Why is it important? It’s important because many of our clients have multiple operating environments in different business units, sometimes in different geographies or even countries, and sometimes these are unrelated businesses that just so happen to be owned by the same company. In many cases, there is no relation between the needs of the operating environments, and therefore any policy to enforce equal treatment is unjustly onerous and costs our clients dearly.
The business reason Oracle cites is to prevent customers from having many similar licenses, but only supporting a few of them, which makes it difficult for Oracle to determine if the customer calling for support will use the support only for the supported licenses and not for the other licenses that are not supported. This policy seems like a reasonable approach, but in this case, let’s say the customer is a sun-setting a major application that uses Oracle database licenses in one business unit and no longer needs to have those licenses supported because the environment is highly stable, will introduce no changes, and will eventually turn off after some time.
In this case, another unrelated business unit actively uses Oracle’s database and wants to continue to have these licenses supported. Oracle’s response to this is to require the customer to match service levels, so either both environments have to be fully covered, or neither can be. This generally forces customers to continue to support licenses that do not require it because they cannot risk de-supporting critical environments.
In addition, as the older editions enter into extended support, Oracle will commonly increase the cost of support by as much as 5 basis points (a 23% increase). Changing this policy to one that makes sense for the needs of the customer can represent a significant improvement in what has proven to be a very difficult, if not tyrannical construct.
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