Is there a pattern here?
How about -- service is where the money is? Or, possibly, the days of the independent systems integrator are numbered? If service is where the money is, why then are we not seeing a lot of cash-rich systems integrators buying cash-starved systems companies?
There are lots of reasons why both product companies and end-customers might want to eliminate the middleman. Product companies don’t want to concede account control. Customers don’t want to play finger-pointing games whenever problems occur. Both sides want to keep as many of the support dollars for themselves as they can. Meanwhile, Rimini Street thrives by staying outside the product company’s value chain. It only supports legacy implementations -- in other words, companies who have already opted out as a system company’s customer (at least for awhile).
The fact is that in a flat globalized world the difference between knowledge and product is fading. Products merely encapsulate knowledge in a different form. In that context, the independent systems integrator may be an unnecessary abstraction layer. In the cloud, anyone can be a knowledge provider and knowledge providers will compete increasingly on (and be compensated for) the utility of knowledge itself -- not on arbitrary hierarchical organizational structures.
Customers will seek efficiency and speed in the way they acquire knowledge. No systems integrator, no matter how big, knows everything about anything. So why limit yourself -- or take the time -- to contract with a single provider? In a flat world, customers will increasingly gain knowledge horizontally via the network rather than vertically through the SI’s hierarchy.