If Oracle have recently contacted you regarding an apparent compliance issue they've just happened to discover in your agreement you might be interested in a class action suit issued on behalf of Florida's City of Sunrise Firefighters Pension Fund in the Californian courts last week.
Attorneys (and there are many firms getting involved) for the Fund allege Oracle repeatedly conveyed its "unprecedented level of automation and cost savings" driving market demand for its cloud products, as well as the Company being "customer-focused" and "intimate partners" when in reality it was using unsustainable pressure tactics basically threatening to audit clients with on-premise software licenses that would then be followed by offers to resolve the inevitable disputes with deals for cloud services to improve its sales figures.
All was revealed on March 19, 2018, when the Company divulged stagnated revenue growth and forecast significantly slower sales with its cloud business compared to its competitors. Perplexed analysts and market commentators were compelled to look into such an abrupt change in financial performance further, ultimately disclosing the improper sales tactics. As a result of those findings, the price of the Oracle's stock declined significantly causing the complainant shareholders to contend the company violated provisions of the Exchange Act by issuing false and misleading press releases, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and statements during investor and analyst conference calls.
Given its not the first time Oracle's tactics have been called out it seems fair to say that the company holds an unenviable position with its customers of being one of the most obfuscating, aggressive, and difficult vendors to deal with out of the major corporates - not a great operational model to delight customers (remember that old adage?!) or drive growth one would be entitled to think.
So if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of any form of Oracle License Review (aka audit) you might want to preempt a possible 'Cloud Solution' as a counter to any resultant compliance findings - and we are aware of a current example that dates back to an agreement signed more than 10 years ago - either way, as we well know with Oracle, it is likely to be an expensive way to resolve what could reasonably and amicably be otherwise handled at a relationship level rather than viewed purely as a commercial opportunity.
In response, Oracle have stated that the “suit has no merit and Oracle will vigorously defend against these claims.”
No surprise there.