Most Oracle IT asset management programs we’ve observed revolve around counting cores and processors to determine if the number of licenses in use is in line with your license grant. Some companies rely on their DB administrators to understand what is in use. Other have invested in software tools that will help them count usage for database and options. If this sounds like how your company does software asset management for Oracle then you should be worried. You are playing checkers and Oracle is playing chess.
You might be the greatest checker player in the world, but that’s not the game Oracle is playing. Oracle plays chess. Oracle is looking at the entire board, all the pieces (Siebel, Peoplesoft, BEA, Hyperion, etc), and the long term goal of capturing the king (aka, your money).
Here is an example of how you are playing chess: Many companies have Unlimited License Agreements with Oracle. These ULAs are most often for database and database options. What we see is that the customers spend a lot of time counting cores and processors for how much database they are using. They believe they have perfect numbers and will be able to certify and get off of that ULA merry-go-round. So these clients approach Oracle and give a detailed count. Oracle comes back with something like…paraphrasing… “that’s great, we saw this new service offering on your website and we know you are using Oracle for it. That is outside of your license grant and you have an (insert huge number) dollar compliance issue. Unless you sign this (insert slightly less huge number) dollar deal now you will be audited.”
Check mate. You sign and give Oracle more money. We see this over and over and over. You never know where the Oracle license gotcha is going to come.
At Palisade Compliance we take a very different approach to Oracle license management. Not only do we play chess, but we play that three dimensional Star Trek chess. (original series of course!). What do I mean by this? Well, what I mean is that we are looking at the end game. What are your goals as a company? Where is your business going? Then it’s up to us to work together and build and execute on a strategy to get there. Sometimes that means measuring usage, sometimes it does not. It really depends on the circumstances at hand. For us it’s not about counting cores. It’s about helping you achieve your corporate goals and protect your Oracle assets. More immediately, it’s about shifting the balance of power and putting you back in control of the Oracle relationship.