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Spinnaker to fight Rimini Street for third-party SAP support market

It was only a matter of time before SAP third-party support and maintenance provider Rimini Street had some competition from other vendors. That time has come.

Spinnaker Support LLC, which has focused on JD Edwards third-party maintenance and support, announced Thursday it is expanding its business to include third-party SAP support and maintenance, going head to head with rival vendor Rimini Street Inc.

“The timing is just right for us. We’ve spent a lot of time on JD Edwards and making sure we’ve got it down,” said Matt Stava, managing principal for the Denver-based company. Spinnaker is now ready to tackle SAP deployments, which can be larger and more complex than JD Edwards and other ERP systems, he added.

While Las Vegas-based Rimini Street has had the third-party SAP support market to itself for years, the two companies have long competed for support and maintenance services for JD Edwards shops. Spinnaker Support is a wholly owned subsidiary of Spinnaker Management Group, also based in Denver, which specializes in supply chain consulting.

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Stava said the move is a business opportunity for Spinnaker, pointing to a growing demand by SAP customers frustrated with the high -- and rising -- cost of SAP support and maintenance. He also said the company can provide a broader range of Basis and other support services than Rimini Street. Both firms contend they can help companies cut their SAP maintenance costs in half.

“Giving customers a choice is a positive. I do think there is a growing demand for this,” Stava said. “Whether those customers come from SAP specifically or come over from Rimini Street, those customers have an opportunity for something different than what they’ve got today. We’re open to any customer, right?”  

Third-party SAP support, without the legal woes
Stava said Spinnaker is free from some of the legal baggage Rimini Street is dealing with, namely, Oracle’s lawsuit against Rimini over alleged intellectual property theft.   

“I do know a number of customers are not excited about signing on with vendors that have a degree of litigation against them,” Stava said.  

While conceding it’s impossible to guarantee the company won’t be sued in the future, Stava said Spinnaker has kept open lines of communication with SAP in an effort to prevent potential conflicts. Of course, Rimini Street has made similar statements in the past about cooperating with SAP.

The lawsuit alleges that Rimini Street's downloading of certain privileged support materials from the Oracle support website constituted theft. Rimini counters that it is authorized to access the materials on its clients' behalf and has countersued Oracle.  

Spinnaker has three charter clients, but expects to name more in the coming days. And while the company hopes it can persuade some of Rimini’s clients to switch sides, it has already captured one of its rival’s leaders.

Spinnaker announced it has hired Shawn du Plessis as vice president of global support for its SAP practice. Du Plessis previously served as vice president of Rimini’s SAP support services division.

Stava said du Plessis left Rimini Street over disagreements regarding cuts to the level of support it was providing its customers.


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