Licensing

Avoid Oracle Verified SAM Program: Six Key Reasons

Licensing

Avoid Oracle Verified SAM Program: Six Key Reasons

Six Reasons Why Oracle’s Verified SAM Program is Not the Right Choice

  • No guaranteed audit waiver; case-by-case approval.
  • Unnecessary annual baseline costs.
  • Mandatory sharing of ELP with Oracle increases control.
  • Ambiguity in licensing policies leads to varied interpretations.
  • Lack of independence in SAM partners; ties to Oracle.
  • Compromised negotiation leverage; higher licensing costs.

Avoid Oracle Verified SAM Program: Six Key Reasons

Six Key Reasons

Oracle’s Verified Software Asset Management (VSAM) program has garnered attention in software asset management, but not all of it is positive.

Here, we present six critical reasons Oracle’s VSAM program may not be the best choice for your organization.

1. No Guaranteed Audit Waiver

Joining the Oracle SAM verified program does not assure an audit waiver. The waiver is granted on a case-by-case basis and requires Oracle’s approval.

You must share your Effective License Position (ELP) with Oracle, and even then, you only “may” be granted a waiver.

  • Implication: This program seems designed to let Oracle audit partners earn more from their services, as there’s no guarantee of avoiding audits.

2. Unnecessary Annual Baseline Costs

Participating in the Oracle SAM program obliges you to pay the service provider for an annual baseline assessment.

This annual requirement is overkill for most organizations, where an assessment every 18-24 months is typically sufficient.

  • Analogy: It’s like hiring a cleaner every two days when your house isn’t dirty. You end up wasting money and time on unnecessary services.

3. Mandatory Sharing of ELP with Oracle

Being part of the VSAM program means you are contractually bound to share your ELP with Oracle if they request it. This gives Oracle more control and insight into your software usage.

  • Result: Oracle can request an ELP from you and the verified partner anytime, which increases their leverage over your software investment decisions.

4. Ambiguity in Licensing and Policies

Oracle’s licensing agreements, policies, and contracts are notorious for lacking clarity. This often leads to varied interpretations that can significantly impact your licensing costs.

The interpretation of these documents can change drastically depending on Oracle’s incentives.

  • Critical View: If you adhere to Oracle’s interpretations, you will likely purchase more software than necessary, especially in complex areas like VMware, virtualization, and cloud policies.

5. Lack of Independence in SAM Partners

All Oracle-verified SAM partners are tied to Oracle through agreements that require collaboration on sales opportunities and mandate sharing such opportunities with Oracle.

This inherent connection compromises their independence.

  • Impact: These partners may prioritize Oracle’s interests over yours, especially if they are contractually obliged to report any licensing discrepancies back to Oracle. This often leads to higher licensing costs.

6. Compromised Negotiation Leverage

Engaging with a SAM partner who must inform Oracle about your licensing needs or gaps undermines your ability to negotiate favorable terms.

  • Consequence: You might pay significantly more for Oracle software licenses than organizations that take an independent and robust stance during negotiations.

The Illusion of Compliance and Audit Avoidance

Despite the critical points mentioned, Oracle pitches the VSAM program as a way to ensure compliance and avoid audits. However, these benefits are not as advantageous as they seem.

Compliance at Any Cost

For organizations prioritizing compliance above all else, meeting Oracle’s licensing demands, regardless of the cost, might seem appealing.

However, this approach is usually expensive and not always necessary.

  • Reality Check: Ensuring compliance does not mean giving in to every demand Oracle makes. Independent audits and assessments can provide the same level of compliance without excessive costs.

The Misleading Promise of Audit Avoidance

The Misleading Promise of Audit Avoidance

The program promises audit avoidance, but many organizations have effectively managed Oracle audits by conducting preemptive licensing assessments and resolving issues beforehand.

This proactive approach has been effective for over a decade.

  • Insight: The time and effort saved by participating in the SAM program may not be as substantial as Oracle suggests. Many have navigated Oracle audits successfully without this program.

Recommendations for Better SAM Practices

Instead of relying on Oracle’s VSAM program, consider engaging with independent Oracle licensing service providers.

These providers often have expertise that matches or surpasses that of the firms in the SAM program and will advocate more strongly for your interests.

  • Independent Advice: When reviewing an Oracle licensing report or optimization, you need confidence that the findings serve your best interests, not Oracle’s.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Oracle’s Verified SAM program might seem like a straightforward path to compliance and audit avoidance, it often results in higher costs and less negotiation leverage for your organization.

The lack of independence among Oracle-verified SAM partners and the inherent ambiguity in Oracle’s licensing policies further complicate the matter.

By approaching Oracle’s VSAM program with caution and considering independent alternatives, you can better manage your Oracle licenses, avoid unnecessary costs, and prioritize your organization’s needs. Choose a path that champions your cause, not Oracle’s bottom line.

FAQs

What is Oracle’s Verified SAM Program? It is a service offered to help organizations manage and optimize their software assets, with a focus on Oracle products.

Is there an audit waiver with Oracle’s SAM Program? No, an audit waiver is not guaranteed. It is granted on a case-by-case basis and requires Oracle’s approval.

Do you have to pay for the SAM services? Yes, you must pay the service provider for an annual baseline.

Can you share your Effective License Position (ELP) with Oracle? Yes, you are contractually obliged to share your ELP with Oracle if they request it.

How often should you conduct an Oracle licensing assessment? Conducting an assessment every 18-24 months is generally sufficient. Doing it every 12 months is often unnecessary and costly.

Who benefits most from the SAM Program? Oracle gains more control and visibility over your software investments, and audit partners earn more service fees.

What is the potential downside of frequent Oracle licensing assessments? Frequent assessments can waste money and time if your software usage hasn’t significantly changed.

Can Oracle request your ELP at any time? Yes, Oracle can request your ELP from you and the verified partner anytime.

Does the SAM Program guarantee no audits? No, it doesn’t guarantee no audits. Oracle can still conduct audits if it deems them necessary.

Is the SAM Program truly customer-centric? Although it may appear customer-centric, it often benefits Oracle and its audit partners more.

Why might the SAM Program be considered a money grab? The program allows service partners to earn more money from frequent assessments and gives Oracle greater control over your software usage.

What are the issues with Oracle’s licensing agreements? Oracle’s licensing agreements often lack clarity and can be interpreted in ways that may increase costs.

Are SAM partners truly independent? SAM partners are tied to Oracle and must share sales opportunities and licensing needs with Oracle.

How does the SAM Program affect your negotiation leverage? Engaging with a SAM partner who reports to Oracle can undermine your ability to negotiate favorable terms.

What should organizations prioritize when considering the SAM Program? Organizations should prioritize independent advice and thorough research to ensure their interests are represented rather than relying solely on Oracle’s SAM partners.

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Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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