UK Oracle users welcome cost cuts, call for more help

Oracle’s cuts in extended support costs are “welcome” among UK users coping with the tough economy, according to Ronan Miles, head of the UK Oracle User Group.

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Oracle’s cuts in extended support costs are “welcome” among UK users coping with the tough economy, according to Ronan Miles, head of the UK Oracle User Group.

But the supplier could do more to help users weather the downturn, he told Computerworld UK. The price concessions were no more than a temporary "waiving" of costs.

What UK users want is more reassurance on support, as Oracle prepares to launch its Fusion products, Miles said. This was especially important as many would be waiting past this extended “window” of support cost cuts to be able to access relevant Fusion applications.

“It’s good that Oracle recognises the economic pressures,” he said, “But curiously, the move as a whole is not especially important to UK users. We didn’t have them clamouring for this ... For example out of Siebel and Business Suite users, not that many are paying extended support,” he added.

“You have to look at it on a case by case basis: do you have ERP systems at five years plus in age? If so, it’s helping you stay on them longer.”

Miles thought JD Edwards users were “possibly” the most likely to have stuck with existing systems. Companies looking to upgrade from Oracle 10g to 11g, who could now delay the move, would also benefit.

What UK users want is more reassurance on support, as Oracle prepares to launch its Fusion products, he said. This was especially important as many would be waiting past this extended “window” of support cost cuts to be able to access relevant Fusion applications.

Details of the Fusion launch remain under wraps, Miles said, but that the UK OUG was ready to help members.

“Oracle are avoiding the big bang approach, which is good,” he said. Miles said Oracle was likely to first roll-out Fusion to selected customers and market segments, allowing time for organisations to adapt. “At a practical level, users are not likely to be pressurised,” he said.

Miles reiterated the user group’s concerns about support. “It’s largely the same as we found [in our survey of users] in December; Oracle’s support is good to the general customer, but if more people used its electronic support tools they would be happier – forty to fifty percent still don’t use them, and we don’t know why.”

Scott Rosenberg, CEO and founder of Miro Consulting, this morning warned that customers seeking discounts will continue to have "to fight tooth and nail".

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