By dcb on Feb 14, 2005
So the news (news.com.com)
is reporting that Intel and HP are getting into the game... joining the
ranks of multi-core chip vendors and their customers who see Oracle's
license strategy (to charge by the core) as misaligned with the times.
These are times of virtualized resources that are consumed and funded
as needed, they say.
I was thinking of an analogy for Oracle's position... Consider how you would feel about a policy at Blockbuster Video if, when you rented a DVD, you had to pay $10.00 per seat (your sofa counts as three - being multi-seated). No, it doesn't matter if it'll just be you and your spouse watching the movie. Since you have 15 seats that you \*could\* utilize (the bar stools and folding chairs count too) you will pay $150.00 per night for that movie. Oh, you'd like to display that movie in PARALLEL in your family room and in your entertainment room? Sure, you can do that with their "shared disc" technology. But now add up all the seats in both rooms (25), and that'll be $20.00 per seat! So please pay us $500.00 per night for that movie.
Now, why in the world would Oracle change that policy? They've maximized their revenue pull - and customers are still writing checks. They are in business to extract as much from their "value" as the market will bear, not offer charity discounts to a world that can't rationalize the price tag assigned by a market share leader (I won't use the other "m" word). Oracle reports having $10B in cash, about equal to their annual revenue. It would take less than a thousand E25K customers to decide to run Oracle RAC on their servers to deliver another $10B to their warchest. Not bad, for the price of DVD blanks :-)
Choice in this market segment is the only lever that will work. Customers are demanding choice. And they will respond when it appears. Oracle should note that when choice knocks, many will answer even if they then respond with a competitive position. It takes a long time to get a bad taste out of your mouth. Many will boycott Oracle just because they finally can.
There are some hints that choice might be just around the corner.