Mon, 21 Jun 2021

Eskom has postponed the closing date for bids to take over IT support for its suite of "quite essential" Oracle products by two weeks.

This follows a decision by the US-headquartered tech giant to pull the support services it provides to Eskom in the wake of a contractual dispute with the power utility.

In court documents, Eskom has said that the Oracle products are vital for the sale of electricity to users, the control of electricity grids, load monitoring, and more.

The utility, in mid-April, put out a tender asking for bids to supply maintenance, IT support, and hardware support for the Oracle products it uses. The request encompasses software upgrades, software patches, licences, hardware upgrades, and more.

The original closing date was 5 May. But this has been postponed to May 18, after some potential bidders complained the original timeframe was "extremely tight".

Cutting it short

In 2019 Oracle found that Eskom had been overusing its products after it conducted an audit.

Eskom has denied the allegations and questioned the audit's findings.

The utility's CEO, Andre de Ruyter, wrote a letter to Oracle's head for Europe, Middle East and Africa last year, arguing that while it was clear that a "sharp dispute" over payments had arisen, Eskom did not accept that it had to be "resolved on Oracle's terms".

According to the CEO's letter, Oracle's original claim was for R7.3 billion. This was later reduced to R600 million, and then decreased again to R400 million.

In response to a request for comment, Oracle previously told Fin24 that the utility should "pay the pending dues" without providing more information.

In early March, Eskom received a letter in which the tech firm warned it intended to stop providing IT services from April, a year short of the projected end of its five-year deal.

The utility attempted to get a court to compel Oracle to provide its services, but it lost its initial application.

Oracle then pulled its support in mid-April.

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Source: News24

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