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Rimini St. adds Oracle E-Business Suite to third-party support lineup

Third-party support provider Rimini Street is adding support for Oracle E-Business Suite, with its first customers starting in a charter program at the beginning of next year.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Third-party support provider Rimini Street will begin offering support for Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), its fifth supported product line since the company launched five years ago.

Seth Ravin, president and CEO of Rimini Street, said that the decision to support E-Business Suite came after many requests for support from customers. The offering, which will be available to clients in a charter program at the beginning of 2011, will be for customers using Oracle E-Business Suite releases 11.5.9 through 12.0, about 90% of EBS clientele.

“[We expect to] get demand ahead of what we’re ready for,” Ravin said, noting that Rimini Street’s third-party SAP support, which it launched 18 months ago, already makes up about 10% of its business.

The E-Business Suite support offering will release for general availability in January 2012. Currently, Rimini Street supports Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and SAP.

The addition of E-Business Suite comes as Rimini Street is in the midst of a lawsuit with Oracle. The software giant sued Ravin and Rimini Street earlier this year for “massive” intellectual property theft, and Rimini Street countersued Oracle in March, claiming anticompetitive practices such as copyright misuse and unfair competition.

Ravin said, however, that Rimini Street would not launch this new product if they did not feel they were doing “very well” in the litigation. He also said that while there are currently not many vendors offering third-party support, he hopes that the outcome of the lawsuit -- which he said may not even go to trial -- will change other vendors’ feelings of uncertainty about the third-party support market.

“It’s going to be explosive,” he said, “because it’s going to lay the ground rules for everyone else.”

A recent survey by Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang found that more than 88% of Oracle application licensees are interested in third-party support options. Cost savings are a major reason for choosing third-party support, and Ravin noted that some companies -- especially those in the private sector -- can put those savings toward other innovation projects.

In addition, the idea of third-party support is becoming more mainstream. Ravin said he has recently noticed a difference in how much he has to educate potential customers on how third-party support works, as more and more businesses become familiar with the market.

“A lot of very conservative companies are beginning to make the shift,” he said.

Ravin said Rimini Street does not want to jump into the E-Business Suite market too fast, and it appears some customers may not want to do so either. An Oracle E-Business Suite user and IT manager at a midsized food and beverage company, who wished to remain anonymous, said he has been using EBS for about eight years. He said he would eventually consider Rimini Street for his E-Business Suite support, but he would want to wait a few years until it has become an established option.

“Why would I consider them?” he said. “There are already so many established IT vendors.”

But with plans in place for Fusion Application support, which Ravin said Rimini Street will offer in 2015 or 2016, the company intends to be around for a long time – and Ravin hopes others will join them.

“It would be great to have more competitors,” he said. “It blows apart the entire monopoly of vendors.” 

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