Oracle User Group responds to CCL Open Letter

UK Oracle User Group applauds best practice

Debra Lilley of the UK Oracle User Group has responded publicly to the Open Letter written to Larry Ellison via her blog:

Debra responded to each of the 7 points outlined in our recommendations but steered clear of directly upsetting the mothership:

“I, on behalf of UKOUG have read the Open Letter to Oracle from The Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) and actually applaud the 7 steps as best practice, although do not necessarily see them as direct indictments against Oracle.” – Debra Lilley, UK Oracle User Group

Ostrich Syndrome

Meanwhile John Matelski of the IOUG has also responded, and appears to be dumbfounded that anyone could be upset with Oracle:

“As an Oracle customer and a member of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), I was extremely surprised and dismayed to learn that there are still those in the customer community that would suggest that their relationship with Oracle is predominantly hostile and filled with deep-rooted mistrust, particularly when it comes to licensing and audits.”

In contrast Sooraj Shah, writing in Computing, stated:

“In November, Computing spoke to some high-profile customers who claimed that the report did chime with their firms’ experiences.”

See: “UK Oracle User Group backs CCL’s open letter to Larry Ellison

“I am not holding my breath”

No formal response from Oracle as yet.

“I am not holding my breath,”

wrote Christopher Barnett, who does not expect any substantive changes from Oracle. “Oracle faces withering criticism of its licensing practices”.

Similarly, Duncan Jones, Forrester Analyst quoted in Computer Weekly said:

“I don’t believe Oracle can change its culture in the way that it needs to. I do not think it really believes it has to change and I don’t think its salesforce can possibly change.”


User groups defend licensing, but should Oracle rethink remuneration?

“The erosion of Oracle database lead in the enterprise market will start accelerating”

The comments on Debra’s blog also make interesting reading:

JAYT” writes:

“IMHO Oracle in order to regain trust they need to go further than I have so far heard a plan for.

In a recent release it was established it was possible to enable In-Memory database without intending to, costing US$23,000 per core at list price. A bug was acknowledged and scheduled for fix.

I’ve seen a similar issue on Windows only in 11g. Because Oracle on Windows services offers no granularity on startup between open and shutdown, it is possible in a Data Guard configuration to flag Active Data Guard as in use when it was only enabled because the Windows service started the standby database. US$11,500 per CPU.

Oracle have spent a little time providing the Software Investment Guide. That’s nowhere near enough. IMHO they need to invest in mandatory license control software allowing customers to specify which licenses they want to use in any given installation. I know turkeys do not vote for Christmas, but if this is not done, and if the licence audit people continue to generate such fear, uncertainty and frankly waste of time bureaucratic admin for busy people who have real jobs to do; if some features/bugs continue to entrap customers who had not intended to use them and present them with large retrospective bills they have no budget for; if that continues, sooner now rather than later, the erosion of Oracle databases lead in the enterprise market will start accelerating.”

Negotiating in the Oracle Grey Zone

Craig Guarente, speaking on a recent ITAM Review Podcast, suggested things are likely to get worse before they get better.

He suggests that Oracle contracts and licensing are vague and ambiguous, but that well prepared and knowledgeable customers can negotiate in this grey zone to their advantage.

“The vagueness of Oracle contracts is a double-edged sword for Oracle – it’s a great opportunity for customers to take the upper hand”.

Knowledge is Power

The dialogue and information sharing continues at a free CCL and ITAM Review Oracle Seminar on the 29th January at Baruch College in New York.

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Stay tuned via the CCL newsletter for further updates.

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