As I’m writing this blog post we begin the first day of Oracle’s third quarter. It’s hard to believe we are halfway through their fiscal year. Only one eighty something days left until May 31 2014. After that, the tables are reset and we begin the whole thing over again. At Palisade Compliance we work with Oracle customers every day. So, what have we learned from the first half of Oracle’s year that we can apply to the second half of the year?
More Audits, Sooner
First, we learned that Oracle is hitting the gas pedal on the audit function. We’ve seen more audits, earlier in the sales cycle, and issued in more situations than we’ve ever seen before. Granted, this could just be a factor of our growth. As more customers come to us for help we will see more issues. However, I don’t think that is the only explanation. In the past I could tell Oracle’s ULA customers that they most likely won’t be audited during their ULA period. I can’t say that anymore. Oracle now issues audit letters to customers during the term of their ULAs. You might be scratching your head on this one. If a ULA is really “unlimited” then why would Oracle audit your use? How could you be out of compliance?
As we’ve said many times in blog post after blog post, there are plenty of ways to go out of compliance with a ULA. Remember, Oracle’s unlimited contract gives you the right to use a limited set of products to do a limited set of functions for a limited set of users in a limited location for a limited time. Violate any of those conditions and you are out of compliance. In the end Oracle is just trying to get you to extend your ULA or buy more stuff. Remember, their goal is to get more and more of your IT spend.
Second, we learned that Oracle sales is really pushing their Exa product lineup. We’ve seen Oracle sales push the Exa products in every Palisade Compliance account. 100%. The audit is being used as one lever to push Exadata/Exalogic. We’ve also seen Oracle pushing these products on customer who might not be interested. Buy this Exa product and we will fix this compliance issue. Don’t buy Exa and you will have to pay full price for that compliance issue. This shows how important the Exa hardware is for Oracle.
Better Deals & Better Pricing
Finally, and now some good news, customers who took a proactive management of their Oracle licensing and contracting have so much more leverage with Oracle. They get better deals from Oracle with better pricing and better terms. They take control of the contracting and audit process and methodology and ultimately are able to stave off a negative audit or even reduce the annual support spend with Oracle. We see it all the time now. The numbers simply don’t lie. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
A small investment in Oracle licensing and contracting expertise is worth millions of dollars in unnecessary Oracle licensing and support fees. Contact us today to learn how we can help proactively manage your Oracle contracts and licenses.