Oracle kills free support blog and Twitter account

Last Friday Chris Warticki's Oracle Support Blog was torn down. Chris is a 10 year Oracle support veteran who had been providing the community with valuable tips.
Written by Dennis Howlett, Contributor

Last Friday Chris Warticki's Oracle Support Blog was torn down. Chris is a 10 year Oracle support veteran who had been providing the community with valuable tips. 'RNM' distills the position:

He posted last week If MOS is down, then what?, and maybe this was the final straw. How can an Oracle blogger post something that acknowledges that My Oracle Support is fallible? That a system that people pay a lot of money to use is not only dog-slow because of an awful flash-interface, but that it’s actually UNAVAILABLE?

In addition, his blog’s comments section gave a platform to a lot of people raising grievances about Oracle’s support platform, and maybe that disturbed the corporate PR monster too. No adverse comments equals no problem, right ? ….

So the blog’s gone (it still exists in the ghostly whispers of the Google Cache, for how long I don’t know), and with that the Corporate dignity of Oracle is restored, maybe to the relief of their PR dept but to the loss of those of us reliant on actually using and implementing the products they sell and need support for. Even if MOS were perfect (ho ho ho), then having an insider communicating with us plebs on things like escalation processes is invaluable, and a great way of enhancing people’s perceptions of the company and support it offers. As it is, MOS is far from perfect, and there’s a lot of unhappy folk out there.

Ask a group of Oracle observers for a one word description of how Oracle views its customers and the two most likely words that come to mind are 'stinks' and 'sucks.' Perhaps Chris shouldn't feel so bad. We can add 'Machiavellian' in regard to even its top people per Maureen O'Gara via Vinnie Mirchandani who elaborates on the latest conspiracy theory regarding Charles Phillips, his extra-marital dalliances and CA:

Considering all that, the billboards (which forced him to disclose his affair) were a Machiavellian masterstroke to keep Chuck Phillips in his place, maybe not for the next four months, which would have been ideal, but at least for last week, which Larry will tell you went swimmingly.

By comparison, killing off a blog seems hardly worth the effort but exactly in tune with how Oracle behaves. And you all thought the world has morphed to a blog/Twitter/Facebook consumer paradise? In the meantime, Jason Perlow draws the lines between Apple and North Korean communism. In the capitalist world, it is surprising how certain communist practices seem to reflect reality.

But seriously folks. Oracle remains the Wall Street darling with its rigid insistence on 22% maintenance fees tied back to a complex price book even its sales people struggle to comprehend. That ever changing tome inevitably mean customers get sucked in by low ball pricing only to later find they need a slew of other higher priced products to get the low cost one to work. Double dipping? You just wait until Oracle sucks in the Sun price book and you'll see what I mean. It is only a matter of time before customers wake up to iniquity of such arrangements and do what they did to SAP. Say no. Where then the plaudits for Oracle's alleged brilliant execution strategy?

Update: Frank Scavo points at the elephant in the room:

Oracle needs to realize this is not 1999, or even 2005. Customers have ways of communicating about problems, whether Oracle likes it or not. Better to participate in the conversation and have an opportunity to shape it than try to stymie it. In fact, attempts to stifle the dialog only gives such problems more visibility.

For example, I wouldn't have even known about problems with My Oracle Support had Oracle not shut down Warticki's blog. But now, here I am writing about it, and this post will soon go out to my 1,300+ email list, many of which are Oracle customers and partners.

The larger issue, however, is what this says about Oracle's ability to support all the customers that are coming on board due to its acquisition program. Thousands are about to be added from its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Only last week, Oracle was boasting that, in a few weeks, Sun customers were about to experience the highest level of customer service in the industry, when Oracle put them onto its own support systems. The problems with My Oracle Support couldn't have come at a worse time.

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