Oracle Software License review planning is critical as License audits are increasing in frequency but the threat of a review is not the only reason to plan for such an event. Whether you are responding proactively to setting new standards internally or acting under threat of a software audit, being prepared gives you a position of strength and knowledge. The implications of not planning for a license review can lead to disruption in day-to-day business activities, high levels of additional stress, considerable impact on your internal IT resources and the potential for unbudgeted expenditure. Version 1 has witnessed many instances where organisations have struggled to cope with the stresses and complexities of a license audit and the resulting commercial implications of unbudgeted additional licenses and increased support costs.
Outlined below are the 9 keys considerations in working through this complex task.
Step One:Review the root cause. Understand what you are responding to or preparing form, maybe:
- You are currently under notice of audit from the vendor
- You are considering a strategic overview of multiple key vendors
- You want to be proactive and create a set of standards internally
- You suspect a compliance issue, therefore are preparing to minimise your risk
Step Two:How much time do you have? This will depend upon the situation.
- You may only have weeks to prepare if you are under notice of audit - define your priorities
- If there is no time pressure, it could take a number of months to work through the process
Step Three:Define your expected outcomes. What do you want to achieve?
- The creation of a standards policy such as ISO 19770?
- Risk mitigation - ensure compliance
- Complete clarity of your estate - perhaps to be used for strategic planning or datacentre consolidation
- To review the potential for cost savings
Step Four:Understand your resources.
- What data do you already have? What do you need and what is missing?
- Do you have access to full historical order history, license documents, renewal dates and details, discount agreements, OLSA's etc?
- What skills do you have access to internally or externally?
- Do you have a data collection methodology to follow?
- What is the size and scope of the project? Do you have a number of datacentres, various software vendors and is your organisation large, small or global?
- What license management or discovery tools do you have to help you achieve your desired outcome efficiently and with accuracy?
Step Five:Executive Sponsorship . Consider what executive level support you will need and draft the business case.
- Understand who is set to gain or lose from how prepared you are
- Establish who your stakeholders are
- Are your stakeholders on your side? Do they understand the benefit case and risks?
- Does your support include IT strategy and architecture, IT operations, procurement, commercial & legal representation?
Step Six:Establish a Strategy. What is your overall plan?
- How will you run the project?
- Do you have the expertise to support the whole process in terms of data capture, data analysis, compliance assessment and evaluation of the commercial options?
- Do you have the detailed knowledge of Oracle licensing contracts and policies to make the right decision? Should this include Siebel, PeopleSoft, BEA, Hyperion and EBS for instance?
Step Seven:Forward View. Do you know of any changes planned within your organisation?
- Are there any planned mergers or acquisitions?
- Are there any changes to the company's future software needs?
- Do you have any new project roll outs or retirements?
- Does the technology architecture and strategy team have plans to adopt additional oracle products or options?
Step Eight:Negotiation Strategy. consider your relationship with Oracle.
- Do you know who to engage within Oracle?
- How does your Oracle account team cover technology applications and middleware?
- Understand what opportunities you may have to improve negotiation outcomes by considering all the negotiable variables?
Step Nine:Vendor Negotiation and Relationship Management.
- Will your procurement team benefit from a deeper understanding of your current position?
- How well do you understand the vendor?
- Focus on your desired outcomes and goals
- Keep communications flowing with your stakeholders
The implications of not being ready for an Oracle software license review, can lead to disruption in to day-to-day business activities, high levels of additional stress, considerable impact on your internal IT resources and the potential for unbudgeted expenditure. There is significant effort and risk associated with being prepared for a license audit – if you undertake this without expert help. You need to demonstrate a control over your license grant situation, have a good understanding of your usage and be aware of any gaps, now and in the future. Version 1 has considerable experience in helping multi-national enterprises proactively assess their license compliance position and plan for the future through adopting a proactive approach to software asset management (SAM) for Oracle. So, whether you are under threat of an audit or struggling with creating a new standard internally, contact us for advice and guidance.