Is there still a market for third-party maintenance? By the time you read this, there may have been a resolution to the court case between Oracle and SAP regarding SAP's TomorrowNow subsidiary, but probably not. And even if the court case is settled and TomorrowNow is sold off, the larger question of whether using third-party maintenance providers is a good idea will still be unresolved.
Let's try to resolve it here and now: If you're a shareholder in a large enterprise software vendor, third-party maintenance is a very bad idea. But if you're a customer, third-party maintenance is an excellent idea, and a service that you should have the right to use-- legally and morally--even if you don't think you'd ever want to do it.
Though the lawsuit--which alleges that TomorrowNow employees stole Oracle's proprietary support materials--has largely obtained its twin goals of humiliating SAP and shutting down TomorrowNow, it has failed to kill off the third-party maintenance market. Indeed, if anything, the court case has the potential of making third-party maintenance a major new force in the market.
Source: Managing Automation, http://www.managingautomation.com
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