Support fees / Third party Support

What are the different types of Oracle support?

Support fees / Third party Support

What are the different types of Oracle support?

What are the different types of Oracle support?

  • Premier Support: Oracle’s foundational support includes regular updates, patches, and direct 24/7 assistance.
  • Extended Support: Builds on Premier, offering enhanced features and maintenance, but with some exclusions.
  • Sustaining Support: Long-term support with access to pre-existing fixes and patches; lacks new updates and direct assistance.
  • Oracle Third-Party Support: To reduce your fees, consider third-party support providers.

What are the different types of Oracle support?

What are the different types of Oracle support

Premier Support:

  • Objective: Provides foundational support for Oracle-integrated software.
  • Maintenance & Upgrades: Regular updates, patches, and software upgrades for Oracle operating systems and VMs for ten years from their general availability date.
  • 24/7 Assistance: Available round-the-clock to address technical issues.
  • Operating System Upgrade Rights: These are included in the package.
  • Security & Critical Updates: Regular security alerts, updates, and critical patch updates are provided.
  • Certifications: Comprehensive, including most existing Oracle products/versions and third-party products.
  • Additional Features: Field change orders, system modification recommendations, and backport of fixes for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM releases are available.

Extended Support:

  • Objective: Offers enhanced support, especially for Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux operating systems.
  • Maintenance & Upgrades: Provides comprehensive maintenance solutions beyond regular updates.
  • 24/7 Assistance: Remains available round-the-clock.
  • Operating System Upgrade Rights: Puts businesses in control of their upgrade strategy.
  • Security & Critical Updates: Continues to offer regular security alerts, updates, and critical patch updates.
  • Certifications: This covers most existing Oracle and third-party products but does not include certifications for most new ones.
  • Additional Features: Some offerings, like field change orders and backport of fixes, are excluded.

Sustaining Support:

  • Objective: Focuses on long-term support solutions.
  • Maintenance & Upgrades: Provides access to pre-existing fixes and patches.
  • 24/7 Assistance: Offers access to Oracle online support tools rather than direct assistance.
  • Operating System Upgrade Rights: Businesses can upgrade when they deem fit.
  • Security & Critical Updates: Only pre-existing security alerts and updates are provided.
  • Certifications: Limited to pre-existing certifications.
  • Additional Features: Primarily focuses on providing a safety net with pre-existing solutions.

Comparing Sustaining Support and Premier Support

Comparing Sustaining Support and Premier Support

When evaluating Oracle’s software technical support levels, two primary tiers are often in focus: Sustaining Support and Premier Support.

Both offer distinct features tailored to different business needs. Here’s a straightforward comparison of the two:

Sustaining Support:

  • Focus: Long-term support for businesses that have settled into their software environment and are not looking for regular updates or new features.
  • Maintenance: Access to pre-existing fixes and patches. No new updates or features are introduced.
  • Assistance: Provides access to Oracle online support tools. Direct 24/7 assistance is not a primary feature.
  • Security: Only pre-existing security alerts and updates are available. No new security updates are provided.
  • Certifications: Limited to pre-existing certifications. No new certifications or integrations are introduced.
  • Upgrade Rights: Businesses can upgrade their software based only on pre-existing solutions.

Premier Support:

  • Focus: Foundational support designed for businesses that seek regular updates, patches, and new features for their software.
  • Maintenance: Regular updates, patches, and software upgrades are provided, ensuring the software environment remains current.
  • Assistance: Offers round-the-clock direct assistance to address any technical issues.
  • Security: Regular security alerts, updates, and critical patch updates are provided, ensuring the software environment remains secure.
  • Certifications: Comprehensive, covering most existing Oracle products/versions and third-party products.
  • Upgrade Rights: These are included in the package and allow businesses to upgrade their software environment as new versions become available.

The Limitations of Oracle Sustaining Support

When considering Oracle’s technical support levels, Sustaining Support often comes under scrutiny.

While it does offer a level of support, there are several reasons businesses might find it lacking in value:

  1. No New Updates: One of the most significant drawbacks of Sustaining Support is the absence of new updates. In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, using outdated software can hinder a business’s ability to stay competitive.
  2. Lack of New Security Patches: While Sustaining Support provides access to pre-existing security alerts and updates, it doesn’t offer new security patches. This can leave software vulnerable to emerging threats, potentially compromising data integrity and business operations.
  3. Limited Certifications: Sustaining Support only offers pre-existing certifications. As businesses evolve and adopt new technologies or tools, the lack of new certifications can lead to compatibility issues.
  4. No Direct 24/7 Assistance: Unlike other support levels, Sustaining Support doesn’t prioritize direct round-the-clock assistance. This can be problematic when urgent issues arise that require immediate attention.
  5. Reduced Competitive Edge: In an era where businesses are driven by technology and innovation, outdated software can result in missed opportunities. Without regular updates and new features, businesses might struggle to meet customer demands or streamline operations.
  6. Potential Cost Implications: While on the surface, Sustaining Support might seem cost-effective, the potential risks of using outdated software, such as security breaches or system downtimes, can lead to unforeseen expenses.

Oracle Support FAQ: Beyond the Basics

1. Can Oracle support assist with custom application issues?

Oracle’s support typically focuses on issues directly related to Oracle products. For custom applications, support would cover the Oracle components used within the app. Consider Oracle’s consulting services or a third-party developer for broader custom application issues.

2. What happens when my Premier Support expires and I don’t upgrade to Extended Support?

Upon Premier Support expiration without an Extended Support upgrade, your support level automatically transitions to Sustaining Support, providing access to existing fixes and patches without new updates or direct 24/7 assistance.

3. Is there a difference in support quality between Standard and Extended Support?

Support quality remains high across both tiers; however, Extended Support offers additional services, such as comprehensive maintenance beyond regular updates and certifications for newer third-party products, which Standard Support does not.

4. How does Oracle handle support for third-party integrations?

Oracle provides certifications for a wide range of third-party products under Premier Support. However, for specific third-party integration issues, Oracle’s assistance might be limited to its products’ role within the integration.

5. Can I receive Extended Support for just one Oracle product in my environment?

Yes, Oracle allows you to purchase Extended Support for individual products, enabling you to tailor support services to your specific needs and budget.

6. Are software updates delivered automatically under Oracle Premier Support?

While updates and patches are regularly provided, automatic delivery depends on your Oracle product and configuration. Some updates may require manual initiation.

7. What types of security updates are included in Sustaining Support?

Sustaining Support includes access to all pre-existing security updates and alerts until the end of the Premier or Extended Support period. It does not include new security updates.

8. How can I escalate an issue with Oracle Support?

If you’re facing unresolved issues, Oracle offers an escalation process through your account manager or directly via the Oracle support portal, where you can request heightened attention to critical issues.

9. Does Oracle offer support options for very old versions of its software?

Sustaining Support provides a safety net for older software versions no longer covered by Extended or Premier Support, offering access to existing patches and documentation.

10. Are there additional costs for accessing Oracle’s online support tools?

Access to Oracle’s online support tools, including My Oracle Support, is included with your support agreement, whether Premier, Extended, or Sustaining, without additional fees.

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Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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