Wednesday 13 April 2011

Do I upgrade or Do I wait For Fusion?

Do I upgrade or Do I wait For Fusion?

This is the most common question of the moment, and one I got asked before, during and after my sessions at Collaborate.

As a reader of my blog you know my answer, but at Collaborate I got more of an understanding as to the passion behind the question.

The answer is still 'it depends' and I think people get it has to be a business decision for them specifically and not a simple yes or no.  Normally you talk to them about, if they were not an early adopter of R12 why would they be or even desire to be an early adopter of Fusion? And this is still true for the majority but some articulated a very good point.

If they don't upgrade to R12 because they want to wait and see Fusion first, they will have to pay the Extended Support premium from December. If you remember you used to get 5 years of support for any release and then you had to upgrade. Not uncommon or unreasonable in software, and everyone knew that when they bought the product. Like looking at a menu and seeing the prices.

Oracle announced lifetime support back in 2006' and offered you an additional 3 years Extended Support for a premium. For an additional 10% . First point that is 10% of your support fee, not 10% of licence fee as some believe. However 2 years ago at Collaborate Oracle announced they would waive that uplift for the first year. We are well into that year now, with the 2nd year starting in December. For some people that is a substantial amount of money to pay, but upgrading isn't cheap either.

My first thoughts are, when they entered the restaurant they were given the menu with the prices on it, they shouldn't be surprised that they are being asked to pay that amount. I am not commenting on what support costs, just that it isn't or shouldn't be a surprise.

But what was being articulated by some here, was that when Charles Phillips announced Lifetime support, he said that Fusion would be available before the end of Premium support and people could decide to upgrade or go straight to Fusion.

In other words, he said, here is your menu, but before dessert I will give you new options. The waiter is now pressuring then into accepting the original menu and the new menu won't be available until after coffee.

So is that fair? Should Oracle have released Fusion as promised? I am sure Charles had the Safe Harbour slide up when he said this, and again you know my thoughts on the date, frustrated it hasn't happened but want it to be the right time.

But if, some customers, have pushed their life on 11.5.10 to the limit, waiting to assess the options side by side, they are now between a rock and a hard place. It is too late now to upgrade before the additional cost comes in December, and if they do upgrade and then find Fusion was right for them, it is a second upgrade, and they aren't free.

I am not pushing people to move to Fusion, I really do believe most should upgrade to R12, but I do always say you need to know all the information to make the right decision for your organisation.

Oracle risk customers going elsewhere for support, and I don't think that is the right answer either. Perhaps Oracle, you should waive year two of the extended support fee. Not because people haven't upgraded, but because you have not given them the product in time for them to make the choices you gave them.

Back to my analogy, send the waiter away until the promised new dessert menu is printed.

I have talked about EBS throughout this but it is similar for other products.

1 comment:

R "Ray" Wang said...

Debra -

our clients are starting to raise similar issues with the 11.5.10 transition. As you mentioned, the right thing to do will be to give customers more time to wait out till the options are available. It will also take customers at least 12 to 18 months to make any migration as it seems to be a reimplementation to Fusion and an easier migration to 12.

In any case, they shouldn't have to pay more for maintenance on a defunct and older release, as very little investment will be made towards that product.