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APAC is proving to be ‘substantial growth engine’ for Rimini Street

Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin outlines growth opportunities in Asia-Pacific and discusses the company’s move up the support value chain

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is shaping up to be a growth engine for Rimini Street, accounting for over 25% of the company’s revenues as more organisations across the region look to optimise their spending on software maintenance and other IT services.

In the third quarter of 2022, the company announced major wins in the region, including South Korean hypermarket firm Lotte Mart, New Zealand’s Manukau Institute of Technology, Racing and Waging Western Australia, and University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

UTS, in particular, had switched from Oracle to Rimini Street to improve the support and security of its Oracle database and technology platforms amid a shortage of IT skills and its shift to online learning and remote work during the pandemic.

With that growth momentum, it is not surprising that Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin has been on the road in APAC since February 2023, with a travel itinerary spanning Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

“The fact that I’m spending almost the first half of the year in APAC is a good indication of how busy we are and how much opportunity we see in the region, which is a substantial growth engine,” Ravin told Computer Weekly in Singapore.

Ravin attributed the company’s growth in APAC to its efforts to help organisations not only to cut costs and improve profitability, but also to drive growth: “Right now, what everyone has to do is this magic of improving profitability and getting some growth. Generally, they’re sort of inverse to each other.”

As a third-party support vendor, Rimini Street provides software maintenance services at a lower cost than that offered by the likes of SAP and Oracle, enabling businesses to continue using older versions of enterprise software without being drawn into upgrade schedules.

That will free up more funds for organisations to invest in growth and innovation, Ravin noted, adding that the Singapore Institute of Management, for example, had developed a new mobile app with a modern user interface for undergraduate students to register for classes.

“Behind the scenes, it’s still using the core engine that runs the whole university,” Ravin said. “That’s an example where you can make a very smart investment instead of this massive idea of replacing the core infrastructure.”

Today, even as Rimini Street is known for providing third-party support for SAP and Oracle systems, and increasingly software-as-a-service (SaaS) products such as Salesforce, it has expanded its portfolio to include IT management capabilities such as application management services (AMS).

The fact that I'm spending almost the first half of the year in APAC is a good indication of how busy we are and how much opportunity we see in the region, which is a substantial growth engine
Seth Ravin, Rimini Street

“We added AMS because a lot of customers we support like Wipro and Accenture that were running those systems said since we knew the systems better than others, why didn’t we just run the systems for them?

“It’s the highest level of service we provide because it includes fixes and tax and regulatory updates,” Ravin said. “In a lot of companies, you’d start off at the low level and then you work your way up. We’re actually known for having the highest level of support that Accenture and others that are running the systems turn to.”

To keep legacy systems running longer, Rimini Street has developed a suite of interoperability offerings that connect browsers, operating systems and email systems to other technologies while securing them using its managed security services.

And in day-to-day IT operations, Ravin claimed that the company can provide an average incident response time of two minutes, and that it is “moving to the next step to help customers avoid the incident in the first place” through observability capabilities.

“With the observability of Rimini Watch, we monitor all sorts of triggers so that we can make sure that our customer systems are running right. And if we see an anomaly, we jump in and head it off before it takes a down a system,” he added.

That also applies to SaaS applications, which some organisations assume would just work out of the box. “When you have a SaaS-based app, you still need someone to run it,” Ravin said. “You still need AMS services and support – just because it’s served up from a datacentre does not take away as much work as people think it does.

“In the world of traditional enterprise apps, we compete with Oracle and SAP in selling maintenance services, but in the world of SaaS, what people fail to understand is that the maintenance included is very little and not enough for an enterprise.”

Like many tech companies, Rimini Street has been hit by macroeconomic headwinds. Although its overall revenue was up 6% year on year in the third quarter of 2022, it saw delayed deals as organisations recalibrated their spending.

While the cost of shipping has come down from the pandemic highs, Ravin said companies are still facing challenges like inflation and the higher cost of borrowing, noting that some organisations had taken two quarters to step back and redo their plans.

“We’re seeing that they’re absolutely finishing those plans, and now they’re executing. There’s evidence that the confusion and rework is now coming to an end and companies are moving forward with new plans,” he said.

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