Will you pay the price?


We are constantly being told to “do more with less,” and one of the great benefits of well run IT systems is that they generally let an organisation do just that.

However, it looks like some enterprise software companies have a new mantra for their customers, “do the same, pay more”.

Oracle has raised the list priceof its mainstream products by 19% and those from BEA which it recently acquired are up by almost 50%.

Oracle’s move seems strangely out of step with the times. It has been on a buying spree in recent years snapping up Peoplesoft, Seibel and BEA.

Despite many peoples’ fears it has got a generally enthusiastic response from its new user base for both its Fusion integration strategy and its commitment to maintain the products it has acquired. So why risk all that with the price hikes?

Of course there is a substantial difference between the list price and the actual price. Of course, license costs are rarely a major part of any IT organisation’s overall budget.

But few budgets are expanding at present, and, with most organisations generally over licensed, there surely there is going to be some kick back.

Oracle’s move to protect its income, follows SAP’s decision to iincrease maintenance prices, though at least SAP is offering extra services for its extra fee.

You might not have wanted to be a barrow boy or a city trader, but it is certainly time to hone your bartering skills, and if the price is not right, there are plenty of other places to go.

Before raising their prices in a tightening economy, wouldn’t it be a good idea if enterprise software companies considered how they would react to one of their own suppliers that pulled the same trick?

Remember Microsoft’s initial launch of Software Assurance, where it gave just a few months notice of price rises? It eventually had to retreat, but the cost of pacifying irate customers was high.

On a completely different tack, consider this statement:

“There is a difference between missing items and not having a full and auditable paper trail….”

Those were the words spouted by the Pentagon yesterday when it admitted it couldn’t locate hundreds of sensitive nuclear missile components.

The US air force has not lost any nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components insisted another Pentagon official, so that’s all right then…

You wouldn’t get far as an IT manager or compliance officer if you trotted out an excuse like that.

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