Strange Sales Tactic: Oracle Blasts Defense-VA on Use of Open Source Software

Paper zeroes in on the failed integrated electronic health record.

Oracle Corp. put out a 19-page white paper last month that pilloried the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments for thinking open source software can save money.

“At first glance it might seem that DoD organizations can avoid buying commercial software products simply by starting with open source software and developing their own applications. As we will see, total cost of ownership for open source software often exceeds that of commercial software,” Oracle said.

The white paper zeroed in on the now aborted effort to develop a Defense-VA integrated electronic health record as a prime example of the billions that can be wasted on an open source project – even though the Pentagon has historically resisted using VA’s Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, known as the VistA system.

Oracle headlined this section of its white paper, “An Open Source Failure That Cost Billions and Impacted the Healthcare of America’s Veterans.”

Oracle has a simple solution to the problems posed by open source software “DoD customers need a vendor that understands their complete environment ….” And if Defense or VA wants to use open source, Oracle will gladly help integrate it (at a good price, I’m sure).

I have a feeling that once the government reopens, the Oracle federal sales team will have quite a challenge in explaining this broadside to its federal customers.