back to article Oracle's old hands are supporting the support n00bs who support you

Oracle's remaining experienced support staff have been asked to assist the company's more recent support hires, sources familiar with the matter have told The Register. Oracle workers around the globe responded to our story yesterday in which we reported that Big Red's consolidation of support resources worldwide is nearly …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing turns quality and service to shit

    Colour me surprised

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourcing turns quality and service to shit

      They've cut the experienced staff from 'legacy' product support, 'encouraged' the uptake of cloud in the belief that as there is less scope for customisation, there are less things to go wrong. However, the cloud products are palpably not ready, integrations to other cloud products are flaky at best. If I was an Oracle customer, I'd be looking to migrate away as it's turning into quite a large canine breakfast.

  2. Lysenko

    "Experienced support workers are therefore trying to serve customers and colleagues, aren't enjoying the extra workload, and fear customer service is suffering as a result."

    That "extra workload" amounts to buying the alcoholic another drink.

    Oracle will continue to pursue destructive policies and customers will tolerate this longer than they should precisely because well meaning staff enable that by attempting to shield them from the full pain of their misguided decisions. You can't expect anyone to stop doing stupid things unless you make the stupid hurt.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This has Mark Hurd written all over it...

    Mark Hurd made the same changes at HP when he was the CEO. Cost cutting activities like these were normal during his reign at HP. Experienced support teams were training graduates or less experienced staff at first.

    Next came the ax. WFR packages were handed to everyone who was deemed too expensive.

    Once the new guys got a few years of experience under their belt, they were gobbled up by other companies who offered better pay.

  4. PassiveSmoking

    Looks like they've gone the Virgin Media route of support.

    They'll play you a recorded message telling you to turn it off and on again, then "dave" from Mumbai will try to get you to install some remote desktop software only for him to tell you he has no clue what's going on.

  5. FuzzyWuzzys

    I wouldn't worry, all be moving from Oracle to SQL Server on Linux soon, ha ha!

    1. Otto is a bear.

      Behind the curve there....

      They need a web scale database, open source is the way forward.

      Seriously though, in theory you can port Oracle to Postgres without rewriting all that PL/SQL and changing the whole trigger map.

  6. TechYogJosh

    So what is the big deal?

    The assumption is moving support to lower cost countries is wrong because it damages the customer support? Same thing happened to offshore-outsourcing and despite all the problems and biases of market observers, the offshore-based outsourcing is thriving. Listen, if the customers get to save nickle and dime, they are fine compromising on support. However, this may have a life and Oracle may have to revisit it soon the way many large enterprises are rethinking their outsourcing strategies. But we must understand that a company first needs to make enough money to run and survive, and then think about other things. These tough decisions are part of that. More so if you have a butcher like Mark Hurd at the helm, you can't expect anything more. Oracle has realized selling new stuff is going to become worse by the day, so the next best thing is to cut as much costs as possible.

    1. Unicornpiss

      Re: So what is the big deal?

      IMHO the big deal is that:

      -Customer service suffers tremendously

      -It's a shitty thing to do to your veteran employees

      -It's a shitty thing to do to your long time customers and partners

      -It's a shitty thing to do to the local economies of the countries in which you operate

      -It's an unnecessary move for an already profitable company, and probably just to make the stock price go up and make more money for the top brass.

      These decisions always save money in the short term only. When old customers and veteran talent defect for greener pastures, the revenue goes down and it just requires more cost cutting. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  7. disgruntled yank


    My geography may not be up to snuff, but I had always understood that Romania was part of Europe.

    There are many things I like about Oracle software. However, if starting from scratch, I would probably go with Postgres, because of Oracle's costs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Europe

      However, if starting from scratch, I would probably go with Postgres, because of Oracle's costs.

      If Postgres can handle your load, that's the only sensible approach, but you won't find many Fortune 500 companies running huge critical infrastructures on a little DBMS.

      1. disgruntled yank

        Re: Europe

        Presumably the Fortune 500 companies have budgets to match. Oracle seems at times to imagine that we all do.

  8. Yukkuri

    "US support engineers are now expected to assist new colleagues in Lehi, Romania and India "

    That feeling when you realize that implies that your home state is not part of the USA...

  9. Stevie


    Oracle sales staff look offended if asked "will this promised help be knowledgeable about our Oracle configuration on Solaris?" but everyone they supplied last year as "the top man/woman in the field" had no idea how to even work their terminal session on Solaris to best effect since they had been trained and were expert in the use of Red Hat Linux.

    Just before Christmas one of the vendor support staff explained how best to open and maintain a ticket with Oracle under a "new system", and made reference to time zones being a crucial issue. Now I understand why. Difficult to understand the escalation timescale of an enterprise operating in EST when sitting behind a desk in Bangalore.

  10. a_yank_lurker

    PHBs ride again

    The problem with offshoring is that offshore staff do not understand the local culture, may not speak your language very well, and are often time shifted.

  11. We Haven't Met But You're A Great Fan Of Mine

    Frau Farbissina

    That lady on the right reminds me of Frau Farbissina in the Austin Powers movies. The woman who yells every word with a german accent.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't like what's going on, but ...

    there are some aspects to keep in mind:

    A) As some people rightly pointed out: who is ready to pay real money for good support? Not the decision makers who foot the bill, they don't feel the difference. So the customers are one of the forces driving the downward spiral as well.

    B) Many big customers already outsourced their support to cheap countries where the partners have no clue about the business or the technology they are supposed to handle, Oracle simply mirrors that model.

    C) The local economy someone pointed at is a relative thing. If you have been to Romania or know people from there, you may notice that e.g. doctors are either fresh on the job or very old, the rest is working somewhere in Western Europe. So creating jobs in Romania helps the country to catch up with the rest of the EU. Even if the folks from around your corner suffer for it.

    D) At least the Romanian engineers are very, very far from being dummies. This may be true for some other regions, though, my experience is limited to Romania.

    E) Linux and free software are nice solutions up to a certain size, many ideas are later picked up by the main stream, but switching an operation like General Motors away from closed software would be a rather bold move. And Oracle is allegedly going after the Fortune 500, not you car dealer around the corner.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new

    It's really nothing new, oracle support quality is awful since years and is quickly reaching the point of being completely useless. I work in large support organization as a part of software problem management team. I don't remember any case since at least 1-2 years when raising a ticket to oracle would help us in anything. Their suggestions are in best case worthless and quite often they make things worse. I could write a book about all nonsenses they wanted us to do. They are able to help with only very basic problems and it is not a thing we need from them, we have our own people with 15+ years experience with their damn software.

    My favorite from couple of months ago: there was a problem with messed up OS permissions in one of the RACs, running x86 Solaris. Oracle support had no clue what to do with that (their main solution was to reinstall everything) and was only wasting our time. Finally we fully investigated problem by ourselves and told them what is going on but they had solution for such a thing documented only for Linux (I don't remember details, but it required editing some headers files and relinking). And Solaris files looked completely different than Linux ones so their document was worthless. This ticket was never solved, they never got back with any answer how to do the same thing in Solaris. And this is not "legacy OS", this is their own product. Finally we modified these files in a way it looked for us most probable and it worked. Thanx oracle.

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