The Oracle LMS Audit, Oracle Lawyers, and the Return of the Nuclear Option

The Oracle LMS audit process has been remarkably consistent for many years. They send a letter, they set up a meeting, you send them a bunch of information, they put it in a black box, they give you a non-compliance finding, you get mad, they shrug their shoulders, they introduce you to the Oracle sales rep, you and the sales rep fight for a while, eventually you give Oracle money, Oracle goes away, and you vow to move away from Oracle for good!

That’s how it worked years ago when I was running the LMS group, and that’s how it works today. (Unless of course you are a Palisade Compliance client, then none of this happens because our clients are in compliance and just don’t get audited by Oracle!)

There are some caveats to the highly detailed and scientific Oracle LMS audit process outlined above.

One major x-factor is Oracle legal: there are times where Oracle legal is non-existent in the process; times when they lead the process; and times when they swoop in at the end to help “close the deal”. Note, Oracle legal is never ever brought in to help you, the Oracle customer. Oracle legal only works for Oracle in audits, and therefore, against you.

Over the last part of 2021 and into 2022 were are seeing an influx of Oracle attorneys being brought into what appear to be straightforward audit situations. Again, what we are seeing is an Oracle customer being audited, trying to do it on their own, and ending up opposite an Oracle attorney who is threatening them with a breach notice. Yes, the breach notice is back on the table! We first highlighted this back in 2015. Oracle received some very unflattering press at the time, and backed away from this tactic for a bit. Well, I guess the new batch of law school grads working at Oracle don’t know their history, so they are pulling the Nuclear Option back out of their playbook.

How to avoid Oracle LMS audit problems

There are two things you can do to avoid all this nonsense from Oracle LMS and legal. First, get help as soon as you get that audit letter from Oracle. Don’t wait to see if you can do it on your own. Second, be in compliance and you won’t get the audit letter.

This sounds easy, right? Well, if it was easy then everyone would do it. The reality is that it’s quite difficult to stay in compliance with your Oracle contracts and defend yourself in an Oracle licensing audit. The really good news is that Palisade Compliance can do both!

Craig Guarente
Craig Guarente
Craig is the CEO of Palisade Compliance, which he founded in 2011. Before 2011, Craig worked at Oracle for 16 years where he was the Global Vice President of Contracts, Business Practices, and Migrations. He was also the Global Process Owner for Oracle’s audit teams (LMS), a member of Oracle’s CIO advisory board, and on the Oracle User Group’s contract and licensing advisory board. Craig is now the leading expert on Oracle licensing, is quoted in dozens of publications, and assists with many high-profile Oracle disputes.
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