Oracle Apps Users Dissatisfied But Continue Spending with Vendor

November, 2010

A new study published by Computer Economics Inc. shows widespread dissatisfaction among customers of Oracle Applications over the quality and cost of Oracle’s maintenance and support programs, yet many expect to give the vendor an increasing share of their IT budgets within three years.

The study, Go-Forward Strategies for Oracle Application Customers, shows that 42% are dissatisfied with the quality of Oracle support, while 58% are dissatisfied with the cost of the support. The respondents include users of its E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards, Siebel, and Hyperion applications.

“Many customers are frustrated with navigating Oracle’s support system and the length of time it takes for Oracle to respond to support issues, and dissatisfaction with the cost of that support is even more widespread,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, an Irvine, Calif.-based IT research and advisory firm.

Despite the dissatisfaction, only 25% of the Oracle customers expect the vendor, with its growing portfolio of applications, middleware, and systems, will have a smaller share of their IT budgets over the next three years. Another 37% indicated such factors as organic growth, purchase of additional Oracle applications, and standardization on Oracle technology would result in Oracle having an even larger share of their IT budgets. The remaining respondents judged Oracle’s share of their IT spending would be about the same in three years.

Other key findings:

  • Customer dissatisfaction with the quality and cost of support is greater in the U.S. and Canada than in the rest of the world.
  • There is a strong correlation between the age of the system and dissatisfaction with Oracle support quality and cost. Dissatisfaction levels increase dramatically for customers that have application systems first installed more than 10 years ago.
  • Dissatisfaction levels vary by Oracle product: overall dissatisfaction is greatest among PeopleSoft customers, while a surprisingly large percentage of E-Business Suite customers are unhappy with the cost of support.
  • Third-party maintenance options have not yet gained substantial mindshare, with the majority of Oracle application customers not considering or having already decided against third-party maintenance.
  • Oracle’s next-generation applications, dubbed Fusion Applications, are not on the radar for most customers, with only 10% planning to migrate to Fusion. There is substantial difference in migration plans, depending on the Oracle product currently installed.
  • Only 25% of Oracle application customers are currently users of Sun hardware, but among these customers, expectations for increasing support costs are high. Very few Oracle application customers have plans for Oracle’s new Exadata storage systems.
  • Most Oracle application customers have a neutral view toward Oracle’s litigation activities, though a greater percentage disagree than agree with Oracle’s litigation practices.
  • Though the majority of Oracle customers expect to spend a greater or equal percentage of their IT budget with Oracle, these expectations vary considerably by Oracle product.
  • In terms of internal support, the staffing ratios for E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft are lowest—that is, these systems require the greatest number of internal support staff to keep them running. JD Edwards is highest and requires the fewest.

Go-Forward Strategies for Oracle Application Customers assesses customer satisfaction with Oracle support, plans for migration to Fusion applications, use of Sun hardware, consideration of third-party maintenance services, and forecasts for Oracle’s share of IT budgets. It presents survey results for E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards, and Hyperion applications. In addition, it provides application support staffing ratios for each application, which can be used for benchmarking and planning purposes. It concludes with recommendations for how customers should move forward with Oracle applications. This special report includes extensive open-ended comments from the survey respondents, providing insights and color into their thinking, with over 70 specific comments quoted from the 109 Oracle customers that took part in this in-depth survey.

The full report is available for sale on the Computer Economics website at