Having been personally involved with developer user groups for some years now I have a vested interest in the way they operate and whether the members find the services offered a) value for money b) useful in their day to day work or c) just a thinly veiled version of their platform or application vendor of choice’s corporate message set.
Today’s user community of interest is the UK’s Oracle User Group, as this weekend I was given some embargoed info that the rest of the media world will be privy to on the Monday you may read this. Initially sceptical of this user group survey I dismissed it as most likely to contain tired out old info of the ‘hey we had a great set of user group meetings this year’ variety – a closer look revealed some more constructive info than you might expect.
From 600 conference delegates questioned at their annual shindig in Birmingham, the survey showed low levels of satisfaction for Oracle Support with 1 in 5 Oracle Support users being ‘unhappy’ with an element of Oracle Support.
Dissatisfaction with global support desks increased by more than double from 7 to 17%. However Oracle Web Conference/Direct Connect and Remote Diagnostic Tools were rated highly by those who use them and indicate that greater take up by users would significantly improve the support experience. Looking further, 14% of people using an Oracle Account Team are ‘unhappy’ with it, this is a 4% increase from 2006.
Satisfaction in the Oracle licensing scheme has fallen since 2005, just 15% of respondents said they were happy or very happy, a 5% decrease since 2006 and users saying they were unhappy or very unhappy increased to 32%.
OK OK – I’ve picked on all the negative stuff, 600 delegates don’t travel all the way to Birmingham just to say they are brassed off. Believe me, three years at University in the West Midlands is enough to be able to tell you that with some certainty. So what did they like?
Oracle University did especially well in the survey with 44% of respondents saying they were ‘very happy’ with Oracle University, a 16% increase on 2006. More than half (54%) of Oracle Consulting customers are ‘happy’ with their overall experience. Over three-quarters (76%) of Oracle Consulting customers in 2007 would recommend their services to other organisations. Overall satisfaction with the Oracle Corporation has increased by 7% in 2007. Finally, 81% of Oracle Server users are ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with the product
Of special note was satisfaction in PeopleSoft and JD Edwards increasing following the results of the 2006 survey. You might even be tempted to think that this user group actually listens to its membership base then. I’m sure they do, no user community achieves longevity if it fails to respond to its users. I’ve seen these guys operate as I attended their annual get together a couple of years ago – I think one of the best things about them is that once you start drilling into the technology you can go to the main Oracle web site and download technical podcasts to up your background knowledge before you attend any meets. Well, you’ve got to have something to do between Euston and Birmingham New Street stations haven’t you!?