We tell clients and perspective clients over and over again that they should view an Oracle audit in much the same way as they view an audit from the tax authorities (aka, the IRS). If you receive a letter from the IRS telling you that you are the lucky winner of an audit, you should never never ever just respond back and say “great, let me open up the books and you conduct your audit.” The first thing you do is call your expert advisor/accountant. Well, the same holds true for an Oracle audit. If you receive that audit letter from Oracle’s LMS team you really need to have an expert with specific and extensive Oracle audit experience lead you through the process.
This brings us to the one caveat in our “Treat an Oracle audit like an IRS audit” rule. When you are audited by the IRS you don’t have much leverage to dictate how the audit will be conducted or what tools and measurements will be used. When the government audits you, you play by the government’s rules and playbook. An Oracle audit is different. As with any software vendor, unless specific audit techniques, processes, tools, timelines, etc are outlined in your agreements then it is perfectly acceptable to view the entire audit process, from beginning to end, as negotiable.
The final outcome of an Oracle audit will depend in large part by how you manage and negotiate the process of the audit. Simply allowing Oracle to conduct the audit using their scripts, answering all their questions, and giving access to all the information they request in their timelines and their process will result in an outcome most favorable to Oracle. There is a reason why Oracle conducts audits the way they do.
However, if you negotiate how the audit will be conducted, when it will be conducted, what information will be used, etc etc, then you will have an outcome that is much more favorable to your company. This is where Oracle contract knowledge, Oracle audit expertise, and business acumen all come center stage. Being in compliance with your software grant is absolute. No company has the right to use software they are not entitled to use. That is non negotiable. Everything else, well that’s where bringing in an outside advisor can really make a difference.
There are a dozen different ways to approach an Oracle audit. One of those ways is to do everything the Oracle way. The result of that approach is obvious. The real key is to know the other paths, when to use them, and how to execute on a strategy that furthers your goals.
Palisade Compliance has a proven track record of navigating the Oracle audit waters. Whether you have been issued an Oracle LMS final report or you are actively trying to manage your Oracle licenses before an audit, we can help with cost reductions, cost avoidance, and license optimization.