Oracle Corp. is rolling out yet another method to help customers decipher its confusing pricing model.
Starting this fall, the database and enterprise applications developer will offer interactive seminars to answer customers questions. The free seminars will be available online, at various conferences and during a road show that will stop at any global location where enough users have expressed interest, officials said.
"Part of the reason were doing seminars is to talk about how the licensing models have evolved, what changes weve made and what are the benefits to the customer," said Jacqueline Wood, vice president of global pricing and licensing strategy at the Redwood Shores, Calif., company.
This is Oracles latest response to ongoing criticism and confusion over what it charges. Oracle customers claim that the company hasnt reformed since last year when two analyst companies—Meta Group Inc. and Gartner Inc.—took Oracle to task over pricing and sales tactics. Nevertheless, the seminars are desperately needed, customers said.
"Its pretty confusing," said Craig Read, president of the Toronto Oracle Users Group and IT director at MTrilogix Inc., in Toronto. "You have to understand that when you deal with these guys, theyre there to get your cash."