Many customers of SAP enterprise applications can be expected at least to evaluate the notion of third-party support, experts said, following recent news that Rimini Street Inc. is extending its offerings to SAP users.
"This is something that many people in the SAP base have been waiting for, especially those running older versions that are being moved to individual maintenance contracts," said Ray Wang, an analyst at Forrester Research.
Rimini Street, a 3-year-old provider of third-party support services to enterprise software users, said it would extend its offerings to users of SAP's R/3 applications beginning in January 2009. Until now, Rimini Street has offered support services to users of Oracle's PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel products. Currently, it has 175 users of those products under contract.
According to Rimini Street President and CEO Seth Ravin, the company will offer the same set of services to SAP R/3 customers that it offers to Oracle customers, and at similar prices. Those services include named, local support engineers; 24-hour, seven-day-per-week support; 30-minute response times; application fixes; tax and regulatory updates; and support for client customizations. Rimini Street offers those support services at prices that are about 50% below what software vendors typically charge for standard maintenance contracts, Ravin said.