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Oracle has been around for a long time and they are not going away anytime soon. So when I ask the question, “Will your Oracle cloud service be around in 3 years?” it’s not because I think Oracle is going out of business. What I really mean is: does Oracle have any obligation to keep providing you the cloud service you are buying today? Can you sign a three-year cloud deal with Oracle, standardize on that service, and then at the end of three years can Oracle simply say “we don’t offer that service anymore, you have to migrate to this other offering.”? I hate to say it, but it appears Oracle can do just that.

Let me set the stage in the cloud world: you’ve decommissioned your on-premise datacenter, adjusted your processes to meet Oracle’s new service offering, trained your staff to use the new applications (yes they are now applications – you are not simply using the same applications you had on-premise), and now Oracle repackages your cloud deal into something new. I’ll tell you what you’re probably going to do, you’re going to get extremely frustrated and then do whatever Oracle wants you to do. And that will most likely cost you more money.

Before we look at Oracle’s responsibility on providing continuity in cloud offerings, let’s look at how Oracle promises continuity and availability in the on-premise support world. In the on-premise world, Oracle has made extraordinary efforts to at least give the appearance that their customers can continue using their Oracle products, and get support from Oracle, without worrying that Oracle will ever stop supporting them. Oracle’s extended support and sustaining support programs may be ridiculously expensive for the limited support you get, but at least you get something.

Now the question is, given that Oracle has a Lifetime Support Policy for their on-premise licenses, does Oracle have a similar Lifetime Availability Policy for their cloud offerings? The answer to that question is an emphatic NO!! In fact, generally Oracle does not offer any guarantees that their cloud offerings will be available beyond the scope of your contract with Oracle. You know that brand new Oracle cloud Human Capital Management Service you are thinking about? There is nothing in your contract that says it will be around after you adopt it. It could be gone in a couple of years and then what will you do?

I’m not saying that Oracle will just get out of a particular business altogether (but you never know), what I am saying is that they can repackage today’s cloud offering into something else and if you want to keep using what you use now, then you’ll have to buy the new thing. Think that can’t happen? Think again. Oracle does that all the time in the on-premise world so what makes you think they won’t do it in their cloud world? In fact, we at Palisade have at least one client where exactly that is happening. This client bought a specific cloud offering from Oracle and now Oracle is saying it’s not available anymore. And, guess what, Oracle says that customer can migrate to a Universal Cloud Credit contract with Oracle. That’s the last thing the customer wants to do!

When you’re moving to Oracle cloud you have to ask yourself: do you trust that Oracle will not do this to you in the cloud world? Are you willing to bet your business on it?

The other thing you can do is negotiate your Oracle cloud contracts to mitigate this risk, and all the other hidden risks and traps that are in your Oracle cloud contracts. At Palisade Compliance we’ve helped dozens of clients buy Oracle cloud services and reduce risks such as this one. We have over 300 clients, 200 years of Oracle related contracts and licensing experience, and 100% independence from Oracle. Our team brings all that experience to every client we service to help them negotiate their cloud contracts so those agreements protect our clients from Oracle being Oracle. Whether you use Palisade, or one of our competitors, or simply go at it alone, remember that every Oracle contract document is negotiable.

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