Rimini Street to offer Salesforce third party support in SaaS expansion

And the real shocker--at least based on Rimini Street's history battling Oracle--is that the support provider and Salesforce are partners in the effort.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Rimini Street will branch out into offering third party support for Salesforce in move that takes the company into software as a service.

And in an interesting twist, Salesforce and Rimini are partners with complementary services. Rimini historically has offered third party support for Oracle and SAP applications and undercut lucrative maintenance revenue streams from those two software giants. Oracle and Rimini Street have been battling in courts for years.

"This is a big potential change in our relationship with vendors," said Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin. "Rimini Street is 13 years old and we were in a truly tough neighborhood. The SaaS world is different in that maintenance is included in licenses and mostly bare bones."

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In other words, Rimini Street and Salesforce are more like business partners looking to expand their respective ecosystems. Dan Smoot, executive vice president of global partner sales at Salesforce, said Rimini Street has been a long-term customer.

Given that Oracle and SAP are often coupled with Salesforce in the enterprise, Rimini Street has a fertile market as it moves to support as-a-service software. Salesforce customers that also use Rimini Street for Oracle and SAP can now bridge cloud and licensed applications and log multiple issues at once. About 40 percent of Rimini Street's customer base runs Salesforce along with SAP or Oracle applications.

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Specifically, Rimini Street will offer support services for Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. Rimini Street's support services will complement what is offered by Salesforce. Rimini Street will also handle configurations for Salesforce that can be as complex as the customization it sees with Oracle and SAP on-premises applications.

Rimini Street's support of Salesforce includes 24x7x365 staffing and a 15 minute guaranteed response for urgent items as well as managed system administrations, customization and integration. Rimini Street also provides a primary support engineer.

Think of Rimini Street's Salesforce coverage like you would Medicare Gap insurance. "We are coming in to cover the gaps in basic and premium maintenance," said Ravin.

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The Salesforce support effort was years in the making and Ravin mentioned SaaS as a market in an interview with ZDNet years ago. Rimini Street also mentioned SaaS as a growth area in its regulatory filings.

Ravin said the SaaS market will have a few nuances that on-premises support lacks. "This will be about reducing risk and optimization across spending, resources and time," said Ravin. "We're not saying we're cutting 50 percent of what you're paying now. An enterprise may have an architect, consultant and support team. We need to do the upfront work to find out where the holes are and then create a plan to streamline it."

Separately, Rimini Street announced first quarter results. The company reported first quarter earnings of $3.5 million, or 5 cents a share, on revenue of $59.8 million, up 22 percent from a year ago.

During the first quarter, Rimini Street received a litigation refund of $21.5 million from Oracle. A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reversed and vacated awards to Oracle and told the software giant to refund $50 million. Rimini Street said it used the refund to pay down a credit facility.

The company ended the quarter with 1,581 active clients. As for the outlook, Rimini projected second quarter revenue between $60 million and $61 million and 2018 sales of $250 million to $270 million.

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