How to Combat Fear and Build Confidence in Third Party Support

Based on a series of interviews with executives who successfully transitioned their organizations to third-party support.

Overcoming fear and uncertainty is a process of understanding what forms the core of the obstacles. Building confidence and assurance in third party support is a process that involves communication, research, transparency, and facts. 

Knowledge and evidence can help to counter Oracle’s escalation and surround tactics. Build confidence with your stakeholder cohorts by engaging with them. Listening to and acknowledging their doubts and fears will help to create a better transition plan. But, getting people on board is a process. 

Here are four tips we gathered from executives who have successfully transitioned away from Oracle to third party support.

Tip #1: Maintain an open and honest dialogue  

When you’re making technology decisions, there’s always an impact on the business, whether it’s something visible or not. By bringing the business leaders along the journey, you can gain valuable knowledge and insight. By the time you are ready to take action, many of the concerns these individuals raise throughout the process diminish. 

At one large US-based company, the IT department didn’t operate in a silo; it was fully integrated with the business. Once it was clear the company would be choosing a third-party support path, the team engaged with the broader IT and business stakeholders. When they learned new information or lessons, they shared knowledge. The two-pronged approach taken reflected how the IT and business sides of the business operated. By maintaining open and honest communication and involving the business in the IT department’s decision process, the company successfully transitioned to a third-party support vendor, avoiding surprises along the journey.

Tip #2: Go slow and be thorough  

Engaging in communication early on is a worthwhile investment. Many companies find success by taking the time to dig deep, ask many questions, engage in lengthy discussions, and involve a cross-section of stakeholders. 

Transitioning to a third-party vendor is a process of discovery and understanding. Take the time to have detailed discussions with the new vendor about how long it could take to make the switch. Get the right individuals involved from the IT, business, and vendor side. You want to enable everyone to see the big picture to understand what impact the change will have on them. Looking at the challenges through different lenses will help surface additional concerns, less apparent scenarios, and situations you want to avoid. 

Proceeding with caution is more important than speed.

Tip #3: Meet regularly, think proactively  

A smooth transition isn’t an accident. Set up a regular cadence of meetings to leverage the capabilities of your new third-party support partner fully. You have to explore every possible angle. Ask difficult questions. Dig deep to find the answers you need. If you’re a global company with multiple sites that require support, talk about access. If you’re concerned about security, find out if there are monitoring tools that you can implement. 

For many companies, the most significant change is getting used to engaging with third-party support regularly. With Oracle support, the only contact between your company and Oracle occurs when there is an issue. Your new vendor can offer much more than break/fix support. 

You might only experience a handful of support incidents in the first few months after you’ve made the switch. But that doesn’t mean you won’t hear from the new vendor. Your new support vendor will proactively check-in to see if you need assistance. That’s a massive shift in behavior. 

One executive explained that the engagement from the new vendor was more proactive. The vendor reached out to make sure they were doing everything they could to help. Ongoing communication happened at multiple levels, including the executive, the director level, and the DBAs. They also had team members in different regions who were dialed into the conversations.

Tip #4: Invest time getting people on board

Getting the practitioners on board is a process of increasing the different stakeholders’ comfort level from development through to infrastructure and executives through to ecosystem partners.

One company brought their technical staff together with the third-party support vendor, including people from development, infrastructure, and administration. Each of these different functional areas met with the third party support team separately to discuss any potential issues they envisioned, discussed plans, problems they’d experienced in the past. 

The conversations helped to get everyone to an acceptable comfort level, especially the development team. After speaking with the engineers on the third-party vendor side, the development team were blown away by their depth of experience and knowledge.