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Oracle users: We want better support

Oracle customers want better product support through improved call centres and more information about services.

Oracle customers want better product support through improved call centres and more information about services.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group, told ZDNet Australia's UK sister site silicon.com: "Areas of issue are in the support sphere. What we want to do with Oracle is identify the issues."

Miles explained that many of the concerns expressed by Oracle UK customers relate to offshore phone support, particularly the recently opened call centre in Egypt.

But Miles said this should be expected with relatively new operations, adding that users are much more positive about Oracle's India-based support centres.

Despite issues with phone support, Miles said there is a continuing reluctance among businesses to use Oracle's online tools to fix problems, due to corporate security policies. He added that this is something that should be overcome by Oracle as these services are "universally loved" by those who use them.

Miles said the increasingly complex product groups created by Oracle's acquisition activity over the past few years have also caused some support problems because of the number of specialist departments needed to deal with so many different applications.

"The customer would normally like [product support] to be easy," Miles said.

On a more positive note, Miles said more people are now aware of the Oracle Fusion programme, which is designed to bring together under one banner the various software applications from Oracle's acquisitions.

In the 2007 User Group survey, 54 percent of those quizzed said they understood Fusion -- up from 51 percent in 2006.

Miles said this means more people are making an informed choice about whether to take part in Fusion.

Although there hasn't been a huge uptake of Fusion so far, Miles predicted that people will decide to move over once they've seen its potential.

The User Group survey also found satisfaction with new products brought into the Oracle stable -- such as PeopleSoft and JD Edwards -- has increased since last year.