Seven TRIGGERs That skyrocket you to the top of the oracle audit list


Let’s face it if you’re an Oracle customer, you have heard about Oracle License Management Services (LMS), and you know they come in and perform Oracle software license compliance audits. If you have not been audited yet, rest assured they have you on the list. Gartner published the results of a survey “Software Audits Are on the Rise, and Your Enterprise Might Be Next”

Read the article in its entirety >>HERE<<

Enterprise software vendors have discovered a software audit is an easy way to generate revenue. Some, like Oracle, are very aggressive in their approach to software audits. To quote General Counsel News Article by Christopher Barnet of Scott & Scott LLP,

Oracle maintains what I consider to be the most aggressive audit program of any major software publisher. Its licensing rules can be complicated to understand, and they frequently are not stated in the applicable license agreements. Moreover, Oracle’s License Management Services (LMS) team typically is unforgiving when it comes time to apply those rules, and it often uses Oracle’s ambiguous license terms and confusingly constructed contracts to prepare audit findings that can cause heart palpitations for business owners”.

Read the article in its entirety >>HERE<<

Under most U.S. law, you are innocent until proven guilty. This is not the case when it comes to Oracle compliance. The Licensee has the burden of proof to show usage complied with the license terms. It is important to know the answer to these essential questions. 

  • What would Oracle find in an audit of your environment?

  • Do you have proof of how Oracle was installed and running in your environment at all times?

Here are common reasons why your organization was or will be subject to an Oracle audit. 

Oracle Audit Trigger #1 – Oracle on VMware

Oracle LMS loves to target customers virtualizing Oracle on VMware® vSphere. If Oracle hears you are thinking of migrating onto VMware vSphere, it seems to be a quick way to make the audit list.

With VMware vSphere it's effortless to migrate workloads to different hosts while the application is running and Oracle LMS knows this. The latest versions of vSphere do predictive workload balancing automatically.  It is very important that steps are taken to configure Oracle workloads, so they don't accidentally run on an unlicensed host. 

To add to the problem, there is lots of fear, uncertianty and doubt (FUD) concerning the proper way to license Oracle on VMware. It’s vital that you work with a firm that understands the appropriate way to architect and licenses Oracle on VMware.  

A firm that can teach your staff the proper way to configure database workloads, so they can never run on an unlicensed host is invaluable.  A component of the LicenseFortress® solution is educating your DBAs and system admins of the proper way to configure Oracle on VMware. LicenseFortress is one of three companies in the world identified by VMware as experts on how to properly license Oracle on VMware without licensing issues. 


Oracle Audit Trigger #2 - Dismissal of Oracle Sales Recommendations

Oracle is very well known for its aggressive sales force. This sales force has been known to drop comments such as:

  • “Oracle RAC is not supported on VMware.”

  • "You are on the audit list make 'X' purchase I can take care of it.”

  • “You need to license every physical node in the cluster that Oracle might run on.

It should not surprise you to learn that  rejecting an Oracle deal may trigger an Oracle LMS Audit. 


Oracle Audit Trigger #3 - Merger and Acquisition or High Growth

Oracle pays attention to financial filings and the news. In our experience, a M&A event may trigger an audit. A company that makes headlines for high growth may trigger an audit. Oracle LMS equate rapid growth with the need for more Oracle licenses.  If you meet with an Oracle sales representative and they make a statement such as “We expected a company of your size to have more Oracle licenses.” That should be a red flag warning to get prepared for an audit. 


Oracle Audit Trigger #4 – Customer Hardware Refresh

In the past two years, if you have undergone a hardware refresh cycle, then be prepared to be audited. Oracle LMS understands that a hardware refresh most likely means an increase in the processor counts. A standard way to license Oracle databases is by the processor. During a hardware refresh, it's common to increase the processor count. 

If your organization changed the server types you were using, it’s crucial to check the Oracle Processor Core Factor table to make sure you are applying the correct license requirements. It very common for customers to forget to do this. At LicenseFortress, we made education a standard part of our product offering. The better educated your DBA’s and system admins are concerning licensing, the less likely you are to make a mistake.


Oracle Audit Trigger #5 – Currently Under an Oracle ULA

An Oracle ULA is an Unlimited Licensing Agreement to provide unlimited licenses for a specified period of time for a set of technology, products and/or applications. Oracle may audit you for products or applications not covered by the ULA. When an ULA is close to expiration, this may trigger an audit. 

A common mistake made by an organization is not managing the use of technology when they are under the ULA agreement. It’s imperative to know what and how many Oracle products you are using.  Don’t wait until the ULA is about to expire to figure it all out.  


Oracle Audit Trigger #6 – Displacing an Oracle Solution in the last Two Years

Oracle does not want to lose any of your business. They will use the leverage of an Oracle LMS audit to discourage you from displacing an Oracle solution both hardware or software.  They will look to see if the use of third-party software triggered additional use of Oracle licenses. There is a lot of FUD concerning the proper way to license Oracle such as statements like: "That solution is not certified by Oracle."


Oracle Audit Trigger #7 – Being an Oracle Customer

Being an Oracle customer is what ALL Oracle audits have in common. It’s not a matter of IF you will be audited by Oracle License Management Services or one of its partners, it’s a matter of WHEN. As the Gartner survey noted, software audits are on the rise. The motivation for increasing the numbers of audits performed each year is quite simple; audits are an easy source of additional revenue. To increase the number of audits that can be achieved each year many vendors including Oracle are using authorizing third parties to perform the checks.

The bottom line: Oracle audits are not random. The more audits Oracle LMS performs, the more revenue opportunities they create. A key point to remember: The Licensee has the burden of proof to show usage complied with the license terms.

It’s essential to have a process and tools in place to efficiently manage Oracle software compliance. Education needs to be part of any solution you adopt. The better educated your staff is, the better you will realize the full value of your Oracle software investment.


We Can Help

LicenseFortress offers real-time Oracle compliance management and audit protection with the industry’s only guarantee. We have a number of products and services that can help. 

LicenseFortress On Oracle

We have four tiers of LicenseFortress® on Oracle to meet all financial budget and business constraints: 

With LicenseFortress you get Real-Time License Compliance Management, Access to License Experts, Pricing Database, LicenseFortress Training Academy Audit Defense and a lot more. Read more >>>

Audit Defense

It’s inevitable — like death and taxes — and about as enjoyable. If you buy an Oracle® license for any of their products, you will be audited. It may be called a “license review,” but do not kid yourself, it is an audit and comes with all the pain and fines that any audit brings. At LicenseFortress we can help.  Read more >>>

Contract Negotiation

Most Oracle® customers think of their contracts as simple purchasing documents that allow them to use Oracle® software. Oracle® knew this and optimized its contract process based on the strengths and weaknesses of their customers’ procurement and negotiating processes. With every consolidation, new purchase, migration, or contract change, there is an opportunity for Oracle® to reverse what customers previously negotiated. Read more >>>

License Optimization

As your organization grows and your hardware and IT environment change companies are looking to maximize their license investments without maximizing the cost.  We are all about increasing your utilization and using 100% of what you already purchased. At licenseFortress, we understand complex architectures and can help Organization optimize their Oracle Licenses. Read more >>>

Oracle ULA Services

At LicenseFortess we understand Oracle Unlimited License agreements and the common mistakes people make. We can help you negotiate, Manage and transition from an Oracle ULA Agreement.  Read more >>>

Oracle on VMware

However, be aware that most licensing consultants do not have the technical staff to analyze the results of an Oracle audit and aid in the negotiations. They do not have the technical capabilities to re-architect a solution or implement restrictions to prevent license compliance issues. The list gets even smaller when your business sits on a virtualized infrastructure like vSphere. At LicenseFortress we have deep domain expertise on VSphere and all its capabilities. Read more >>>

Training and Workshops 

LicenseFortress offers onsite, in-depth, hands-on workshops to companies and organizations who are looking to grasp the world of Oracle licensing compliance. The workshop is designed to teach how to identify real Oracle license compliance issues and how they impact to your IT operations. With our hands-on learning, problem-solving and development of solutions, it will better prepare your team in the face of an Oracle audit. With LicenseFortress Standard on Oracle and Above you get access to the LicenseFortess Academy. Read more >>>


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