We are constantly faced with clients who are trying to move away from Oracle. Whether it’s Oracle database or cloud, most companies have had enough of Oracle’s practices. We all know about how Salesforce and Amazon are leaving Oracle behind. One large Palisade Compliance client has their own “Project Visine” to “get the red out” (i.e. Oracle).
While it is very true that there is an almost unrivaled level of frustration and anger at Oracle’s business practices and LMS audits teams for the way they treat their customers, there is also, on the flip side, the need at times to buy more Oracle (licenses, services, cloud, hardware, etc).
3 tips to help you get the best Oracle pricing and terms
1. Buy Oracle from a position of strength
This is the most important item on the list. If you leverage with Oracle then you will get a much better deal. For example, if you are out of compliance you’ll get a worse discount than if you were over licensed and buying ahead. Negotiations with Oracle are transactional and rely on leverage. Compliance is one of your biggest levers.
If you can remove the fear of Oracle from your buying experience, you will work with them as a vendor who must earn your business and treat you with respect.
2. Have an alternative to what Oracle is selling
If your only option is to do what Oracle wants you to do, then you are in a bad spot. The Oracle rep will know it and exploit your lack of options.
Having options to what Oracle is selling means a few different things. It could mean using an alternative database, or non-Oracle cloud. Or it could mean not signing the deal Oracle puts in front of you. If your only path forward is to sign a ULA, then you will sign the ULA Oracle wants you to sign. On the other hand, if you can buy a specific number of licenses then you have an option and your ULA offer will only improve.
One more example here: when you get to the end of a ULA, if your only option is buying a new ULA, that is going to be very expensive. You need the option of certifying out of that ULA. If you get to the end of Oracle’s year and you have the ability to certify (even if you don’t want to), I guarantee you have all the leverage in the world and the ULA extension will get so much less expensive.
3. Use Oracle’s quarter close, but don’t wait until the end of the quarter
Everyone knows that you want to push Oracle to the end of their quarter to get the best deal. That means 11:59 PM on the last day of the quarter. What many people forget, however, is that you need lots of time to negotiate all the pricing and terms and conditions in your contract. You can’t wait until the end of the quarter to start the negotiations with Oracle. You must start early to allow for the back and forth Oracle will put you through. Oracle doesn’t make it easy and will typically run the negotiation cycle on its head and try to make their quarter close into your problem. Have you ever heard an Oracle rep bellow: “If you don’t sign this deal this quarter it goes away and you’ll pay more next month!” That really isn’t true. You’ll get the same deal the following quarter. What’s different is that the rep might not get the commission the next month.
If you are planning to negotiate a deal for May (Oracle’s fiscal year end), then you should already have a complete contract, with terms and conditions and pricing, on your desk so you can review and negotiation. If you don’t have that contract already, then you should get it. You can’t negotiate off an Oracle sales PowerPoint.
I know I said there were three things to get the best deal from Oracle, but I’m going to give you a bonus #4. Here it is: get help! Oracle sales has made an art form out of exploiting their sales cadence. You must have a way to disrupt that Oracle optimized process and insert a client optimized buying cycle.
Client optimized negotiations with Oracle
The good news here is that Palisade Compliance does this every day. Because we are independent of Oracle, we can help you really drive your Oracle negotiations to their optimal result. I’ve been negotiating Oracle contracts for almost 25 years now (16 years for Oracle and 8 years at Palisade for our clients), and we have a team of similarly seasoned professionals who are focused on helping you take back control from Oracle. We guarantee we can get you a better deal than the deal you can negotiate on your own.