Oracle ULA or (Unlimited License Agreement) is a contractual handshake between the customer and Oracle, whereby the customer acquires the right of unlimited downloads for a defined set of Oracle programs for a fixed period of time (usually 3 to 5 years). The “customer” definition is usually precise with listed entities and future acquisitions are typically excluded or capped. Before the ULA contract is in place, the old licenses are terminated (usually not migrated) and there are no obvious credits for old licenses by default.
At the end of the ULA period, the usage is fixed following a formal “certification” (usually takes 3 months) that is agreed and co-signed by both the parties. This “certification” process must be contractually completed within 30 days after the expiration date of the ULA and a C-level official from the end-user organisation must sign-off this certification. An incorrect certification formally signed-off by a C-level executive may be considered “fraud” under the international IP laws.
This is the period when the ULA contracts are being discussed with Oracle, with an objective to negotiate the most favourable terms. At this stage, the number of legal entities to be included into the “Customer Definition” are agreed upon, including majority-owned subsidiaries (sometimes minority-owned as well) and joint ventures. At this planning phase of the ULA, it is critical to accurately estimate the projected usage of Oracle software in the coming years, so that the overall cost of the ULA can be effectively justified and negotiated. For more info, see here .
Once the ULA is signed and in effect, it is important to effectively track the deployment of the Oracle programs, in line with the T&C’s of the ULA agreement. At this stage, it is critical to actively track whether the software downloads (“utilisation”) and the projected timescales are still in agreement. A mid-term assessment towards optimisation and the maximization of the ULA must be at least 1 to 1.5 years before the ULA expiry date. An inaccurate assessment towards the fag end of a ULA, under time pressures, will greatly diminish the value of the expensive ULA.
Before the Oracle ULA expires, the customer will undergo a formal “certification” process, during when the final deployment and usage of the Oracle programs must be assessed within all the legal entities of the ULA. During this time, most customers typically make erroneous declarations due to time pressures and lack of licensing knowledge, thereby attracting serious financial and legal risks. Going forward, the usage rights of the organisation will be fixed on this certified quantity of software licenses. If the customer misses out on declaring Oracle licenses in use by a legal entity, they must be procured as part of a separate contract.
After the final deployments are declared and the Oracle ULA is eventually certified, it is a very common observation that Oracle would come back within 6 months of the ULA expiry date in order to formally “audit” the customer, as they want to ensure that the ULA “certification” declaration accurately reflects the actual deployments. For more info on Oracle Audit, see here .
While the customer may be of the opinion that the cost of the Oracle ULA does not always justify “unlimited”, this can often be linked to the failure of negotiating the most favourable ULA contracts when they are being drafted and the usage rights are being defined. This can easily lead to commercial and compliance pitfalls during and following the ULA period, giving rise to frustration and misunderstandings with Oracle.
Oracle would usually consider discount approvals for an ULA agreement based on expected incremental deployment. While Oracle usually promotes the benefits of an Oracle ULA (usually costing multi-million ££’s) to the enterprise customers, the latter must have Oracle products in their roadmap and anticipating a growing usage of Oracle products.
We assist you with all the following 3 stages (also described above) of an Oracle ULA:
We help you estimate your company’s projected Oracle deployment plans based on factors that could change and delay implementation and hence the diminished value that you may potentially get out of the “expensive” ULA. We advise you about details and options of a Capped ULA versus an Uncapped ULA in your specific scenario. As the Oracle ULA involves investment of multi-million ££’s, it is strongly suggested that you should consult specialist and “independent” consultancies like Konnagar – towards keeping your ULA machine greased. We are here to help.
Owing to a decade-long experience on Oracle License Management, Konnagar has provided valuable “assessment” to many Oracle customers worldwide, primarily helping with final “Certification” of the Oracle ULA once the Unlimited License Agreement is nearing the end of its term. We help the customer at all 3 different stages of the ULA lifecycle to ensure that the financial risk arising from over-deployment or under-deployment of Oracle software during the ULA term is always successfully mitigated, and that clarity and control are both in place.
We support you towards managing your Oracle ULA so that you can optimise your utilisation and worry less about pitfalls. Our specialist experience with enterprise customer on Oracle ULAs will help you maximize the value of your ULA and eliminate any panic related to financial, operational or legal risks.
Sibaji has been working with Scottish Government over the past year to help us establish our Oracle Asset Management function, which oversees Oracle licensing usage and re-use across much of the Scottish public sector. His assistance has been invaluable and his knowledge and experience of Oracle license management is extensive. He’s not affiliated with Oracle as a company, or involved in any license reselling himself, which means he can provide entirely independent advice and support to any organisation about its Oracle licensing.
During his time with us, he’s been responsible for:
• Creating and managing an Oracle license dashboard for the Scottish Government;
• Conducting an Oracle license review for the Scottish Government to contribute to better governance and managements of assets.
Sibaji’s expertise includes:
• Getting the most value from an Oracle audit and ULA; and
• Assisting with Oracle license optimisation, review and contract analysis.
I’ve been delighted with the work that Sibaji has conducted for us and would highly recommend him.
— Head of Digital Risk & Security (Scottish Government)