The usefulness of a spreadsheet showing a customer they have 10 Oracle Licenses but use 15 is highly debatable. Yes, it is important to know this baseline information, but what you do with this information is paramount. Buying a SAM Tool and thinking, you have Oracle license compliance under control, is the same as buying a can of paint and thinking your house is painted. A SAM tool on its own does not constitute an outcome.

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When a SAM tool indicates a customer use more or less Oracle licenses that what they own, the key questions are:

1. Can I trust the information?

o A SAM tool will only be accurate if it was configured correctly. Check the installation and configuration.
o Check if the SAM tool accurately measures Oracle licenses according to your specific rights and obligations contained in your Oracle contract. Make sure you are measuring the relevant quantifying measures for your Oracle License grant.

2. How did this happen, how do I fix it and how do I make sure it does not happen again?

o Understand what drives your Oracle license consumption – e.g. virtualisation, license metrics etc.
o It is important to define the problem, but even more important to generate a solution(s). Model all possible Oracle license alternatives and rate them by business enablement, cost, pros and cons.
o The appropriate Oracle license model for your business should mean that compliance is managed by design and not by reactive measures.

3. Do I have the most appropriate Oracle license model for my business today and what are the alternatives?

o Many of Oracle’s customers tend to use it over the medium to long term. When they originally acquired their Oracle Software on a specific license model, it may have been appropriate for their business at that point in time. Fast forward 10 or even 5 years and contextual changes like virtualisation, cloud computing, BOYD and especially mergers/demergers means that they are consuming Oracle’s Software in a very different way.

Some SAM tools have a “What if” scenario planning capability to allow Oracle customers to project their Oracle License position and spend based on projected changes. This is useful if you are using Oracle’s standard license metrics, but what if there are non-standard license metrics that may suit your business better and how do you negotiate those outcomes with Oracle? Whilst there are great advancements in the world of AI, we are yet to come across a SAM Tool that can generate these options and negotiate those outcomes with Oracle.

Bottom line is this: when it comes to managing Oracle license compliance: buy an outcome, don’t just buy a tool.

About Pieter Jansen

Pieter manages our Commercial Team responsible for conducting Oracle License Reviews and Negotiations. He has over 14 years’ experience in the Oracle Software Licensing world and was employed by Oracle internationally for over 7 years.
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