Oracle License Audit Defense in 2024

Oracle License Audit Defense from Rythium is useful if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Have you received an audit notice from Oracle?
  • Has an Oracle salesperson hinted at you being non-compliant on license deployment?
  • Have you run Oracle scripts?
  • Are you currently in the final stage of a license settlement with Oracle?
  • Do you believe that there could be a discrepancy in Oracle’s finding and need help from an expert?

See the statement from one of our customers:

The presence of Sheshagiri from Rythium changes everything. We were staring at an exposure of $23m of ‘alleged’ license non-compliance gap. Rythium’s Oracle License Audit Defense showed us that we didn’t have to pay a penny. And this, despite our having a very good internal SAM team.
– CIO of a IT Product Development Company

Run-up to an Oracle License Audit

Oracle audits can be formal, informal, or even casual. But they are not random. Below are some descriptions of Oracle license audits & their stages:

  1. A seemingly friendly ask by Oracle salesperson on your architecture or deployment or to advise you on your Oracle footprint.
    Most customers look up to Oracle salespersons as go-to sources for Oracle technical information forgetting that his/her only job is to get revenue from their set of accounts. The sales reps are compensated for delivering against stiff sales targets. This financial incentive makes the conversation of an Oracle sales rep highly suspect.
  2. An email or letter from Oracle’s LMS team to educate you on Oracle licensing.
    You might receive a note from Oracle’s license management team stating that they would help you understand Oracle licensing. The acceptance of such an offer could lead to a detailed discussion that opens you to a more formal audit notice.
  3. A formal notice for audit.
    When a friendly discussion to purchase more licenses fail, it is customary for Oracle to send a formal notice for an audit. This has a contractual binding.

Key Features of an Oracle LMS Engagement

Oracle License Management Services is the established authority on Oracle licensing policy. (This organization is nowadays also called Global Licensing Advisory Services (GLAS)).

Their job is to validate the compliance position of your Oracle deployments, identify license violations and correct them by purchase of licenses where necessary.

A formal Oracle LMS Audit goes through the following stages:

  1. A formal notice for an audit or a correspondence discussing the measurement of your deployment.
  2. A declaration of usage by the customer through the update of an MS Excel spreadsheet.
  3. Deploy tools to gather installation and usage data.
  4. Analysis of the gathered usage data.
  5. Inform you regarding the deployment & usage of audited products in your network.
  6. In case of non-compliance, collaborate with the sales team internally within Oracle to submit a commercial proposal that will correct the license gap through a negotiated purchase.

Which customers does Oracle audit?

As discussed earlier, Oracle license audits are not random. The customers are targeted to get in more revenue.

Some reasons for a potential license audit are:

  1. The customer has not spent any money on fresh Oracle licenses for 2 – 3 years.
  2. There was a change in sales territory allocation within Oracle and the customer is assigned to a new sales rep.
  3. The customer is growing and the IT team is investing in non-Oracle technologies & applications.
  4. The customer has been audited by another publisher.
  5. There has been a merger or acquisition in the recent past.
  6. The customer is using E-Business Suite.
  7. The customer has purchased new hardware in the datacenter.
  8. The customer is using VMware, Nutanix, or other virtualization technologies or appliances.
  9. The customer decides to certify, rather than renew, a ULA.
  10. The customer has put in a question in a support request about a product that is not purchased.

How can we help you?

We are firm believers in license compliance. But, equally, we are firm believers that a license audit should be investigated in detail and not accepted without a complete understanding of your contractual rights & obligations. We have also realized that Oracle, like many other publishers, makes a large number of mistakes when they report audit findings to customers.

We take the following approach to Oracle license audit defense:

  1. We conduct an audit of your deployed Oracle estate. The data gathering is comprehensive and gives information on the installation and usage of Oracle products and specific features.
  2. In case there is a report from Oracle, we compare our audit findings with those provided by Oracle.
  3. We study your contracts – the OMAs, OLSAs, ODs, email or letter correspondence to understand customer rights and obligations.
  4. Our experts will analyze the audit reports & contracts to understand the exact compliance gap if any. Our experts understand the potential loopholes or mistakes in Oracle conducted audits.
  5. We will recommend the correct approach and strategy to counter Oracle’s claims that may be incorrect.
  6. We will recommend the lowest possible bill of materials that you might need to purchase from Oracle to correct the non-compliance gaps.

Top Oracle Audit product sets

While Oracle has a very large number of products, their license management teams focus on a few product sets.

Technology Products:

  1. Oracle database, options & management packs
  2. Weblogic Server and its different editions.
  3. BPEL, BPM, IDM and other middleware products.
  4. Internet Developer Suite

Application Products:

  1. E-Business Suite
  2. Siebel CRM

Other Products:

  1. Java  (this is one of the largest Oracle audit campaigns for 2024)
  2. Industry-Specific products – Healthcare, Communications, Hospitality.
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Sheshagiri helps companies reduce Software License & Support costs through deployment optimization and risk management in software license compliance audits. His core skills are Software License Management, Enterprise Software Sales & Sales Management.

Sheshagiri is, currently, the Managing Partner & Principle Licensing Advisor at Rythium Technologies. Prior to this, he was a Vice-President in Oracle Corporation.