Oracle's UK users want better support and licensing

Satisfaction among UK users of Oracle’s technology stack has increased in the past year, but there has been a sharp rise in the number of users unhappy with the quality of support Oracle offers.

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Satisfaction among UK users of Oracle’s technology stack has increased in the past year, but there has been a sharp rise in the number of users unhappy with the quality of support Oracle offers.

The findings, from the UK Oracle User Group’s annual customer survey of users – more than 600 responded this time around – show that one in five users are unhappy with some aspect of Oracle support. The quality of service provided by global support desks also came in for particular criticism – those that said they were dissatisfied with the service offered by these helpdesks more than doubled from 7% last year to 17% this year.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group, said it was notable that levels of satisfaction with Oracle software had increased “across the board” and Oracle should be pleased that its efforts to improve software quality appeared to be paying off.

But Miles also warned that the survey had highlighted two obvious negatives for users.

“Staff working on offshore desks were singled out for poor English by a growing number of users,” said Miles.

“Balancing that point, however, is our finding that Oracle’s online tools for support are universally loved. These attracted no negative comments at all, though only half of users use the tools currently. The question for use is why the other half don’t use them.”

Miles said the other clear issue was the fall in satisfaction among users with Oracle licensing arrangements. This time around, just 15% of respondents said they were ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with their licensing options, down five percentage points on 2006, while users saying they were ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’ increased to 32%.

Miles said the figures did not tell the whole story, however. “The sentiment among users is not that they have an issue not with licensing per se but with how Oracle is sold,” he said.

At the start of the year Oracle established a different sales structure that separated out its sales for applications and its sales for the technology and development support needed to make those applications work.

“This decision means that now two Oracle salespeople are getting involved with every customer, and that has not gone down well with everyone,” said Miles.

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