If you're purchasing enterprise software, you'll typically push for a discount based on the volume of seats you need and your previous and future history with the vendor. When it comes to dealing with Oracle, that may not get you very far.
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Gartner managing VP Michele Caminos highlighted Oracle's hard-line negotiating tactics in a session on dealing with "megavendors" at Gartner Symposium 2013 on the Gold Coast. "Pricing and contract negotiation [with Oracle] is hard," she said. "They don't bend."
Those discounts that are offered will only reflect the volume of the current deal, Caminos said. Even if you're a long-term Oracle user, previous purchases won't be factored in.
Arguably, Oracle can afford that stance because database systems in particular aren't easy to swap out once in place. With cloud-based options, there's more flexibility, though you still need an exit strategy for shifting data from one system to another.
An added complication for licence negotiations is the huge range of software companies Oracle has acquired. "They have not been very quick in rationalising their offerings," Caminos said. "There's a lot of overlap."