So you’ve decided to cancel your Oracle/SAP support contract, either supporting yourself in-house or working with a third-party provider like Support Revolution to save money.
But what next?
Many organisations wrongly assume that they just ignore the next invoice from Oracle/SAP, or that they can just send an email to their account/sales manager – but this is not the case!
Both organisations have auto-renewal policies in place, and each have their own requirements and deadlines for handing in your notice to cancel your contract. The worst thing you can do is just ignore these policies or think that by sending an email you’ve ticked the box (that email may go ‘missing’).
Cancelling Oracle support
In 2018, Oracle made some contractual changes to their support agreements to make it ‘simpler’ for their customers to renew and understand their policies. Now, instead of renegotiating their support contract each year, customers are opted into an automatic renewal clause.
This means that unless a customer opts out on their online portal at least 32 days before the end of their contract, support is automatically renewed for another year.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, dig a little deeper into Oracle’s latest support contracts, and this is what you’ll find: Under the auto-renewal clause, automatic renewal also means automatic price rises. No negotiation, no clear notifications, just a flat percentage added to your bill each year.
So how do you cancel Oracle’s auto-renewal?
- First, you need to cancel your auto-renewal online, this must be done at least 32 days before the contract renewal date. For most customers, this can be found in Oracle’s renewals portal. Simply unsubscribe from auto-renewals on your existing contracts
- Secondly, we recommend also sending a formal letter (along with an email) to your Oracle account manager (on your company stationery) informing them of your decision and its effective date. This must be done at least 30 days before the contract renewal date. We highly recommend you send it by registered post, preferably “signed for” to ensure that you have proof of delivery and importantly, of receipt.
Remember, this must be done online at least 32 days before your auto-renewal (or 30 days by post). Otherwise, you are stuck with Oracle (and an automatic price increase) for another 12 months… More details can be found in Oracle’s policies.
Cancelling SAP support
Like Oracle, SAP also have an auto-renewal on their support and maintenance contracts. But with SAP, you need to provide 90 days’ notice prior to your contract end.
Unlike Oracle, they do not have any online portal to turn this off; you must send them written notice (and they are very strict on the deadline and when they receive the notice). Most SAP contracts renew in December each year, meaning you have to send in your cancellation by 30 September (but check your contract in plenty of time to make sure your deadline matches this and you don’t miss out!).
To cancel your SAP support auto-renewal, we recommend sending the following letter (along with an email) on your company stationery to your account manager (again, we recommend sending via registered post):
What happens next?
It varies; some organisations never hear back! Oracle are particularly notorious for this, claiming to have not received notice for some or all the products, this is why we recommend you:
- Contact your account manager or the vendor’s helpdesk in advance to understand exactly what contracts you have up for renewal
- Send your notice in writing through recorded delivery, this can be directly to your account manager or to the vendor’s HQ or renewals department
- Always demand a receipt of your notice
Others will be contacted by their account managers or the vendor’s cancellation teams who will try and scare you into staying with them with warnings of how third-parties cannot support them properly (see our response to this here). Your account manager may also try to delay you by suggesting that you are under/inappropriately licenced – you can see a list of all of Oracle and SAP’s dirty tricks and how to tackle them in our recent white paper guide.
Remember, you are merely cancelling the auto-renewal in both cases, you can still manually renew your Oracle/SAP support agreement if you want to, but this way you’ve put them on notice.
This gives you more leverage to potentially negotiate yourself a better deal or allows you to move completely to a third-party like Support Revolution, saving money and receiving a better support service overall.