Oracle do their best to make reducing support very, very difficult
In Part 1 we looked at the four reasons we typically come across, as to why Oracle customers are not looking at reducing their support costs head on. Having addressed these issues, we will now look in more detail, at some of the steps you can take, to understand your support liability and assess the opportunity to reduce it. Let’s break this process into three steps.
This post will cover the first step; understanding what support costs you are actually paying. If you are confident you have this information, you can then continue to step 2.
What is required is a full list of the products that you are currently paying support on. There are a number of ways to get a view of your annual support revenue with a product breakdown and we have listed a few below.
The first method requires working with your finance team to get an understanding of all support renewals that you have paid in the last 12 months and also get a view of what is coming up. Many transactions occur in November and May, being Oracle’s half year and year end respectively, so pay special attention to these months. Depending on how large and complex an organisation you are, this could be relatively straight forward – or it could take a little time. Our advice is to give it a go as it is always interesting to get your own view and then compare it to what Oracle tell you.
However before you contact them, if your organisation is large, geographically diverse or has a complex legal structure, then, it is a good idea to produce a list of all your legal entities as Oracle will need this to produce a complete list of support renewals. The tools used by Oracle will do a fuzzy match on the company name to pull out all active support renewals by CSI (Customer Support Identifier). Not knowing your exact legal structure could result in missing out some entities. Include all your geographies, any legal names of acquired companies and any legal name changes in the last 3 years.If you do not have a contact in Premier Support then go via any current Sales Rep that you know and request a contact. They may need a nudge as the Sales Reps will generally see this task as a low priority or an opportunity to try and sell you something, so make sure they are aware this is just for awareness. Depending on the size of your firm you may have a known dedicated Premier Support Rep in the field. This is usually the case if you are a Key Account, a Lead Account or Named Account. What determines this is usually the amount of annual support you pay Oracle. So you could be a small firm but with a large investment in Oracle technology and applications and hence still have a dedicated premier Support Rep. Most other accounts are managed remotely via the Support Renewals team in Romania (if you are based in EMEA).
One tip to get things moving, is to request a consolidated support bill as you are considering paying all your renewals in one go. Perhaps you want to co-terminate all your contracts from a new stated date. Something we have seen a few times is negotiating a freeze on the annual support increments (typically 3%). Normally this is only achieved through a substantial licence purchase. In our experience this can be negotiated if you pay your 3 years support upfront.
The last option is to contact UK COLS or LMS (Licence Management Services). COLS is the licence optimisation team that works as advisors to the Oracle sales team. They have a remit to advise on how to optimise licence estates. They also call upon the LMS team to verify licence positions usually as a result of requesting an Oracle Server worksheet. A request to these teams will help understand your support renewals but you are potentially opening yourself up to increased licence scrutiny or a full review. Our advice is to focus on doing the internal support renewal review yourselves with some initial advice through Madora, then we may advise contacting Oracle Support. Until you have a handle on the annual support bill and what is deployed and in use, we would advise not contacting LMS or COLS. In our next post we will run through collecting the deployment and usage data to assess whether, in principle, products could have their support dropped. As we will see in our final post even with all this information things are not straightforward as Oracle do their best to make reducing support very, very difficult.
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