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Korean Air drops Oracle for third-party support across entire portfolio

Airline contracts Rimini Street to support EBS, Fusion middleware and Oracle databases

Korean Air has dropped Oracle vendor support in favour of third-party support from Rimini Street across the airline's entire Oracle enterprise software portfolio -- in a significant move just two years after it swapped from Oracle support to Rimini Street support for its aging Oracle Siebel CRM software suite.

The move comes as Korean Air has had to innovate whilst finding as many ways as possible to reduce operational expenditure, as it adapts to an industry dramatically transformed by the pandemic. (The airline has been ripping seats out of its passenger planes and converting them to cargo carriers amid huge demand for airfreight across the semiconductor and broader IT supply chain, its earnings revealed.)

Rimini Street, an Las Vegas-based company that provides enterprise support for Oracle, SAP -- and as of September 2021 the open source MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and MongoDB databases too -- will now support Korean Air's full Oracle suite of E-Business Suite, Fusion Middleware and databases.

“The cost of maintaining the rest of our Oracle software and databases still accounted for a large portion of our IT budget,” said Seongyeon Park, ERP team leader in Korean Air’s IT department in a release this week.

He added: "We now have a more agile partner supporting the stable operation of our mission-critical enterprise software in the cloud – all under a single roof. This move has provided us with even more efficiencies than we were experiencing previously, and it has freed up the team to focus on other more pressing business projects.”

As Rimini Street’s General Manager, EMEA Emmanuelle Hose pointed out to an audience of IT leaders and practitioners at an event hosted by The Stack this year, before swapping to third party support – whether as an SAP, Salesforce, or Oracle user – many organisations find themselves having to address several core questions.

Chief among them, she said, is “'how’s the vendor going to react?'

"That’s typically followed by concerns about security. The first thing I emphasise is that when you choose not to renew your annual maintenance with the vendor, you are not divorcing from them” Hose said, noting that Rimini Street clients still have their perpetual license agreement, and are still able to buy more licenses and more products, but save an average of 75% on total maintenance costs with the potential to save up to 90%.

The big takeaway, Hose emphasised that “[the savings] gives you a lot more budget to innovate and really move the needle.” Typically, she added, "as a result the vendors are aware that you have freed up a lot of budget that may well be reinvested in new products from them. The move hardly sours the relationship: indeed it can often give the vendors a renewed incentive to rebuild a far more balanced relationship.

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