The decade-long David-versus-Goliath battle between the underdog Rimini Street and software giant Oracle has crossed over to Southeast Asia. And it is promising to disrupt the way digital and IT leaders value their current IT.
Andrew Seow will head the company's foray into the region as the regional director for Southeast Asia and Greater China.
He acknowledged that regional digital and IT leaders are under tremendous pressure to “enhance overall efficiency and optimize their IT roadmap to invest in innovations and systems that support the needs of the business.”
The problem is that vendors have diverse roadmaps that may not align with the companies'. Yet, digital and IT leaders have little choice but to follow these.
Enter Rimini Street. “Rather than follow the vendor-dictated roadmaps that consume too much budget and put pressure on resources with expensive annual maintenance fees and a steady beat of required upgrades and updates, organizations can now turn to a trusted partner in Rimini Street to help them take the necessary steps towards leveraging their significant IT investments to achieve business results,” he said.
Follow Thy Roadmaps
Rimini Street’s entire playbook for the region relies on operational cost savings. Founder and chief executive officer Seth Ravin emphasized that Rimini Street’s core mission was to enable licensees of Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft and other enterprise software vendors to save up to 90% on total support costs. This frees up funds for innovation.
The company is able to drive these savings by bypassing vendor-driven roadmaps and extending current IT investment. Ravin noted that expensive and recurring upgrades and migrations might have “no inherent value for the client in terms of competitive advantage.” He guaranteed “another 15 years minimum on whatever you’re running today”.
Rimini Street’s value proposition aligns with industry analyst Gartner's. The latter noted that many organizations spend up to 90% of their IT budgets on daily operating costs. Only 10% is left for strategic initiatives that create competitive advantages and drive growth.
“It’s really not just about reducing costs,” stressed Ravin. “It’s about shifting investment - taking back the money and investing it back into your business. We focus on bringing that 90% spend down to 60%. That’s a gamechanger and that’s why you have so many Fortune 500’s who’ve made the switch to Rimini Street today and why they keep growing.” He cited Hyundai, GM and Proton as being recent customers in the region.
Change is Bloody
Rimini Street has endured nine years of court battles against Oracle since 2010. At one point, it paid out USD 140 million to the IT giant. European company SAP took a less aggressive approach. It has what Ravin terms a “co-existence agreement” with Rimini Street, where fierce competition exists outside of the courts.
“If you want to change the status quo, and this is part of breaking into a new market or breaking up any kind of monopoly, there will be litigation. It is because you are changing and disrupting the dynamic of the market,” said Ravin.
Apparently, Rimini Street's value proposition was strong enough for client companies to risk being in the middle of a drawn-out legal war between Rimini Street and Oracle.
Rimini Street cited glowing testimonials from their clients. San Fang Chemical Industry supervisor Heidi Hsu alleged that they experienced 50% in savings and support services that were larger in scope, and better in quality and efficiency. Grupo Ferroeste IT manager Enéas de Alcântara Silva affirmed that they had “ultra-responsive support” from a dedicated, experienced technical specialist, which was “a great differentiator in customer care”.
Oracle is not taking any of this lightly. It has devoted a web page to disparage their core competitor. Oracle also warned clients not to “be fooled by third-party support providers like Rimini Street” and contended that Rimini Street could “do more harm than good”.
In the meantime, Rimini Street’s 2,800 converted global clientele appears to be growing. In Asia-Pacific, Rimini Street has offices in Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo, three locations across Australia, and recently opened offices in Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore.
“Our expansion into Southeast Asia and further expansion into Greater China will help bolster Rimini Street’s already strong presence across Asia-Pacific. Furthermore, the investment reflects what we see as a strong and growing appetite throughout the regions for a much more value-driven, flexible alternative to paying expensive Oracle and SAP support costs for enterprise software systems,” said Andrew Powell, APAC managing director, Rimini Street.