Color Spot Nurseries Expands SAP Footprint with Rimini Street

Third-party software service and maintenance providers continue to peel off lucrative maintenance contracts from large vendors one customer at a time. Color Spot Nurseries has been successfully expanding its SAP footprint while leveraging Rimini Street Inc. for maintenance and support. Rimini Street is a leading third-party maintenance and support provider for enterprise software, including SAP’s Business Suite and BusinessObjects software and Oracle’s Siebel, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, E-Business Suite, Oracle Database, and Hyperion software. Since 2005, more than 660 organizations around the world, including 75 of the Fortune 500 and 16 of the Global 100, have leveraged Rimini Street for its Oracle and SAP systems (see TEC’s article for more info). Color Spot Nurseries is a leading wholesale producer and distributor of specialty horticulture. The company specializes in the production and distribution of high-quality bedding plants, vegetables, herbs, and shrubs to more than 2,000 retail and commercial customers around the US.

Color Spot has been Rimini Street’s client since 2010, and its story could be a validation for companies who want to derive more value from their SAP software implementation. While under Rimini Street support for the past three years, Color Spot has purchased and deployed new SAP licenses to keep up with its strategic acquisitions and growth into new markets. At the same time, it was able to reduce its maintenance costs from 20 percent to only 9 percent of its overall IT budget and significantly improve the level of service the company receives. The savings were reportedly used to drive strategic initiatives and to meet the ongoing needs of the business.

Since 2001, the company has relied on its SAP R/3 4.7C implementation for mission-critical operations, including finance, human resources (HR), and payroll processes. The company also continues to grow aggressively through acquisitions and expand its SAP instance across all entities. It made the decision to switch from SAP maintenance to Rimini Street in 2010 after SAP had announced that it would no longer provide support for version 4.7C, which would have forced Color Spot to undergo an expensive, unneeded, and disruptive upgrade to SAP ECC 6.0, or else face de-support. Color Spot also uses the Rimini Street Tax Engine for SAP Payroll and receives regular tax, legal, and regulatory updates that keep the organization in compliance with changes taking place at the local, state, and federal levels.

A lesser-known fact is that about half of Rimini Street’s SAP clients are on legacy R/3 releases, as opposed to newer SAP ECC (ERP Central Component) releases. Naturally, there are no SAP HANA third-party support and service clients yet given the platform’s newness in the market, but that situation might change down the track.
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