Get it in writing. Get all assumptions clarified and then confirmed in writing. You don’t want to assume anything and any discussion or email in which you are getting the best leverage should be mentioned in detail within your agreement. We see a lot of our clients – even the largest Oracle enterprise – treat emails and verbal discussions as legally binding agreements, which is untrue in the case of an Oracle software licensing agreement. It is not up to the sales person to remember what he/she promised you or what concessions were discussed and agreed upon. It is up to you to remember and make it legally binding.
Confirm assumptions with examples. For example, your SLA may state that you have worldwide usage rights. You assume that you can use your Oracle product anytime, anywhere. However, that would very likely be an incorrect assumption. You should inquire whether the worldwide usage rights are affected by:
- where the users reside
- where the software resides
- location of servers
- client location and usage
We often drill down to these small, but extremely important, details during the discussions we have with Oracle on behalf of our clients. When you clarify all the assumptions, the last step is to ensure that there is language within your SLA that defines usage more clearly.
Never assume a License Usage Right. If you think that your Oracle license allows you specific actions or specific functions, you need to check your SLA. For example, if you have eBusiness Suite and you assumed that the collection module was included in the accounts receivable functionality (which is reasonable). The collections module is actually a separate module and a separate cost.
Never assume that the vendor doesn’t know. We have many companies come to us for the first time and they tell us about a yet-to-be disclosed data warehouse launch, a merger or company acquisition, layoffs, or other major corporate changes. Often, the company believes that Oracle doesn’t know about it and they want to know what their SLA options are. However, don’t be too sure of that. With larger companies, it’s not too hard to find information about the organization including the inner workings and operations.