Here are some quick self audit tips should you ever be faced with an Oracle audit:
- 1. Proof of ownership– Collect all software licensing agreements (SLAs), invoices, and other renewal or procurement documentation. This paper trail will help in the audit process.
2. Measure your Oracle licensing usage– try to account for how often each Oracle product is used – including both typical usage and maximum usage – to ensure that the proper licenses have been purchased based on the amount of access.
3. Licensing is not “black & white” – Be aware that situations vary from company to company and so will what Oracle constitutes as being in compliance. Be cognizant that the following scenarios below each has its own licensing challenges:
a. Internet and extranet access
b. Transfers of data to and from your system
c. Backup, standup and failover
d. Test servers
e. Virtualized environment
4. Understand that any modification can impact licensing. Any modifications made within Oracle’s e-Business suite applications – such as to forms and reports – need to be accounted for as it is considered an alteration of the license usage.
5. Compare. If you have an SLA that was signed several years ago (or even a year ago), be sure that it still supports your current business needs. In a dynamic business environment, needs change so quickly that licensing does not always keep up. One example is the mobile workforce. Many organizations have not taken this new method of working into account when reviewing their Oracle licensing and have often been cited as being non-compliant.
As with any audit – whether it’s the IRS or Oracle – it’s best to be prepared. The first step should always be a self audit (Remember, knowledge is power). As with many organizations, it’s not surprising to discover that they are NOT in compliance with their Oracle software licensing -the most common reason is over-licensing or under-licensing. If your Oracle licensing is not in compliance, be sure to resolve the issues quickly, develop a plan for dealing with future licensing usage and be open with Oracle (or any software vendor) about your findings and how you plan to deal with it moving forward. In our experience, Oracle will work with clients during these audits. Majority of the time, non compliance is due to lack of a software asset management program and changes in software licensing rules.