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Oracle Licence Audit : 6 Reasons Why A Customer May Be Chosen

Like most major software publishers, Oracle conducts licence audit across its customer base worldwide. Organisations must be watchful for situations that might increase the chance of their being audited by Oracle; also, they must regularly communicate and train technical staff to equip them with relevant knowledge regarding the areas of risk. These common areas include the following:

Historic Licence Metrics and Old Product Names

Where the customer is still using Historic Licence Metrics and Old Product Names: Oracle is always keen to use licence audits as a way to migrate customers from historic licence metrics (such as Concurrent Users) to current ones (such as Named User Plus), as well as to the most recent Oracle product names (that may or may not include the same functionality as the original entitlements). These types of conversions or migrations usually result in additional costs for the customer to licence the existing environment.  

Changes to the Technology Environment

Where the customer has made Changes to the Technology Environment (for example, server refreshes, incorporating high-availability potential or using virtualization technologies): Use of virtualization technologies, such as VMware, is a licensing hazard that may lead to significantly high unexpected costs for Oracle customers. Also, incorporating a standby or a data-mirrored environment, whether used or not, will attract additional licensing requirements and hence added costs.  

New Oracle Account Manager

When a new Oracle Account Manager is assigned to the customer: It has been experienced that a change in the Oracle Account Management team at a time when no new business is planned in the near future, can simply initiate a sudden investigation into the customer’s current Oracle licence estate and potential non-compliance related to it. An Oracle licence audit is the easiest and perhaps the most legitimate way for an Oracle account manager towards making a customer responsive that will help with his sales targets.  

Mixed Licence Metrics

When the customer has Mixed Licence Metrics as part of its Oracle licence estate: It is given that the more varied the licence metrics and their contractual definitions are, the more vulnerable the customer is to evolve non-compliant from an audit. This is because, without enough Oracle Licence Training and awareness, the IT Manager managing multiple licence metrics (along with their definitions) for the same Oracle product only confuses himself towards allocating them inefficiently throughout the Oracle estate.  

Recent Merger and Acquisition

When the customer has gone through a Recent Merger and Acquisition: An M&A or Divestiture may dramatically change the landscape of an enterprise’s use of its Oracle software assets. The confusion that accompanies an M&A activity typically makes an Oracle customer vulnerable to violating the compliance terms of their software agreements. This vulnerability, in turn, is a bright red flag for Oracle who is increasingly vigilant about identifying and pursuing organizations that run afoul of their contractual terms.  

Corporate Structure and Organisational Growth

Changes in Corporate Structure and Organisational Growth: Whether an organisation experiences changes in corporate structure, slow organic growth over the years, or rapid expansion due to added investments, the number of people accessing the Oracle programs (mostly user-based licensing) will only increase, without taking into account the proportionate number of Oracle licences that must be topped-up in order to maintain contractual compliance.   While there may be further reasons why Oracle wishes to audit an “unsuspecting” customer, the above 6 reasons must always be kept in mind in order to avoid any unpleasant revenue leakage as part of the non-compliance discovered from the unplanned audit.