Conceived in the 1980s, Oracle E-Business Suite is a mature, stable, and well-rounded software product that has become one of Oracle’s flagship products.
Fast forward to 2013 to the point when Oracle releases its biggest release yet: 12.2 which effective immediately was superseding 12.1, base release R12, release 12.0, 11i, and anything prior.
So, what’s so special about Oracle EBS 12.2? Packed with a ton of functional upgrades, improvements, UI modernization enhancements, and most importantly, a full overhaul of the technology stack, R12.2 marked Oracle EBS’s move to the Fusion Middleware stack, using Weblogic as the intermediary tier.
One of the biggest improvements that Oracle made with Oracle EBS R12.2 was Online Patching, which is the capability of patching the software with minimal downtime while the system is still running, resulting in two tech stacks: runtime and patch. Essentially, the way Online Patching works is that you patch the patch tech stack and then later switch that stack, making the patch tech stack the runtime stack using Oracle Edition Based Redefinition. This process significantly reduces downtime for patching and upgrades.
Simultaneous to the release of Oracle EBS R12.2, Oracle also developed Oracle Fusion Applications, which is a functional Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) system that sits on top of open standards and the Fusion technology stack.
Oracle EBS is made up of the next structure:
- Database layer
- Application server layer
- Application layer
- Development tools layer
on-premises EBS clients below the latest R12.2 version, Oracle EBS R12.2 charts the way to modernization. If not upgraded yet, at the end of calendar year 2021, Oracle EBS clients will lose Premier Support and will enter Sustaining Support on January 1st, 2022.
Sustaining Support means that you will no longer receive new updates, new improvements, new capabilities, or new security patches. In fact, you will only receive very limited, previously-found, and critical security fixes, but otherwise, your EBS is exposed to risks and costs of working with a desupported version.
Oracle devised a support offering that helps mitigate some of the most pressing support gaps, Oracle Market Driven Support. Unfortunately, Market Driven Support, or MDS for short, is far from being a comprehensive solution.
The Role Of Market Driven Support In Oracle EBS
Oracle EBS clients who are not upgraded to R12.2 will lose Premier Support at the end of 2021. The tasks that EBS supports are mission-critical, and any unsupported issue can end up costing clients millions of dollars and put a full-stop to their operations until they find a workaround to fix any issues that may arise.
Anticipating that some clients would not make the upgrade on time or migrate fully to the cloud, Oracle, in partnership with Oracle Advanced Customer Services (ACS), developed MDS to extend support for years 2022 and 2032 for business-critical fixes, patches, and updates for clients below R12.2.
MDS covers severity 1 fixes, security-related risks and newly-discovered vulnerabilities, an Upgrade Planning Workshop designed to develop an upgrade plan during the contract period, and a Technical Account Manager as the sole point of contact for service-related questions. On the flip side, MDS does not cover new certifications, third-party products, specific types of updates, Security Patch Updates, and more.
Market Driven Support Cost Tiers
Every EBS client is different, and the Market Driven Support cost varies from client to client based on what they’re currently paying and what they can negotiate with Oracle, but it ranges from $25K to $225K, which are hefty amounts.
Overall, there are four Market Driven Support pricing buckets:
With no clear dollar sign on what MDS actually costs, there’s a correlation between what clients pay for annual renewals and support levels that determine the category or size of their EBS and thus, their pricing for Market Driven Support.
For context, there are a set of costs associated with maintaining EBS 12.1 to support production lines, and pricing is structured based on demand, which is why it makes sense for Oracle to offer MDS only for a couple of years.
Once Oracle Premier Support is lost, clients will not be entitled to updates that are made on a regular basis for R12.2. Some of these updates are critical for stability, performance, added features, functionality, and more, which is why it’s critical to keep your EBS protected and productive with Premier Support.
While you’re not forced to pay for Market Driven Support, it is very unadvisable to stay desupported, making the limited form of support that MDS offers a lot better than Sustaining Support.