Larry Goldman, Senior Director, Product Marketing

In 2018, Oracle rolled out its “Auto Renew” strategy, which is pretty much what it sounds like: as your annual support contracts expire, Oracle’s system proactively renews them for you. As Oracle sees it, this automated process benefits its customers by saving them time and preventing interruptions in support.

However, while this is wonderfully convenient for Oracle, it does involve the renewal of annual contracts worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. And these annual support fees are set to grow by 2-4% each year. The “set-it-and-forget-it” approach of Auto Renew allows Oracle to lock in your support contracts and lock out your sourcing and procurement departments.

Is it right for Oracle to manage these considerable sums – often the second highest line item in your IT budget – for you without your serious consideration every year? We think not.

How Does Oracle Auto Renew Work?

Oracle has well documented this process, which is set up through the Oracle My Support Renewals portal. The portal itself is quite easy to use and allows you to download reports and export data to view your many contracts.

The basic details and timing of Auto Renew are:

  • 120 days prior to expiration, your organization will receive an initial Renewal Order email alert.
  • 60 days prior to expiration, your organization will receive a reminder email.
  • 30 days prior to expiration, Oracle processes the renewal and automatically invoices you.

If Auto Renew is turned on, you have until 32 days before the new contract’s Start Date to turn the feature off. It’s a simple box that you can uncheck. When you do that, the “Annual” option is turned on, with Invoicing set as default. The same timing (32 days) applies to sending Oracle a written cancellation notice if you intend to not renew.

There is some debate as to whether or not Oracle turns Auto Renew on as the default. Oracle states that it is an “opt-in process,” but consultancies that specialize in licensing have heard that Oracle is including Auto Renew language in contracts, and Oracle customers have reported being surprised to find the feature turned on when visiting My Support Renewals.

How Can You Disable Auto Renew?

There is no harm to your company to turn off this feature. In fact, turning off Auto Renew provides you with benefits: you retain your renewal flexibility and negotiation leverage with Oracle. The remedy is simple:

  1. Check your contracts to see if there is Auto Renew language, and if Oracle has set you up for this feature.
  2. Log into your Oracle support account immediately and check your settings for your Oracle support contracts.
  3. If Auto Renew is checked, uncheck the box or contact your Oracle support rep and have it turned off. Since the original implementation a few years ago, Oracle has made the process more transparent and the feature easier to review and manually turn off.

Ask Yourself: When Do Your Oracle Support Contracts Expire?

Do you know? Oracle has set May 31 – also the end of its fiscal year – as the renewal day for many, but certainly not all, Oracle support contracts. That means you would be wise to check your renewal settings prior to April 30.

But whether your contract expires on May 31 or October 31, you should not wait until the last moment to uncheck Auto Renew. Remember that by leaving renewals up to Oracle, you will not only be losing negotiation leverage, but you’ll also be limiting your ability to consider and implement alternative third-party support options.

If you are unhappy with the excessive cost or quality of your Oracle-provided support, don’t let Auto Renew limit your options. If you’ve been stripped of important features under Oracle’s “Sustaining” Support level, you can get those features restored with third-party support. If you’re just curious to learn more about support alternatives, contact Spinnaker Support for a short introductory conversation to see how we can assist your Oracle support and service needs.