It never fails. Someone reaches out for help. I ask them to send me their Oracle license inventory for a quick review. They send me a list of their support contract renewals with Oracle. If you read this and are still confused as to why sending over a list of your Oracle support contracts is not the same as sending over your license inventory, please read on.
There seems to be so much chatter on the interwebs around Oracle audits and all the people offering their help. You would think, based on all that chatter, that an audit is the worst thing for an Oracle customer to overcome. It’s not. Why? Because even when Oracle does complete an audit, most customers won’t know whether the audit was completed correctly. Without a comprehensive understanding of your license inventory and entitlements, there is no way to verify if Oracle’s assertions are true, accurate, or even correct. And if you fail to wrap your head around your license inventory, you’re in no better position for the next audit either.
In fact, I would surmise that across Oracle’s entire customer base, 98% don’t have a complete understanding of their license inventory at any given time. I’ve been on the “front lines”, completed hundreds of Oracle audits and not one single customer could provide a comprehensive listing of their license inventory, entitlements, rights, and obligations. This can easily lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in overpayment to Oracle.
Even under the best circumstances where an organization invests in the creation of a formal software asset management program, people may come and go, documents are stored in various locations (electronically or otherwise), procurement isn’t consolidated or, if it is, only within a geographic location or legal entity. Even worse, there may be a segregation of duties within the organization preventing one person from sharing data with another. When a formal software asset management governance program is absent, it becomes the responsibility of the new hire to take ownership, and in many cases, start all over from an otherwise jumbled mess. I feel sorry for these people. I really do. It’s as if they are set up to fail by the very organization that depends on their success. And this is the predicament that so many Oracle customers find themselves in.
It may seem cliché to ask, but I’ll do it anyways; how do you know where you need to go if you don’t know where you are?
If you’re looking to run a successful Oracle software asset management program, start with the basics and know your license inventory! If you’re unsure where to start, please feel free to reach out as I’m happy to help you get started.