Rimini Connect (c) Rimini StreetRimini Street has launched Rimini Connect. It is a suite consisting of three solutions initially which will solve the integration and interoperability challenges organisations face. Rimini Street has developed the solution over several customer engagements to a level where it feels ready to productise.

Initially, the solution was described as a “universal translator”, as it was developed and used to connect previously incompatible systems. The solution has been built over 17 years, by the Rimini Street team of 800 engineers across many different use cases. These real-world examples mean the solutions go beyond a minimum viable product and address challenges faced during digital transformation.

This is backed by recent Accenture research that found organisations leveraging high interoperability grew six times faster than their peers with low interoperability. Emma McGuigan, senior managing director and Enterprise & Industry Technologies lead at Accenture, commented, “While the concept of interoperability isn’t new, the technology to make it possible in a timely and cost-effective way is finally putting it within reach for most enterprises.”

This announcement is, therefore, timely with Rimini Street. The suite consists of three solutions, Rimini Connect™ for Browsers, Rimini Connect™ for OS and Rimini Connect™ for Email. They each address specific challenges organisations face as they leverage different technologies at different stages of evolution, from on-premise solutions to modern SaaS-based ones. As individual pieces of software are upgraded, the rest of the enterprise application solutions often disconnect, and organisations face the challenge of mending broken processes.

The initial integrations focus on SAP, Hyperion and PeopleSoft applications, with Rimini Street aiming to add more over time.

Solving the difficult interoperability challenges

Connect aims to solve those interoperability challenges in three of the most common areas; browsers, operating systems, and email systems connecting back-office applications. This challenge can take considerable resources to solve. While there are IPaaS vendors with solutions, most have connections between cloud-based solutions and lack the knowledge or experience of connecting to legacy ERP applications, that Rimini Street has built over the years. IT teams face hours of work to solve the issue, facing additional challenges where software is customised. Connect aims to reduce the time taken to integrate solutions and regain control.

Desmond Whitt, vice president Advanced Technology Services, Rimini Street, Inc
Desmond Whitt, vice president Advanced Technology Services, Rimini Street, Inc

Desmond Whitt, vice president Advanced Technology Services, Rimini Street, Inc commented, “Many of our clients are running these Rimini Connect solutions successfully in production and will save millions of dollars, extensive labour, and significant time avoiding the need for software vendor code updates, application updates or migrations just to maintain integrations and interoperability.” 

Rimini Connect for Browsers

Organisations are often forced to upgrade browsers for security and other reasons. However, the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Firefox are often incompatible with the HTML messages that existing ERP applications often send.

The Rimini Connect for Browsers uses patented technology to act as middleware between the legacy solutions and the modern browser interfaces, reinterpreting the HTML to that understood by the browser enabling organisations, to continue using both a secure browser and a legacy system safely.

Rimini Street identifies five benefits of leveraging the solution:

  • Helps “future-proof” the compatibility of current and future applications and releases
  • Extends the lifespan of existing enterprise applications and minimizes change for users with a variety of current and future browsers and versions
  • It does not require server portal and browsers to be changed
  • It does not require updates, upgrades, or migrations to the application code
  • No application regression testing is required

One existing customer, Officeworks, a large every-channel retailer in Australia, needed to continue leveraging its critical SAP CRM solution after Internet Explorer was retired. Using Rimini Connect for Browsers, the firm could continue using a browser interface using Chrome or Edge without a major update of their SAP solution, which would have been costly.

Michael Howard, chief operating officer of Officeworks, commented, “In the long run, Rimini Connect has allowed us to prioritize our technology investments to drive an easy and engaging customer experience.

“This project really was a collaborative experience with the Rimini Street team; when any implementation issues occurred due to our unique environment, they proactively helped us look for a solution and to troubleshoot. For us, it was about making the transition as seamless as possible without any interruption to business, and Rimini Street helped us achieve that.”

Rimini Connect for Email

Rimini Connect for Email enables organisations to maintain interoperability between legacy systems and evolving email services. One of the common challenges overcome in recent years is the introduction of the OAUTH2 protocol, which will be introduced for Microsoft Exchange Online on January 1, 2023.

Organisations wishing to preserve email-based notification from ERP solutions will need to find a way of making their ERP solution compatible with the new protocols. This challenge and others are met with this solution. Rimini Connect for Email sits between the Enterprise Applications and the internet and helps preserve existing workflows without major changes to the ERP solution. It also means that legacy solutions can maintain compatibility as more changes emerge within online email services.

MilliporeSigma, a pharmaceutical services provider, faced the challenge that basic authentication for Microsoft Exchange was nearing its end of life. The connection between their legacy ERP solution and Exchange would fail, leading to broken workflows and potential business disruption. It turned to Rimini Street for a solution and, within a few weeks, had deployed Rimini Connect for Email to solve the challenge.

Karen McAfee, IT-AMD senior business analyst, MilliporeSigma, commented, “Email compatibility for us is very critical. The Rimini Connect implementation was flawless. There was no system downtime. Our end users didn’t know that anything happened. Rimini Street has been a game changer for me and is giving me the peace of mind knowing I have someone good and reliable to go to for help supporting our system.”

Rimini Connect for OS

As organisations upgrade operating systems, incompatibilities often emerge with legacy ERP solutions. Rimini Connect for OS aims to address this challenge. It allows organisations to decouple their main operating system from the ERP solution, with Connect for OS providing a layer between the application and the OS. It means that organisations can maintain the latest and most secure version of the operating system whilst retaining their legacy ERP solution.

Rimini Connect for OS consists of three components. The software component acts as middleware between the operating system and the application. Configuration and Settings help to manage the registry settings that control how the operating system interacts with applications and ensures that those applications continue to work whilst taking advantage of new OS feature where possible. Rimini Connect for OS is also available in the cloud, or hosted environment, enabling organisations to continue their digital transformation migrating, away from expensive on-premises data centres, to the latest OS. This enables them to break down the digital transformation into manageable phases.

A US-based linen company wanted to move their legacy SAP R/3 4.6c ERP solution to Microsoft Azure. However, Azure only supported Windows 2012, which their installation did not support. They turned to Connect for OS to enable them to migrate the application.

The Technical lead at the company commented, “The solution and services were easy to implement and allowed us to modernize our tech stack. I would highly recommend to any SAP customer that wants to upgrade their systems.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

If a little late, Rimini Connect will provide the answer to some of the challenges CIOs face as they look to extend the life of their legacy solutions. The window to fix the OAUTH challenge for emails is especially pressing for those organisations that have already moved online. However, for those that haven’t, this potentially provides the answer that will enable them to move to Azure for their Exchange environment.

R “Ray” Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, Inc. commented, “Anything could go wrong, so you’ve got to make sure everything works with each other. Now, your job, well, it’s about uptime and making sure you deliver on customer and employee experience. But, you don’t have the resources, you don’t have the time, you don’t have the talent to be able to deliver on that. Imagine if there was a service that could actually give you that peace of mind. That’s what Rimini Connect is all about.”

While Rimini Connect should be seen as an interoperability solution enabling organisations to move forward unhindered by OS, Browser and Email challenges, it will be interesting to see whether they extend it to a more traditional IPaaS functionality. Enterprise Times asked Rimini Street what the next solution within the suite is. The response was, We are working on several additional solutions to handle interoperability with other elements in the enterprise software landscape. We are not yet announcing what those solutions will be.”

While the intent is not to rival other IPaaS platforms, it will be interesting to see what Rimini Street delivers next. Will Rimini Street extend support for other applications that organisations use with similar challenges? Will it extend the list of legacy solutions beyond the current five listed?

Rimini Street is extending its portfolio of services and solutions with the launch of Rimini Connect following the introduction of Rimini Protect earlier this year.


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