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Rimini Street diversifies with cloud services for Workday, Salesforce.com

The move may be a hedge against a negative outcome in Oracle's intellectual-property lawsuit against Rimini

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Independent Oracle and SAP support provider Rimini Street will now offer integration services for customers who want to adopt SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings from the likes of Salesforce.com and Workday.

IT environments are set to "transform" from monolithic software suites to ones that include specialized applications as well as a mix of on-premises and cloud-based software, Rimini said in a statement.

Rimini's new services will help customers migrate to SaaS while offering continued support for their existing SAP and Oracle implementations through the transition period. The company will also offer support for any remaining on-premises components after the switch to cloud services is made.

Its announcement suggests a number of potential scenarios, such as a company that wants to replace its Oracle Siebel CRM system with Salesforce.com in some divisions, or an SAP ERP (enterprise-resource-planning) customer adding Workday's human resources software while keeping their SAP SCM (supply-chain-management) module in place.

Pricing details for the services weren't disclosed.

Rimini Street and other third-party support providers cater to customers with stable systems and little desire to continually upgrade the software with the updates provided by ongoing vendor support. It provides tax and regulatory updates along with bug fixes and general system help, and says customers will save at least 50 percent compared to their vendor maintenance bills.

The cloud services could be an effort by Rimini Street to diversify, and therefore hedge against the worst possible outcome in the intellectual-property lawsuit Oracle filed against it in connection with its on-premise software support offerings.

Oracle alleges Rimini Street violates its intellectual property in the course of serving customers, something Rimini Street has denied. In a pre-trial ruling earlier this year, a judge ruled that Rimini had infringed on copyrights Oracle holds on PeopleSoft, but ruled in favor of Rimini on other points.

A Rimini Street spokesman wouldn't address that scenario, but said the announcement is only Rimini Street's first step into cloud software services, and one driven by past experience.

"There are a couple of examples we run into a lot, with say a move of PeopleSoft HR to Workday while we support HR during the transition and support PeopleSoft financials for the longer term," said Dave Rowe, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, via email Friday.

Other considerations apart from the Oracle suit are probably in play, such as hedging its bets against an unfavorable decision in the Oracle lawsuit, according to analyst Frank Scavo, managing partner of IT consulting firm Strativa.

"But I think the more likely scenario is that Rimini Street is looking for a larger share of its customers' wallets," he said via email. "Right now it saves customers a lot of money, but it doesn't participate in any of the new stuff that customers spend that money on. Now, by offering to help integrate the customer's back end systems with new cloud offerings, Rimini Street can expand its footprint with its customers."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com



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