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Friday, January 30, 2009

Come out of the cocoon, Mr.Ellison

Bob Evans of Information week in his open letter to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to wind down its sinful 22% software maintenance cost –

“No one's asking you to slash the 22% fee irresponsibly and give away your ability to create great new products and support the ones your currently have. But the longer you dig in and tell CIOs that you're not interested in the wicked expense challenges they're facing, the longer they're going to remember that when the current recessionary climate fades and new alternatives gain strength. As Manjit Singh, CIO of Chiquita Brands, suggested to InformationWeek, what about some alternative tiers for which you charge less and in turn provide less? Singh proposed a 12% fee that would offer bug fixes but not upgrades -- is that not an idea worth considering? Or 12% for support 9-to-5 rather than 24 hours?

Or 15% with support delivered by a third-party network of Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL)-authorized teams? Mr. Ellison, it's easy to see why you like the current system, where someone pays, for example, $4,000,000 for a software license and then pays you $880,000 every year for "maintenance." And maybe CIOs will continue to find that's a fair exchange of value. But maybe they won't -- as you know better than just about anyone, the IT industry is an archetype of creative destruction, where faster/better/cheaper alternatives relentlessly stalk, attack, and kill older/slower/more-expensive models. Perhaps the model you and Charles Phillips and the entire Oracle global team have built is so extraordinarily singular that it will endure forever and remain unassailable from the forces that have ground down every previous eternal model in the technology business. But may be not.”

Oracle is not immune to challenges of the times. No company is. Sooner they recognize and change, the better ! Hubris loses in the end, always.

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