Some of the largest corporations in Australia use Oracle’s database software and technology. Oracle is one of the most respected software developers in the world.
The company has earned a reputation for aggressively pursuing cases of licensing non-compliance. They have served organisations with large financial claims for violating their software conditions.
ELS understands the difficulty in maintaining compliance with Oracle’s licensing guidelines.
We have decades of experience helping companies across a range of industries. So our consultants are well-equipped to ensure your business minimises its compliance exposure.
Supporting your business in more ways
We want to help, if you want to protect yourself against a future Oracle licence compliance audit. If Oracle informs you they have discovered a breach of your licensing contract, we can help there too.
The best scenario is to be vigilant for changes in the licence agreement and your operations. We also have experience in providing consultation for companies already under audit.
Oracle Licence Compliance and Audit is something of a minefield for most customers.
- Extra cost Oracle Options and Enterprise Manager Management Packs are prone to inadvertent use. They are often installed automatically and activated by a couple of key clicks. While free to try out, it is a small step to use them in a manner which violates the licence agreement.
- Oracle product names and options change over time. They are subject to renaming or repackaging. Changes in the actual licencing rules can also occur.
- For licensing based on the number of users, the incremental growth (or decline) of users will lead to deviation from the licence metrics.
- Virtualisation means that the actual number of processors or cores in use by Oracle software is often not clear. VMware is a particular target of audits.
There are many other traps for customers including disaster recovery and standby environments, user numbers at the ‘multiplexing front end’, and the use of Oracle Technology Network Free Developer Licences for evaluation.
Regardless of the stage at which we become involved, our consultants will examine your current licence entitlements and how they are being deployed across your company, working with management and your IT organisation to ensure that no licence is being misused. Where we find compliance risks, we have extensive experience in developing low-cost, low-disruption solutions that can be rapidly rolled out across your organisation to protect you against claims by the licensor.
The expertise you need
The initial stage of an audit is to provide Oracle with configuration information via an Oracle supplied spreadsheet. If Oracle decides to go further, their Licence Management Services (LMS) Group is engaged. Currently, LMS will provide a set of scripts for the organisation to run. These scripts interrogate both the hardware/OS and installed Oracle software, are quite intrusive and require privileged logins. The scripts search the OS and the database for markers that show current or past use of licensable software (e.g. individual Options and Management Packs), as well as the user population.
The script outputs are then returned to Oracle. The scripts have many checks to ensure that the output is not tampered with. Overall it is a significantly intrusive process and often raises serious security concerns for the targeted organisation.
Accidental non-compliance is not an excuse. LMS scripts can find historical traces of usage – even to the point where an option or pack was activated but not used.
- IT Asset Management (ITAM) systems play a key role, but only if used to their potential. Too often Software Asset Management systems are configured reasonably well on purchase, but then their ongoing maintenance is neglected.
- Often there is a gap between the technical and contracts/purchasing areas of an enterprise, so that while the technical staff are generally not keen to be involved with the minutiae of Oracle contracts, the contracts or purchasing areas have little expertise with the technical aspects of Oracle. This is a gap that organisations such as Enterprise Licence Solutions endeavour to fill for their clients.
Oracle licence rules, especially in rapidly developing areas such as virtualisation and cloud-based computing, are constantly changing. Also, the tools and techniques used by Oracle in their audits are always evolving. As organisations are only infrequently tapped for an Oracle audit, it is prudent for an organisation to engage a specialist to assist. We have the required expertise from being regularly involved in audits for clients. The purpose of engaging a licence and compliance specialist is not to avoid licence obligations, but to be aware of any potentially non-compliant areas before coming head-to-head with Oracle. Many issues can be resolved but, if not, the awareness of them at least puts the organisation in a much better negotiating position, as well as providing more to time to consider their options. Having a thirty-day notice to pay, due to an unknown issue, is a position an organisation should certainly endeavour to avoid.
Our software licence audit services help you avoid unnecessary time, effort and expenditure that would be better utilised elsewhere. Make the smart choice for your company and contact a locally-based team that has more than half a century of experience in helping Australian businesses maximise value realisation of licences while maintaining full compliance.
Start a discussion with our staff today and find out how we can help you ensure the success of your business now and into the future. Contact us today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly on +61 407 728 623.