User group gets Oracle to explain its licensing system

Software giant Oracle is to produce a customer guide to explain the complexities of its licensing system.

Software giant Oracle is to produce a customer guide to explain the complexities of its licensing system.

The Software Investment Guide, due in August, results from discussions between Oracle and its customers about licensing problems. Some of these result from the new ways of deploying the company's 9i database and 11i e-business suites, with the introduction of real application clustering, hosted solutions and back-up servers, said Oracle product marketing manager Chris Ward.

Other problems arise from older licensing deals struck when Oracle was chasing for business in its early days, which need to be reappraised when systems are upgraded.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group, said, "There is an element of sympathy for Oracle because some of the older licences were one-offs, written by the salesperson and offering some astonishingly favourable terms, which means that Oracle is losing money on these deals."

Miles said discussions with Jacqueline Woods, Oracle's vice-president for global pricing and licensing strategy, showed that some customers had not been given the best deal. This led to the publishing of the guide.

Ward admits that there has been a degree of confusion but added that, "Oracle wants to prove that there are no skeletons in the cupboard. We are an ethical company and we want to be fair in our licensing."

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