Demystifying Oracle’s Virtualization Policy: A Guide for Compliance

As more organizations move towards virtualized environments, it’s important to understand how Oracle’s virtualization policy applies to different technologies and licensing models. Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in license non-compliance and potential financial penalties. This blog will guide you through the specifics of Oracle’s virtualization policy, including hardware and software virtualization, popular virtualization technologies, and licensing requirements.

 

Understanding Hardware and Software Virtualization: How Oracle’s Guidelines Differ

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Oracle’s virtualization policy specifies different guidelines for hardware and software virtualization technologies. Hardware virtualization involves running multiple operating systems on a single physical machine, while software virtualization allows multiple applications to run on a single operating system. Understanding these differences is crucial to ensuring compliance with Oracle’s virtualization policy.

 

The Role of VMware, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox in Virtualization

 

Popular virtualization technologies such as VMware, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox play a crucial role in virtualization environments, but it’s important to note that Oracle’s virtualization policy treats each technology differently. For example, Oracle has specific guidelines for using its products in a VMware environment. These guidelines require that customers have a valid license for each Oracle product used in the VMware environment and that the VMware environment is configured according to specific requirements outlined in the Oracle VMWare Support Policies.

 

Similarly, if you’re using Hyper-V to run Oracle products, you must ensure that you have a valid license for each product used in the Hyper-V environment. You must also follow specific guidelines for configuring the virtual environment and the hardware it runs on, as outlined in Oracle’s Hyper-V Support Policies.

 

In the case of VirtualBox, Oracle’s virtualization policy specifies that it can only be used for personal, non-commercial use and that any use for commercial purposes requires a commercial license.

 

Oracle Licensing and Virtualization: What You Need to Know

 

Regarding virtualized environments, Oracle’s licensing policy can be complex and confusing. Oracle has specific requirements and rules for licensing its products in virtualized environments, and failure to comply with these policies can result in financial and legal consequences. Here are some key things to keep in mind when it comes to Oracle licensing and virtualization:

 

Oracle’s licensing policy considers each virtual machine (VM) a separate physical server, regardless of the underlying hardware. This means that organizations must ensure they have the appropriate licenses for each VM running Oracle software.

 

Oracle has different product licensing models, such as per-user or per-core licensing. Organizations need to understand the licensing model for each product and ensure they have the appropriate licenses to cover their usage.

 

Virtualization technologies such as VMware, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox are subject to different licensing requirements from Oracle. Organizations must understand the terms and conditions outlined in Oracle’s virtualization guidelines for each product used in these environments.

Ensuring Compliance with Oracle’s Virtualization Policy: Best Practices and Tools

 

Organizations must implement best practices and use the right tools to ensure compliance with Oracle’s virtualization policy. Here are some tips to help you stay compliant:

 

  • Conduct regular audits of your virtualized environment to ensure you have the appropriate licenses for all Oracle products.
  • Use tools such as Oracle License Management Services (LMS) or third-party tools to monitor your virtualized environment and track the usage of Oracle products.
  • Stay updated with Oracle’s virtualization policies and guidelines and ensure your virtualized environment is always compliant.

The Consequences of Non-Compliance: Mitigating Financial and Legal Risk

The consequences of non-compliance with Oracle’s virtualization policy can be severe and have significant financial and legal implications for an organization. Non-compliance can result in audits, fines, and penalties, leading to legal disputes and reputational damage.

 

Oracle has a reputation for aggressive auditing practices and has a team dedicated to investigating and enforcing its licensing policies. Audits can result in significant financial penalties, including backdated licensing fees, interest charges, and the cost of the audit itself. In extreme cases, non-compliance can lead to legal action, resulting in hefty fines and legal fees.

 

In addition to financial and legal risks, non-compliance can damage an organization’s reputation. News of non-compliance and legal disputes can spread quickly, and potential customers may be deterred from doing business with a company with a history of non-compliance.

 

To mitigate these risks, it is crucial for organizations to stay up-to-date with Oracle’s virtualization policy and to take steps to ensure compliance in all virtualized environments. This includes regular audits, monitoring tools, and IT staff and end-users training. By prioritizing compliance and proactively managing virtualized environments, organizations can avoid the consequences of non-compliance and protect their reputation and bottom line.

 

Staying Ahead of Oracle’s Virtualization Policy

 

Staying ahead of Oracle’s virtualization policy is essential for organizations that use Oracle products in virtualized environments. By understanding Oracle’s licensing requirements and guidelines, implementing best practices, and using the right tools, organizations can ensure compliance and mitigate non-compliance risks. It’s also important to stay current with any changes to Oracle’s virtualization policies and guidelines to ensure ongoing compliance.

Why Keeping a Bad Sales Rep Could Cost You: How to Get a Great Software Deal and Strengthen Relationships

As a customer, when you are looking to buy software, you want to get the best possible deal and build a strong relationship with the software provider. However, this can be difficult to achieve if a bad sales rep is working with you. In this blog post, we will explore why keeping a bad sales rep could cost you and provide actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

Why Keeping a Bad Sales Rep Could Cost You

A bad sales rep can cost you in many ways. A bad sales rep:

  • Will not give you straight answers and will likely give you the runaround. This can be frustrating and time-consuming as you try to get the information you need to make an informed decision
  • May not be loyal to you and may be more interested in meeting their own goals than yours. This can lead to added costs, such as licensing, deployment, ongoing support, and increased costs over time.
  • Focuses on their quota and how they get paid. If you find a rep forcing you to buy products or services you don’t need, there is a reason. Reps that are focused on themselves are not going to help you accomplish what you need. 

Actionable Tips to Get a Great Deal and Strengthen Relationships

Now that we’ve looked at why a bad sales rep can cost you, let’s explore some actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

  1. Do your research

Mistake: Not doing research 

Tip: Before making a software purchase, do your research. Look for reviews and testimonials from other customers, check the software provider’s website and social media accounts, and speak with current or past customers if possible. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid wasting time and money.

  1. Communicate your needs

Mistake: Not communicating your needs 

Tip: When speaking with a sales rep, be clear and specific about your needs. This will help the sales rep understand your needs and make appropriate recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.

Statistic: According to a survey by TechValidate, 97% of B2B buyers said that the sales rep’s ability to understand their needs was an important factor in their decision to purchase.

  1. Negotiate

Mistake: Not negotiating

Tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the sales rep. Ask for discounts or special pricing, especially if purchasing multiple licenses or a long-term contract. If the sales rep is unwilling to negotiate, consider speaking with management or looking for a different software provider.

Statistic: According to a survey by HubSpot, 89% of B2B buyers said negotiating pricing was an important factor in their decision to purchase.

Get in Touch with Us to Avoid That Bad Software and Sales Rep

As a customer, if you’re looking to buy software, you want to get the best possible deal and build a strong relationship with the software provider. We’ll help you avoid those bad sales reps that cost you, and we’ll provide even more actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

 

  1. Don’t let a lousy software sales rep cost you more. Look for warning signs like poor communication and lack of support.

 

  • Don’t settle for vague timelines or complex deployments. A good sales rep should be clear and transparent.
  • Watch out for hidden costs and “shelf-ware” bundles. A good sales rep will work to provide value and meet your needs.
  • Work with a sales rep who prioritizes your goals and vision, not just their own. Loyalty and support are critical.
  • Choose a sales rep who values security and supports your business needs. Don’t compromise on protection or solutions.

 

  1. Don’t keep a bad sales rep if you want a great software deal and strong relationships.
  • Look for warning signs like poor communication, lack of support, and unclear timelines.
  • Don’t settle for hidden costs or unnecessary “shelf-ware” bundles. A good sales rep should provide value.
  • Prioritize your own goals and vision. Choose a sales rep who will support you and work to meet your needs.
  • Don’t compromise on security or protection. Choose a sales rep who values these aspects of software purchasing.
  • Take control of the purchasing process. Don’t let a bad sales rep drive up costs or hurt your relationship with your provider.

As businesses continue to rely more and more on software, the role of the sales representative has become increasingly important. A good sales rep can help enterprises to find the right software at the right price, while a bad sales rep can do the opposite. In fact, a bad sales rep could end up costing your business more than just money. According to a study by HubSpot, over 50% of customers say they have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. So, how do you avoid keeping a bad sales rep, get an excellent software deal, and strengthen your business relationships?

  1. Identify Warning Signs

The first step in avoiding a bad sales rep is to know what to look for. Here are some warning signs that you might have a bad sales rep:

  • A sales rep who is challenging to reach, doesn’t respond to emails, or doesn’t listen to your needs is a red flag.
  • A good sales rep should be there to support you throughout the entire software purchasing process, not just during the sale.
  • Be wary of sales reps who aren’t transparent about costs or try to bundle unnecessary features or services.
  •  If the sales rep is only concerned with their own goals rather than yours, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Actionable Recommendation: Watch for these warning signs, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice concerns to their management team. A good sales rep will be transparent and responsive.

Error to Avoid: Don’t assume that a sales rep who seems nice or friendly will automatically be a good fit. Always do your research and ask questions.

  1. Prioritize Your Goals and Vision

Your business has unique needs and goals when it comes to software. A good sales rep should prioritize your vision, not theirs. Here are some ways to ensure that your goals are being met:

  • A good sales rep will be open and honest about what they can and can’t provide.
  • Your software needs might change over time. A good sales rep should be willing to adjust to your changing needs.
  • Look for a sales rep who provides ongoing support, not just during the sale.
  • A good sales rep will be loyal to you and your business, not just trying to make a quick sale.

Actionable Recommendation: Clearly articulate your goals and vision to potential sales reps. Look for reps who show a willingness to work with you to achieve these goals.

Error to Avoid: Don’t settle for a sales rep who tries to push their own agenda or goals onto your business. Always prioritize your own needs and vision.

  1. Don’t let your sales rep talk you into unnecessary add-ons:
  • Evaluate whether add-ons align with your goals and objectives
  • Ask for data or case studies that demonstrate how the add-on has helped similar clients
  • Push back if you feel like the add-on isn’t necessary or won’t provide a good ROI
  • Don’t let a bad sales rep pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for your business and your budget.

Sales reps are often incentivized to push additional products or services, even if they don’t add value to your specific needs. Before agreeing to any add-ons, take the time to evaluate whether they align with your goals and objectives. Ask your rep to provide data or case studies demonstrating how the add-on has helped other clients in similar industries. Don’t be afraid to push back if you feel the add-on isn’t necessary or won’t provide a good return on investment. 

Remember, it’s your business and your budget— don’t let a bad sales rep pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for you.

Why Keeping a Bad Sales Rep Could Cost You: How to Get a Great Software Deal and Strengthen Relationships

As a customer, when you are looking to buy software, you want to get the best possible deal and build a strong relationship with the software provider. However, this can be difficult to achieve if a bad sales rep is working with you. In this blog post, we will explore why keeping a bad sales rep could cost you and provide actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

Why Keeping a Bad Sales Rep Could Cost You

A bad sales rep can cost you in many ways. A bad sales rep:

  • Will not give you straight answers and will likely give you the runaround. This can be frustrating and time-consuming as you try to get the information you need to make an informed decision
  • May not be loyal to you and may be more interested in meeting their own goals than yours. This can lead to added costs, such as licensing, deployment, ongoing support, and increased costs over time.
  • Focuses on their quota and how they get paid. If you find a rep forcing you to buy products or services you don’t need, there is a reason. Reps that are focused on themselves are not going to help you accomplish what you need. 

Actionable Tips to Get a Great Deal and Strengthen Relationships

Now that we’ve looked at why a bad sales rep can cost you, let’s explore some actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

  1. Do your research

Mistake: Not doing research 

Tip: Before making a software purchase, do your research. Look for reviews and testimonials from other customers, check the software provider’s website and social media accounts, and speak with current or past customers if possible. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid wasting time and money.

  1. Communicate your needs

Mistake: Not communicating your needs 

Tip: When speaking with a sales rep, be clear and specific about your needs. This will help the sales rep understand your needs and make appropriate recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.

Statistic: According to a survey by TechValidate, 97% of B2B buyers said that the sales rep’s ability to understand their needs was an important factor in their decision to purchase.

  1. Negotiate

Mistake: Not negotiating

Tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the sales rep. Ask for discounts or special pricing, especially if purchasing multiple licenses or a long-term contract. If the sales rep is unwilling to negotiate, consider speaking with management or looking for a different software provider.

Statistic: According to a survey by HubSpot, 89% of B2B buyers said negotiating pricing was an important factor in their decision to purchase.

Get in Touch with Us to Avoid That Bad Software and Sales Rep

As a customer, if you’re looking to buy software, you want to get the best possible deal and build a strong relationship with the software provider. We’ll help you avoid those bad sales reps that cost you, and we’ll provide even more actionable tips on how to get a great software deal and strengthen relationships.

 

  1. Don’t let a lousy software sales rep cost you more. Look for warning signs like poor communication and lack of support. IBM License Metric Tool

 

  • Don’t settle for vague timelines or complex deployments. A good sales rep should be clear and transparent.
  • Watch out for hidden costs and “shelf-ware” bundles. A good sales rep will work to provide value and meet your needs.
  • Work with a sales rep who prioritizes your goals and vision, not just their own. Loyalty and support are critical.
  • Choose a sales rep who values security and supports your business needs. Don’t compromise on protection or solutions.

 

  1. Don’t keep a bad sales rep if you want a great software deal and strong relationships.
  • Look for warning signs like poor communication, lack of support, and unclear timelines.
  • Don’t settle for hidden costs or unnecessary “shelf-ware” bundles. A good sales rep should provide value.
  • Prioritize your own goals and vision. Choose a sales rep who will support you and work to meet your needs.
  • Don’t compromise on security or protection. Choose a sales rep who values these aspects of software purchasing.
  • Take control of the purchasing process. Don’t let a bad sales rep drive up costs or hurt your relationship with your provider.

As businesses continue to rely more and more on software, the role of the sales representative has become increasingly important. A good sales rep can help enterprises to find the right software at the right price, while a bad sales rep can do the opposite. In fact, a bad sales rep could end up costing your business more than just money. According to a study by HubSpot, over 50% of customers say they have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. So, how do you avoid keeping a bad sales rep, get an excellent software deal, and strengthen your business relationships?

  1. Identify Warning Signs

The first step in avoiding a bad sales rep is to know what to look for. Here are some warning signs that you might have a bad sales rep:

  • A sales rep who is challenging to reach, doesn’t respond to emails, or doesn’t listen to your needs is a red flag.
  • A good sales rep should be there to support you throughout the entire software purchasing process, not just during the sale.
  • Be wary of sales reps who aren’t transparent about costs or try to bundle unnecessary features or services.
  •  If the sales rep is only concerned with their own goals rather than yours, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Actionable Recommendation: Watch for these warning signs, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice concerns to their management team. A good sales rep will be transparent and responsive.

Error to Avoid: Don’t assume that a sales rep who seems nice or friendly will automatically be a good fit. Always do your research and ask questions.

  1. Prioritize Your Goals and Vision

Your business has unique needs and goals when it comes to software. A good sales rep should prioritize your vision, not theirs. Here are some ways to ensure that your goals are being met:

  • A good sales rep will be open and honest about what they can and can’t provide.
  • Your software needs might change over time. A good sales rep should be willing to adjust to your changing needs.
  • Look for a sales rep who provides ongoing support, not just during the sale.
  • A good sales rep will be loyal to you and your business, not just trying to make a quick sale.

Actionable Recommendation: Clearly articulate your goals and vision to potential sales reps. Look for reps who show a willingness to work with you to achieve these goals.

Error to Avoid: Don’t settle for a sales rep who tries to push their own agenda or goals onto your business. Always prioritize your own needs and vision.

  1. Don’t let your sales rep talk you into unnecessary add-ons:
  • Evaluate whether add-ons align with your goals and objectives
  • Ask for data or case studies that demonstrate how the add-on has helped similar clients
  • Push back if you feel like the add-on isn’t necessary or won’t provide a good ROI
  • Don’t let a bad sales rep pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for your business and your budget.

Sales reps are often incentivized to push additional products or services, even if they don’t add value to your specific needs. Before agreeing to any add-ons, take the time to evaluate whether they align with your goals and objectives. Ask your rep to provide data or case studies demonstrating how the add-on has helped other clients in similar industries. Don’t be afraid to push back if you feel the add-on isn’t necessary or won’t provide a good return on investment. 

Remember, it’s your business and your budget— don’t let a bad sales rep pressure you into making a decision that isn’t right for you.

Four Secrets of A Champion CIO

As a Chief Information Officer (CIO), one of your primary responsibilities is managing and optimizing your organization’s technology. To correctly manage technology includes ensuring you have the correct software licenses to support your business needs while controlling costs. This blog post will examine chief information officer roles, responsibilities, and secrets of champion CIOs who have excelled at software licensing and cost optimization.

The first step in optimizing your software licensing costs is clearly understanding your business needs. To know what you need, you must identify the specific software applications and tools required to support your operations and the number of users needing access to these applications. It’s essential to take the time to carefully assess your needs, as having too few licenses can result in productivity bottlenecks while having too many can lead to unnecessary costs.

  • Negotiate favourable terms

Once you clearly understand your software needs, it’s time to start negotiating with vendors. Champion CIOs are skilled at negotiating favourable terms with software vendors, including discounts on licensing fees and additional features or services at no extra cost. The role of a CIO here is to be upfront about your budget and willing to walk away if the vendor is unwilling to meet your needs.

 

  • Leverage volume licensing agreements

Volume licensing agreements allow organizations to purchase many licenses at a discounted price. These agreements are typically available for popular software applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite and can result in significant cost savings for organizations with many users. Champion chief information officers are adept at leveraging volume licensing (and combing with point 2 – negotiate favourable terms) agreements to get the best deal for their organization.

  • Monitor and review your licenses.

It’s essential to regularly review your software licensing agreements to ensure that you are still meeting your organization’s needs. A best practice is tracking the number of licenses you have in use and identifying areas where you may be over-licensed or under-licensed. The role of a CIO here is to be proactive in monitoring and reviewing their licenses and quickly make changes as needed to optimize costs.

In conclusion, optimizing your software licensing costs requires a combination of careful planning, strong negotiation skills, and ongoing review. By following the secrets of these champion CIOs, you can ensure that you have the correct software licenses to support your business needs while keeping costs under control. So, these are the secrets of four champion CIOs that will help optimize the cost of software licensing in your organization.

Bonus: Leverage data to your advantage

In today’s digital age, data is “the new oil” – a valuable resource that helps drive growth and innovation. A champion CIO method here seeks to understand the value of data and use it to advantage regarding software licensing and cost optimization. By collecting and analyzing software deployment and usage metrics data, CIOs can better understand how their software is used and identify areas where they can save costs.

For example, by tracking the number of active users for a particular software application, a CIO may discover they have more licenses than they need. They then use this data to negotiate a reduction in licensing fees with the vendor. Additionally, by analyzing data on software usage patterns, CIOs can identify underutilized applications and decide to discontinue them, reducing costs and simplifying the software environment.

In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world, having access to accurate and actionable data is essential for effective software licensing and cost optimization. A champion chief information officer understands the importance of data and uses it to gain insights that drive better decision-making and cost savings. Collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data can earn a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the curve in software licensing and cost optimization.

In summary, you can optimize software licensing costs in your organization by understanding your needs, negotiating favourable terms, leveraging volume licensing agreements, monitoring and reviewing your licenses, and leveraging data to your advantage. In today’s fast-paced and data-driven world, data is the new oil, and having access to accurate and actionable data is essential for effective software licensing and cost optimization. Using your own data around deployment and software usage metrics will give you the most leverage possible for cost optimization.

For more information on how our services at MetrixData 360 can meet the needs of your technology and financial departments, contact us today. Let’s work with you and your chief information officer’s roles and responsibilities to manage and optimize your organization’s technology.

 

How to Tackle an Oracle Java Audit

How to Tackle an Oracle Java Audit

 

As the digital world continues to evolve rapidly, now more than ever, companies of all sizes need to be up to date with their Oracle Java licensing and software agreements. Contracts regarding Java can be notoriously difficult, time-consuming, and complicated – a task that many organizations are ill-equipped to manage on their own. Faced with challenges such as getting access to the right people in the company, understanding the contract terms and duties it holds, determining where discrepancies exist, or even knowing what licenses they have isn’t easy. 

 

That’s why a smart and strategic approach is required when it comes to tackling an Oracle Java audit. The nightmare of an Oracle Java audit does not have to be overwhelming. Prepare for success by making sure you have an in-depth understanding of these audits and follow the strategic steps discussed below.

Oracle Licensing Audits Explained

 

If you are in the process of acquiring an Oracle license, it’s important to understand what will be audited and what is expected of you. Oracle license audits carefully review your provisioning, deployment, usage, and configuration data to ensure compliance with licensing requirements. You should be aware that the audit covered the past 12 months, so all systems need to be licensed correctly and kept up-to-date on an ongoing basis. Any discrepancies found must also be addressed as part of the audit process.

 

Expert knowledge of Oracle licensing and OpenJDK terms and conditions is essential if you want to ensure your organization stays compliant. It’s also important to have a reliable record of each cycle of usage or application changes available throughout the auditing period. Taking the time to get informed about the processes involved helps managers successfully prepare for an effective examination by Oracle license auditors. The following three steps can further pave the way for a stress-free audit.

Step 1 – Locate Your Oracle Installations

 

The first step is to locate every Oracle installation. Even if they aren’t in active use, they might still need a license. And even if they don’t require one, you’ll need an accurate inventory of installations to track usage adequately. Oracle provides you with the ability to run certain proprietary scripts for this purpose, but using an Oracle-verified discovery and inventory tool is often the safest and most reliable option. 

 

Step 2 – Determine Your Oracle Compliance

 

Maintaining Oracle compliance can be a complex task, but understanding your obligations to the company is a crucial first step. Gathering detailed and specific data about your Oracle environment is key in order to compare it to necessary specifications and accurately determine areas of non-compliance. 

 

Although Oracle does provide scripts for this purpose, it is strongly recommended that you look into using an Oracle-verified tool instead. Relying on standard discovery tools or spreadsheets alone may not give you the comfort level needed to assume that all gaps have been covered. Using an Oracle-verified tool will help cover you in those instances where manual tracking may fail.

Step 3 – Make Use of Additional Audit Tips

In today’s complex Oracle-driven environment, organizations need to be extra diligent when it comes to licensing. An effective tool for this purpose is an Oracle license management tool. This powerful software helps you stay compliant by alerting you when features, packs, and options are activated, allowing you to determine why they were engaged in the first place. This means that should a license audit occur, you can provide evidence of why any additional licenses aren’t needed, helping you avoid unnecessary costs or penalties. 

Conclusion 

Staying on top of Oracle licensing terms and conditions, as well as having the necessary documentation available throughout auditing in Java, is essential for compliance success. The best way to achieve this is by educating yourself with expert knowledge so you are prepared for any potential audit. Once you understand the process, there are three simple steps you can take to ensure a smooth experience: maintain organized records that document Oracle installation usage patterns, identify gaps in Oracle compliance, and, finally, leverage effective Oracle licensing management tools. By taking these preliminary steps, you will set yourself up for a stress-free audit and have greater confidence that your organization’s compliance goals will be achieved.

What are Software Audits, and Why Are They On The Rise?

Recent years have seen an uptick in software audits, with more companies being asked to provide evidence of licensing compliance. This is largely due to the fact that organizations are now using more software than ever before, with an increasing number of employees working remotely.

Watchdog groups like the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Federation of Software Theft (FAST) serve the sole purpose of ensuring the protection of software vendors’ intellectual property. These groups and software vendors are dedicated to discovering and auditing non-compliant organizations every single day with little to no notice. According to Gartner, the likelihood of an assessment for a medium to a large firm over the next two years is predicted to be 40%, which is expected to rise by 20% annually.

But why do software vendors act in this manner? 

Simply put, the main motivator is money. Revenue from software sales fell when the American economy saw a downturn and software expenditures were slashed. Software vendors were forced to hunt for alternative income sources when these profits started to decline. Audit fines and penalties of several hundred thousand dollars to even millions of dollars appeared as lucrative options for these vendors. According to the BSA, 25% of businesses that operate in the US are non-compliant in some way, costing software vendors an estimated $6 billion in the loss. 

 

What is a Software Audit?

A software audit is an assessment of a company’s compliance with software licensing agreements. Organizations that use pirated or unlicensed software can be subject to expensive penalties, including fines and damages. In some cases, they may even be required to forfeit their business’ computers and other equipment. 

 

How Do Organizations Fall Out of Compliance?

 The truth is that conformity is not simple. It involves more than just purchasing adequate licenses. Even techies typically struggle to completely comprehend software licensing laws because they are so sophisticated, and even when they do, modifications to the regulations occur so often that it is challenging to stay up to date. 

Most businesses lose their ability to comply with the rules when they lack proper record keeping and miscomprehend software usage rights. Both parameters are equally crucial to stay in compliance. The first approach is to have clear visibility into your integrated software usage. In the unfortunate case of your company being audited, this can be an added benefit because you will be able to provide records immediately and demonstrate your good faith efforts to adhere to the regulations.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to have an attorney or specialist who excels in contract negotiations. They can elaborate to you how you can lawfully utilize your software, saving you from involuntary non-compliance. Avoid attempting to resolve this on your own, as it is easy to misinterpret or fail to notice crucial facets of software use terms and conditions. For instance, there have been instances where a business has expanded internationally and had staff members using software in other countries. They believed this was acceptable since they had many licenses, but since those licenses were only intended for use in the United States, they were in violation without even recognizing it. 

 

How to Lower Your Risk of Being Audited

  1. Exhibit a Sound Understanding to the Software Auditors 

To show that you have a good grasp of your software agreements, it is crucial that you respond to any inquiries the auditors pose in an efficient and thorough manner. In order to achieve this, you’ll need a workforce in control of the project, a SAM solution in place to oversee your software inheritance, and frequent internal audit findings to get a complete picture of your software assets utilization. 

This is especially true if your business has just undergone a merger or acquisition or if it is a large corporation with numerous branches. Such circumstances will make you prone to disorganization, which in turn raises the possibility of overlooking factors important for compliance.

  1. Stay Prepared

Inform your staff on the importance of software asset management, and prepare a defense plan in case a software inspection occurs. Even if a software audit is conducted, a quick assessment with a few fines will show the software provider that you are not an easy catch. Preparing includes having your licenses in order, appointing a specific person to oversee your company’s software audit, and having an audit defense strategy in place. Knowing what to do will ensure that every software audit of your company proceeds without incident and with the least amount of damage possible.

  1. Be aware of your Software Architecture

Establish an efficient asset life cycle, along with a streamlined procedure to purchase and retire software resources to keep a close check on them. Failure to do this can lead to the acquisition of numerous unnecessary licenses, which quietly drain the company’s IT budget. Keep track of what licenses you have and how many licenses you need so that you can stay compliant. Additionally, make sure that only authorized users have access to your organization’s software. Implement user controls and set up alerts so that you can immediately spot any unauthorized access or usage. 

Often, the majority of software audits search in the company’s Active Directory (AD) to assess compliance. A company’s AD contains all devices and accounts—not just those that are currently in use—that have ever used their software resources. There will be ex-employees in your Active Directory, along with devices that have been gathering dust in the company’s store, and the auditors will claim that each of these entities needs a license.

 

Conclusion 

Monitoring your software resources will cost much less than having them audited. In addition to achieving compliance, successfully managing your software and how they are used also ensure that your software resources are used to their full potential. You may delete shelfware and restructure your agreements to ensure that every software program you have is being successfully utilized. Efficient asset administration has no drawbacks because the added administrative costs will eventually result in equal cost reductions. By making sure all of your organization’s software is properly licensed and keeping track of who is using it and when, you can help your company avoid costly penalties associated with non-compliance.

Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third-Party Cloud Providers

Bring Your Own License (BYOL) Rules on Third Party Cloud Providers

Software licensing is ridiculously confusing, and its hyper complexity is not slowing down anytime soon. This confusion can easily lead to overspending, which equates to more money in the software vendor’s pockets, taken at the expense of your company’s software budget. how does overspending occur? One key reason behind our client’s overspending stems from the complexity of Bring Your Own License rules (BYOL) on their third-party cloud providers. 

At MetrixData360, we have helped hundreds of companies save millions of dollars, in this article, we will clear the waters by showing you the steps you can take to mitigate any potential areas of overspending in your software licensing environment.

 

 

 

Rule Change 

Microsoft changed its rules as of 1st October 2019 around how Microsoft products are licensed in 3rd party hosting scenarios.  These changes primarily impact AWS, Google, and Alibaba clouds (although others are affected).  The concept of Bring Your Own Licenses (BYOL) is influenced significantly by these changes.  Before these changes, as long as you had hardware dedicated to your use (i.e., were not using shared infrastructure), you could BYOL now.  With these changes, you may be required to purchase subscription licenses for these products through the hoster (e.g., Windows Servers, Office).  Specific versions may still be licensed via BYOL if licenses were acquired for those products before October 2019 or on a contract still active as of October 2019. 

 

To understand these rights, you must review the Microsoft Product Terms.  Below are the relevant sections: 

 

 

  1. Customers may use the server software on a Licensed Server, provided it acquires sufficient Server Licenses as described below. 

 

A Licensed Server is: 

A Licensed Server means a single Server, dedicated to the Customer’s use, to which a License is assigned.  Dedicated Servers that are under the management or control of an entity other than the Customer or one of its Affiliates are subject to the Outsourcing Software Management clause.  For purposes of this definition, a hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate Server. 

 

 

The Outsourcing Software Management clause states: 

Customers may install and use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the day-to-day management and control of Authorized Outsourcers, provided all such Servers and other devices are and remain fully dedicated to Customer’s use.  The customer is responsible for all of the obligations under its volume licensing agreement regardless of the physical location of the hardware upon which the software is used.  Except as expressly permitted here or elsewhere in these Product Terms, the Customer is not permitted to install or use licensed copies of the software on Servers and other devices that are under the management or control of a third party. 

 

Authorized Outsourcer means any third-party service provider that is not a Listed Provider and is not using Listed Provider as a Data Center Provider as part of the outsourcing service. 

 

AWS is a Listed Provider.  Next, we need to determine if we have a right to utilize software at the Listed Providers through Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance right: 

 

License Mobility through Software Assurance 

Under License Mobility Through Software Assurance (SA), Customer may move its licensed software to shared servers under any of its Licenses which are designated as having License Mobility for which it has SA, subject to the requirements below.  Products used for Self-Hosting may be used at the same time under License Mobility through SA rights, subject to the limitations of the Self-Hosting License Terms.  

 

Permitted Use: 

With License Mobility through SA, Customer may: 

      • Run its licensed software on shared servers;  
      • Access that software under access licenses and for which it has SA, and under its User and Device SLs that permit access to the Products;  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on shared servers; and/or  
      • Manage its OSEs that it uses on its servers using software that it runs on shared servers. 

 

Requirements: 

To use License Mobility through SA, the Customer must: 

      • Run its licensed software and manage its OSEs on shared servers under the terms of its volume licensing agreement;  
      • Deploy its Licenses only with Microsoft Azure Services or qualified License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner; and 
      • Complete and submit the License Mobility Validation form with each License Mobility through Software Assurance Partner who will run its licensed software on their shared servers. 

 

License Mobility allows for use on a shared server.  Products that have this right associated with them allow BYOL (as long as you have active Software Assurance).  Next, we need to see if a product has Server Mobility.  For Windows Server: 

 

4. Software Assurance 

 

Windows Server does not include License Mobility rights.  For Windows Server (or any product without License Mobility), this means BYOL is only available for versions that were released before October 2019 and for which licenses were acquired prior (or on active contracts as of October 2019) to October 2019 

 

 

Please refer to the current Product Terms to ensure this info is still accurate as Microsoft makes changes frequently to their licensing rules. 

 

Start Saving on Your Software Licensing

Being able to cut software licensing costs will mean money back into the IT department for smarter and more innovative investments. This can be done by tracking the life cycles of your assets through the successful deployment of an inventory tool (along with someone who can effectively read it), through having a clear understanding of usage during contract negotiations, carefully considering your migration to the Cloud, and by conducting internal audits to ensure compliance.

At Metrixdata360, we can help you cut down your costs to save you from unnecessary drains on your budget and potentially heavy audit penalties. Don’t put off saving money, get your free consultation today!

Licensing a Disaster Recovery Environment in Oracle

Nothing calls for disaster recovery (DR) more than 2020, which makes this the perfect time to consider disaster recovery environments.

However, when it comes to Oracle, it can be tricky to figure out what your contracts allow you to do when it comes to creating a proper DR environment for even the stickiest of situations.

The last thing you want is to run up against compliance issues with Oracle, who is known for their brutal software audits, especially in matters of disaster recovery. At MetrixData 360, we are experts in both managing our client’s compliance issues as they arise and proactively ensuring they never occur again.

Here’s what our Software Asset Management Experts have to say about how to properly license your DR environments.

What is a Disaster Recovery Environment?

Every business has mission-critical information they need to protect and keep accessible at all times. This is why every business should have some form of disaster recovery in place. Disaster recovery is a method of security planning with the goal of protecting that data from any significant negative events.

Common types of disaster scenarios are as follows:

  • Application Failure:

    Commonly seen as a result of hardware or software configuration. DR solutions around this scenario involve application backups or active-to-active failovers.
  • Network Failure:

    When you have a full or partial Cloud environment, losing connection to this environment could be the result of power outages or performance issues. DR solutions for this scenario involve strengthening the connection to the organization’s network or creating multiple access points to the network in order to create sufficient redundancies.
  • Data Center Failure:

    Often seen as a result of mass power outages or natural disasters, which results in the loss of connection to whole data centers or domains. Creating a DR solution for this event involves potentially deploying applications across multiple domains if you have them.
  • Region Fail:

    Most likely the result of the most severe disasters, when whole regions lose either power or connection of their network. To protect against this event, you can deploy your workload over multiple Oracle Cloud infrastructures in a variety of regions.

It is the IT department’s job to ensure that this protected data is constantly updated, maintained, and easy to access, so that the organization can continue to run as normally as possible under the circumstances. Although smaller industries may be hesitant to invest in funding for a situation that has yet to occur, it is usually better to be safe than sorry.

While Disaster Recovery as a whole involves many different working elements including a DR plan, personnel, actions for dealing with financial and legal issues etc., this blog post will only be focusing on how to license the Disaster Recovery environments that organizations have built.

How to License a Disaster Recovery Environment

Since your DR environment is only used when disaster strikes, your organization (hopefully) does not have to use it constantly, in which case it may feel like you don’t have to license the environment. However, to assess whether your DR environment needs to be licensed, consider the following:

  • Check Your License Agreement and the General Terms:

    All the rules that you need to adhere to can be found in your licensing agreement, or your Oracle Master Agreement (OMA) if you have one, and any other documents that the agreement refers to.   There may be versions of basic contracts online, but these might be out of date and may not accommodate for any unique licensing metric you may have. For instance, some companies have a licensing metric based on your company’s annual revenue or the number of employees that you have. If there is any language in the contract that is ambiguous, you should seek out clarification from your Oracle rep.
  • Remote Mirroring:

    With Remote Mirroring, your data is stored in an identical storage unit or shared disk array in a dispersed location through the use of solutions like Veritas Volume Replicator, EMC SRDF, Legato Relator, and EMS StorageEdge. In this instance, both the mirrored database and the unit its replicating will need the same licenses.
  • Standby:

    With Standby, copies of the primary database are maintained on standby servers, which are dispersed geographically and any changes or updates the primary server experiences is replicated in the standby databases. In this situation, both the standby and the primary databases need to be fully licensed using the same metric.
  • Backups:

    Backups refer to a copy of a physical database structure. In the event of the loss of the original data, the backup files will be used to reconstruct the lost information. This copy may include critical elements of the database’s physical structure like control and data files and redo logs and can be stored either on a server, a storage array, a disk drive etc. Oracle will allow you to keep these copies in a storage device without needing to purchase a license but when the disaster occurs, and the data is taken from storage and installed onto the recovery server, you’ll need a license.
  • Your Oracle Licenses Match:

    It’s important to make sure that your DR servers have the same licensing metric (Processor or Named User Plus) as the primary server that it is supporting. DRs and their primary servers must also have matching database options and packs. When it comes to this coordination, you’ll find that Oracle is particularly unyielding and so it is important that any mismatching licensing is addressed before you are confronted with it during an audit.

Situations Where Licensing Isn’t Required for Disaster Recovery

While typically Oracle requires you to license any and all environments where their software is present, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

  • Failovers:

    A failover is where a database that is running on a primary server can be moved to a secondary server in the event that the primary fails. Oracle will allow a database to be run on this unlicensed secondary server for 10 days.   This scenario is allowed when both the primary and the secondary servers exist within a single cluster and share a single disk array or storage device. In this scenario only the failover server is free and once the primary server has been repaired, the database is required to switch back to the primary server. It’s also important to note that Oracle does not equate one day to 24 hours scattered over a long period of time. If the failover server is active for an hour one day and two hours another day, that counts for two days. You are only allowed to have one free failover node per cluster for up to ten separate days even if you have multiple nodes configured as failovers. This scenario also does not apply to VMware environments. If you would like to license your failover environments, you’ll need matching licenses to the databases the failovers will be supporting.
  • Testing:

    Oracle’s customers are allowed to use tape and disk backups of databases for the purpose of recreating that database for the use of testing. You can run this duplicated database on an unlicensed server four times per year, with a time restriction of two days for each test, at which time the database must either be removed from the server or will be considered licensable in the eyes of Oracle.

Be Ready for Anything with Properly Licensed Disaster Recovery

It’s always better to be prepared, whether that is getting your software environment ready for a natural disaster or making sure your licenses are orderly in the event of a software audit from Oracle.

It would be a terrible situation to discover that the very thing that was supposed to be there to keep your business afloat could cost you a staggering amount in compliance gap thanks to under licensed servers.

At MetrixData 360, our goal is to ensure you only pay for what you need to and to fight for your best interests when you go up against Oracle. If you’d like to know more about what our services entail when it comes to your Oracle Licensing, you can check out our Contract Negotiation page for more information.

Getting Ready to Certify Your ULA

Oracle’s ULA: Ready to Leave or Willing to Stay?
Consequences of Both

When your company is in an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA), the deal is that you hand over a single up-front payment and you get access to the licenses for a select set of Oracle products. With the volatile market, you may be asking if you should certify your ULA, and what it takes to complete an Oracle ULA Certification?

Of those select products, you can order an unlimited number of licenses for a set period of time, either three years or five years. The only costs in between renewals are the maintenance fees, which are 25% of the cost of the license. There are many reasons an organization would find this set up appealing:

  • It provides predictability in terms of costs, giving organizations the opportunity to plan for that expense.
  • It’s ideal for heavy users of Oracle products.
  • It puts a wide variety of products on a single payment, making the process of purchasing licenses that much easier.
  • The risks of having your ULA audited are minor.
  • It is sometimes purchased for the preparation of a large, long term project to accommodate potential growth.

Despite these advantages, the ULA can also be restrictive or even a trap for your company. Organizations might get into a ULA with the best intentions and end up staying in one simply because it’s easier to renew than to leave.

There may come a point where the maintenance fees no longer make the ULA a suitable option and you think about getting out of the agreement.

What does this shift look like?

At MetrixData 360, we have been working through tricky licensing agreements with Oracle for many years and we want you to know what you can expect and how you can prepare.

Why Certify Your ULA?

COVID

Signing up for a three-year business plan is a great strategy for times of stability and predictability. However, COVID-19 mixed with its following recession and the threat of a second or third wave means that flexibility and the ability to roll with the punches will be a critical element to future business plans. This is something that the rigid structure of the ULA doesn’t provide.

Freedom

Freedom: Flexibility has become essential as our world is rocked by constant uncertainty but also when it comes to the constant shift of technology. The ULA is rather rigid in the products you can pick from, and if new products are released that would fit your organization better, you wouldn’t be able to simply add it to your ULA. When you are in your ULA, you will also experience pressure from Oracle towards products that don’t fit your needs but suit their agenda. ULA customers often experience pressure to move to Oracle’s Cloud products, for instance. You will also find that trying to negotiate the price and products of your ULA is particularly difficult. Getting out of the ULA, even temporarily, will give you the freedom to explore your alternatives.

Cut Potential Costs

Few businesses have gotten out of the pandemic unscathed and many people’s top priority is to pinch pennies for short term cash flow and avoid costs wherever possible. Extending your ULA can often be more costly than simply certifying out, especially when you take into account the fact that support costs can add up over time. This rising expense comes with no added value, Oracle is simply increasing the prices on products you may not even be using because they know you are chained to your chair. If you certify out now, you can also simply sign up for another ULA later when things are more stable.

ULA and Audit Risks

Staying with the ULA

Oracle hasn’t been faring very well during 2020, as their Q4 report for 2020 has revealed with its release in mid-June. It doesn’t help that May, which was traditionally Oracle’s most lucrative month, was also the worst month of the pandemic.

Oracle is currently faced with record low numbers and many customers are worried this will result in more audits. It certainly won’t result in fewer audits.

While the products within your ULA might be safe, the products that are not a part of your ULA will be targeted. Since you have a ULA, members of your organization could have easily gotten mixed up about which products are covered under the ULA and which are not, meaning that you may be targeted for unlicensed products thinking that they were safe under the ULA.

Certifying Your ULA

When it comes to their ULA users, Oracle tends to be rather lenient and leaves you to your own devices (pun intended). You’re left in charge of keeping track of your own licenses and Oracle rarely bothers to check up on you.

Many organizations, as a result, tend to lose track of their deployments. Employees will install Oracle products after having been granted little or no authorization, resulting in sprawl and shadow IT.

As a result, when you are certifying out of your ULA and it comes time to declare how many licenses you have, Oracle will suspect that your declared number is little more than a guess. After losing the ensured revenue from your ULA, Oracle will happily make up for the losses by checking the state of your sprawl for potential compliance gaps.

At the end of the audit, they might even propose you renew your ULA instead of paying for the compliance gap they find. In other words, once you certify out of your ULA, it’s safe to assume an audit will be coming your way in 6 to 18 months.

What Do You Need To Do Before You Certify Your ULA?

Before you get excited and drop the news on Oracle that you’re letting them go, you’ll need to make sure you have everything ready for your departure.

1. Plan Your Exit

It’s best that you start preparing for your exit well ahead of time, at least 12 months before your ULA is up for renewal. There’s nothing in your contract that says you can’t hand in your certification for your ULA much sooner than the expiration date, and the last thing you want to do is run past the due date and be forced to renew.

2. Understand How You Certify Out

The certification process itself is quite simple. You merely need to write a letter signed by a C-level executive of your company, complete with the number of licenses you are certifying, and it needs to be submitted within 30 days of your ULA’s expiration. Finding those numbers, on the other hand, will be easier said than done.

3. Tell Your Team You Are Certifying Out

Communication between departments is not always top priority in large organizations. It’s important you convey that you are getting out of Oracle’s ULA to any employees who might install Oracle products with the same carefree attitude they expressed while the ULA was still in place.

4. Take Inventory and Perform a Self Audit

This will be the quickest way to decide whether certifying out is the best thing for your business right now. It will keep you from having to guess your usage and exactly how much you’ll save by leaving your ULA.

A self-audit will also ensure that you are compliant with any contracts you have with Oracle, and that the licenses you will be declaring are accurate. Now is the time to chase after any unknown information in regard to sprawl or shadow IT that may have cropped up under your ULA.

This is important to do before you certify out in order to maintain control over the certification process.

Oracle may want to take the lead by offering to certify you and it’s important you don’t let them. This will give them control over a process that they didn’t want to happen in the first place, and they will take as long as they wish.

Get Control Over Your Software Spend

There’s no need to keep a toxic relationship going if all your partner does is take and take, and it’s the same with your Oracle ULA.

Perhaps at one point it served your company well but if the agreement has grown old and stale in your mouth then you should have the freedom to leave and explore your options, lest you be stuck paying for a ULA that is simply a waste of money.

At MetrixData 360, we have your back throughout every step of this process. We can help you conduct a self-audit to create an accurate depiction of your deployment and usage, we know how to talk to Oracle so that you don’t feel pressured throughout these seemingly one-sided negotiations. We will teach you how to keep your head above water in the event of an Oracle audit.

If you would like more information on how MetrixData 360 can help you through an Oracle ULA Certification, you can visit our Audit Defense page.

Oracle’s 2020 Q4 Report Is In, Does It Mean An Audit For You?

Oracle released their 2020 Q4 report and it may mean that there are Oracle Audits coming. Software audits can be a living nightmare if you find yourself unprepared, leaving the possibility for things to spiral out of control until the next thing you know you’re facing outlandishly large compliance gaps no idea how to prove them wrong. Oracle audits are no exception to this and many of their customers find themselves at a loss when confronted with one. While we have covered how to handle a general audit, there are a few things about Oracle audits that make them unique, which is what we’ll go over today. At, MetrixData 360, we have gone up against the biggest software companies in the software industry today and have empowered our clients with the knowledge they need to walk away from such audits with minimal damage to their IT budget.

Oracle’s Results Released for Q4

On June 16, 2020, Oracle released its Q4 report for their fiscal year and the results show case exactly how hard Oracle has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic . The report showed four areas of Oracle’s business that were suffering. First, the Cloud services and licenses support, which saw only a 1% increase in revenue over the past year, which is a considerably weak increase since, historically, Oracle has seen a 4% increase in that same category. Their other main streams of revenue have declined with hardware seeing a 9% dip, services seeing an 11% dip, and cloud licenses and on-prem licenses seeing a staggering nosedive of 22%.

Those are 2008-recession levels of bad and it doesn’t help that Oracle’s traditionally highest grossing month is May, where they haul in almost 40% of their year’s total revenue. May was also the same month that saw the worst of the pandemic lock down, where the last thing on anyone’s mind was buying more software. Part of this may be just a COVID-19 blip, with Oracle having only to make it to the other side of this truly terrible year before they can see their usual numbers again. However, these numbers have many of Oracle’s customers sweating at what this might mean for Oracle audits.

From the Beginning: What Attracts an Oracle Audit, and How to Respond to Receiving One

With this news, there is a strong chance that there will be an increase in audits, and it’s suspected that these audits will be aimed towards small to medium size companies with lower investments in Oracle, while companies who have large investments in Oracle are not expected to feel any significant changes. But while there might not be any significant increase for these large companies when it comes to Oracle audits, there will certainly not be a decrease in them any time soon, so it’s important that you are prepared all the same. While some software companies have routine audits or send out audits at random, Oracle tends to be a bit more precise when it comes to who they audit.

Generally, you can expect an Oracle audit once every 3-4 years, unless your last audit was restricted to only a single Oracle product or area of your software environment, then you can expect to be audited more frequently. Your Oracle audit may have been brought on by any of the following factors occurring in the past 24 months at your organization:

  • You’ve gone through a merger or acquisition
  • You are still in possession of old or outdated Oracle software whose metrics are no longer used by Oracle
  • You’ve conducted a hardware environment refresh
  • Your organization has seen an organic growth of 10% or greater
  • You have trimmed back on Oracle products in any way such as cancelling or reducing support from Oracle
  • You have an Unlimited Licensing Agreement (ULA), since it is suspected that Oracle will be focusing its auditing efforts on either getting you to renew your ULA or switch to a perpetual ULA

When you receive either an Oracle License Review or an Oracle License Audit, don’t let the different names distract or tempt you to take the Review as less serious than the Audit. They are essentially the same in both process and stakes. The only real difference between the two is that ‘review’ is a friendly, less threatening term when compared to an audit.

LMS and Oracle Tools: Dealing with Both

Oracle Licensing Management Service (LMS) is the internal team from Oracle that you will likely be dealing with throughout your audit. Although it is possible for Oracle to outsource the project to their partners, and other departments of Oracle will perform audit-like services such as reviews, their internal audit team is the only department authorized to perform License Audits on behalf of Oracle.

When you interact with Oracle’s LMS, one consistent element that you’ll run into is that they will want you to run their own, Oracle approved, SAM tools to collect the data from your software environment. Your first goal in this audit is to make sure that your tools are used instead, an argument which we cover in length in our Software Audit Defense Procedure . While you are required to comply with the audit, nowhere in your contract does it require you to install their SAM tools. So long as you can prove that your own SAM tools can accurately retrieve the data that Oracle is asking for, then there is nothing wrong with using your own tools.

Who Foots the Bill? The Old Oracle vs. the New Post COVID Oracle

In the past, Oracle’s audits and their sales reps had the same goal: sales for the sake of sales. Sales reps got commission annually for every transaction, these numbers were usually 1% of the contract value, and if it was cloud services they were selling, that number rose to a tantalizing 5-10%. So, sales reps preferred cloud services and at the end of an audit, it was often the case that cloud services would come up when it was time for settlement. Oracle has essentially offered its audited customers get-out-of-jail free cards in exchange for the purchase of cloud services at a much smaller cost than your compliance gap, even if you didn’t need the cloud solution you are purchasing. All the sales rep really cared about was selling the services, it didn’t matter to them if you never used it again afterwards, since they got to walk away with that 5%-10% commission jingling in their pockets.

Now, however, Oracle has made a few changes to their sales rep models. They have significantly cut back on their staff numbers, and have put the vast majority of the remaining sales reps on the task of exclusively selling cloud services, and will only see that same level of compensation if their customers use the cloud services that were sold to them. This means that you will not see be seeing any cloud service deals at the end of your audit, you’ll just be expected to pay the compliance gap, which will be painfully more expensive than the previous alternative.

Now, however, Oracle has made a few changes to their sales rep models. They have significantly cut back on their staff numbers, and have put the vast majority of the remaining sales reps on the task of exclusively selling cloud services, and will only see that same level of compensation if their customers use the cloud services that were sold to them. This means that you will not see be seeing any cloud service deals at the end of your audit, you’ll just be expected to pay the compliance gap, which will be painfully more expensive than the previous alternative.

In addition to these costs, if you are found to be out of compliance by a significant degree, then you will be forced to cover the expenses for the entire software audit, including any expenses that Oracle racks up.

 

How Should I prepare?

Once you have received a software audit notice from Oracle, you will have about 45 days to respond. During that time, you need to get the following ready:

  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement: This will ensure that any information that you give to the auditors must remain between you and them unless they ask for your consent to send it to the rest of Oracle’s higher ups. This will allow you to remain in control of how Oracle perceives your organization and your compliance, both of which will become important when you enter into the negotiation and settlement phase of the audit.
  • A Single Point of Contact (SPC): You will need to make sure that you have a team to act as a single point of contact (ideally with legal, technical, and Oracle specialization) in place who will exclusively deal with communications with Oracle’s audit team. The auditors will only talk to the SPC and anything that is passed from your organization to the auditors will pass under the SPC’s eyes first. Anyone who is planning to be interviewed by Oracle will discuss with the SPC what they are planning on saying and how they should answer Oracle’s questions. This isn’t done for the sake of hiding anything from Oracle, but this will help to keep track of where you stand with Oracle and ensures your negotiation strategies remain uncompromising.
  • A Scope for the Audit: This is done so that, in the case that you are not so far out of compliance as Oracle originally thought, they do not keep looking through your software environment trying to find the profit they anticipated, also referred to as ‘scope creep’.

This needs to be laid out during the kick-off meeting and it’s important that you do not let the data collection phase begin without those three things in place.

Want to become an Expert a Handling Software Audits?

No one will claim software audits are easy or simple, and if they claim it’s anything other than a thinly veiled attempt to squeeze more money out of your company, then they’re kidding themselves. Oracle audits can be especially tricky, considering the sheer size of Oracle’s company and the vast amount of resources you’ll be going up against. It can feel like you’re outnumbered and out of your depth as you’re surrounded by sharks who do this for a living. Which is why you don’t have to go through this experience alone. At MetrixData 360, we have created a whole reservoir of resources in order to better equip you to face any software audit that comes your way. If you would like to download our free e-book on a step-by-step process on handling software audits, you can click the link below.