Recently, Oracle extended the support date for all versions of the Oracle 10.7 enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications by six months. Oracle will now stop supporting 10.7 in June 2003 (previously support was due to end in December 2002). In a related announcement, Oracle said it will sponsor an event jointly with the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and AppsWorld in 2002.
These announcements will benefit Oracle customers and position the vendor to begin building a better reputation for customer care. In Gartner's opinion, Oracle’s deteriorating relationship with its customer base hit a low in 2001 when Oracle pulled its support from the OAUG conference sponsored by its users and declared that it would halt support for 10.7 in June 2002 (subsequently pushed back to December 2002) even though Oracle 11i continued to suffer from substantial quality problems. Oracle had clear reasons for ending support — extending support of 10.7 was becoming cost prohibitive. By June 2003, the latest extension of 10.7 support, Oracle will have supported 10.7 for seven years and will be supporting three releases at one time (10.7, 11 and 11i). Historically, ERP vendors have supported at least two back releases, but recently vendors such as PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards have announced indefinite support of major releases.
Although the 10.7 extension does not meet the demands of Oracle users for support through 2004, this extension and resumption of support for OAUG mark a positive step toward enhancing the strained vendor/customer relationship. The extension should enable customers to plan and execute a release upgrade from 10.7 to 11i (see
"Navigating the Oracle Applications Upgrade Path"). Gartner believes that 11i will stabilize by 2Q02 (0.8 probability). Gartner recommends that customers not concerned with euro-compliance should start planning now for the upgrade — they should aim to complete the upgrade earlier than the planned de-support date (June 2003), allowing for contingencies. Enterprises that use 10.7 and have euro-compliance problems should upgrade to 11 or 11i by year-end 2001.
Yvonne Genovese, Administrative Applications Strategies