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Oracle is one of the software giants in the world and also one of the most likely vendors to audit within 12 months, particularly with revenue declines in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic. An Oracle Audit can be avoided!

Like other suppliers, Oracle may use customer audits as a revenue opportunity, but it is difficult to predict what an audit will trigger. Reasons include a change in software spend or staff size, divestment or M&A, or even a change in your IT strategy.

Oracle solutions are an essential component of a company's IT infrastructure, whether on-premises or now also in the cloud, with Oracle Cloud.

But its solutions and database applications (Oracle Databases) have some of the most complex and expensive license agreements and, therefore, one of the most recommended for good governance of Software Asset Management (SAM).

Managing Oracle costs properly means knowing complex topics such as: license metrics, deployment, usage, configurations, object auditing, virtualization and number of CPUs.

These ever-present challenges in compliance cannot be managed with spreadsheets or the Oracle product console alone, as these do not manage the audit trail.

In addition to saying that Oracle licensing rules are complicated, they also change frequently without much notice, which can cause your organization to go out of compliance without your knowledge. If you are using your software incorrectly, possibly an audit settlement bill will arrive.

The Problem With Oracle Software License Management

Through our many years of experience in Oracle licensing, we've found that customers are running into the same challenges over and over again. The three main difficulties we see are:

  • Anticipate Payments and Contracts without an Analysis: Paying licenses and 40% for support and maintenance upfront is a value that increases any annual IT budget and results in additional software investment using unbudgeted expenses.
  • Dealing with the complexities of Oracle licensing rules and agreements: Oracle licensing rules coming from various agreements may apply to a bundle of products and also new rules and conditions could have been applied since the implementation of the software;
  • Inventory tools that measure or do not identify Oracle products: Even if the tool takes the minimum, it cannot determine edits and user information. It may also not identify processors and virtualization environments. This means manual work for the SAM Manager, using valuable time and resources, as well as using the information security team;

Insights for dealing with Oracle hiring?

Choice of packages in a unique way and by environment, not by pressure from the Oracle sales team: Production, Development and Approval. An example is a company that purchased Premier support for its entire development and approval environment, out of necessity.

Each option, feature and package in Oracle Database is licensed separately. In fact, any DBA can easily activate an option by mistake, without warning message. To clean it, you have to control the activated options and know the root cause of usage.

Beware of "Unlimited" contracts, it is often not

The Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) cannot cover all of Oracle's products and options, or all of your company's business units and legal entities. And if you don't renew the ULA, then Oracle requires a license for every installation — and maintenance payments.

Stuck in the good old on premises market

Oracle still trusts its position in the database market and does not provide friendly license policies for virtualization and/or migration to Public Cloud such as Microsoft Azure or AWS. Industry-leading technologies like VMware are categorized as “soft-partitioning” which often results in high license costs and huge compliance risks.

Flexible IT means constant change

Large compliance and cost risks can arise from a simple configuration change in your data center. You can install an application without contract rights on Oracle middleware or move a virtual machine to a different server cluster, incurring risk and again unnecessary costs.

How to pass an Oracle Audit?

If they say that an audit will be for a few weeks, be prepared for an audit of at least 2 months. Oracle licensing is so complex that multiple data analytics, endless reporting demands, scripted inventories will be required.

Normally, in an Oracle audit, you should use scripts “offered” by Oracle, which will inevitably not accurately unravel the complexity of the installed Oracle products, without some errors and false positives.

To then go through an Oracle audit less costly, you need to defend yourself with detailed, high-quality data about your Oracle environment.

Having solid data simplifies the complexity of your Oracle licenses, ensures compliance, and produces more accurate reports than Oracle auditors themselves.

An Oracle license audit can be long, but it doesn't have to be difficult. If you define processes and use a Software Asset Management SAM platform that collects and verifies data with high accuracy, then you will be fully supported to win the Oracle audit.

Oracle Audit: How Can We Support Them?

4Matt Tecnologia will help you take control of your Oracle installations and contracts to prepare for an audit or optimize contracts. 

Staying on top of Oracle's licensing rules is hard, full-time work and requires experts who are often hard to find. Outsourcing Oracle Contract Governance allows you to hand over all license management tasks to a team of trained and up-to-date experts who manage Oracle environments of varying sizes, every day.

We'll take care of proactively managing any licensing rule changes and applying them to your environment, providing you with everything you need to make the right decisions, both technically and strategically when renewing an Oracle contract.

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