Forced upgrades and vendor lock-in for database support can be a real drain, so the company switched to a third party.

South Korean internet giant Kakao runs a brand and service portfolio that includes mobile messaging with Kakao Talk, gaming, music, e-mail, search, and news, providing these services to tens of thousands of people every day.

When the company wanted to reduce overall expenditure for their Oracle database support (because they were seeing only small returns on investment), it explored third-party support as an option to help them reduce the high annual fees they were paying the vendor for maintenance. They also wanted to avoid forced upgrades just to maintain full support.

After considerable due diligence, the company selected Rimini Street, a third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP software products and a Salesforce partner. As a result of making the switch, Kakao now receives premium and responsive support for its mission-critical database instances for a minimum of 15 years from the transition, with no required upgrades. The company also immediately realized savings of 50% in annual support fees.

Today, Kakao not only enjoys a vastly-improved level of support for its databases, but the company has taken back control of its IT roadmap and has more flexibility with its limited resources—time, money and personnel—enabling them to divert resource savings to more strategic initiatives across the company.

Said Tonny Yi, head of Kakao’s data platform team: “Our strategy is to eventually move Kakao’s existing Oracle Database to an open source database such as MySQL, Maria, or PostgreSQL. Since switching to Rimini Street, we have reduced our database maintenance costs significantly, and my team is now free to focus on other initiatives to improve our business, like this database migration. Furthermore, we receive responsive service and expert support from our assigned Primary Support engineer and the team of Rimini Street specialists.”

Under the partnership, Kakao is assigned a seasoned Primary Support Engineer (PSE) who is backed by a team of technical experts with an average of 15 years’ experience in the client’s software environment. These engineers provide support for all issues, including support for performance and interoperability issues, delivering on the Company’s industry-leading service level agreement of 15-minute response times for critical Priority 1 cases.

Said Hyung-wook “Kevin” Kim, regional general manager, Korea, Rimini Street: “It’s exciting to see Kakao, a company that drives innovation in the mobile internet and messaging space, choose Rimini Street’s support services. By switching to Rimini Street, the Kakao data platform team receives ultra-responsive support for its databases, is no longer reliant on a forced upgrade to retain full support and can execute on its open source transition strategy.”