Oracle Pool of Funds – How to manage in 2022

Oracle Pool of funds is still being utilized by enterprise companies and we wanted to provide a high level overview how the agreement model works. PoF can be an alternative to Unlimited Agreements or a large volume purchase.

 

oracle pool of funds basics

 

What is Oracle Pool of Funds?

 

Oracle Pool of funds is an enterprise software license agreement where the Oracle customer makes a pre-purchase of software licenses that needs to be spent for 2-3 years.

  • The POF agreement specifies which Oracle software products that the customer can spend the committed amount upon and there is a discount attached to each product.
  • The customer is contractually bound to report deployments using a LDR template and Oracle will then assign you with licenses.

The customer should burn-down pre-payment amount until it reaches zero or the Pool of Funds agreement expires. If any pre-payment amount is left when the agreement expires, the amount is lost, and no refunds are given by Oracle.  Below is a screenshot of the agreed price to use to burndown the credit.

 

oracle pool of funds credit

 

Pool of Funds – When to consider ?

 

  • When there is a growth in Oracle software products, but the product mix is uncertain.
  • When you do not want to commit to an Oracle ULA and migrate legacy support into one CSI.
  • When you want to achieve very high discount rates for on premises software.

 

What is not so good with Oracle Pool of Funds?

 

  • All products that you purchase off the committed amount will belong to one CSI and subject to Oracle repricing rule, which makes it difficult to reduce future Oracle maintenance.
  • During the Pool of Funds – Oracle always includes a clause specifying that you will during the Pool of Funds be unable to terminate other support contracts that includes any of the products that are part of the Pool of Funds.
  • If you need additional products outside of the Pool of Funds, those will need to be purchased with additional investment from the end customer.
  • If you do not spend the full amount, you will still pay the same technical support after the Pool of Funds expire.

 

Explaining Oracle Pool of Funds

 

Pool of Funds – What are the risks ?

 

  • Pool of Funds have a reporting mechanism, and customers need to report to Oracle deployments every 6 months. If you report incorrect you can have a license compliance challenge.
  • Oracle licensing rules around cloud, virtualization, disaster recovery needs to be mastered by the person who is reporting the deployments to Oracle.
  • Below is a picture of the reporting requirements.

oracle pof reporting

 

Oracle Pool of Funds - When is it a "risky" agreement and when should you consider a PoF?

 

Oracle Pool of Funds – Pros and Cons

 

Pros

  • In return for making the pre-payment in software licenses, you are usually able to negotiate a much higher discount rate than you would normally be able to do.
  • If you are uncertain about what software licenses that you will need to purchase, but you know that you have Infrastructure projects involving Oracle. Pool of Funds provides a flexibility for you to pick which products you need. Remember that it only covers the products that are part of the Pof license agreement.

 

Cons

 

  • There is a vendor-locking in terms of every product that is part of this support contract, will be bound by Oracle technical support policies and prevent you from partial termination of support and license reductions.
  • All PoF agreements will also prevent you from during the contract term to terminate other license and support agreements outside of the CSI. For example, if your PoF agreement contains database products then you will not be able to terminate other database license agreements.
  • It is not unlimited like the Oracle ULA agreement is, but it does also not have  the same lock-in where all existing support contracts become one CSI.

 

Frequently asked questions on Pool of Funds

 

What is the minimum commit you need to make to sign a Pof license agreement?

Oracle usually requires a 1 million dollar net payment, but there are some exceptions to the rule.

 

What will happen when the Pof expires and I have not deployed all my credits?

You will loose the license fee credits, but still have to pay support for the unused credits.

 

Can I choose with products to include in the Pof?

Yes, you can negotiate which products to be eligble for for the Pof.

 

Can I renegotiate an add products later to the pof?

No, not unless you make an additional payment to Oracle.

 

What happens if we are late or do not complete the LDR according to the contract?

You are in breach of contract, Oracle have the right to terminate the Pool of Funds Period.

 

What is the vendor lock-in I should be awared of when signing a pof?

Oracle has a contractual language, specifying that you are not allowed to terminate licenses of the same license set
that is part of the Pof. Also remember all the products you deploy from the LDR will be locked into one CSI preventing
you from making partial terminations in the future.

 

Can we sign a Pool of Funds and include non-database products?

Yes, you can sign a Pool of Funds and include Oracle Weblogic Server, GoldenGate, Oracle E-business Suite, Siebel and Java.

 

Expert advice

Pool of Funds can be the right vehicle for companies that knows they want to invest more in Oracle software licenses, but are uncertain about which products they need and want to obtain a higher discount rate than normal. The reporting structure can cause problems for companies who dont know Oracle licensing that well. As you need to report to Oracle server configurations and products deployed. If you misreport what you are using such as products or even miscalculate processor licenses can cause Oracle to believe there is a larger non compliance in your company and you might face an Oracle audit. Try to negotiate a longer Pool of Funds, 3 years to avoid having time running out and you have not yet deployed all the software licenses that you need.

 

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Thanks for reading, if you are considering an Oracle Pool of Funds agreement or have an existing one and want help to manage and report correctly. Schedule an consultation to find out more about our services and how Redress Compliance can help.