Is Oracle Applications Unlimited really stopping the clock on upgrades?

Is Oracle Applications Unlimited really stopping the clock on upgrades

If you’re happy running certain older versions of Oracle’s products and don’t want to upgrade (but still need support), then you may have heard of Oracle Applications Unlimited – a potential solution to all your problems.

But a quick internet search will just bring up Oracle’s own marketing and no real details about what it is, why it exists, and whether it’s a good deal for organisations in your situation.

So, what is Oracle Applications Unlimited?

Oracle’s marketing team seems to have gone out of its way to be vague on this programme, flooding their website, blogs, and press releases with repeated buzzwords and promises – never really going into any details (unless you like legal contracts).

Our own take on it is that Applications Unlimited is Oracle’s programme to offer Premier Support to selected on-premise applications up until 2030. Not only that but Oracle also promise to continue developing its products on the Applications Unlimited programme up until this time, and customers should be able to enable/disable any new features they want without needing to upgrade their core product.

Oracle currently supports the following on Applications Unlimited: JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, PeopleSoft, Siebel, Hyperion, and Oracle E-Business Suite.

While this sounds great, many of you are probably asking for the details now; how do I get onto the programme, how do automatic updates work with on-prem, how much does this cost, will I need a new agreement?

The problem is that those details are incredibly difficult to find.

Why did Oracle launch Applications Unlimited?

Oracle has made it clear that its end-goal is the Cloud. The problem is that many of its customers are (rightly) waiting for Oracle to mature its solutions for their use cases before making the leap. This has left a lot of uncertainty in the market which Oracle Applications Unlimited has been launched to address.

Oracle is using this programme to reassure its on-premise customers that they are still going to be supported for the long-term, and they will still be receiving ‘innovations’ by staying with Oracle Support – so please stay and keep paying your Oracle Support fees!

Is Oracle Applications Unlimited a good deal?

Glossing over the fact that any real details of the programme are missing, it still sounds great right? Support until 2030 for on-premise systems and automatic updates without upgrades – yes please.

But does the reality measure up? We see four major issues with Applications Unlimited:

Same old Oracle Support

You’re not signing up for support from a new vendor; it’s still Oracle. Oracle Support is still expensive, with no resolution SLAs, limited reporting, and no accountability as it’s even written into their contracts that they are not legally required to meet their targets.

Compare this to a third-party provider like Support Revolution, where you can cut your Oracle Support bill in half, receive superior support service (both response and resolution SLAs), have access to on-demand reporting, and even receive service credits if we ever miss our SLAs.

No real innovations

Oracle claims one of the major benefits of its Applications Unlimited programme is access to ongoing innovations and upgrades that you can easily apply to your systems.

But just ask yourself, what upgrades and improvements have Oracle released for your system in the past five years that have been value-adding? Do any of them justify the cost you pay for support?

You can’t access it unless you’re already on the latest release

Another big issue for a lot of organisations is that to get the benefits of Applications Unlimited, they already need to be on the latest release of their software:

“Fixes and updates are cumulative and will be available to all customers in the most current release.”

Oracle Applications Unlimited Website

This means that if you’re not on the latest software version, you STILL need to upgrade to get access to the programme, which defeats the point really.

Remember, it’s still a deadline

Oracle’s competitor, SAP have famously given a hard deadline of 2025 for their customers to transition to their Cloud products, a move that has caused some backlash against the vendor.

Learning from their rival, Oracle has instead put some marketing spin on their own deadline to make 2030 sound like a great deal:

“We will not discontinue offering Oracle Premier Support on the continuous innovation releases for on-premises applications prior to 2030 and, beginning in 2019, we are committed to annually review whether or not to extend the Premier Support offering for an additional year on such continuous innovation releases for on-premises applications.”

Oracle marketing email

While it’s still five more years than SAP are giving (and they may still extend it out further each year), remember though that it’s still a deadline.

Our opinion:
Third-party support is still a better deal

Oracle Applications Unlimited is just a dressed-up deadline to move to Oracle’s Cloud products – it is not an on-prem support solution that ‘stops the clock’ indefinitely on upgrades as they advertise (in fact, it will actually force many organisations to upgrade just to access the programme), and it is still plagued with the same issues that impact regular Oracle Support customers.

If you are looking for a method to keep your on-premise applications or old versions supported for the long-term, we recommend investigating third-party support.

Support Revolution can support your old versions and any customisations for as long as you wish, all whilst saving you at least 50% on your current Oracle Support bills.

Interested? Download our white paper to learn more about how we support Oracle products and how you can transition your support to us.