits over IP, it’s no wonder that Spinnaker takes great pains to disassociate itself from Oracle’s IP as much as possible. The company plainly states its IP policy on its Web site:
“Spinnaker WILL NOT download to any Spinnaker systems, any material from a vendor (including Oracle) on a client’s behalf–no tools, no documentation, no patches,” the company writes. “Spinnaker authors virtually all client fixes via our support and development engineers and does not require access to vendor patches.”