Oracle starts pricing workshops

Oracle on Tuesday held the first of what will be quarterly workshops to help customers understand the intricacies of its pricing and licensing practices.

The workshop at the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) Connection Point 2003 event in San Diego focused on application pricing, migrations, support and the choice between buying components or the Oracle applications suite, Oracle spokeswoman Leslie Rubin said.

Future workshops will be held in select locations around the world and topics will be set based on user input. The workshops will be led by Jacqueline Woods, Oracle's vice president of global pricing and licensing strategy, Oracle said in a statement.

"The best venue for us to do these workshops is at large conferences," Rubin said. The next opportunity is at OracleWorld Paris in October, she said.

Woods first announced the workshops in an interview in July.

Oracle's pricing and licensing faces continued criticism even though the company has taken steps to make its pricing and licensing transparent. Oracle already publishes many details on its licensing and pricing on its Web site and last year released a 40-page Software Investment Guide to better inform customers. In the workshops, customers can get direct answers to their questions.

Oracle Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison last week added a new dimension to Oracle's pricing model by stating that pricing of enterprise software on a per-processor basis should be replaced with a flat annual fee. That topic was not discussed during Tuesday's workshop, Rubin said.

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