Oracle support site switch looms for Sun customers

Can Oracle pull it off without another fiasco?

Oracle is weeks away from moving thousands of Sun Microsystems customers over to its My Oracle Support portal, a relatively new system that experienced significant hiccups and negative user feedback during its early days.

The migration will be completed during the weekend of Dec. 10-12. Sun's legacy support services, such as SunSolve and Goldstar, will be retired at that time.

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It is "critical" that customers register for My Oracle Support (MOS), or else they could find service interrupted, according to an official blog post on Monday. Oracle has already been allowing users to do so in order to familiarize themselves with the system.

Oracle is also holding dozens of advisory webcasts in multiple languages and time zones over the next few weeks.

The aggressive outreach efforts show that Oracle clearly wants to avoid major disruptions to customer service. For one thing, Oracle has made it a point to stress that Sun customers will receive the best support in the industry under its ownership.

In addition, veteran Oracle executive Charles Rozwat was recently tapped to oversee support services. Rozwat reports to Oracle co-president Mark Hurd, who is also fairly new to his role. Both men undoubtedly want no high-profile flare-ups like that which occurred last year, when Oracle moved customers from the older Metalink support system to MOS.

Many customers reported a range of issues at the time, including login failures, system performance issues, and difficulty logging service requests.

However, there haven't been any major public problems since then regarding MOS, which is supposed to help customers avoid problems as well as fix them. For example, the portal can use information about a company's system configurations to provide notifications for patch suggestions as well as deliver "proactive health checks."

A FAQ document on Oracle's website runs through the details of the switchover for Sun customers.

Customers will no longer be able to submit service requests via email Instead, they must either speak with a support representative or enter them through the MOS portal.

Native language support will be available only during regular local business hours in most countries, but around-the-clock support in English will be provided.

Oracle intends to migrate historical service request data over to MOS. Any open service requests should be available without disruption, according to another Oracle web page.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.

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