Oracle may be indispensable to your IT operations but licensing audits can sneak up on you. Many organizations are befuddled by the vague licensing policies – they think they have followed the correct procedures but still end up owing thousands to millions of dollars in audit fees. In fact, IDC predicted that software license complexity will indirectly cost organizations an average of 25% of their software license budgets in 2016.

Some of the problems that Oracle users encounter when being audited include;

1. Oracle may charge licensing fees for servers that do not use the software. In a 2014 Mars audit, Oracle demanded to receive information about servers and employees that did not actually use the Oracle software. Companies using VMware version 5.1 or higher are at particular risk.

2. Oracle may charge licensing fees for product options that were not used, or used only once. Oracle has charged customers with licensing fees for product options that were never actually used. Even if product options were activated by mistake, or used only once many years before, Oracle has demanded licensing fees.

3. Oracle charges users for clustering machines using its software. Making changes to IT infrastructure by clustering machines can drastically increase Oracle licensing costs. Unfortunately, many companies do not discover this until faced with an audit.

Protecting Your Organization From an Audit

The good news is that there are ways for users to prepare for audits and simplify licensing agreements. Database experts recommend that companies take several steps to protect themselves. An outside organization with a deep understanding of the Oracle database environment can help you to determine your compliance risks and upgrade opportunities is invaluable during this process.

Tips for ensuring compliance:

Analyze your contracts: Work with consultants with a high degree of database expertise, who can look over your contracts to identify what your contractual obligations to vendors actually are.

Review your licensing options: There are many ways to reduce licensing costs, such as, avoiding arrangements that require you to count processors or cores. Experts in the database field can evaluate your current license and help you to simplify and save.

Conduct a mock audit: Licensing costs may be considerably higher than the quotes provided during the sales process. Those with experience can assess what your real costs are and take pro-active steps to avoid extra fees.

Moving Forward with Confidence

Some of the options to explore to get out from under vendor audit nightmare for good include remote database services, Database as a Service (DBaaS), and database consolidation.  Ntirety has the database expertise you need to reduce the complexity and operational costs of your database environment. Ntirety partners with Oracle, Microsoft, and VMWare among others, and will conduct a database assessment to get you started. Contact Ntirety today.