Java licensing

Say No to this “Oracle Java Audit”

Recently, a disturbing trend involving Oracle and its “Java licensing audits” has emerged.

Several organizations have reported that Oracle’s aggressive audit tactics have led to significant stress and potential financial implications.

This article aims to shed light on these practices and guide organizations in this predicament.

If you replied to Oracle, take these seven steps.

The Java Audit: An Inevitable Reality for All Organizations

Java software audit

Regardless of your company’s size—from giant corporations with over 100,000 employees to small enterprises with fewer than 1,000 staff—or your Oracle product usage, from spending $100 million annually to not using Oracle products, the Java audit is heading your way.

Current Situation:

Oracle has launched a widespread Java audit campaign targeting existing Oracle customers and non-customers. The primary focus is on entities that have downloaded Java security updates or licensable versions since 2019. Oracle’s goal is to initiate discussions concerning Java licensing.

Oracle’s Stance: Oracle insists that all licensable Java deployments within your organization must be licensed under 3-10-year agreements. Even if only one installation is found, Oracle expects licensing for the entire workforce. Additionally, if you have removed all licensable Oracle Java, the company will seek retroactive licensing fees for usage without a license.

Java Audit Phases Explained:

Phase 1: Initial Contact

Oracle begins by emailing customers to discuss Java licensing over 2-3 months, with emails typically sent weekly. Organizations might receive between 10 and 30 emails. Ignoring these emails leads to Phase 2 while engaging with Oracle, which advances the discussion to Phase 3.

Phase 2: Follow-Up Communication:

Oracle increases communication efforts in this phase, highlighting licensable downloads and emphasizing the importance of Java licensing discussions. This phase lasts about one month and involves weekly, possibly automated emails. Response to these emails will transition you to Phase 3; non-response escalates the situation.

Phase 3: Business Practices Engagement

Oracle’s Business Practices Team, which includes professionals with legal expertise but functions as part of the sales department, reaches out using legal jargon that suggests potential litigation. This phase is characterized by:

  • Aggressive communication with C-level executives.
  • High-pressure tactics are reminiscent of “cowboy audits,” which can seem arbitrary and contrast with the more formal, rule-based, contractual audits.

Recommended Strategies:

For Phases 1 and 2:

  • Know Your Java Estate: Fully understand the extent of your Java usage.
  • Explore Alternatives: Consider the viability of transitioning away from Oracle Java.
  • Prepare for Phase 3: Develop a detailed strategy for this inevitable phase.

For Phase 3:

  • Engage with Experts: Consult with professionals specializing in defending against Oracle audits. Given the complex nature and high stakes, strategic responses to Oracle’s inquiries are crucial. It is advisable to consult with legal counsel or a Java audit expert before any meetings or responses to Oracle.

Assistance for All Phases: Redress Compliance offers a comprehensive Java Audit Defense Advisory Service.

We guide you throughout the audit process, helping clients avoid unnecessary expenditures on Java. Our services include:

  • Understanding your Java risk based on deployments.
  • Assisting with communications and drafting responses to Oracle.
  • Crafting a robust Java Audit Defense Plan, including strategies for handling retroactive usage issues.
  • I will support any negotiations over Java licensing, including discussions about discounts, licensing models, and benchmarking data on what other organizations pay for their Java licenses.

Java Licensing and Oracle Communications

Are you receiving emails from Oracle regarding Java licenses?

  • The clock is ticking; the less you communicate and share data, the better off you are.

How We Can Help:

  • Assess Java Licensing Risk: We evaluate your current Java licensing position to identify potential risks.
  • Design Communication Strategy: Leveraging our experience with over 100 organizations facing similar challenges, we help you craft a strategy that minimizes risk.
  • Insights into Oracle Tactics: We provide expert knowledge on Oracle’s audit tactics, risks, and threats, helping you mitigate potential audit issues.
  • Successful Negotiation Outcomes: We boast a 100% success rate in removing retroactive usage charges from all Oracle proposals.
  • Support at Any Stage: Even if discussions with Oracle have already begun, we maintain a high success rate in effectively assisting organizations.

Contact us to get Expert Help

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  • 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, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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