Is Oracle Still Relevant?

If you’re in IT, or you pay the bills for IT, this is a question you have faced, or will face shortly. Companies and governments of all sizes are going through a rapid digital transformation that will impact their operations, profitability, and their very existence for years to come. As these organizations move forward, they are faced with a dilemma on how to move to the cloud and what to do with their existing Oracle software and hardware. Do they move forward and adopt more Oracle solutions, that, while some are fit for purpose, others are sorely lacking? Also, do they want to get more deeply involved with a company like Oracle that continues its aggressive audit tactics, locks them into onerous contractual agreements, and in general is hard to do business with? If you are an Oracle client, and you haven’t yet faced this situation, you will soon.

Trapped in the Oracle ecosystem

Like anything Oracle related, the answer here is somewhat complicated. If you are looking at your existing legacy IT, then yes, indeed Oracle is still relevant. From an Oracle business prospective, Oracle’s decision to acquire application companies and now cloud companies has been brilliant. So many of Oracle’s customers would have dumped Oracle long ago, but it’s no longer about replacing a database. Now it’s about replacing your ERP, CRM, or HR solutions (think Peoplesoft, Siebel, Hyperion, Sun, etc.). Add this to Oracle’s contractual lock-in strategies (Unlimited License Agreements, Matching Support, Repricing, etc.) and you have to say that Oracle is relevant because their customers have a hard time breaking free. If it was easy to stop using Oracle, then more companies would do it. In this sense, Oracle is still relevant because customers are “trapped”.

Chart the best course

But let’s stop looking in the rear-view mirror and focus our attention on the road in front of us. Look into the future. Is Oracle relevant for your digital transformation? Do you need Oracle if you are going to transform your business? Well, this answer is, it’s up to you to decide if you want Oracle to be relevant to your business. If you are an Oracle customer and you don’t want to use them going forward, then you really don’t have to. You have the power to break free and adopt the technologies and solutions that are best for your company as long as you are willing to take the steps necessary to make that happen.  If you don’t actively manage Oracle out of your strategy, then Oracle will continue to do everything in their power to make themselves part of your future.  Either you take control of your future, or Oracle will try to control it for you.

Let me explain a little deeper. You are using Oracle today, and Oracle desperately wants to stay relevant. So, if you let Oracle control your decision making, then Oracle will be relevant in the future. However, if you take control of how you use and manage your existing Oracle, then you can chart a different course and adopt non-Oracle solutions that are more appropriate for your business going forward. This means Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, IBM, independent support providers like Rimini Street, and Java alternatives like Azul – the list goes on.

How to stay in control

How do you stay in control? It’s “easy”. First, understand your Oracle contractual obligations, opportunities, and limitations. Really take advantage of what’s in those agreements. Second, stay in compliance! If you are out of compliance, then Oracle will eventually use that against you to gain leverage and have you purchase their latest cloud-thingy. Finally, create a 2-3 year contractual, compliance, and downshift strategy for Oracle.

Oracle has a plan to force you to spend more with them, you should have a plan to force Oracle to charge you less.

Make Oracle work for you

If you want Oracle to stay relevant for you, that’s great! You should still follow the plan above. Ultimately, if Oracle is forced to earn your business, rather than you being forced to surrender your business to Oracle, then Oracle will create better products, better contracts, better pricing, and better customer relationships.

Independence is key

Palisade Compliance is 100% independent from Oracle, and that independence enables us to help our clients, whether they are moving towards Oracle, or away from Oracle. With 500 clients around the world, Palisade has enabled clients of all sizes to build their strategy and keep Oracle under control while they execute on their digital transformation journey. Contact Palisade Compliance today for a free consultation before Oracle calls you with a very expensive consultation!

Picture of Craig Guarente
Craig Guarente
Craig is the President and Founder of Palisade Compliance, which he founded in 2011. Before 2011, Craig worked at Oracle for 16 years where he was the Global Vice President of Contracts, Business Practices, and Migrations. He was also the Global Process Owner for Oracle’s audit teams (LMS), a member of Oracle’s CIO advisory board, and on the Oracle User Group’s contract and licensing advisory board. Craig is now the leading expert on Oracle licensing, is quoted in dozens of publications, and assists with many high-profile Oracle disputes.