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Some Oracle customers face looming support fee rise

Chris Kanaracus | March 10, 2011
Oracle customers on a range of significant releases have a choice to make this year: Upgrade, or potentially pay more for support.

Meanwhile, expiring Oracle support windows have third-party support companies like Rimini Street eager to offer another choice.

"We present an alternative to having to go through an upgrade," said David Rowe, senior vice president of global marketing and alliances.

Rimini Street's service provides ongoing technical support as well as tax and regulatory upgrades; the company says customers will save at least 50% on their existing support bills.

But Rimini Street and the third-party software market in general have been clouded somewhat by litigation. Oracle sued a former SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, which also sold third-party support services, claiming intellectual property theft. SAP admitted liability for TomorrowNow's actions and a jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion last year.

Oracle subsequently sued Rimini Street, which is led by TomorrowNow co-founder Seth Ravin, lodging similar charges. Rimini Street has vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

Schmitz hasn't heard much buzz among OAUG members regarding third-party support, but imagines that sentiment "runs the whole range" from embarking on upgrades to considering a break with Oracle support, he said.

While Oracle executives have been responsive to OAUG, the group is hoping to work more closely with other user organizations such as IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group) and Quest, to present a broader front on support issues, according to Schmitz.

 

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