Check Your Oracle Entitlement Records – An Absolute Must

After working with hundreds of Oracle customers worldwide, I found that unfortunately only a handful are fully convinced that their licensing and contracting records are complete. These customers can be categorized into the following 3 groups:

Customer Type# 1

Customers who are in possession of their master Oracle contracts (SLSA, OLSA or the more recent OMA), however the paper work related to every individual Oracle procurement (Ordering Document) have either been misplaced or forgotten.

Customer Type# 2

Customers who tend to keep the current Oracle contract only and archive older versions, resulting in inaccessible or incomplete information, thereby missing out on referencing to the relevant (often favourable!) licensing rules and agreements.

Customer Type# 3

Customers who rely on Oracle (Sales or Support) to provide them with details of their entitlements when paying support and maintenance bills, when renewing contracts, or even during audits.  

No, Even Oracle Doesn’t Get It Right Every Time

While entitlement records provided by Oracle may also be incorrect, and the fact that Oracle does not make it transparent through an online licensing portal through which customers can view their licence grants, therefore unfortunately it is often only in the event of an audit that issues with non-compliance are mostly uncovered. The discrepancies in the Oracle entitlements records may be due to a number of reasons:

Unrelated Legal Entities

Purchases have been made under legal entities that Oracle does not associate with the company that holds your main contract. Eg. LASEU licences.

Different Company Names

Purchases have been made using different variations of company names that do not quite match your legal entity names. Eg. ABC, ABC Limited, ABC UK could all be referring to the same company.

M&A or Divestiture

Purchases have been made by organisations that have been acquired, merged or divested, and Oracle has not been updated or advised to modify their records accordingly.

Purchased through 3rd-party Providers

Purchases have been made through service providers or application vendors, and are linked to a specific application program, but not registered with Oracle. Eg. ASFU Licences.  

Order of Precedence – Gets your Facts Correct !

Confusion over Oracle entitlements give rise to misunderstandings regarding the order or precedence of the different contract documents — most importantly to note that individual Oracle Ordering Documents and Addendums (which cannot be individually negotiated once an organization has a master agreement in effect) take precedence over the terms in the master agreement – namely SLSA (Software Licence and Services Agreement), OLSA (Oracle Licence and Services Agreement), or the most recent OMA (Oracle Master Agreement).  

Oracle License Grants – To Migrate or Not To Migrate

For those organisations with older Oracle contracts that have not been migrated over the years or decades, there may be further complexity – For example Oracle’s older concurrent licence stated that measurement must be done at the multiplexing front end, with no minimum number of concurrent users required per processor. This is very different from how users accessing Oracle technology programs are now counted using the Named User Plus metric. Do bear in mind though that historical entitlements comprising old licence metrics with outdated definitions can have very favourable terms and are usually best not migrated away from.  

Keep your Licensing T&C’s – Don’t lose your copy

Oracle relies on online policies to supplement the licence T&C’s that are referenced in contracts and licence documentation, and unfortunately those are subject to change without notice. These licence policies are often updated in response to technology upgrades and changes, and it can often be a daunting task for IT Managers to relate the old T&C’s to the current technologies in place. In such a scenario, there are no prizes for guessing that many companies do not have an accurate view of their Oracle licence grants.