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Gartner warns of ‘inappropriate’ Oracle sales tactics

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

A second research firm has warned Oracle Corp customers to check license fees and further accused the company of inappropriate sales tactics.

Gartner Inc has accused Oracle of forcing customers to choose the most expensive licensing option, attempting to pre-sell more licenses than customers need and forcing customers to pay more than is necessary for data sourced into a data warehouse from an Oracle database.

The criticism comes just days after another research firm, Meta Group Inc, accused Oracle of overcharging some users for batch-feeding its database management system.

Meta contended that Oracle was attempting to garner greater license fees from existing users and encouraged its clients to take the matter to court if necessary. Oracle responded by saying that the matter concerned a small number of users that had been licensed incorrectly.

The Gartner criticism casts a further shadow over Oracle's sales practices, however. Gartner states that it has received complaints from clients and describes Oracle's sales tactics as "aggressive" and suggests that they are being used in an attempt to lift the company's database sales revenue, which Gartner states has been falling at a rate of 1% to 17% year-over-year for the past four quarters.

Gartner recommends that Oracle customers get two proposals from Oracle based on per-user and per-processor licensing, perform their own audits to validate Oracle claims, seek immediate legal and purchasing advice about the legality of any extra Oracle charges, and if possible renegotiate contracts with the company. Oracle had not responded to requests for comment as we went to press.

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