Oracle All-in-One: price cuts or not?

Count fingers - Gartner

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Oracle last week introduced All-in-One, a one price package for Oracle apps. Application licenses, installations and upgrades are all included in the deal. The enterprise software vendor sets out its stall here.

Sounds good? Anything that introduces transparency and predictability to Oracle prices is to be welcomed.

The software vendor's historic approach to licensing - think of a number then double it or, if it's the state of California, tentuple it, has shown that anything CA can do, Oracle can do better. CA is showing a kinder, gentler face to the world with FlexSelect Licensing. Now its Oracle's turn.

But will All-in-One actually save companies any money? Err, not sure, says Gartner, while making the reasonable point that pricing predictability is not the same as price cuts.

Gartner, nevertheless, rates Oracle's All-In-One programme as "promising". Which is nice.

However, there are some pitfalls that Oracle will have to avoid. By bundling services in its own professional services arm, Oracle could, for instance, annoy its partners. They could view All-In-One as an aggressive move.

But there are many more potential pitfalls for Oracle customers. Here is Gartner's suggested checklist for enterprises contemplating Oracle All-in One.

  • Benchmark current and planned internal costs against proposed All-In-One costing. This is most important in a heterogeneous application environment.
  • Determine how differentiated an All-In-One implementation can be, considering non-Oracle integration and application customization.
  • Check the terms carefully: inability to contain business within contract terms will likely lead to additional costs.
  • Understand how much control you will have over the deployment of patches and releases.
  • Understand the process for future enhancements, development and customization.
  • Develop a contingency plan as this is a new strategy for Oracle. Gartner believes that without measurable revenue growth (10 percent to 15 percent year over year), Oracle will likely shy away from All-In-One by year-end 2006 (0.6 probability).
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