The UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) has welcomed Oracle president Mark Hurd’s pledge to make it easier for customers to deal with the company.
In a recent interview, Hurd told Computerworld UK that Oracle had “no other objective” than to help its customers.
Debra Lilley, president of the UKOUG, said: “We hear lots of stories about how it is not easy to do business with Oracle and I am very pleased to hear Mark say that this is a priority for him, and I volunteer to help him understand.”
Lilley suggested that Oracle could start by improving its upgrade process.
“Support is more than just the amount you pay to Oracle, it is the project costs of upgrading and that is where Oracle needs to help more, on making upgrades slicker and more automated,” she said.
She added: “Not just the technology, but also the testing,”
Other complaints from users include those about the vendor’s demands for complex, wide-ranging licence negotiations when users simply want to add more licences to their existing investments.
Hurd said that he did not want customers to feel “locked in” to Oracle contracts due to issues like this, but vendor lock-in was also a concern for clients of Rocela, a UK Oracle consultancy.
Martin Mutch, chief executive of Rocela, said: “Clients often choose Oracle products because of well-engineered and marketed functionality, acquired or Oracle-developed.
“But many start feeling let down when they realise they are trapped in a one-way ratchet mechanism, whereby it is almost impossible to reduce exposure and expenditure with Oracle in annual support fees, regardless of whether the client’s business and system needs have changed, and they begin to worry that these traps are forever.”
Meanwhile, Ray Wang, analyst and CEO of Constellation Research, described Hurd’s pledge as “aspirational”.
“We’re in the midst of many Oracle contract negotiations. What’s interesting is Mark’s comment may be aspirational.
“As we help clients unbundle from EULAs (End User Licence Agreements) and maintenance contracts, I’d say many customers would welcome an easier to do business approach as past experiences haven’t always been in that vein.”