We often talk to clients who are in various stages of the license audit process with Oracle. Some have just received the letter from LMS (Oracle License Management Services) and some who have been in the audit process for more than six months. Often these clients are surprised or confused as to why they are being audited. There is no random drawing that chooses clients for audits. It is a very deliberate and targeted effort that is either driven by your Oracle sales team or at a minimum is approved/supported by the sales team. Oracle’s core goal is to drive new license revenue, so it is important that to understand Oracle’s motivation. This will help you make decisions on how to “Take Control” of the process.
It is always best to form a strategy with an independent license consulting firm before you respond to Oracle in any way. This provides you with the best opportunity to make sure you are positioned well for the audit process. Many clients tell us they thought their relationship with Oracle was good and by cooperating and doing everything Oracle wanted when they wanted would minimize the pain and cost of the audit. These same organizations soon found that that was not the case, in fact, the exact opposite usually occurs. Remember that software audits are contract disputes not IT projects and should be treated as such. In general, if you follow these high level suggestions you will be able to maximize your position in this dispute and minimize your operational and economic impact:
- Seek assistance early (typically have 30 days to respond to Oracle)
- Establish your strategy as it relates to dealing with Oracle and the audit
- Communicate your plan within your IT, financial and legal departments
- “Take Control” of the process
Audits are never easy and can be very disruptive and costly, however with the proper strategy and execution, you will be able to get through the audit with minimal impact to your organization.