Oracle users content in wake of spending spree, says user group survey

In the wake of Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft, the vast bulk of users - 63 per cent - continue to be happy with Oracle's overall service levels compared to 64 per cent in 2004, according to the UK Oracle User Group’s (UKOUG) annual survey for 2005.

Just under half - 49 per cent - of former JD Edwards customers believe the merger itself was handled 'quite well' while 9 per cent thought it was handled 'very well' compared to 16 per cent who said it was handled badly. Just over half, or 52 per cent, thought service levels had remained the same.

For former PeopleSoft customers, just over half, or 51 per cent, said the merger had been handled 'quite well' while 44 per cent thought that support levels had remained the same following the deal.

"The results show that on the whole former PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers were pleased – or perhaps relieved - with the way that the merger has been carried out," said OUG chairman Ronan Miles. "They also have a confidence in ongoing support for their products which runs counter to what many industry observers were saying."

Some 62 per cent of former PeopleSoft customers said they were aware of Oracle’s development plans for the product while the remainder were not. Just over half (54 per cent) said they were satisfied with these plans, while 46 per cent were not. However, significant work to engage customers with Oracle’s Fusion plans still needs to be done.

"Compared to earlier in the year, the Fusion message has been picked up by more of the installed Oracle Applications User Base," added Miles. "But a significant part of the technology population still seems unaware of the impact Fusion is likely to have on Oracle’s future product direction as a whole."

Satisfaction levels for Oracle's e-Business Suite also remain high. The percentage of users who were very happy with the CRM product rose from five percent in 2004 to seven per cent in 2005.

Elsewhere, a fifth or 20 per cent of customers were happy with Oracle's licensing scheme, but one in four customers said they were not happy, attributing their dissatisfaction to cost and complexity. "Licensing continues to be an area where many people are expressing reservations about the current scheme," said Miles. "This is because of the end-cost and complexity that seems to be a feature of any non-trivial deal. Users are also looking for more transparency in pricing."

Ian Smith, senior vice-president and managing director, Oracle UK, Ireland and South Africa said: "The survey does show there are some customers reserving judgment on the benefits of our products and acquisition strategy but I would like to reassure them that this is one of the most exciting and dynamic times to be an Oracle customer.

"The combination of a strong product roadmap built around Oracle Fusion Architecture and the broad range of skills within this organisation mean my team has the tools to meet our customers’ needs. Therefore, moving forward, our number one priority is to listen to all our customers and demonstrate how our products can meet those needs and make our customers more successful, because ultimately our success is dependent on the success of our customers."


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