Oracle has just announced that they are discontinuing the main benefit of participating in the Oracle ACE program at the highest level: The annual briefing at Oracle HQ before the OpenWorld conference. Together with previous cuts in travel funding, this leaves the program as little more than a logo to put on your website.
Before cloud, Oracle was a big player in on-premise enterprise software. They made very good software, so it made sense to cover the cost of flying independent experts to Oracle HQ for briefings on the latest software. Having armed the experts with the latest knowledge and software, it also made sense for Oracle to pay their travel costs as they went out into the world and advocated it.
Today, Oracle is struggling to pivot towards being a cloud vendor. The independent experts are saying straight up that most of their cloud services aren’t very good yet, so Oracle is not getting any return on its investment in the ACE Directors.
I’ve been happy working with Oracle in my ten years as an Oracle ACE Director, and sincerely hope they become successful in the cloud. Once they are, it will make sense for them to restore funding for the ACE Director program. But right now, the cuts make sense.