What is Oracle Sustaining Support? Breaking the Cycle of Eroding Oracle Support

What is Oracle Sustaining Support? Breaking the Cycle of Eroding Oracle Support

Software support contracts generally do not age well.

It seems to be part of the modern vendor playbook to discourage you from using your customized, paid for software, so they cut back on support services. Meanwhile, you’re expected to progressively pay more for less support.

Worse, if you’re in this type of situation, you probably can’t count on receiving new global tax, legal, and regulatory updates, which can be very disruptive to your business, and potentially leave it exposed to financial penalties for not maintaining compliance and keeping pace with regulatory standards.

That’s the situation facing many Oracle customers who, despite the vendor’s guarantee of lifetime support, often find themselves relegated to Oracle Sustaining Support status.

What are Oracle Support levels?

To help set the context, let’s look at an overview of the support tiers:

  • Premier Support: Generally, from the date a new Oracle product becomes available, it’ll be fully supported for five years including product updates, technical, and support resources
  • Extended Support: Expands support for an additional three years for specific software releases for customers willing to pay extra
  • Sustaining Support: Available for as long as you continuously maintain and pay the annual fees for technical support for your Oracle program licenses.

Does Sustaining Support benefit you?

Sustaining Support, often referred to as “de-support,” does not include new program updates, new fixes, new security alerts and new critical patch updates, according to Oracle’s support policy. Also, not included:

  • New tax, legal, and regulatory updates
  • New upgrades scripts
  • Previously released fixes or updates that the company no longer supports.

With Sustaining Support, you’re left still paying annual maintenance fees, and still having to find budget and resources to maintain compliance, implement additional , and troubleshoot.

Oracle, like many enterprise software providers, is seeking to shift customers away from on-premises systems and toward software-as-a-service and cloud-based solutions. However, until then, on-premises products may be here to stay. [i]

Oracle’s strategy may not align with yours

That’s all well and fine for customers who are eager to take advantage of new, cloud-based features, no matter the cost. But it’s a vicious cycle for enterprises with legacy applications and workloads that continue to work just fine after the vendor loses interest in updating them. Years of fine-tuning and customizations can go out the window when an organization is coerced into following a vendor’s strategic (read: revenue-enhancing) move to a new platform with its new pricing scheme.

According to a recent Censuswide survey of CIOs, % of IT leaders have concerns over implementing a vendor subscription-based licensing model at their organization. Yet, many (42%) feel forced to, despite lacking ROI insight.

So, even though critical ERP applications are running just fine, it’s going to be increasingly costly to just maintain them, possibly adding to risks given the vendor’s apparent lack of interest in them. It may also compromise your own strategic vision for maintaining the best return on investment and balancing costs of technology versus benefit.

Embracing third-party support

It’s frustrating to have to pay more for something the vendor seems to care less about, particularly in supporting your customizations and integrations. That’s why many enterprises eagerly turn to third-party support.

Rimini Street supports existing Oracle applications and databases (including customizations) for at least 15 years from the time of contracting without forced continuous updates. We also offer security, managed, and professional services so you can offload the day-to-day Oracle software.

To learn more about gaining independence from the vendor-dictated roadmap, improving the quality of support for Oracle, and reducing overall IT costs, go to https://www.riministreet.com/solutions/oracle/.

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[i] Oracle International Corp. v. Rimini Street, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-1699-MMD-DJA, Transcript of Bench Trial Day 5 (ECF No. 1507) at 1046-47 (S. Catz).