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Oracle raises prices on database management packs

With little fanfare, Oracle earlier this month increased pricing on a handful of optional database management offerings.

Oracle very quietly raised prices on a handful of its optional Database Enterprise Management Packs by 40%, according to the company's July 1 price list.

The processor licensing for Oracle's Diagnostic, Tuning and Configuration Management Packs jumped from $3,500 to $5,000. There were no price changes, however, to the Enterprise Edition of the company's database.

The Diagnostic and Tuning packs are largely intended to help administrators flush out technical problems and improve speed and performance, respectively. The Management Pack is designed to make it easier for administrators to keep track of changes made to database configurations.

Ray Wang, vice president and principal analyst with Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., said one of the reasons for the price increases from Oracle and from other vendors is that procurement professionals have incentives that reward the level of discounts they can achieve.

"So the higher the list price and the bigger the discount -- even if the dollar value is the same as the year before – it can generate a bonus opportunity," Wang said. "Call it bad alignment of incentive compensation systems, but this seems to be the case from the emails we are seeing on this."

This could represent a problem for larger IT shops, Wang believes, because "if you just focus on procurement, then you're not focused on the product adoption strategy."

Larger corporate accounts, particularly those with volume licensing deals, never pay full price for software. But price increases such as those from Oracle change the starting point at which haggling over pricing between vendors and users begins.

Given the current adverse economic climate, which seems likely to continue for the remainder of this year and into 2010, the price hikes could prove a source of irritation for some users, particularly for those thinking of renewing existing licenses or buying new ones.

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