SAP Watch

Aug 28 2009   7:10PM GMT

Will Rimini Street, and third-party support, be drawn into Oracle’s lawsuit against SAP?

CourtneyBjorlin Courtney Bjorlin Profile: CourtneyBjorlin

Oracle’s demand for Rimini Street to give it information in its lawsuit against SAP wasn’t the only development in the SAP vs. Oracle saga last week.

Oracle also filed more allegations in the case – filing a fourth amended complaint that attempts to make Siebel and Oracle’s database technology part of the lawsuit.

Oracle now alleges that SAP extended TomorrowNow’s illegal business model to Siebel just days after Oracle completed the acquisition. It also says that TomorrowNow’s environments ran on copies of Oracle database software that weren’t licensed for commercial or production use, according to court documents. SAP refused to purchase Oracle database licenses for TomorrowNow’s use, “even though as an authorized Oracle database reseller, they knew full well the permissible uses of database copies,” the document states.

Oracle certainly hasn’t been shy about piling on the charges in this lawsuit – amending its original complaint four times over the past two years. One now has to wonder what this means for Rimini Street, and whether it will now be dragged into this lawsuit.

Often referred to as the cash cow of the enterprise software world, maintenance is a perennial hot-button issue, but very much so in the past year. SAP’s attempt to raise its maintenance and support fees was met with criticism, and similar discontent is brewing over Oracle maintenance and support fees in the Oracle customer base.

While SAP has made strides with its new Enterprise Support KPI program (though we haven’t seen many details), many companies are still interested in third-party support. Ray Wang told me a few months back that of the more than 900 clients he had talked to about the issue, between 60% and 70% were interested in exploring the option.

It’s just that there aren’t a lot of options for them to explore.

Rimini Street is the big game in town when it comes to third-party support. It just announced a global expansion of its tax and regulatory updates for more than 100 countries. In May, it announced the rollout of third-party support services for SAP R/3 releases, ECC 5.0, ECC 6.0 and BW.

Oracle maintains in its motion regarding Rimini Street that it’s perfectly legal to provide third-party support. But does merely calling into question the legality of the business practices of the biggest game in town suggest that third-party support is in for more of a battle?

Will Oracle’s latest move discourage the market for this type of service?

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