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Re: OT- Oracle Training

From: Eric D. Pierce <>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001 20:01:47 -0800
Message-ID: <>


I worked a little (very little) with Oracle7 in an RCE environment at this campus several years ago, but don't take my comments (below) as representing any great expertise in either Oracle training or the RCE world (continuing education). I mainly think you need to clarify your questions. (I'm doing the "devils advocate" thing here, in real life, I would probably act totally outraged, rant about gutless bureaucratic functionaries, and advocate for you.)


On 1 Feb 2001, at 17:30, Dan Mills wrote:

Date sent:              Thu, 01 Feb 2001 17:30:22 -0800
To:                     Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L <>


> Two long time Oracle DBAs, midway through their careers, secure a steady
> consulting contract, incorporate, and build a relationship with a major
> mid-west university to train students and the local IT community
> through their continuuing education program.

1st question: what exactly do you mean by "relationship"?

Are the incorporated dbas contracting with continuing education? If so, are they making good money from that "relationship"? If so, I would guess that Oracle doesn't see employees of the incorporated dbas the same as they see "internal" continuing education employees (even though under different circumstances, they could theoretically be the same people in the same place at the same time).

For the uninitiated, Oracle sells (or used to anyway) an incredibly cheap *unlimited* $500 (as in "FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS") license for ANY/ALL Oracle products to educational institutions, as long as any such licensed products are ONLY used for instructional purposes.

As you can imagine, this could represent a HUGE savings to the educational institution, or put another way, it may provide about the only way for such institutions to license Oracle software for instructional use (as opposed to administrative use, where the high Oracle license costs can be justified if Oracle is deemed "mission critical"). {For instance, the +/- 25 campus CSU statewide system is in the process of spending over $350 million on a PeopleSlop/Oracle "University" database system -including some general infrastructure costs).

>... They have been successful in consulting
> and training, through hard work, long nights, intelligence, and diligence.

To be frank, why should Oracle Corporation care? Their mission is to be ruthless/greedy b*st*rds and make $$$$ for their stock holders. If the dba corporation does the same, then you have a "win-win". If not, .......oh well.

> They now employ a unix sysadmin and 12 oracle dbas as consultants and
> instructors (WOOHOO), have published several SQL and Relational Database
> design books through MacMillan and SAMS, and per semester, typically sell
> out 60-70% of seating for their full range of SQL, PL/SQL, Designer,
> Developer, DBA, and Unix courses. Let me also add that these courses are
> hands-on Oracle training, not designed to teach someone to take a
> certification exam, but designed specifically to enable the student to apply
> the learned skills immediately on the job. They were completely constructed
> from the ground up by the founders, contributed to by the variously
> experienced instructors over the last four years, and are grounded in the
> real life Oracle experience of the founders and instructors.

Sounds good, but again, ruthless/greedy Oracle Corp is mainly interested in getting their slice of the $$$ "in question", and protecting their self-interests. It is entirely possible that from Oracle Corp's viewpoint, the dba corporation is trying to pull a "fast one", and build their reputation/profitability/etc by taking advantage of the "protective shell" that Oracle's instructional discount provides via the continuing education institution.

Something think that may be important that you left out: what is the extent of the influence of your community's continuing education Oracle training program, and how does that interplay with the Oracle market in that same area? Without knowing the answer, it may be difficult to determine how Oracle corp. might, or might not, see its interests being hurt by the growth of the dba corp.'s role in the continuing education Oracle training program there.

> Problem:
> Oracle Education, I guess now deemed Oracle University, has decided that
> their *RetroActive* Software licensing agreement does not allow for third
> party training. The local university, of course, is withdrawing from the
> Oracle portion of the relationship, while continuing the relationship with
> my employer for other types of training. Oracle is agressively pursuing an
> "Oracle University" relationship with the school to offer Oracle training.

Assuming that the Oracle people that decided to do this used some sort of "logic" (regardless of how pathological any such logic might seem to others), they may indeed have decided that they can make more $$$$ (especially short term profit) by sucking the life out of the carefully cultivated ~aura of awareness~ about Oracle training that the dba corp. has worked to build in your community. It is probably an injustice that this is happening, but *dude*, this is the real world of corporate capitalism, and if the dba corp. isn't sophisticated enough to understand how to anticipate exposure to such liabilites in their business model, "natural selection" (*survival of the fitest* and other unpleasantries of the unbenevolent, cold, cruel business world) will almost certainly be visited upon them sooner or later. live and learn.

If the continuing education institution is not willing/able to fight Oracle Corp on principle, then I can't see how the dba corp. would be able to do much about things either. however, the dba corp. can always try to put pressure on Oracle corp. either directly, or indirectly - via IOUG (and/or other user groups). You must know that "conventional wisdom" is that Oracle's profits are highly dependent on training activities, no? Is the dba corp tilting against a windmill?

I would be very interested to hear if Oracle corp. is even willing to seriously listen to the "logic" of the dba corp., much less act on the basis of any sort of real altruistic concern for the collective interests of your community's educational institutions.

Note (IRONY WARNING): did you see the PR cr*p the Oracle/IOUG put out (during the election) about Larry E.'s big philantropic moves to support education? Amazingly enough, the PR was originating from, where else, .... ------------> Texas!!!

> Question:
> With today's shortage and projected, continued shortage of competent IT
> professionals, can the industry afford not to provide the best Oracle
> (majority database market shareholder) training possible, to the
> self-motivated, individual developer and future dba (yes, that was me), and
> the Non-Fortune 500 Oracle shops out there with limited new technology
> budgets, who need to train their IT staff ?

Well, sounds like you are confusing "the industry" with "Oracle Corp.'s self-interests" (or at least short term profitability).

> Are we developers and dbas, who have based our careers on Oracle, or are
> moving in that direction, time-constrained AND money constrained, to be
> limited solely to the very expensive "Oracle University" training,
> affordable only by our employers and only offerred during the day when most
> developers and dbas are working hard to support their Oracle systems?


To turn things around, another question is: does you community's educational institution want to expore *other options*? Can the dba corp. demonstrate a little altruism itself, and work to help the educational institution rebuild the Oracle training program using "internal hires" (as defined by Oracle as legitimate/whatever), instead of farming out the whole show to the 3rd party dba corp. (which presumably has built handsome profits/reputation from the old arrangement)?

> And personally, I see two sides of this argument


>...and just want to see what

> the community thinks:
> Is this the best course of action, for the long term, for Oracle and the
> Oracle Software community?

Long term, probably not, but again, more info is needed.

> Again, I appreciate any and all feedback.

You got it (& likewise)!

ep,2676/yid,5800264 -

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Author: Eric D. Pierce

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Received on Thu Feb 01 2001 - 22:01:47 CST

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