What Oracle/ATG Could Do With Licensing

This is a follow-up to my post earlier this week: ATG Licensing – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

I feel like Oracle has really shot themselves in the foot on this. They’ve changed up how many licenses need to be sold as a minimum to small and medium customers, and they’ve done this without adequate training for their sales staff. They’ve dramatically increased the mid-market entry level costs, pricing themselves out of many deals – even with aggressive discounting. They’ve also really failed to take care of their existing customers. There’s a huge number of existing ATG customers out there, who were sold a bundle of licenses which prevents them from upgrading without spending a significant amount out of pocket. Those customers have been paying annual support fees against a broken promise of free upgrades.

The problem will get worse as future generations of processors start shipping with hex- and octo- core base configurations. In short Oracle’s licensing policy does not work with modern CPUs and ATG software pricing and infrastructure architecture.

So what could they do? I have a few solutions:

  1. Allow for software disabling of cores. This is simple. Just add an “ATG Licensing Addendum” to the contracts that allows for this. Problem solved now and in the future.
  2. Use the Oracle Standard Database licensing model based on “Sockets” not “Processors”. This is really a clean solution, has precedent in Oracle’s licensing practices, and scales well in the future.
  3. Automatically allow all MC4 bundle customers to upgrade to 6 “Processors” of Commerce and 6 “Processors” of Search on ATG 10, for free. They were sold a small but deployable bundle of Production and Staging licenses. They’ve been paying their support fees. They deserve to still be able to run a small but deployable setup of Production and Staging.
  4. Automatically upgrade any customers who have been sold ATG 10 with less than 6 “Processors” of Commerce and Search to 6+6. These customers have been sold an impossible to deploy list of licenses. Through ignorance (most likely) their ATG Sales rep sold them a lie. Make it right.

What do you think is most fair?






4 responses to “What Oracle/ATG Could Do With Licensing”

  1. Sebastiano Pilla Avatar
    Sebastiano Pilla

    The key here is “pricing themselves out of many deals”. It looks like either Oracle wants to cut off the lower-middle range of the market by only going after customers with unlimited budgets, or they’re not aware of what the competitors offer.

    I like your socket-based licensing model, as it seems fair that a customer who deploys on 24 appservers pays more than another who deploys on 2; this however should be valid for Commerce only, in my opinion BCC, Search and CSC should have a single license fee regardless of how many instances and how many CSC seats are used.

    1. Devon Avatar

      Yeah, I think the Oracle strategy may be pushing the ATG stack to all their existing large enterprise customers instead of aggressively tackling the mid-market. A mistake in my opinion, and a step backwards for ATG.

      Yeah, I think sockets for commerce, BCC/CSC should be unlimited (either included in Commerce or for a fixed product cost) (or *maybe* seat based – seat based customer service apps are pretty common), and I think Search should be unlimited (probably included in Commerce given how tied in stuff is now, or a fixed product cost). Limiting Search deployment footprint makes no sense. Your business and online profits, etc… are driven based on traffic (and sockets), but Search is a very odd things to license the way they’re doing it now.

      So if anyone over at Oracle is listening….

  2. Robbert van der Hoorn - OSAit BV Avatar

    The Socket Licensing model for Oracle only applies to Standard Edition and Standard Edition One and limits to 4 (SE) or 2 (SE One) sockets.
    On VMWare, ALL sockets in the FARM should be taken into account, which may rule out the Socket Licensing Models.

    1. Devon Avatar

      Yeah, but Oracle Standard Edition is usually fine, thank goodness. AFAIK VM environments can’t be certified for PCI Level Compliance unless the entire VM hardware cluster is dedicated to a single customer, which really kills the point of VMs imho, so we use dedicated hardware for everything.

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