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Oracle ULA – Ways to Mitigate Future Maintenance and Support Issues

The average Oracle end-customer has always been baffled about tackling the issue of managing support costs required to maintain compliance with Oracle licences. I must ask them to be smart from the start by negotiating for only those Oracle licences needed and also avoid mixing application software and database or infrastructure licences in one single deal.

It is common to notice that Oracle end-users often do not take into consideration future changes in their environment that will ask for potential reductions in Oracle licences. Dropping support for an application or discontinuing usage of multiple infrastructure products can enable Oracle to reprice the remaining products on the licence agreement, and this essentially eliminates the possibility of reducing maintenance and support cost.


Tips on reducing the risk of large support payments on ULA shelfware

Separate the application deals and database/infrastructure deals into unrelated ordering documents with no contractual language linking them to each other.

♣ Limit your procurement of Oracle products to only those that you are certain will be used. Avail Oracle’s 30-day trial offer for any new software functionality you are considering before adding it to the ULA. If you do not expect increased usage of some of these products, keep them on an additional order-form instead of including them in the ULA. This will provide more flexibility with removing them from Support & Maintenance if needed later.

♣ Only include those Oracle products under an “unlimited” metric that you anticipate will undergo significant growth. Oracle will include set quantities of licences; e.g. a capped amount of 200 processors of certain Oracle products, with price-hold for those products if additional licences are needed for them.


Certification Terms Beneficial for Closing a ULA

♣ Incorporate understandable explanations about how Oracle usage can be quantified during certification: The customer must have rights to all Oracle licences that they are required to pay for, regardless of the environment, e.g. production, preproduction, test, development, UAT, training, staging, standby and

♣ Agree with Oracle that the user count will be based on total users accessing: Usually application user count will be based on logons within the prior 12 months, and an internal communication within the company is needed to ensure that anyone who needs access must be told to log in during the previous 12 months.

♣ Make sure that the Oracle end-customer is appropriately counting the actual Oracle usage in a virtualized environment. Customers must ensure that all virtualized licences are counted during the certification process in accordance with Oracle’s Virtualization Policy.


Try to Remove These Restrictions from the ULA agreement

♣ Negotiate towards eliminating limitations based on a specific project or specific location: Oracle will often pin down ULA customers towards using certain products for specific projects and/or locations. This is an area of high risk due to potential changes in projects or abolishing applications that are using these Oracle licences because these constraints will prevent the customer from using these licences for other projects and/or locations.

♣ Increase flexibility of usage: Negotiate towards removing the requirement about how each Oracle licence is being used; e.g. development, test, failover and other non-production environments. As an example, if the organization eliminates a standby environment and decides to use those licences in a production or development environment, this prerogative to move may not be allowed under the restricted T&C’s.