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United Biscuits slashes SAP maintenance costs with Rimini Street

13/01/2015 by


British snack supplier United Biscuits, which owns brands such as McVitie's, KP Nuts, Hula Hoops, and Twiglets, has saved hundreds of thousand of pounds in maintenance costs by moving from SAP vendor support to Rimini Street. 

Clifford Burroughs, CIO of United Biscuits, decided to make the switch to Rimini Street in 2011, after assessing the company's core ERP (enterprise resource planning) apps and determining that they were mature and stable, and that any new innovations coming from SAP were limited.

He concluded that the rising cost of annual maintenance from SAP for the company's ECC 6.0 app was failing to provide a satisfactory return on investment.

Burroughs was keen to find a third party maintenance provider with a proven track record in the SAP space. He ended up choosing Rimini Street based on its reputation and customer testimonials.

“If I look back, I'm amazed how relaxed Rimini were in terms of trying to sell to us. A lot of other enterprise suppliers are almost breaking your door down, but Rimini were very confident of their case,” he said.

In switching to Rimini Street's support model, UB was able to reduce its annual SAP maintenance spend by 50 percent, amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of savings within the first year, according to Burroughs.

“The reason we can do the 50 percent is not that it's a cut-price, cheap model. It's the fact that both SAP and Oracle make 90-odd percent margins on their support and maintenance business,” said Nigel Pullan, Group VP for EMEA at Rimini Street.

“So we can add additional support features, cut their price in half and still make a healthy profit out of it.”

UB has used the money saved to drive improvements in its core SAP system, and fund other business and IT objectives. For example, Burroughs has invested some of the money in cloud-based applications that drive simplicity and accessibility within the organisation.

Cost reductions have not been the only benefit of UB’s move to Rimini Street, however. Burroughs said that one of the things he values most is having recognised contacts within the Rimini Street organisation that have a working knowledge of how the UB system is configured.

United Biscuits signed a contract with Rimini Street three months prior to terminating its support contract with SAP. This gave the support team at Rimini Street time to get to know UB's environment, and also allowed UB to familiarise itself Rimini Street's support processes.

Burroughs was assigned a UK-based Primary Support Engineer, who provided support not only for “vanilla” SAP applications but also for modifications that the company had made to its systems, at no additional fee.

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