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Oracle Sponge -- Now Moved To Wordpress

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

An International Community, Apparantly

I recently increased my StatCounter log size to 1,000 -- more from boredom than any real need, admittedly -- and have found it fascinating to see the range of countries that the Sponge gets visits from. Here is my current list:

Country Visits
=============== ======
United States: 209
United Kingdom: 72
Australia: 26
Switzerland: 21
Canada: 20
Sweden: 12
Unknown: 12
India: 11
Greece: 9
Germany: 9
Netherlands: 6
Turkey: 6
Luxembourg: 5
Singapore: 5
Slovenia: 4
France: 4
Denmark: 4
Spain: 4
Estonia: 3
Hong Kong: 2
Romania: 2
Belgium: 2
Ukraine: 2
Serbia And Montenegro: 1
Saudi Arabia: 1
Egypt: 1
Lebanon: 1
Japan: 1
Czech Republic: 1
Lithuania: 1
Austria: 1
Finland 1

As you see, Septics lead the way, followed closely by other English speaking countries.

Being the well-travelled International Citizen that I am, I'm a little embarrassed that I sometimes get goggly at the thought of all these far-away places, and also that I use non-words like "goggly" and "septic" to an international audience. I catch myself thinking dumb things like, "Wow! They have databases in Lithuania!?!?". Yes dumbass, they also have cars and washing machines as well, I expect.

Anyway, a question: what do people use for support in the smaller countries of the world? Do Oracle have national support staff speaking the local language(s), or do you rely on a regional system where the major regional languages are spoken, or do you have to fall back on knowledge of English and contact Oracle's global support people? I was trying to find out a while back whether Oracle published their documentation in any languages other than English, but pretty much drew a blank on it.


At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Arian Stijf said...

6 from the netherlands? Is that distinct visitors, or just visits? In the former case, I'm disappointed, in the latter I'm lonely.

As for the Netherlands. Oracle used to have a Dutch support centre (Netherlands was for a long time second largest customer base for Oracle. After the UK, of course).
I worked there from 1998 to 2002. We handled phone calls in Dutch. But SR/TAR's were logged in English.
All Metalink conversation was in English too. Mostly to be able to transfer the info to other support centres, in case of bug-reports or escalations.

Dutch support centre was sized-down in the last few years. And Oracle-support is hard to find in the Netherlands these days. Last 2 or 3 support-staff are moved to the offices of Peoplesoft support centre (Peoplesoft has it's central European support centre in the Netherlands).



At 1:12 PM, Blogger David Aldridge said...

Hi Arian,

I think those numbers are pageloads -- at the moment I see nine pageloads from the Netherlands representing five unique visitors. It could be that my 1,000 pageload log isn't filled up yet though, so hold off on both the disappointment and the loneliness for a while.

I'm surprised that the Netherlands was sized down, with the workforce there being famously multilingual you'd think they could support a lot of European countries. Maybe that explains the Peoplesoft presence though.

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Arian Stijf said...

Hi David,

Ok. I'm still disappointed a bit with just 5 unique visitors. But I'll wait and see if my fellow DBA's follow your blog.

As for Oracle Support sizing down. It's not that surprising. Oracle made a strong move to Metalink. Which is completely English. Telephone support was cut down to the bare minum. So no more need for multilingual people.

Peoplesoft probably still accept phone-based requests. And multilingual is handy for phone-conversations. Rumour is that Oracle doesn't provide telephone support in the local language for most countries anymore. And I think that's correct.
Last person at Oracle Support that I know and speaks Dutch and answers the phone decided to quit a month ago.

So Oracle Support? Expect English in Europe.
As for Peoplesoft? I hope they're strong enough to resist Englishation (Did I just come with a new word? I think I did) within Oracle.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Gary Myers said...

Given that I see a lot of post in forums from people who's first language doesn't appear to be English, I'm surprised that there aren't more non-English Oracle forums around.
Or perhaps there are, but its just that I don't know about them.
If you do know of any, you can add them to the forum list at oradot http://oradot.com/node/6

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Arian Stijf said...

I'd be happy to host one. Let me know if there is demand from Dutch community?

Actually, I think that's a matter of insufficient demand, or a too small base.

That is. Most people using Oracle, already speak English fluently (or at least sufficent to participate in the communicaty). Or the user base in their local language is too small to establish a forum of their own.



At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Arian Stijf said...

That of course meant to read: sufficient, sufficient and community.

I can't write decent English anymore. Even less decent Dutch, so I'm signing off now.


At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I guess I'm the one from Lithuania, which has a hit on Your blog.

Guess what, You are right we do have washing machines, compact disk players, cars, eletrical tin openers here in Lithuania:))

Also there is local Oracle representative here and some IT companies that support Oracle and organize courses on Oracle, held by local speakers.

You know Jonathan Lewis even was here in Lithuania this autumn. It's a pitty that I didn't manage to atend his seminar.

Well, I think that taking into account our country population size (3.5 million) it is quite common to find Oracle used in large (by our measures:) enterprises. Banking, insurance, electicity sectors for example.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger David Aldridge said...

"Hello Lithuania" ... makes me sound like a rock band.

Electrical can openers eh? I guess you guys are pretty decadent by now, corrupted by the West no doubt. How is that European Union thing going for you?

I see from my satellite pictures that you also have roundabouts on your streets, a level of sophistication to which Colorado has not yet risen, except in extraordinary circumstances.


I once knew a fellow of Lithuanian ancestry: "Zoron", is that a Lithuanian name? You certainly don't get many hits on it on Google.

I remember on JL's web site there was mention of Lithuania. It's a shame that he hasn't got more into Blogging in the Tom Kyte-travelogue style as he seems to go to some pretty exotic places.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Tomas said...

Hi there,

that's lithuanian guy again:)
didn't mean to be rude:) Pardon.

You know, this phrase I mentioned 'bout "electrical tin openers" is taken from the movie "Trainspotting", if you know. One of my favourite movies ever.
Thought it will suite in this situation:)

About that name "Zoron". No I'm quite sure such name is not of
Lithuanian ancestry. Maybe it was somehow "adopted", but I can't think now of any lithuanian name right now, which will sound similar to this. Sorry. If you are interested our names sound familiar to Greek - they end-up like "%IS", "%AS":) I can mention a few names/surnames:) Not sure if you are very keen on basketball (well NBA let's say) - few years ago Sarunas Marciulionis played for Golden State Warriors, Arvydas Sabonis (great guy - as a basketball player and as the Person) for Portland Trail Blaizers, now Zydrunas Ilgauskas is playing for Cleveland Cavaliers.
So, as you see, all names end-up like "%as":)

Well such info of course is not related to Oracle or any other DBMS by any means:)

About EU. Still not very much to say about this. Things haven't changed very drastically or dramatically since we joined EU. Of course, I understand that some time should pass. We are still developing in all areas so it's nice to have broader oportunities.

Have a nice day! (guess it's daytime there, cause here it's 17:30 PM)

At 8:53 AM, Blogger David Aldridge said...


I think I might have been too shocked by the dead baby scene to absorb much of Trainspotting -- actually that was a good movie though.

Maybe Zoron's parents were science fiction fans and took his name from some 1950's B movie bad guy.

At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

India, had been under British rule for 300 years. India is composed of multiple states with 22+ national languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_languages_of_India.
So English is widely used as the medium of communication.

It is now needed more because of globalization and the need to communicate with the international companies from USA, UK, Australia, Korea, Germany etc which are conducting their businesses there.

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_languages_of_India.

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link gets trimmed: http://tinyurl.com/csf8u

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the link:


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