Oracle Support Guide


Oracle is notoriously inflexible about its support policies. Customers are often forced to perpetually pay high fees to support products they never deployed or no longer use, and every year those support costs increase by at least 3%. Because of this, Oracle support has become a popular pain point for many customers.


ClearEdge Partners, an education and consulting firm that assists clients in mitigating risk in strategic IT investments, consolidated its findings on the most frequently asked questions regarding Oracle support, which include:


1. How does Oracle price its software support?

Unlike other vendors, Oracle does not use a separate SKU for support. Annual support is based on a rate applied on the negotiated net license spend, which is outlined in each individual ordering document. This section provides three net license thresholds and the rate for support corresponding to each tier.


2. What annual increases should I expect to pay?


Many customers wonder if Oracle’s annual support renewal increases are standard. This section details the rates we typically see across strategic details but, ultimately, your ordering document will dictate your annual increase caps for a specific support stream.


3. Can I get oracle to waive support renewal increases?


In response to market pressure, Oracle is offering 0% renewal increases on multi-year support agreements. This section explains how Oracle customers can qualify for this incentive.


4. What is Oracle Extended Support and how much does it cost?


Oracle offers Premier Support for five years from the software version general availability (GA) date. After this, customers have the option to extend the support coverage for an additional three years. Extended Support is optional, but it means that if a new bug is found, Oracle will fix it. Without Extended Support, you only get support on pre-existing fixes for bugs already found. If the system is mission critical, Extended Support might be a necessity.


5. Can I reduce my Oracle support bill?


It depends. Oracle does not re-negotiate fees if the customer is renewing support for all licenses under the contract and if the customer decides to take a portion of licenses off support, reprice and matching service levels rules kick in. However, there are three plausible options for reducing support fees, detailed in this section of the Oracle support guide.


6. What about third-party support?


Third-party vendors are restricted in the support they can provide, and thus, they are not a viable option for all business cases. Their support coverage won’t match the OEM’s, and the savings they are able to offer are largely based on the fact that they don’t provide software updates. This section identifies the two major providers of Oracle software support and outlines the risks associated with using a third-part for Oracle support.

7. What happens when Oracle customers take licenses off support?


For Oracle customers with a lot of shelf ware that are considering cancelling support or moving to a third party to reduce costs, be advised that Oracle has strict Software Technical Support Policies. In this section, we summarize the three main support rules that Oracle enforces and what buyers should consider before switching off Oracle support.


Oracle is one of the most aggressive IT suppliers in the market and has designed their sales and pricing tactics to extract as much revenue as possible from their customer base, especially with their support offerings. To combat these tactics and drive a successful deal outcome, customers need to create and preserve a positive negotiation position that prepares the business for the inevitable Oracle strategy. If you are experiencing an Oracle support re-price event, are interested in learning more about Oracle support policies, or want to assess opportunities to reduce your support costs via a strategic new purchase or third-party support provider, contact your ClearEdge Partners representative to schedule a meeting with our Oracle experts.


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