Business & Administrative | News

Rochester District Shifts to Third-Party Provider for PeopleSoft Support

Rochester City School District has gone public with its move away from Oracle and to Rimini Street for annual maintenance of its PeopleSoft applications. The 32,000-student district made the shift to a third-party company in order to decrease the amount it was spending on support. According to a presentation made by IT Officer Annmarie Lehner, the cost of annual maintenance provided by Oracle had increased by $300,000 per year from 2006 to 2010. Lehner sought an alternative after the district had completed upgrades of its four major PeopleSoft applications: Portal, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), and Financials.

A request for proposal process ultimately wooed only a single formal response, from Rimini. Lehner told her board that reference checks "showed that this firm was more highly rated than Oracle in terms of service and response times." She projected that staying with Oracle maintenance would cost the district at least $10.7 million over 10 years; that expense would increase every time the software was upgraded. The deal with Rimini would save about $6 million over the same period. The board approved the new agreement in March 2011 and renewed it in June 2012.

"The move to third-party support of our PeopleSoft apps was not a decision we made lightly," said Lehner. "However, we were facing an extremely challenging fiscal period and we knew that our current support model was not sustainable. In evaluating Rimini Street's customer base, we received very favorable assessments of Rimini Street's service and support and we felt confident in our decision. I would strongly urge any public sector CIO who is evaluating their organization's enterprise software strategy to proactively consider the responsive service and substantial cost savings of third-party support."

The support vendor said it makes cost reductions possible by allowing clients to run their current software releases without any required upgrades for at least 10 years and providing support for customizations, interoperability, performance, and interfaces with no additional fees.

However, that doesn't mean that the district has opted out of new Oracle software. In 2011, Lehner's team rolled out new functionality for its PeopleSoft system, including the ePerformance module. Additionally, the district recently licensed Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) in order to implement a centralized reporting system.

Among Rimini Street's other K-12 customers are Abilene Independent School District, Detroit City Public Schools, and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.