Demystify Oracle Licensing and Optimize Spend

Overspending with Oracle is easier than you think, thanks to the open access framework coupled with complexity of licensing.


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Your Challenge

  • License keys are not needed with optional features accessible upon install. Conducting quarterly checks of the Oracle environment is critical because if products or features are installed, even if they are not actively in use, it constitutes use by Oracle and requires a license.
  • Ambiguous license models and definitions abound: terminology and licensing rules can be vague, making it difficult to purchase licensing even with the best of intentions to keep compliant.
  • Oracle has aggressively started to force new Oracle License and Service Agreements (OLSA) on customers that slightly modify language and remove pre-existing allowances to tilt the contract terms in Oracle's favor.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Focus on needs first. Conduct a thorough requirements assessment and document the results. Well-documented license needs will be your core asset in navigating Oracle licensing and negotiating your agreement.
  • Communicate effectively. Be aware that Oracle will reach out to employees at your organization at various levels. Having your executives on the same page will help send a strong message.
  • Manage the relationship. If Oracle is managing you, there is a high probability you are over paying or providing information that may result in an audit.

Impact and Result

  • Conducting business with Oracle is not typical compared to other vendors. To emerge successfully from a commercial transaction with Oracle, customers must learn the "Oracle way" of conducting business, which includes a best-in-class sales structure, highly unique contracts and license use policies, and a hyper-aggressive compliance function.
  • Map out the process of how to negotiate from a position of strength, examining terms and conditions, discount percentages, and agreement pitfalls.
  • Develop a strategy that leverages and utilizes an experienced Oracle DBA to gather accurate information, and then optimizes it to mitigate and meet the top challenges.


  • Imran Shaikh, Program Director – IT at Vista Equity Partners
  • Richard Spithoven, Partner at b.lay
  • Max Ablimit, Tarim Consulting, LLC
  • Eric Chiu, Director at Fisher IT Asset Consulting

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you need to understand and document your Oracle licensing strategy, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Establish licensing requirements

    Begin your proactive Oracle licensing journey by understanding which information to gather and assessing the current state and gaps.

  2. Evaluate licensing options

    Review current licensing models and determine which licensing models will most appropriately fit your environment.

  3. Evaluate agreement options

    Review Oracle’s contract types and assess which best fit the organization’s licensing needs.

  4. Purchase and manage licenses

    Conduct negotiations, purchase licensing, and finalize a licensing management strategy.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is an eleven call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Establish licensing requirements

  • Call #1: Engage in a scoping call

  • Call #2: Assess the current state

  • Call #3: Determine licensing position

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Evaluate licensing options

  • Call #1: Review product options

  • Call #2: Review licensing rules

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Evaluate agreement options

  • Call #1: Review contract option types

  • Call #2: Review vendors

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Purchase and manage licenses

  • Call #1: Determine negotiation points

  • Call #2: Finalize the contract

  • Call #3: Discuss license management

  • Call #4: Evaluate and develop a roadmap for future licensing

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Establish Licensing Requirements

The Purpose

  • Assess current state and align goals; review business feedback
  • Interview key stakeholders to define business objectives and drivers

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Have a baseline for requirements
  • Assess the current state
  • Determine licensing position
  • Examine cloud options

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Gather software licensing data
  • Copy of your Oracle License Statement
1.2 Conduct a software inventory
  • Software inventory report from software asset management (SAM) tool
1.3 Perform manual checks
1.4 Reconcile licenses
  • Oracle Database Inventory Tool
1.5 Create your Oracle licensing team
  • RASCI Chart
1.6 Meet with stakeholders to discuss the licensing position, cloud offerings, and budget allocation
  • Oracle Licensing Effective License Position (ELP) Template
  • Oracle Licensing Purchase Reference Guide

Module 2: Evaluate Licensing Options

The Purpose

  • Review licensing options
  • Review licensing rules

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand how licensing works
  • Determine if you need software assurance
  • Discuss licensing rules, application to current environment.
  • Examine cloud licensing
  • Understand the importance of documenting changes
  • Meet with desktop product owners to determine product strategies

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Review full, limited, restricted, and AST use licenses
2.2 Calculate license costs
  • Oracle TCO Calculator
2.3 Determine which database platform to use
2.4 Evaluate moving to the cloud
2.5 Examine disaster recovery strategies
2.6 Understand purchasing support
2.7 Meet with stakeholders to discuss the licensing position, cloud offerings, and budget allocation
  • Oracle Licensing Purchase Reference Guide

Module 3: Evaluate Agreement Options

The Purpose

  • Review contract option types
  • Review vendors

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand why a type of contract is best for you
  • Determine if ULA or term agreement is best
  • The benefits of other types and when you should change

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Prepare to sign or renew your ULA
3.2 Decide on an agreement type that nets the maximum benefit
  • Type of contract to be used
  • Oracle TCO Calculator
  • Oracle Licensing Purchase Reference Guide

Module 4: Purchase and Manage Licenses

The Purpose

  • Finalize the contract
  • Prepare negotiation points
  • Discuss license management
  • Evaluate and develop a roadmap for future licensing

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Negotiation strategies
  • Licensing management
  • Introduction of SAM
  • Leverage the work done on Oracle licensing to get started on SAM

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Control the flow of communication terms and conditions
  • Controlled Vendor Communications Letter
  • Vendor Communication Management Plan
4.2 Use Info-Tech’s readiness assessment in preparation for the audit
  • Oracle Terms & Conditions Evaluation Tool
4.3 Assign the right people to manage the environment
  • RASCI Chart
4.4 Meet with stakeholders to discuss the licensing position, cloud offerings, and budget allocation
  • Oracle Licensing Purchase Reference Guide

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Search Code: 80106
Published: March 16, 2016
Last Revised: September 13, 2016

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