“The opposite of Rimini Street”
Many users of third party maintenance solutions for their ERP software are looking for a low-cost provider that will keep their working, stable ERP software current with tax, regulatory and a few technical changes. But, the key focus for many of these customers is to avoid major upgrades and the attendant business disruptions they cause.
Rimini Street serves this market well. If you have a stable release of a major ERP product, they’ll keep it running. And, they do it cost effectively.
But, what if you’re a company who wants to keep their licensed ERP software current but without the risk and disruption that comes with applying scores of patches, new releases and upgrades? How does a company stay current without throwing piles of support people on these fixes and enhancements? How do you do all the regression testing, interface adjustments, etc. to ensure these updates don’t cause the system to fail?
Those are the ERP customers that Panaya has targeted. ERP users that want to stay current but have no appetite for risk and little budget or headcount to throw into all of that testing.
Panaya currently provides this service for SAP customers (Rimini Street supports SAP and Oracle product lines). A Panaya customer still pays SAP its annual maintenance fee; however, the update process is completely re-engineered after this point. Panaya creates a cloud-based sandbox to test a group of updates against their virtual version of the customer’s production software environment. Panaya’s tools identify which patches will work, which ones may cause issues and which ones will require serious investigation to prevent a failed upgrade, data corruption or system crash.
Panaya’s service runs on the Amazon EC cloud. Panaya is an Israeli firm that has already captured more than 150 SAP customers. This month, the company is releasing new functionality to permit one-click application of tested upgrades to its clients. The company claims its solutions automatically resolve or remove 70% of potential upgrade problems.
Panaya exists because too few ERP vendors have focused on the sale of their software and not on the upgrade burden it places on its customers. You would think someone would have created a firm like Panaya before as one finds so many software buyers who get stuck on old releases. Why are they stuck? Because its too risky and/or too costly to upgrade. This forces too many customers to adopt a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude to ERP.
Companies that utilize a system integrator, consultancy or application outsourcer to operate their SAP solutions should insist their outsourcer utilize a solution like Panaya. Then, they need to insist that their rates/fees be reduced as Panaya takes a lot of their lower-value-added work out of the equation.
Panaya will be moving into Oracle ERP software soon.
My thanks to Amit Bendov of Panaya for meeting with me at the Sapience 2009 show a few weeks ago and thanks to fellow blogger Jon Reed for insisting I check out Panaya.