Don’t wait for an Oracle audit – be proactive

Don’t wait for an Oracle audit be proactive.

Licence exposure is primarily impacted by any changes or breaches of your Oracle agreement(s), increase in usage, or where the physical architecture has changed inadvertently and therefore affected your usage.

As an IT Manager, Procurement professional or Software Asset Manager it is worth keeping a mental note or maintaining a risk register for these events so that on a quarterly basis you can carry out a quick assessment. Doing this regularly will lessen any potential financial exposure. Think of it as preventative medicine.

Any number of trigger events can warrant doing an internal Oracle licence review and by taking proactive action you could save your firm a large chunk of money.

Add the following bullet points to your risk register and diarise to check every quarter:-

  • Do you have plans to roll out a new data centre?
  • Have you made a large hardware purchase or are refreshing server and storage hardware in any of your data centres?
  • Are you implementing or thinking about a new disaster recovery plan?
  • Are you moving into the cloud?
  • Have you acquired a new company? 
  • Have you divested a company? 
  • Have you relocated or changed geographies?
  • Have you renamed your organisation or changed legal name? 
  • Are you using virtualization software or considering it? 
  • Any major reorganisation or change in IT/ Procurement Staff. 
  • Any changes in architecture, migration of legacy apps to new infrastructure.

Any of the above trigger events can potentially impact your licence compliance position. Not paying attention to any of these events could lead to unwanted financial exposure. Be proactive and take action to understand what your exposure might be. Being proactive will allow you to approach Oracle on your terms to gain the best discounts. Being challenged by Oracle and being on the back foot will ultimately cost more as Oracle will not honour any previous discounts and may charge back support fees.

Now it is also worth being proactive and tracking these trigger events whether in Procurement or IT because guess what?  Your Oracle sales rep is!  I was recently talking to an ex-Oracle sales rep and he shared with me some of the typical behaviors when reps get assigned a new set of accounts in June. End of June reps have a shake up so you may get an email or phone call introducing themselves as your new account manager (together with the other 6 or more 🙂 ).

The first thing a new sales rep does is look at past spending patterns. Then for each of their larger accounts they request a researcher to pull some analysis from tools like Hoovers. They go to the press releases and media sector of your website and see what acquisitions you have announced. They probably subscribe to the FT and set up email alerts. Perhaps they have also set up google alerts listening for mentions of your firm. They probably follow your company on Twitter. They may go to Oracle’s competitors and look for mentions of you in case studies or references. They will download annual reports. They will also join your earning calls. In short they are looking for trigger events. If your spend profile is not aligned with some of these public events you will get flagged for further investigation. Perhaps being referred to LMS or Cols. Now every sales rep I know would rather sell you value and more product but they are also under pressure from their management and will if they have to, play the compliance card. So be warned, they are tracking your organisation.

A final thought, if you have had any major churn of IT staff, senior IT management or senior buyers I would also recommend taking stock. Nothing worse than inheriting something and finding the holes under the duress of an Oracle Audit. Indeed if you are newly in post and need a quick risk assessment please do get in contact. We can perform these very quickly for minimal cost to ascertain whether further detailed digging is warranted.

So, in summary ask yourself has your firm or division experienced any of the above trigger events in the last 12 month? If you have then we highly recommend performing a risk assessment, it’s a “quick and dirty” high level view on where you may be at financial risk. Madora can help of course and it can take a few days typically to deliver a risk assessment.  The cost is minimal when weighed against the cost of paying post audit.  So do get in touch for a quick, confidential meeting or call with us, to see if we can help.  All conversations are confidential and we are happy to sign an NDA.  You don’t even have to share your organisation’s name.