Are you paying Oracle support on licenses you do not use? (Part 1)

Reduce Oracle Support Part 1

How to Perform  an OPEX review on Oracle Support.

“Just when you think you have a case to reduce support you get a swerve ball. “

In this difficult economic climate, we are all under pressure to reduce costs and support and maintenance renewals are often getting increasingly scrutinised.

For a number of reasons customers are not addressing this potential issue head on, the four we typically hear are:

1.    Unaware of what they are paying for but assume that it is correct.
2.    Do not understand Oracle licensing.
3.    Do not  have the time or resource to investigate.
4.    Have been led to believe they can not cancel support.

We will run through each of these reasons and in Part 2 provide some steps to help you move forward to understand whether an opportunity exists to reduce your annual support bill.

1.  Unaware of what they are paying for but assume it is correct.

Understanding what you are paying for can be a challenge for the larger organisations, often being exasperated by the following:

•    A history of buying  piecemeal throughout the year(s) resulting in several renewal dates.
•    Departments purchasing outside of an agreed central contract in other local countries or through  Oracle partners.
•    New contracts inherited via acquisition or merger.
•    Oracle’s own acquisitive strategy increasing the portfolio that you manage under their support remit.

Even having a handle on your annual support bill does not mean it is correct. Is that legacy reporting system or old forms based application still being used from ten years ago? Have you moved to processors based licensing but still have an excess of named user licenses? If you have had any business change (reduction in headcount, divestment’s, acquisitions, infrastructure refresh etc) then you may be paying for support not being used.  Conversely, you may have an IT landscape not aligned to the original license metrics or volumes contracted for – so beware.

2.  Do not understand Oracle licensing

We can understand that it can be a moving target and it is the business Madora Consulting are experts in.  Feel free to drop us a question via linkedin, twitter or through our contact form.  Madora Consulting are keen to assist.

Please also refer to our free resource guide.

3.  Do not  have the time or resource to investigate

In this tough times most of us are carrying the role of 2-3 people and finding time to focus on an activity to assess your support may be a challenge.  Why not let Madora Consulting take some of the strain? How about contacting us for a no obligation discussion to better understand the complexity of your situation.  It may be that we give you a few pointers to enable you to be self sufficient and on your way, we will be happy to help. If your situation is more complex then it may be worth investing in  a 1-2 day support diagnosis workshop where we work with IT management and Procurement to get a view on the complexity of your firm, spend history, architecture and Oracle portfolio. The outcome of this workshop is to ascertain at a high level whether we believe there is opportunity to reduce the support. The report will also advise on the potential effort required to follow through on a detailed Support Assessment and follow through with Oracle on the execution of any changes required.

4.  Have been led to believe they can not cancel support

There are lots of mixed messages out there in the Oracle eco-system.  Oracle have also become more hard line on Support in the last 5 years, insisting on the termination of licenses rather than shelving. Clearly support revenue is the lifeblood of the Corporation, so they do their best to make it difficult to reduce revenue to them.  The fact is that it is entirely feasible to reduce support revenue BUT there are a lot of of what we call ‘Oracle Gotchas’. Just when you think you have a case to reduce support you get a swerve ball. Most of this is documented but involves some searching. The other thing to note – as always with Oracle, everything is negotiable, especially if you are spending on net new product.  Again we can guide you through this process and it is a process. Unfortunately there is no simple linear check list to work through here.  So be prepared for 3 steps forward and 1 step back – a few times.

Please contact us with any questions you may have on this topic and keep an eye out for Part 2 in this series.

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