Rimini Street looks beyond Oracle lawsuit

Despite having to pay out $50 million in damages to Oracle, Rimini Street believes that with the trial over, it was more of a gain than a loss, and is prepared to win over more customers going forward.

Sebastian Grady, Rimini Street president and chief operations officer, told ZDNet that Rimini Street is already looking ahead at ways to grow its product line in 2016.

This comes after the lawsuit between Rimini Street and Oracle finally wrapped up earlier this month.

The trial, which was five years in the making, saw Oracle awarded $50 million in damages against Rimini Street over third-party maintenance. Oracle sued Rimini Street in 2010, alleging that the support provider was infringing on copyright, but the case did not go to trial until September this year.

However, in Grady's defence, the infringements that Rimini Street allegedly caused were similar to ones that other system integrators and hosting providers have been carrying out for years, disputing that the company was only targeted by Oracle because it was seen as a tough competitor.

"Oracle has turned a blind eye to that; that's why [the case] was considered an innocent infringement," Grady claimed.

While at face value, it may have appeared that Rimini Street lost the trial, Grady said it was actually a win from the company's point of view.

"You know that our outcome was very favourable: Oracle got one fifth of what they were asking for, no punitive damages, no wilful misconduct; it was all innocent infringement," he said.

The focus now, Grady said, is to continue to convert more Oracle and SAP customers into Rimini Street customers, claiming its products are offered at half the price as the number two and three market leaders. However, Grady said the company won't rule out extending its products to service customers that are with other companies facing similar problems.

Andrew Powell, Rimini Street APAC managing director, said organisations are adopting cost-cutting strategies, and believes customers are turning to Rimini Street in hope of a solution.

"The major vendors are still clinging to the concept that to resolve any problem, you need to buy more software. The customers here are pushing back, saying, 'actually, no, what I want to do is spend less money'," he said.

"There is a complete conflict on what the user community wants to achieve at the moment: They want to spend less and get more, and the vendors just want you to spend more, and go for more lock-in, like cloud and proprietary software like HANA."

During its Q3 results, despite the pending verdict, the company reported that it had 1,146 clients and added an extra 80 in that quarter alone. It also reported a 38 percent increase in revenue quarter over quarter.

Grady added that more than half of its business is now coming from outside of North America.

"If you look at our new sales, roughly 10 percent of our new sales in 2013 came from outside North America; about 30 percent in 2014; and in 2015, it has been already over 50 percent. So for a Las Vegas-based company, we have done an amazing job of actually being accepted globally," he said.

Looking back, Grady believes the lawsuit worked out in favour of the company, but said the the real winners are customers.

"I think it's time to actually have options in this market. The customer I think has finally won. I think it will make Oracle a better company as well, to have competition like us that can keep them on their toes and vice versa," he said. "Oracle is very good competition for us. It makes us better at what we do, and in the end it's the customer that wins when we compete."