December 14, 2010 Leave a comment
When discussing an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) with customers, there’s one issue that’s never a surprise – confusion around the pros and cons of this Oracle licensing model. Many customers don’t understand the potential benefits and return on investment that such an agreement can hold.
The initial lure of the ULA concept is having the perceived freedom to deploy Oracle products at will over the term period. And even more so the set amount to be paid upfront which includes a fixed agreement on support and maintenance over the term period of the ULA and beyond. All things considered, it certainly sounds like an easy fix to a complicated problem, but it’s not always a win-win situation for every organisation.
The initial evaluation stage of an ULA agreement is key to making the right decision, so ask yourself – Do you know the growth ambitions of your organisation? Are you going to grow organically or acquisitively?
An Oracle ULA is ideal if you plan to increase your usage. It is not if you don’t grow as fast as planned. Additionally, mergers and acquisitions, divestment and changing the structure of your organisation can bring about more complications when you’re tied to a ULA.
Knowledge is key in the negotiation game with Oracle.
In terms of ULAs, knowledge is your bargaining tool. Providing you have a very clear view of your expected growth pattern over the next few years, you should be able to negotiate effectively with Oracle. It is not uncommon for large enterprise organisations to get independent advice and guidance on negotiation strategies that can enhance contract terms, commercial arrangements and products within the agreement, to name a few. Your entry point into the ULA is of critical importance to realising your business case ROI at the end of the term – effective negotiation is essential to achieving that.
You’ve signed on the bottom line and are now enjoying the benefits of your ULA.
Avoid the temptation to deploy your Oracle products at will by creating an effective Software Asset Management methodology to measure your deployment and usage. This must be clearly communicated throughout the entire organisation to prevent widespread misuse of Oracle. If you let the kids into the sweetie shop for 3 years, it’s not easy to back track.
Understanding your license position at any given point in time during the ULA term will also provide greater insight into whether you are making the best possible use of the agreement. Under deploying will not deliver value for money whereas deployment much larger than expected can be viewed as an unfavourable outcome by Oracle.
End of term
The step where many organisations falter is at the end of the term when your organisation is required to declare to Oracle on the amount of products deployed. Suffice to say, if you have been managing your estate over the term of the contract effectively and are in a position of knowledge, then you will be able to make the right choices at this very important stage. If you are unprepared and unsure of your deployment therefore cannot verify whether your ULA has met your ROI and profitability target, how will you be able to make an informed decision that’s best for your business?
Ensuring the successful achievement of your initial ULA business case objectives means that you need to know your organisations’ future business growth strategy. It also means that your organisation will have to adopt an appropriate methodology to audit and track all Oracle deployments and monitor usage over the term of the agreement. All these elements combined will lead to a positive outcome and the realisation of your ROI.
When it comes to Oracle ULAs, knowledge is power and something that Rocela brings to every customer’s table.