It’s like asking a divorce attorney for premarital counseling.
This article is interesting but requires clarification regarding Oracle. Specifically, Oracle’s maintenance stream is, in fact, forever. Enterprise agreements–specifically unlimited license agreements (aka ULAs)–roll all prior, disparate maintenance streams into to one big, all-or-nothing, growing, hairy, annual payment to Oracle. You only get out from underneath this agreement by sweeping the floor of all the Oracle products on the renewal. Therein lies the reason I discourage ULAs.
If being married to Oracle is your preference, then, I’m not likely the licensing consultant for you. It’s like asking a divorce attorney for premarital counseling. In any case, I appreciate that the author and El Reg are addressing software maintenance agreements. I would only add that I have not seen Oracle discount an existing renewal to keep a customer as it seems SAP is willing to do. In my experience, Oracle would rather lose a customer than set that precedence in the market place. And I suspect that losing those few customers that can actually transplant Oracle software for a competitive offering would cost far less than discounting existing support agreements.
If and when Oracle raises its prices (as it did in 2008), it will be to further lock maintenance agreements in place by moving the cost savings goal line further away via re-pricing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Oracle’s technical support policies, namely matching support levels, re-pricing and license sets are the reason for its eternal dominance.