Rimini Street Executive Series: Doing More for Clients, Part 4

Part 4: Easing the Transition to a Better ERP Managed Services Experience, an Interview with Nancy Lyskawa

Rimini Street has evolved from first supporting client ERP systems to now also managing them — designing and delivering an application management services (AMS) catalog that streamlines IT support and service and requires less multivendor coordination.

Rimini Street manages licensees’ ERP systems including SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards — plus SaaS applications — so they are freed from staffing, supporting, and maintaining them daily.

Nancy Lyskawa, executive vice president, global client onboarding leads the Rimini Street teams that are responsible for the transition and onboarding of these services.

Nancy sat down with Rimini Street’s Anne Plese, senior director, product marketing, to discuss how Rimini Street minimizes business disruption while ensuring a smooth transition.

Anne Plese: Transitioning your managed services model can be scary — but your team has designed a phased experience with Rimini Street. What is our onboarding structure?

Nancy Lyskawa: “Our process is very smooth and productive for clients and for us.”

“By design, this is not a heavy lift for our clients. They have a business to run, so 90% of transition work is done by Rimini Street.

The onboarding process is very flexible, with six phases. The start-up phase is the most important, as it begins with defining the keys to success and the current priorities in the client’s organization. The phases are:

  • Start-up and preparation for transition
  • Remote access set-up
  • IT service management (ITSM) or ServiceNow integration
  • Existing AMS landscape review, knowledge transfer, AMS shadowing, and reverse shadowing
  • AMS support transition
  • Finalizing AMS governance and transition plan

The process is integrated and led by senior Rimini Street experts including the onboarding project manager, the resource manager, the engagement manager, and the support manager.

Through onboarding, Rimini Street transparently becomes a part of the client operating model from the very start, including appointing an executive sponsor who owns delivering on milestones and the cadence of executive updates and dashboards.

Over the past 15 years, Rimini Street has conducted thousands of transitions, so the process is very smooth and productive for clients and for us. And onboarding services are included at no additional cost to clients.”

AP: Can you give an example of onboarding success?

NL: Successful onboarding has transitioned into a successful client relationship.”

“One of our larger, multinational Oracle clients onboarded smoothly, encountering no major issues during the global pandemic. All credentials and tools are working extremely well, as expected.

Rimini Street delivered unilateral case management integration from the client’s internal ITSM system. The processes are working just as planned. We also rebadged and onboarded a handful of existing Tech Mahindra resources that were nominated by our client.

The key performance metrics (KPIs) for this client were established in early May 2020 and fully achieved. We present an executive dashboard to their IT leadership team each month, which tracks our ability to deliver on performance targets, including response-time SLA attainment for P1, P2, and P3 issues.

Today, Rimini Street engineers are delivering a 77% year-over-year improvement in the time it takes to close security access requests and a 68% year-over-year improvement in the time it takes to close data fixes. Our teams have transitioned into a successful client relationship with near-term productivity improvements.”

AP: What are some of the skills and best practices that you’ve designed into the experience to help clients in the transition from their previous AMS model?

NL: “Clients can see the positive differences of the Rimini Street AMS support model.”

“The top practices and skills that we focus on are knowledge transfer and ITSM integration.

Knowledge Transfer

Rimini Street has a standardized approach, with experts who lead the knowledge transfer (KT) process. Our approach is based on years of transferring Level-4 engineering expertise to clients who don’t have those skills in house. So Rimini Street comes to the AMS relationship with extensive, historical KT experience that includes formal processes and documentation.

And because Rimini Street already provides ERP software support to its application management services clients, we have an existing standard knowledge repository for the client. We maintain centralized directories that contain detailed information on the client’s infrastructure, operating system versions, server architectures, network topologies, and more.

ITSM Integration

Client case management systems may be integrated into other client processes (e.g., case management surveys), so it is up to us to fit our services and processes to the client. Rimini Street can integrate with client ServiceNow or custom case management systems. This enables us to track service requests, incident trends, and enhancement projects to deliver optimal support.

When clients go through the knowledge transfer process and see ITSM integration in action, they quickly see the positive differences between the Rimini Street AMS support model and their prior model.”

AP: How does the Rimini Street approach to training and change management manifest itself during the onboarding process?

NL: “We are always on the lookout for how changes can be optimized to prevent future problems.”

“We work within client communication styles, established cultural dynamics, leadership personas, critical KPIs, and factors such as language preferences. And we have training on how productivity is measured, reported, and communicated in the IT organization.

We also share the Rimini Street corporate culture — which combines accountability and a sense of urgency — with clients. Our model has never been to just fix the break, then repeat. We are always on the lookout for how configuration changes can be optimized and clearly documented to prevent future problems. We combine troubleshooting with curiosity, commitment, and proactive support.”

AP: What is included in client executive communications and reporting?

NL: “We integrate our communications strategy with client IT goals and KPIs.”

“Rimini Street follows a structured process, with weekly communications and a high-touch approach — integrating into existing executive dashboards or IT leadership scorecard methodologies. We integrate our communications strategy with a client’s IT goals and KPIs. We have clearly defined onboarding milestones as clients exit the AMS onboarding process.

Rimini Street provides operational runbooks with schedules, so clients know what type of changes are going to apply each month for their systems. We are very detailed, ensuring clients are comfortable with the operational model, with what has been agreed to, and with opportunities for continuous improvement.

These are mission-critical systems that we’re running. We won’t stop until we perfect the onboarding experience.”

Learn more about Rimini Street integrated Application Management Services and ERP software support.

“Rimini Street is redefining what Application Management Services (AMS) ought to be...”