Back in November the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) released an official whitepaper titled “White Paper: Key Risks in Managing Oracle Licensing.” In this paper the CCL identified three key themes of issues highlighted by Oracle users. These include: a lack of autonomy felt by the users, inconsistent messages from Oracle, and that Oracle prioritizes revenue streams far over customer requirements. They concluded the paper with some recommendations for improvement from the technology giant.
On the about us page on the official CCL website they describe themselves as, “The Campaign for Clear Licensing is an independent, not-for-profit organization campaigning for clear licensing, manageable license programs and the rights of business software buyers. The Campaign for Clear Licensing will on behalf of its members work with software publishers and the reseller community to reduce the indirect costs of using commercial software by improving the clarity and usability of software license terms and conditions. “
The CCL have now taken this a step further with a post to their blog titled “Open letter: To Larry Ellison and the board of directors at Oracle.” The letter is a warning to Oracle to improve relationships with their customers by both improving trust and addressing concerns over vendor lock-in.
The letter is not entirely negative at it also commends the 45% growth Oracle experienced for their cloud business last year. However, they then proceeded with the following remark, “However, with just 5% of your revenue deriving from cloud services you have a long way to go before cloud becomes a major part of your business, and we believe there are significant challenges to overcome along the way. Not least of all is overcoming the deep-rooted mistrust of your core customer base as a result of your auditing and licensing practices. We fear that if Oracle does not address these concerns then the company’s ability to meet its stated $1 billion cloud sales target next year, together with the longer term outlook for its cloud computing business, will remain in doubt.”
The letter makes reference to the whitepaper report of last year and highlights the issues published there. The letter concludes with seven changes that customers have highlighted will make all the difference. These are: Strategic focus on customer relations and satisfaction, Clarity in audit activities, clarity within Oracle’s license management, a well built out knowledgebase, reduce unnecessary risk in products and license programs, help education of customers in resource management, and finally but perhaps most importantly, to communicate with their customers.