The first thing to understand when negotiating with Oracle is that there are best practices on how to get the best deal that works for your business. This is true whether you are working through a new license agreement, or you are in the midst of a ULA, or even if you are being audited and working through a compliance issue. There is a right way and a wrong way to work with Oracle.
Oracle sales people are notoriously transaction focussed. They work a deal and once it’s signed they move on to the next transaction. Often it’s not about the customer relationship, it’s about bringing in the revenue for the quarter. That is typical sales behavior and it is not at all specific to Oracle. We’ve all seen it. Now the part that really frustrates customers is that while Oracle sales people are all about the transaction, Oracle contracts and business practices are all about locking the customer into a long term arrangement that prohibits the customer from reducing maintenance costs without incurring some pretty draconian repricing. I’ve had clients who continue to pay Oracle support on products they no longer use only because if they stop paying then all their other costs go up.
It is because of these business practices and policies that Oracle customers need to take a long term, best practices approach to their Oracle relationship as a whole. The customer cannot afford to look at each transaction as a one time occurrence. Each contract, each renewal, each audit must be part of a larger strategy. If you only look at the transaction then you can end up locked into an arrangement that ties all your support and maintenance together into an un-unravelable (thank you Sheldon Cooper!) bundle.
Although Oracle customers tend to be quite frustrated by this dichotomy (sales focuses on the transaction while the policies force you into long term commitments), there is room for the customer to take advantage of this situation. Because the sales person is only focused on his or her bit of the pie (the database, or the applications, etc), then you as the customer can leverage that to your advantage. Today’s transaction can be used as a way to lower your overall support costs.
I’ve highlighted one best practice when working with Oracle. We’ve created an entire portfolio of services designed to help in your contract negotiations and audit and compliance work. In fact, our ULA Optimization services are the industry’s only end to end ULA lifecycle approach to help you get the most out of your ULA whether you are in the creation phase, the management phase, or the certification phase.
Are you leveraging best practices in your negotiations with Oracle?