We are in the first weeks of Oracle’s Q4. This is the time of year where Oracle really pushes their customers to sign contracts and drive revenue for Oracle. Anyone who has ever negotiated with Oracle knows the routine. From now until May 31 the pressure will steadily increase from Oracle Sales and/or the Oracle audit team (LMS, GLAS, SIA – whatever they’re called these days). Oracle has a strategy to maximize their leverage during this time. You need a strategy to shift the balance of power back into your favor and take control from Oracle.
About Oracle’s negotiation strategy
One thing Oracle does quite effectively is limit the amount of time you have to negotiate contractual terms and conditions and pricing. Oracle will often create a deadline and then hand you a contract right before that deadline approaches. For example, one deadline is May 31. Using May 31 as our deadline, Oracle will often give you a contract on May 24. Then Oracle will claim that you must sign the contract by May 31, or the deal will go away. Oracle effectively gives you only seven days at the most to negotiate. They employ most of the cycle time talking through PowerPoint “proposals” and asking you to commit to a deal before even seeing the contract! That’s bad news for you.
The graphic above shows just how much of your time is wasted on “PowerPoint talk” when you let Oracle take the lead and drive the negotiation process. Unfortunately, with Oracle you need time to get the best deal. It’s a cycle of exchanging Word documents, redlining, talking, more redlines, etc. The fact is that Oracle’s contracts are very one-sided in Oracle’s favor, so you have to go through the painful process of negotiations. The more times you go back and forth with Oracle, the more concessions you receive.
Our customer focused negotiation strategy
Our strategy at Palisade Compliance is to give you the maximum time possible to negotiate terms and conditions and not waste your time talking to Oracle Sales about PowerPoint presentations and proposals.
Again, using May 31 as our deadline, Palisade’s approach is that you immediately request Oracle send you a contract, with signature blocks, that you could potentially sign. You’re not actually going to sign it. However, only when you have the contract in front of you will you really understand the offer Oracle is proposing. Unfortunately, the Oracle Sales PowerPoint often does not match what’s in the contract. But that’s a story for another article.
It will take Oracle a little time to get you that contract. There may be some grinding and gnashing of teeth! But you should insist, and not continue with discussions until you have that contract. Once you have the contract then, and only then, can you really start negotiating with Oracle.
Continuing our scenario from above, let’s assume you receive the contract from Oracle on April 1. You now have two full months to negotiate both pricing and terms and conditions. In the graphic, you can see how much time you give yourself just by getting that contract from Oracle! You can now go through 10 rounds of negotiations if you want, rather than one. I know talking with Oracle Sales can be painful, but remember, every round of negotiations with Oracle gets more concessions from Oracle. There is no risk here for you. Deals don’t get worse as you negotiate to Oracle’s quarter close.
Negotiating after the ‘deadline’
Oracle will always claim you have to sign by “x date” or the deal goes away. They try to use their deadlines against you. Again, you must turn this around on Oracle. May 31 is not your deadline. It is Oracle’s problem and your opportunity. If you’re negotiating with Oracle, and you don’t have the deal you want on May 31, you can absolutely continue to negotiate in June. Oracle will take your money in June as fast as they will take it in May. You may have an unhappy sales rep on your hands, but who cares? Your job is to make your organization successful, not to make Oracle salespeople happy. Sorry, Oracle salesperson.
We can help you get the best deal
Palisade Compliance has an entire team dedicated to helping our clients negotiate the best deals with Oracle. In addition to our people, we have a proprietary host of items that every customer should have in their Oracle contracts. Our contract punch list has been developed over countless interactions and engagements. We see what our clients are faced with, and we help them enter into Oracle contracts that will launch their digital transformation, and not lock them into legacy software. Reach out to us for help negotiating your next Oracle agreement.
Read more articles about Oracle negotiations, including at Oracle’s year end.