Per Wikipedia, a marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings. Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden from the audience. At Oracle, LMS is the marionette and sales is the puppeteer. Unfortunately, if you have a ULA, then you are the unsuspecting audience.
Clearly, Oracle LMS is not independent from Oracle sales. This is evident in which customers LMS targets. It is especially true in ULA certifications, where LMS is used by Oracle sales as a marionette. Sales’ goal is to find a way to a new sale and not to allow the customer to certify their ULA. Sales simply pulls the strings and the marionette (LMS) moves in on the customer.
Why is that? At the end of a ULA, the customer should have deployed all they can. There is nothing more to deploy so there is nothing more to sell. As a result, Oracle pushes Oracle LMS into the certification picture and tries to create doubt in the mind of the customer. Whether it is factual and real, or fictional and imaginary – it does not matter – the goal is to create doubt that there is some degree of risk. Once that is done, sales can offer ways to reduce or eliminate this so-called risk through a new deal…only to do the same again at the end of that new deal.
Why do I call LMS a marionette for sales? The approach that LMS has is inconsistent from customer to customer… it is all about whether or not sales takes the marionette out of a box and what strings they pull. In some cases, sales puts the marionette back in its storage box and tells LMS to stand down – either because a new deal is already in the works, or they know that a customer did not optimally leverage their ULA and any new details would make Oracle sales look bad. In other cases, Oracle sales pulls the marionette’s strings and has LMS try to force customers to fill out outrageously detailed worksheets that include all sorts of information that sales wants, and even run scripts collecting data in addition to all the information in spreadsheets. Also, in many cases, LMS will take the certification letter and start asking multiple questions regarding the numbers provided by a customer based on direction from sales. LMS will go through a script to get more information about the customer’s environment, which is not really an effort to confirm their certification number.
If you are working with a marionette and are asked a question, rest assured the question is really being asked by the sales puppeteer. The depth of questioning comes from how hard the strings are pulled. Inserting LMS into this process allows sales to create separation and minimizes any potential damage to a relationship between Oracle and a customer. Don’t forget that the marionette and puppeteer are the same – they are Oracle!
Palisade Compliance can help with navigating through the theater performance and provide you with independent and unbiased guidance throughout the ULA lifecycle – negotiation, management, and certification. You may even get to be the puppeteer pulling the strings on the Oracle sales marionette!