The Dirty Tricks They Play: Oracle’s Disappearing SLAs

Oracle’s Disappearing SLAs

SLAs are an established (and essential) component of any business-to-business relationship.

Organisations rely on the SLAs offered by their ERP provider in particular, because these systems are so critical to daily operations.

Unfortunately, the support SLAs offered by Oracle aren’t quite what they seem.

In this series, we’re taking a look at some of the most common dirty tricks used by Oracle and SAP, and explaining what (if anything) customers can do about them.

Today, we’re looking at the slightly “fishy” nature of Oracle’s support SLAs, and wondering how exactly they help anyone (except maybe Oracle themselves).

Dig a Little Deeper

SLAs are an essential part of any customer-supplier relationship, particularly when it comes to complex solutions like ERP. On the face of things, Oracle’s support SLAs appear reasonable.

Look closer, though, and you’ll find there are three major issues:

1) There are no resolution SLAs

While Oracle agree to respond to support requests within a set amount of time, they say nothing about how long it will take them to resolve anything. Rapid response times do little to help customers when they have no recourse to complain about poor resolution times.

2) Oracle don’t provide performance reporting

Given there are no resolution SLAs, it would be reasonable to expect Oracle to take their response SLAs seriously. In reality, customers are forced to manually download and analyse their own data if they want to check whether agreed SLAs have been met.

3) Oracle don’t have to meet their SLAs

Yes, you read that correctly. Oracle don’t provide any contractual guarantees on incident response or resolution times. In Oracle’s official documentation, SLAs are referred to as “goals” — in other words, something they will aim to meet, but not something they are required to meet. In their own words:

“Oracle’s failure to adhere to the times stated will not constitute a breach by Oracle.”

Source: Oracle Software Technical Support Policies

Customers pay a huge amount for Oracle’s official support programme and rely on it to help maintain systems that are integral to their business models. Of all the dirty tricks Oracle use to tip the balance of power in their favour, their approach to SLAs is one of the most shocking.

What Can You Do About It?

There’s no indication Oracle will change their stance on SLAs. If your organisation needs support SLAs that guarantee a level of service, you only have one option: Go elsewhere for your support.

This is doubly true if you need guaranteed SLAs for resolution. Third-party support providers offer far higher levels of service than Oracle’s official support programme — and the outcomes are guaranteed — so at the very least it’s worth investigating your options.


Don’t Stand for Dirty Tricks

If you’ve had enough of the dirty tricks Oracle and SAP use to keep you paying over the odds for poor quality support, we can help. Recently, we published a report on their most common dirty tricks and what customers can do to protect themselves.

In the report, we cover:

  • Why SAP customers are so terrified of being “audited” that they are often willing to commit to hugely expensive and unnecessary upgrades.
  • How Oracle use threats and “coercive sales practices” (that’s a direct quote from a lawsuit against the company) to force customers into expensive, unwanted upgrades.
  • What customers can do to protect their interests against the barrage of dirty tricks employed by Oracle and SAP—including how to save at least 50% on annual support contracts while receiving a higher level of service.

And much more.