AKIBIA'S PRACTICAL GUIDE TO ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Has the Sun Set on Flexible Support Options?
As the dust has settled on Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, some interesting questions remain for companies thinking about their support options.
As Juergen Rottler, Oracle executive VP of customer services, said as quoted in this blog post by Chris Murphy, the editor of InformationWeek, “Oracle's philosophy is that every customer should have the same level of service--"one, best level of service." Said Rottler: "You should expect something very similar for the Sun customer base."
Of course this is true, everyone should expect and receive exceptional service. But, this does not mean that everyone should pay for the most expensive service plan, when a more flexible or cost-effective offering would meet their needs just as well.
Oracle’s plan to “simplify how you purchase” support will likely include eliminating support options for Sun’s systems. That means companies that have decided specific systems are not mission-critical will be forced to pay for the top tier SLAs or go with no support at all. How is this all or nothing approach the best level of service for that customer?
Perhaps this limited choice approach works in the software world, but Oracle should learn quickly that when it comes to supporting hardware systems in global data centers customers demand the flexibility to customize their support options to best meet their needs. Some systems will require a 2 hour SLA and onsite parts. Other systems, perhaps those in the development environment, are serviced well on a Next Business Day contract.
The questions now are:
- Will customers be able to stand up to Oracle – the big kid in the neighborhood – and demand more flexibility in support contracts?
- Will they accept defeat and agree to Oracle’s terms?
Or, will they pursue alternatives for quality data center support and leave Oracle to its areas of expertise – product development and software support?