In EMEA, during Oracle’s Q1 we have seen an increase in requests for support helping customers faced with the Oracle ABC audit.  The ABC in this case stands for Audit, Bargain Cloud. Customers are receiving audit requests from Oracle, sometimes with Oracle pushing customers for a response within 5-10 days, despite the clients contractual obligations to provide assistance in an audit. These pressure audits are there to generate revenue for Oracles cloud business, plain and simple.

A (Audit): Oracle will perform an audit, looking everywhere for compliance challenges, and in most cases are able to show areas of non compliance, partly because clients do not fully understand the information they need to provide Oracle in response to an audit, and partly because there can be many interpretations to Oracles contracts and accompanying policy documents that Oracle will always view in their favour.

B (Bargain): Once Oracle has an idea of the compliance challenge a customer may be faced with, they will present to the customer a large bill to bring their estate into compliance, with the addition of back support fees etc.  We have even experienced clients that were so fearful of the Oracle audit team they signed new deals before the audit process was complete.  This fear of a large bill puts pressure on the client to look at cost avoidance strategies, and this is where C comes in.

C (Cloud): It’s here we see Oracle deliver a miraculous saving if the customer signs a new cloud deal compared to the on premise option, though it’s not so much a saving, it’s a deal signed to avoid the cost of the audit findings, and in most cases where we have been engaged too late we are seeing customers sign a 1 year cloud deal to buy themselves some time to sort their deployments out before the auditors come back again.  The frustrating thing here is the Oracle sales rep is not selling the value of Oracle products, or looking to help the customer innovate, or solve a business problem with the products Oracle have available, but to help them with cost avoidance created through an audit, and in many cases customers have no intention of using the cloud solutions.

This trend with ABC audits looks set to continue, with the Register reporting recently an additional 1,000 Oracle cloud sellers across EMEA are being onboarded for January 2018, and they will be fishing for opportunities using the ABC method.  Any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch.