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Oracle Applications Unlimited: no more upgrades?

If you’re happy running 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. It’s a potential solution to all of your problems.

But a quick Internet search will just bring up Oracle’s own marketing. You won’t find 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 seem to have gone out of their way to be vague on this program, flooding Oracle’s website, blogs, and press releases with repeated buzzwords and promises. They never really go into any details (unless you like reading legal contracts).

Our own take on it is that Applications Unlimited is Oracle’s program to offer Premier Support to selected on-premise applications up until 2030. Oracle also promises to continue developing its products on the Applications Unlimited program up until this time. Customers should be able to enable/disable any new features they want to 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 program? How do automatic updates work with on-prem and 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. Oracle Applications Unlimited has been launched to address this.

Oracle is using this program 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 – “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 program 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…

1. 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. It’s even written into its contracts that Oracle is not legally required to meet its targets.

Compare this to a third-party provider like Support Revolution. You can cut your Oracle Support bill in half, receive a superior support service (both response and resolution SLAs) and have access to on-demand reporting.

2. No real innovations

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

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

3. You can’t access Oracle Applications Unlimited 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 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 program, which defeats the point really.

4. Remember – Oracle Applications Unlimited is a deadline

Oracle’s competitor SAP has famously given a hard deadline of 2027 for its customers to transition to its Cloud products. This move has caused some backlash against the vendor.

Learning from its rival, Oracle has instead put some marketing spin on its 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-premise applications prior to 2030. Beginning in 2019, we are committed to annually reviewing whether or not to extend the Premier Support offering for an additional year on such continuous innovation releases for on-premise applications.”

Oracle Marketing Email

While it’s still three more years than SAP is giving (and the vendor may still extend it out further each year), remember that it’s still a deadline.

Our opinion: Third-party support is a better deal

Oracle Applications Unlimited is just a dressed-up deadline to move to Oracle’s Cloud products. It is not an on-premise support solution that ‘stops the clock’ indefinitely on upgrades as advertised. It will actually force many organisations to upgrade just to access the program. It’s also 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 while saving you at least 50% on your current Oracle Support bills.

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

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