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May 6 2009   4:35PM GMT

Mountain to Mohammed: Oracle waives some support fees

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

How did this not get more ink? Oracle is waiving maintenance fees on some of its software products for up to two years.

This is a baby step, granted. But it is, in fact, movement. For one thing, the premier support that people pay 22% per year for, is still on. But users with extended support on older products get a reprieve.

Here’s the boilerplate on the waivers: They cover Extended Support on some E-Business Suite Release 11/10, through November 2011; JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 8.11 through December 2010; Siebel CRM 7.8 through May 2011. And, even the big kahuna, Oracle Database 10g R2 (not the latest release, but still) through July 2011.

Oracle president Charles Phillips apparently uttered these words in Florida two days ago. One word: Wow.

Certainly, ┬áthe company will say SAP’s decision to defer maintenance fees on its business software until the support proves its worth had nothing to do with this. And i have a bridge in Arizona to sell you.

Oracle’s annual fees on software support and maintenance have been a cross to bear for customers and partners alike. For customers, because 22% of even heavily discounted software is still a lotta dough and for partners because they get no piece of the action.

And even though Oracle discounts, a lot, it discounts from a pretty high starting point. It had the audacity to hike its prices a pretty whopping 20% last summer. Many are still smarting over that.

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