Oracle's decision to sue CedarCrestone now could also partly be a tactical move meant to benefit its case against Rimini Street, which has yet to go to trial, one observer speculated.
"It could be that they feel they need to be consistent," said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research and a frequent commentator on the third-party maintenance market. "A [jury] or judge might believe that because you didn't go after these other folks, it's just inconsistent." Rimini could exploit this potential reaction as part of its defense, Wang said.
Other companies who offer third-party support for Oracle software include netCustomer and Spinnaker Management. So far, neither appear to have been sued by Oracle, but Oracle did issue subpoenas to them in connection with the Rimini Street case.
For Rimini Street, at least, the specter of litigation has apparently not stifled business. The privately held company reported record revenue in July, although it remains fairly small.
Wang, who recently advised a number of customers weighing whether to move to third-party support, said they had mixed reactions to the litigation.
"At first they are [concerned], but I think what they realize is that they understand the game that's being played," Wang said. Others believe that their worst-case scenario, should the provider shut down, is to go back to vendor support or support the systems themselves, he added.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com