Software Support Services In Helping Businesses Remain Competitive

Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 20 June 2022

Andrew Seow

Regional GM, Southeast Asia & Greater China, Rimini Street

In a world where digitization is absolutely necessary for businesses to remain competitive, there are so many new technologies they need to keep up with and oftentimes, it can be very overwhelming. But instead of constantly sourcing for newer technology and replacing the old ones, sometimes, it might be the best option to simply update their existing software. 

Hiring third-party software support is an investment. It is certain that with the correct company supporting your business and its needs, you will save money over time. Corporations will not have to worry about pricey maintenance, costly software expenditures, or unexpected expenses if they choose a great software support provider.

To find more on the benefits of software support services and how it can enhance a business’ growth, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Andrew Seow, Regional GM, Southeast Asia & Greater China to gain more insight on the topic. 

The Importance Of Cost-Efficient Software Support Services In Today’s Digital Landscape

When organizations consider the amount of their IT budget that is spent on yearly maintenance, many focus primarily on the annual maintenance fees as a large and already-budgeted expense that must be paid without question. But looking deeper at the total price of support, it can become apparent that millions of dollars are often unnecessarily wasted each year due to the dated support model of software vendors. 

Third-party support is a proven, mainstream option to reduce total software maintenance costs by up to 90%, while benefiting from a higher level of service. Oracle’s operating (profit) margins on software support are as high as 90%. 

“One of the biggest benefits that licensees have experienced with independent, third-party support such as Rimini Street is avoiding the cost and disruption of forced upgrades to maintain full support,” says Andrew Seow, Regional GM, Southeast Asia & Greater China.

These can require rebuilding and retesting of customizations and integrations, which can result in a significant investment of both internal and external resources.

Transforming Legacy Infrastructure Efficiently With Third-party Support Services

Traditional IT support models aren’t always designed to support modernized IT environments. In a modernized IT environment, organizations are facing multiple technologies, vendors, SLAs, and support levels. Juggling it all can take away focus from working on strategic projects that drive growth and competitive differentiation. CIOs need a technology support model that is agile and responsive, yet simple, scalable, and strategic. 

The answer is a unified support services model that more nimbly responds to changing technology and business needs. This model helps improve business outcomes while improving technology service quality, scalability, and delivery speed. Unified support is a new way to handle a multivendor, multiplatform, hybrid driven world. It provides a single experience for software support by eliminating traditional software support silos. 

By bringing operations, application management, and support activities together under a single umbrella, IT leaders can improve business outcomes. Where software models once worked in isolation, they are now unified and integrated under a single support provider. 

Andrew Seow, Regional GM, Southeast Asia & Greater China also added that, “With unified support, the proven software that enterprises trust for everyday needs is supported alongside new, advanced software that drives digital acceleration”. 

Growth In The APAC Region According To Rimini Street 

Rimini Street has been executing business in Greater China since 2015, and in 2019 launched its operations in Southeast Asia. They also launched regional hubs in New Zealand and South Korea. They accelerated their next phase of growth through hiring new staff in the regions, including experienced engineers who work close to the clients and speak local languages. Today, Rimini Street already supports more than 300 clients with operations in Greater China and Southeast Asia combined. As of March 31, 2022, 26% of their revenue comes from the Asia Pacific region.

To serve their growing list of clients in the Asia-Pacific region, Rimini Street currently has offices in Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo, three locations across Australia, and a recently opened office in Auckland, New Zealand. In addition, they have now opened up a new office in Singapore to serve Southeast Asia. 

The Key To Remaining Agile Even As The Pace Of Business Continues To Accelerate

With the accelerated pace of business and shrinking product life-cycles, companies are struggling to remain competitive. While a majority of the executives talk about the importance of being agile, it is not a quality that just occurs with an executive mandate. The development of an organisation that can truly be termed as agile takes rigor and discipline. It’s foundation lies in having the right processes and an infrastructure that is specifically designed to adapt. Only when these aspects are in place can you be a viable, agile business partner to the rest of the company.

A key component of business agility is to comprehend and decipher the operational constraints and absolutes that impacts the organization. When an IT roadmap constitutes elements that are dictated by third parties outside the CIO’s control, there is no way to be truly in charge of one’s destiny. The transition to a third-party enterprise support provider is of strategic significance because it puts the control back into the hands of the CIO by eliminating self-serving, vendor-imposed edicts. Apart from monetary gains, third-party support empowers IT organizations to refocus resources where they can make the biggest strategic difference.

The Various Elements Of IT That Can Be Managed By Software Support Services

As modern IT environments become more complex, enterprises are at risk of the complexity overwhelming their existing support organization’s ability to deliver high-quality, timely IT services. For modern IT support to be successful at handling the complexity of multi-vendor, multi-platform, hybrid IT environments, it must be simple. The demand for technology experts is increasing as IT services are transformed to meet a more complicated technology landscape. IT services teams must be able to support complex, global, multivendor solutions.

Integrated support services, tailored for enterprise systems and business goals can scale to cover application and database services beyond software support, including application management services, database management services, security solutions, integration and interoperability, advanced strategic technology advisory services, and project-based professional services. These also include capabilities such as monitoring and health check, cloud advisory, licensing, and software compliance services with fast update delivery. 

How Can CFOs Leverage These Software Support Services?

In contrast to the traditional CFO, who was frequently seen as an IT budget gatekeeper, today’s modern CFO’s level of understanding of technology and its potential for delivering returns — as well as its risks — is expected to be higher than ever. Beyond just a buzzword, digital transformation is definitely on the CFO priority list. As per the Rimini Street 2021 CFO Peer Insights, when asked how significant digital transformation compares to their other corporate initiatives, 80% of CFOs reported it is a top-five priority, and 59% said it is a top-three priority.

However, While CFOs have long been the creators of cost structures and the keepers of the checkbook, the task of controlling costs has become increasingly complicated. Funding strategic IT priorities can be difficult at companies where rising costs outpace revenue, making it challenging to sustain growth and profitability. Many legacy cost items that were once seen as necessary, such as managing data centers, maintaining software licenses, or undertaking expensive and disruptive vendor-directed upgrades, are now coming under scrutiny. 

“Through third party software support, CFOs can drive operational improvements and mitigate risk at the company level by maximizing existing ERP investments and deferring costly, often risky, and unnecessary enterprise software upgrade and migration projects,” comments Andrew Seow, Regional GM, Southeast Asia & Greater China.

It replaces vendor enterprise software maintenance for applications and databases, and guarantees about 15 years of support for current releases from the time you switch, enabling CFOs to achieve significant annual financial savings on typical software maintenance costs. They can also maintain the flexibility to upgrade or migrate to a new platform when there’s clear business value and ROI.

In summary, it empowers CFOs to focus on strategic activities that enhance business performance and shareholder value, by switching support for your enterprise software maintenance, thereby reducing the financial burden of software maintenance costs and low-value software upgrade and migration projects.