Oracle’s Subtle Tactics in Guiding Customers to New Database Versions

Oracle has recently been accused of utilizing various strategic moves to encourage its customers to upgrade to its latest database versions. This has left many users feeling that Oracle is prioritizing its own goals over the needs of its customers.

Oracle’s tactics became apparent when it launched Database 12.2.0.1. The company offered 16 months of Premier Support Error Correction without any additional costs, which seemed unusual but generous at the time. However, it later became clear that this was part of a larger strategy. Oracle didn’t provide Extended Support for Database 12.2.0.1, nor did it offer alternative support options like Sustaining Support or Market Driven Support. As a result, customers using Oracle Database 12.2.0.1 were left without support as of March 2022, leaving them with a clear message: upgrade​1​.

Many customers questioned why Oracle was being so forceful with its latest database versions. Upon examination, this strategy seems tied to Oracle’s cloud offerings. Oracle joined the cloud race relatively late and has been using every opportunity to increase its cloud revenue. The strategic timing of the desupport deadline for Database 12.2.1.0 could be seen as an attempt to boost these figures. By ending support for Database 12.2.0.1, Oracle created a window of opportunity to steer these users towards its latest versions, 19c or 21c, both of which are geared towards Oracle’s cloud platform. It appears that Oracle is encouraging customers to move to these versions by January 2023. The additional Premier Support Error Correction, instead of the standard Oracle Support tiers, seems to be a last-minute effort to persuade customers to upgrade or migrate, potentially to boost the company’s bottom line before the end of its fiscal year​1​.

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However, for customers who don’t want to become a mere statistic in Oracle’s financial reports, there is an alternative. Gartner-recommended third-party support is available, allowing organizations to break free from Oracle’s upgrade cycle and regain control over their own IT roadmaps. Support Revolution, for instance, offers support for all versions of Oracle’s Database, enabling organizations to continue using their current database version for as long as it suits their needs. They also provide excellent support services, governed by strict SLAs, for all customers, regardless of their chosen database version. They do not use desupport dates to pressure customers into upgrading or moving to the cloud. Furthermore, Support Revolution can help organizations save more than 50% on their annual Oracle Support bill, which can then be reinvested back into the business, possibly to pursue an upgrade when they are ready to do so​1​.

The current situation serves as a reminder to organizations to critically evaluate vendor support strategies and ensure that they align with their own business needs and plans, rather than those of the vendor.

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