Email Interview With Rimini Street on Digital Transformation In a Challenging Economic Environment

Date: 04-Oct-2019
Location: Malaysia

Key takeaways:
  • Rimini Street was founded to disrupt and redefine the enterprise software support model.
  • Products offering at 50 percent of the vendors annual support fees and up to 90 percent of the annual maintenance costs.
  • Nucleus Research, found Remini Street's clients saved 75 percent on their total maintenance costs on average, and in some cases up to 90 percent.
  • New office setup in Singapore to service clients at SEA
  • Each client receives personalized service from an assigned, senior-level Primary Support Engineer (PSE).
  • Products and services include consulting, software customisation and premium technical support.

Q & A:

1.) What are the challenges that companies in Malaysia face when it comes to digital transformation?

CEOs consistently cite business growth as their number one priority, and they frequently identify digital innovation as an essential strategy for achieving that growth. Digital is bringing major change to the entire business landscape, with new markets and business models, and also a new level of customer expectation.

Malaysia is well positioned to take advantage of digital transformation. It has one of the highest rates of internet penetration in the region, making it a fertile ground for digital opportunity.

Digital transformation presents numerous challenges, but can also create exciting opportunities for organisations that understand the need to transform. According to Boston Consulting Group, digital transformation requires instilling a culture that supports change while enabling the company’s overarching strategy. To embed a digital culture in an organisation takes a clear methodology and a disciplined effort.

CIOs can help the business digitally transform by shifting their mindset from maintaining the status quo to a relentless focus on experimenting and innovating.

Andrew Seow, Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Greater China

2.) What do businesses need to know and be aware about when thinking about their digital transformation strategy?

There may be many factors and challenges surrounding transformation that are unknown at the start of a project. Many transformation initiatives fail because leaders develop detailed plans (and associated budgets) before they understand the realities of the adjustments they will need to make over time.

In addition, without enough funding, digital transformation is no more than an empty promise. According to Gartner, organizations spend as much as 90 percent of IT budgets on current systems. This leaves little budget available to drive business transformation and new digital initiatives. Ensuring a robust, secure platform for business operations is core business for the IT team, but current systems and the accompanying legacy vendor business models are now consuming the vast majority of IT resources, preventing needed investments in digital transformation.

If maintaining the status quo is limiting your innovation budget and keeping your business from meeting its objectives, how can you take control of costs and regain your momentum? One area with huge IT savings opportunity is the traditional legacy software vendor model for maintaining ERP systems, including maintenance and support fees.

To fund digital transformation, take a close look at your total maintenance costs and related ROI for maintaining legacy enterprise software. To truly understand your total costs, you need to consider more than just maintenance fees — which are typically 22 percent of upfront licensing costs, but paid every year. Traditional ERP platforms may require ongoing expensive upgrades and other costs related to inefficient software support models, including the cost to support customized code and a one-size-fits-all support model. Annual maintenance fees are only the tip of the iceberg, with total maintenance costs about double your maintenance fees.

With the right approach to maintenance you can cut your annual support fees in half, in addition to delaying or avoiding costly product upgrades which deliver even more savings, and free up precious IT resources for more important priorities.

3.) How is Rimini Street disrupting the ERP industry in Malaysia?

Rimini Street was founded to disrupt and redefine the enterprise software support model by developing innovative new products and services that put client success first. By delivering comprehensive support and highly skilled engineering expertise at 50 percent of the vendors annual support fees and up to 90 percent of the annual maintenance costs, our clients receive one of the highest levels of both value and customer service every day. Our premium third-party support services can assist clients in optimizing existing enterprise software investments, extending current capabilities to leverage hybrid IT, and transforming their businesses into digital enterprises with help from intelligent and agile technology roadmaps.

Rimini Street clients have continued to grow and evolve their ERP portfolios, including modernizing their technology stacks and investing in innovations such as cloud-based applications and tools. Canceling vendor maintenance does not freeze your ERP solution. In fact, the opposite can happen. Enterprises can become more agile and flexible as they free up resources to invest where it matters. Using a third-party, such as Rimini Street, for enterprise software support provides an alternative to the vendor's forced upgrade cycles. For many of our clients, this includes selectively implementing upgrades and patches they hesitated to apply without the safety net of a reliable support partner.

Areas where we see our ERP clients continue to change include updates to the core ERP solution (aka upgrades), extensions, modernization and innovation (often including cloud initiatives). Rimini Street is an enabler of change to help enterprises grow and gain competitive advantage.

Many ERP customers use as little as 20 percent of the ERP functionality they paid for. If your enterprise fits this description, after leaving vendor maintenance you can still expand your ERP footprint by deploying functionality that you already purchased. You can also roll your deployment out to additional regions/plants/users as long as you adhere to your license agreement. You can even expand your license rights and licenses and purchase additional products from your ERP vendor to support growth.

4.) How do you approach the Malaysian market -- via a reseller or do you have a local office?

To serve our growing list of clients in the Asia-Pacific region, Rimini Street currently has offices in Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo, two locations across Australia, and a recently opened office in Auckland, New Zealand. In addition, we have opened up a new office in Singapore to serve Southeast Asia.

5.) Why is the company called Rimini Street?

The Company’s CEO, Seth Ravin, was reading the news about the acquisition of Siebel by Oracle in 2005 and realized this was a great opportunity to introduce third-party support. A decision was made within 24 hours to launch the business. Seth had to come up with a business name in 15 minutes in order to register with the Secretary of State, and he was living on Rimini Street in Las Vegas at the time!

6.) How is the company able to provide enterprise level database software support to customers? What is the unique selling point in comparison to the vendors’ support?

Rimini Street goes well beyond providing the standard break/fix assistance. Each client receives personalized service from an assigned, senior-level Primary Support Engineer (PSE). In this innovative support model clients have direct access to an expert with their first call. PSEs are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and respond within an average of 15 minutes for critical issues. Clients benefit from software fixes as well as a team of experts who focus on interoperability challenges, roadmap planning and holistic security.

Through core support, managed services, project and strategic services delivered by a team of seasoned engineers and domain experts, we help the business of IT get more value from existing enterprise software investments

In fact, a survey of 70 Rimini Street clients validated by an independent analyst firm, Nucleus Research, found companies saved 75 percent on their total maintenance costs on average, and in some cases up to 90 percent. For the 70 organizations interviewed, that represented over $85 million USD annually.

Clients save four ways:
  • Reduce annual maintenance fees: For starters, Rimini Street clients get premium support for 50 percent of what they paid for the support that comes with vendor maintenance.
  • Upgrade avoidance flexibility: Avoiding forced upgrades, undertaken primarily to remain supported under a vendor maintenance contract, is a huge source of savings. Clients surveyed saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by not having to test and implement unnecessary upgrades.
  • Custom code support: Based on Rimini Street historical support data, 65 percent of the time what breaks in a mature enterprise system is not the vanilla vendor code, but rather the custom code an enterprise has added to meet its unique business requirements. Rimini Street addresses those issues at no extra charge.
  • Tailored support: With Rimini Street, your primary support contact is a Level 4 engineer who provides prompt, meaningful and proactive support.