The Beginners Guide to an Oracle Audit

1 Nov 2017 | Datacentre, SAM/SLO, Services, Solutions

Did you know that Oracle is one of the top 5 software vendors most likely to audit?

Oracle licensing rules are notoriously complex and through their License Management Services Division (LMS), they will rigorously ensure compliance.

Like all software vendors, Oracle needs to protect its IP, therefore within your Oracle Master Agreement (OMA) you will find a specific clause relating to its right to audit. Traditionally, you will receive 45 days’ notice, which is the standard forewarned time that Oracle intends to audit you.

What is the difference between an Oracle License Review and Oracle License Audit?

In fact, there is very little or no difference between an Oracle License Review and an Oracle License Audit. The terminology is more of a difference between how it is referred to internally by Oracle customers.

Oracle’s License Management Review department discuss an Oracle License Review instead of an Oracle License Audit. This is to reflect the fact that to initiate an audit or ‘review’, they require collaboration from the end-user and a review sounds more friendly and less intrusive than an audit. However, a License Review still includes an assessment or analysis of an organization’s usage to verify their license compliance; essentially, therefore, an audit of the usage is still being performed.

What takes place during an Oracle audit?

The official start of an Oracle audit is from when you receive the notification letter, which is often sent to the CIO and the CFO of your organization. The specified LMS consultant or partner for the audit is noted within the letter to ensure the organization is correctly informed. This notification letter also identifies which legal entities and which Oracle software programs are to be featured for the audit.

The OMA gives Oracle “access to information” and normally they will request you run their scripts on your systems to ascertain the usage of the software. If organizations are found to be using unauthorized or unlicensed Oracle software, it may result in a breach of control and/or violation of intellectual property rights. If non-compliance is discovered, this can lead to financial penalties and a request for purchase of extra licenses in order to remedy this. Typically, the organization will be charged for these without the discount initially given for the original purchase.

How to prepare for future Oracle audits

It is not guaranteed that you will be audited by Oracle every year, however, every end-user is on average audited by Oracle (or one of its LMS partners) once every 3-4 years. However, the fact you’ve been recently audited is no reason to rest on your laurels. Nor should you feel a false sense of relief if you think you’ve escaped the latest round of Oracle audit activity. Soon enough anxiety will set in when you realize it is only a matter of time before you receive that dreaded letter.

In order not to be one of the many Oracle customers who is non-compliant, now is the time to get on the front foot, gain control of your Oracle licensing before it’s too late and probably save some hard cash in the process.

Get in touch with Certero today to see how we can help you gain control of your Oracle licensing and be fully prepared in the event of an Oracle audit.

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