SearchOracle.com has just today, published an article title: Has the Phrase Oracle Support become an Oxymoron? Well, the article lashes into Oracle by referring to customer complaints about how well Oracle Support responds to customer support requests. The paper provides results of a study that say that only 54% of all Oracle’s customers are “satisfied” with its support infrastructure.
The paper provides quotes from various consultants and employees of companies who rely on Oracle’s product set. The complainants even believe that which country’s support personnel are assigned a call makes a difference to the resolution of the call (for example, one person believes he gets better results if an Australian support person handles the call, rather than an Oracle employee based in India). The paper quotes one company as saying they’ve 70 plus support requests in the queue. To Oracle’s credit, none of the folks quoted are saying that they intend to move away from it as a result of their dissatisfaction with the support services, even though some DBAs and others complain in the article that sometimes Oracle doesn’t even respond to them at all!
What is going on here? I’m quite sure that there are occasional cases where a company is frantic to get a fix for a show stopper, and Oracle doesn’t immediately come up with a quick solution to get them out of the jam. One must step back and understand a few essential things first: we’re dealing with a highly complex, sophisticated set of database and application related products, many of which are architected to run a wide variety of operating systems, networks and middleware. It simply isn’t possible for someone to just read a support request and say: “Aha, here’s your problem – and here’s the fix for it”! Diagnosis of database problems and appropriate recommendations that may include writing special code just to fix the specific problem you’re facing, all take time and effort. Companies must understand this and instead of feeling frustrated, they can do a few things to make the most of Oracle’s support infrastructure. These steps include insisting that their employees complete appropriate Oracle certifications to improve their expertise, having consultants or senior level lDBAs walk the team members through how to navigate Oracle Support via internet and the phone and how to ensure prompt and efficient responses by politely but firmly ask for phone support (Oracle responds within 30 minutes to any call you tag as Severity 1 and provide your phone number) during an emergency. In close to two decades of work as an Oracle DBA, I’ve never failed to get the help I needed from Oracle to deal with some very tough problems over the years. The system isn’t broke at all – we need to know how to efficiently use the system and get the help that we need – Oracle can and will help you if you learn to efficiently use the Oracle Support infrastructure.