Global textile manufacturer declines SAP’s cloud roadmap in favor of their own while improving support, reducing costs, and funding data initiatives
In 2015, Pacific Textiles made history by successfully implementing the first end-to-end deployment of SAP Business Suite on HANA in the textiles industry. Hubert Tsang, CIO at Pacific Textiles, emphasized the role of SAP within their organization, “SAP is our core system. It’s mission-critical and runs everything in our company. If it goes down, production stops immediately.”
Pacific Textiles forged a strong partnership with the vendor from the beginning of their journey. SAP worked closely with them during the implementation phase, providing consulting support and assisting in the adoption of best practices. However, as they attempted to adapt SAP’s Mill Products industry solution for their textile operations, the software required extensive customization due to the unique nature of their industry. Those needed customizations fell outside of the scope of standard SAP support, leaving them on their own for application support.
Over time, the company faced even more challenges with SAP’s standard support, which often involved lengthy ticket processing times. Tsang recalled, “When I logged a support ticket, it typically took around four hours for the first response. We had to wait for SAP to get around to processing our ticket, then go back and forth with them, and then wait forever for a response. We actually had to pay more to purchase SAP professional services in hopes of getting faster support.”
Aligning SAP support with their IT roadmap
The global textile manufacturer manages accounting, purchasing, production, and production planning on S/4HANA alongside legacy solutions like Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) for production scheduling. They also use SAP BW for its data warehouse. Pacific Textiles chose to keep all their systems on-premises primarily for performance reasons. According to Tsang, “What’s most valuable to us about having our systems on-prem is the uptime. We don’t need to worry about internet connectivity issues disrupting productivity.”
The decision to explore third-party support options arose from frustrations with SAP’s dwindling support for their specific needs and SAP’s shift in focus towards the cloud. “We started getting frustrated with how little we were getting from SAP in terms of support. With support, typically, you get new product updates and ticket support. But we started to notice that were getting fewer and fewer product updates,” he said. To extend the life of and maximize value from their SAP investments, they decided third-party support for SAP was the best option.
After discovering Rimini Street at a Gartner Symposium event, Tsang began his due diligence in comparing third-party support options and was greatly impressed by Rimini Street’s track record. “We quickly discounted Rimini Street’s competitors because they didn’t have the same size, scale, and capabilities across the world. In particular, competitors couldn’t provide us with the language support that we needed.”
Gaining a strategic partnership instead of a transactional vendor
With the looming 2027 end-of-support date for ECC, signing a five-year contract for Rimini SupportTM for SAP was perfect timing. “SAP is our core system. We don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. For us, that five years provides us runway to cover SAP support without the pressure to migrate,” Tsang explained.
Since moving to Rimini Street, Pacific Textiles has seen significant improvements in support response times, leading to enhanced operational efficiency. “Core systems are still up and running, but what has changed is that we get better support, much faster response time, and my board of directors sees that spending in IT has gone down,” Tsang said. “With SAP it could take up to four hours to get a ticket response. With Rimini Street, if we have a P1 critical issue, they respond within 10 minutes. And Rimini Street covers our customizations that we used to have to pay for additional professional services to support,” he continued.
With Rimini Street, they achieved an immediate 50% savings on their SAP annual maintenance fees. With the cost savings achieved through partnering with Rimini Street, Pacific Textiles has been able to invest in strategic projects, such as transitioning to a new data lake architecture for better analytical capabilities that can help improve machine health and performance.
Pacific Textiles commends Rimini Street for their proactive approach, with monthly updates and beneficial insights that contribute to their success. “We see Rimini Street as a strategic partner. We don’t do transactions with strategic partners. We work on long- term partnerships,” commented Tsang. He advises other IT leaders, “As you look at the current business landscape, competition is increasing, margins are under pressure, and profitability is falling. As an executive, you have a responsibility to increase profitability for your business. Rimini Street is one of the easiest ways to do that.”