Eye on Oracle

Oct 1 2012   9:57PM GMT

Supporting customized Oracle application code

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

For a long time the story around third-party Oracle support company Rimini Street was that they could save you money off Oracle support costs. The other thing you heard a lot was that the company would support older versions of Oracle applications that Oracle itself would no longer support. But now the company is pushing the fact that it supports customized code.

This isn’t a new thing – Rimini Street has always supported customized code, and CEO Seth Ravin said it has become one of the major selling points. Why? Because Oracle Support will not support customized code. Why they won’t do it is not entirely certain, but Ravin has his ideas on it.

“The only way you can drive 92% gross margins is to provide as little support as possible,” Ravin said, referring to the profit margins Oracle gets on its licensing and support services.

It’s clear that Oracle wants to protect its support revenue – it is in the midst of a lawsuit claiming that Rimini Street infringed on Oracle’s intellectual property by supporting Oracle customers. Oracle is also suing CedarCrestone, another third-party Oracle support provider. At the same time, Oracle has recently come out with its Platinum Services product, a high-end support offering for customers running its engineered systems.

During a keynote Monday morning, Oracle President Mark Hurd talked about the Platinum Services promise of a 5-minute response time, adding that sometimes the response to a problem could be “in nanoseconds.”

Platinum Services promises higher support quality, but only for Oracle customers running so-called Platinum products: Exadata, Exalogic and Sparc Supercluster with Exadata, ZFS or Pillar Axiom 600 storage.

Ravin said that’s exactly the point – if you want to get good support from Oracle, you have to spend millions in their engineered systems to get it. But still, he added, Oracle Support will not support customized code.

Currently about half of Rimini Street’s customer base is running PeopleSoft, with another 30% running SAP applications. Rimini’s target is to eventually have about half SAP, one-quarter E-Business Suite, and the rest a mix of PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel. They say this is the company’s projection because the SAP and EBS businesses are growing so quickly. The company also announced on Monday that it will begin supporting Oracle Hyperion as well.

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