Oracle Audit Negotiations & Support in The Audit

What is Oracle Audit Negotiation Support?

  • Expert Assistance: Provides specialized knowledge in Oracle licensing and audit processes.
  • Error Identification: Identifies and challenges errors in Oracle’s LMS reports.
  • Negotiation Aid: Helps develop effective strategies to reduce financial exposure.
  • Compliance Assurance: Ensures accurate understanding and application of Oracle’s licensing policies.
  • Risk Management: Minimizes the risk of legal and financial penalties during audits.

Why Seek Oracle Audit Negotiation Support?

Why Seek Oracle Audit Negotiation Support

Before the Audit Begins

  1. Proactive Preparation: Engaging an expert before an audit begins can help you prepare for potential issues, ensure you have all necessary documentation, and clearly understand your licensing position.
  2. Preventative Measures: Many organizations that successfully defend their compliance positions do so by proactively addressing potential issues. This reduces the risk of significant findings during the audit.

During the Audit

  1. Expert Insights: An independent Oracle licensing expert can provide valuable insights into Oracle’s audit process, helping you understand what to expect and how to respond effectively.
  2. Error Identification: Oracle License Management Services (LMS) reports can contain errors. An expert can identify and challenge these errors, reducing potential compliance issues and costs.
  3. Negotiation Strategies: Experts understand Oracle’s negotiation tactics and can help you develop a strategy to minimize financial exposure.

After Receiving the LMS Report

  1. Second Opinion: Obtaining a second opinion on the audit findings ensures you are not overpaying for compliance issues. Oracle LMS often draws incorrect conclusions.
  2. Reduced Findings: Even after receiving the preliminary or final LMS report, experts can help reduce the findings, potentially saving your organization significant money.

Steps for Effective Oracle Audit Negotiations

Steps for Effective Oracle Audit Negotiations

1. Understand Your Organization’s Needs

Why: Understanding your organization’s needs and how Oracle’s products fit into your operations is crucial for determining your licensing requirements.
How: Conduct a thorough internal review of your Oracle product usage, focusing on actual usage versus installed products.

2. Research Oracle’s Pricing and Licensing Policies

Why: Knowledge of Oracle’s pricing models and licensing policies empowers you to challenge incorrect audit findings and negotiate better terms.
How: Familiarize yourself with Oracle’s licensing metrics, virtualization policies, and cloud licensing rules. Utilize resources such as Oracle’s documentation, licensing guides, and expert advice.

3. Prepare Thorough Documentation

Why: Accurate documentation of your Oracle product usage is essential for defending your compliance position during an audit.
How: Maintain detailed records of Oracle software installations, usage, and configurations. Update these records regularly to reflect any changes in your environment.

4. Seek External Expertise

Why: External experts bring specialized knowledge and experience, helping you navigate the complexities of Oracle audits.
How: Engage a third-party Oracle licensing consultant or negotiation service. These professionals can provide valuable insights, identify errors, and develop effective negotiation strategies.

5. Review the LMS Script Output

Why: The LMS script output is critical to the audit findings. Reviewing it ensures you understand what Oracle has identified and how it impacts your licensing position.
How: Work with an expert to analyze the LMS script output. Determine if products are merely installed or actively used, and assess the frequency of usage.

6. Challenge Incorrect Findings

Why: Oracle LMS reports often contain errors or worst-case assumptions. Challenging these findings can significantly reduce your financial exposure.
How: Use factual evidence and a thorough understanding of Oracle’s licensing policies to dispute incorrect findings. Present clear, documented arguments to Oracle.

7. Develop a Negotiation Strategy

Why: A well-defined negotiation strategy helps you achieve the best possible outcome regarding compliance costs and contractual terms.
How: Collaborate with your external expert to develop a strategy considering your organization’s needs, budget, and alternative solutions. Be prepared to negotiate contract lengths, discounts, and flexibility for upgrades and renewals.

8. Review the Audit Report Carefully

Why: Ensuring the audit report accurately reflects your organization’s usage and compliance position is crucial for fair negotiations.
How: Conduct a thorough review of the audit report with your expert. Identify any discrepancies or areas requiring clarification and address them with Oracle.

9. Benchmark Oracle’s Commercial Offer

Why: Benchmarking helps you understand what other organizations pay for similar compliance issues, ensuring you are not overpaying.
How: Gather information on Oracle’s commercial offers to other organizations. Use this data to negotiate better terms and avoid overpayment.

10. Seek Legal Counsel

Why: Legal advice ensures that the terms of the audit resolution are fair and in your organization’s best interests.
How: Engage legal counsel to review the audit report, proposed settlement, and new licensing agreements. Ensure all verbal agreements and promises are documented in writing.

Benefits of Seeking Oracle Audit Support

1. In-Depth Licensing Expertise

External experts have a deep understanding of Oracle’s licensing policies, helping you calculate your licenses accurately and defend against audit findings.

2. Identification of Errors

Experts can identify errors in Oracle’s LMS script analysis, which can be used to dispute findings and reduce compliance costs.

3. Optimal Licensing Models

Oracle LMS often assumes the worst-case licensing models. Experts can help you determine the most cost-effective model for your organization.

4. Effective Dispute Resolution

Disputing the audit report with factual evidence and licensing knowledge can be highly effective, significantly reducing compliance costs.

5. Improved Negotiation Outcomes

With expert support, you can negotiate more favorable terms, such as appropriate discounts and flexible contract conditions.

6. Compliance and Risk Management

External support ensures you fully comply with Oracle’s licensing policies, reducing the risk of legal and financial penalties.

Practical Examples and First-Hand Experience

Example 1: Incorrect License Metric

Oracle audited a company that claimed it needed additional processor licenses due to virtualization. An external expert reviewed the LMS script and found that Oracle had applied the wrong licensing metric. By disputing the findings with evidence, the company avoided purchasing unnecessary licenses and saved over $500,000.

Example 2: Overstated Usage

During an Oracle audit, a client’s LMS report indicated they used more licenses than needed. The client’s external consultant identified several instances of Oracle software installed but not actively used. The client successfully reduced their compliance costs by 40% by presenting this evidence.

Example 3: Negotiation for Better Terms

An organization facing significant compliance costs sought the help of an Oracle licensing expert. The expert helped them understand their licensing needs and develop a negotiation strategy. As a result, the organization secured a 30% discount on their licensing fees and more favorable contract terms, saving them millions over the contract’s duration.

Conclusion

Oracle audit negotiations can be complex and challenging, but you can achieve a favorable outcome with the right preparation and support.

You can navigate the audit process by understanding your organization’s needs, researching Oracle’s pricing and licensing policies, and seeking external expertise.

Engaging a third-party consultant can provide valuable insights, identify errors, and help you negotiate better terms, ultimately saving your organization time and money.

Author

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson is an Oracle licensing expert with over 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. He spent 10 years working for Oracle corporation and then 10 years at a consultant leading engagements on Oracle license assessments, audits, ULAs. He is a public speaker and author

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