Guarente, who keeps many contacts within Oracle, said he sees "a lot of unhappy sales representatives" at the vendor. The high-profile departure of North American sales chief Keith Block in June was a blow, he said. "When Keith left, it took a while for those guys to get their territories in line, regroup and resettle."
Palisade is doing mostly Oracle software audit work for clients these days, and is encountering a "very aggressive audit team" at Oracle, Guarente said. In fact, Palisade has encountered a number of instances when a customer voluntarily went to Oracle for help managing their software licenses and figuring out what they own, he added. These cases "led to an audit and a multi-million dollar finding," Guarente said.
One thing any Oracle customer needs to do before negotiating with the vendor is some serious homework on the vendor's practices, according to Guarente. "Oracle is smart and well-organized," he said. "Their contracts are locked down. There's a reason they're written a certain way. If you don't know Oracle and you start trying to negotiate with them, you're going to lose."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com