Rimini Street expands UK operations

UK businesses are increasingly joining their North American peers in switching to third-party technical support to cut costs of owning big-ticket enterprise software.

UK businesses are increasingly joining their North American peers in switching to third-party technical support to cut costs of owning big-ticket enterprise software.

UK companies are typically more conservative, said Seth Ravin, chief executive and president of third-party support and maintenance service provider Rimini Street.

The US and Canada have strong risk-reward cultures in which anyone cutting annual maintenance costs by half is considered a corporate hero, he said.

But the tide is turning because most companies in the UK are looking to cut costs in the recovery from the global economic downturn, said Ravin.

UK companies are able to make only limited staff cuts, and reducing maintenance costs provides a non-political way of adjusting to economic change, he said.

Rimini Street is investing in the UK in response to market growth after US-based sales into companies like Experian, National Grid and EDF Energy.

The company set offices in London in February and plans to grow the number of developers and other staff to support local sales that have doubled in the past year. Rimini provides support and maintenance for JD Edwards, Siebel, Peoplesoft and SAP business software, including tax and regulatory updates.

"UK companies are beginning to understand the benefits of leaving the big suppliers," said Ravin.

Around half of enterprise software users are already on the latest releases and will not need to go back to the supplier for a major technological refresh for a while, he said.

The four most common benefits of moving to third-party support are reduced annual support fees, upgrade costs, maintenance time and improved support, according to a study by Nucleus Research.

Organisations moving to third-party support can expect to save 50% in annual licence maintenance costs, and those with undeployed modules are likely so save more, the report said.

Savings from upgrade avoidance depend on the level of maturity of the application and the number of components deployed, the report said, but most organisations can expect to save at least $175,000.

Nucleus found that organisations switching to third-party support spent less time on application maintenance and received more responsive and proactive support.

According to the report, those organisations paying for ongoing licence maintenance without a clear return from that investment, should look at third-party support as a way of achieving significant savings with limited drawbacks.

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