Users move on Oracle pricing switch

Oracle users may find they can renegotiate deals with the vendor after the company revamped its pricing scheme.

The company has eliminated its Universal Power Unit (UPU) pricing, which had come under fire from customers, to match models used by its rivals IBM and Microsoft.

Oracle Application Users Group (OAUG) director Jeannie Dobney said the price shift was likely to be in response to dissatisfaction voiced by the user base over the last year and said users should contact the vendor to negotiate a better price.

Dobney said there was no reason for users to panic as they are "not likely to be de-supported".

IT managers whom Computerworld spoke to this week were not aware of the move but moved quickly to contact their Oracle representatives.

An Oracle 7i user and IS manager with a manufacturing company who requested anonymity said he was "flabbergasted" by the news and immediately contacted Oracle. He said later that the company was unable to clarify his concerns.

Another IT manager planning to upgrade to Oracle9i -- the new version of the company's flagship database which was launched last week -- said he was not aware of the pricing switch but said it will be central to negotiations planned with the vendor in coming weeks.

The new pricing model will mean savings for users when compared to the UPU method that was based on the number of processors in a server and the speed of devices.

Oracle Australia business development manager Paul Marriott said existing 8i customers upgrading to 9i will be able to switch to the new pricing scheme and the company will provide a full migration strategy to assist in the move to the new processor-based pricing.

Marriott said the migration is simple and users wanting to stay with the UPU method can use that option and it won't hinder upgrades to 9i.

"However, I expect customers will prefer the benefits of processor-based pricing," he said.

Oracle said an example of Intel and RISC power unit pricing migration is: 1000 Intel power units will be migrated to one processor licence, while 650 RISC power units will be migrated to one processor licence.

An assistant specialist of IT at a state university said the new flat fee from Oracle will be beneficial to large enterprise users.

"If it affects us, it could make a difference as we are a university with a large number of CPUs," he said.

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