Oracle CRM On Demand Exposed -
Data Center Reliability/Security

When Oracle acquired Siebel, the Siebel On Demand product ran on IBM servers using IBM’s database and technologies. Once Oracle setup up the new On Demand product to run on an Oracle database, new On Demand customers were implemented in a new data center in Austin and older clients were migrated into the new data center and database gradually. The Austin data center is primarily a multi-tenant hosting environment but also houses a handful of Oracle CRM On Demand clients who are willing to pay extra for the benefits of an isolated tenancy environment.

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As one would expect from Oracle’s deep pockets, its Austin data center is at par with the finest tier-1 facilities in the world. As a practical matter, all SaaS providers understand that an insecure or weak data center could put them out of business, so they all operate from state of the art facilities whether they are company owned or in leading co-location centers. Based on our research, these hosting facilities are mostly commoditized at this stage in the SaaS industry. Oracle has grown comfortable resting on its reputation as the world’s largest enterprise software company. Certainly, there is strength in working with Oracle, although as a means to ensure reliability and security, other software companies encourage regular audits of their hosting facilities. It is uncertain if Oracle possesses SAS 70 certification on its facility or compliance with internationally recognized security and reliability standards such as ISO, NIST or FIPS.

Evaluators of hosted CRM solutions should be aware that system downtime for ‘routine maintenance’ is scheduled regularly for dedicated and multi-tenant versions of the product. The time it takes for this ‘routine maintenance’ is excluded from the uptime statistics provided under service level agreements (SLAs). The length of time of the maintenance downtime may prove to be disruptive to business particularly to multi-national companies. Moreover, Oracle CRM On Demand is managed for the most part as a single product instance, so upgrades and updates are imposed on all customers at the same time regardless of the customers readiness. This is much the same model that applies to its clients, although we are aware that Aplicor provides SLAs that do not exclude downtime and that allows flexibility for updates to be done on the client’s schedule.

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