What is Oracle PULA – Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement

The most powerful of all Oracle enterpries agreements became even more powerful. Oracle PULA is the latest of Oracle enterprise software agreements. In 2015 Oracle started to offer this primarily to customers that already had an Oracle ULA and called the Perpetual unlimited license agreement  – an upgrade agreement. It is an unlimited license agreement that provides an Oracle customer the right to have unlimited deployment right for a specific product set. This is an unlimited contract that never expires and you will be locked into paying Oracle technical support as any suspension in payments will equal a breach of the licensing agreement. 


What is PULA Oracle – Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement?

 

  • You choose which products to have unlimited deployment rights.
  • You negotiate which legal entities that can use and access the software
  • You negotiate in which countries you can physically deploy your servers.

 

Benefits of the Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement.

 

  • Simplified software asset management
  • No more license fees for the included products.
  • Enables you to deploy Oracle in virtual environments.
  • Reduced risk of an Oracle audit (at least until the PULA ends)

 

If you are an Oracle customer and are considering signing a new Oracle PULA or renewing an existing one, the chances are good that you will be offered three options

 

  1. Sign a normal 1-5 year Oracle ULA (renew)
  2. Perpetual ULA where the price tag is often twice of what you pay for a term based Oracle ULA.
  3. Cloud@Customer, rented server you put inside your data center.

 

What is the big difference between a Oracle ULA and an PULA except that that it never ends?

 

In an ordinary Oracle ULA , you are certifying/exiting after your agreement ends and the contract is changed into a volume-based agreement.

While in a PULA , the “unlimited deployment period” never ends which makes your PULA agreement different from a normal Oracle ULA.

 

Oracle PULA

 

There are three ways of exiting or certifying your Oracle PULA

 

  1. If your company is acquired by another company
  2. If you are found to be non-compliant (breach of contract)
  3. Failure to maintain the Total technical support stream.

 

If you have manage your properly Oracle ULA, but deploying Oracle software during the Oracle ULA term, by keeping track of your deployments and optimizing infrastructure deployments such as IBM LPARs and VMware you can exit your Oracle ULA with many thousands of CPUs.

We come across clients who have only deployed a 100-200 Oracle Database Enterprise Edition CPUs, while other customers who have deployed 2000 CPUs. Guess who got more value out of their Oracle ULA.

Oracle PULA risks

 

Are you getting value out of your Oracle ULA investment?

 

Client A had previously signed an Oracle ULA for net license 1, 8 m $ the Oracle ULA term was for 3 years and included Oracle DB EE and four database options.

This client did not have a plan on how to rollout their Oracle SW or how to take advantage of the unlimited deployment right. They certified 3 years later and they had managed to deploy approx. 127 Oracle Database EE CPUs, that had a list price value of 6 million $ (excluding options) That equals a discount of 70%.

 

Client B, who signed a similar Oracle ULA same price but only for 2 years. They had a well thought out plan on how to roll out as much Oracle SW as possible, deploy in virtualized environments. Once their certification was complete, they ended up with 3100 CPUs. Which has a list price value of 147 million $ and effective discount was 98.8%.

 

I help companies like Client B, if you want to know more you can contact me here

We believe that client B is very unlikely of having to buy any further Oracle SW. What they undertook soon after the Oracle ULA was complete, was an optimization project.

As they have over-deployed with Oracle and using more capacity (CPUs) than what they actually needed. In the year after Oracle ULA certification, they had created a license buffer of 800 Oracle Database Enterprise CPUs.

Benefit of doing so is that, while exiting their Oracle ULA (saving money, by not paying Oracle millions more in license fees) but also making sure that they have a large license buffert protecting them against license gaps in the future.

 

What to consider when signing Oracle unlimited license agreements?

 

  • Do not put all your eggs in the same basket; make separate Oracle ULA with Oracle Database and Middleware to give you more flexibility. There might very well be a time where you want to remain with Oracle DB and move away from Middleware. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can then terminate the support agreement for Middleware and keep the Oracle DB only?
  • The more legacy support agreements you have, the more costly and Oracle ULA will be. Yes, the best ULAs is for companies who have no existing support agreements with Oracle. Often companies who are divesting end up signing Oracle ULA contracts.
  • Oracle ULAs are best for customers who have little legacy support to be rolled in.
  • Is your customer moving to public cloud? Then an Oracle ULA is not the agreement for you. As you are not allowed to count those deployments to your certification numbers. Oracle have different contract language to negotiate about cloud. However its recommended you do so before entering your Oracle ULA.
  • Oracle P/ULA is probably the most important agreement you will sign with Oracle, take great consideration into its terms and conditions.
  • Remember that there is no price tag from a unlimited agreement, it can be a good idea to contact an independent consultant to verify that you are not overpaying to Oracle.

 

What contract terms should you focus on when signing an Oracle Unlimited Agreement?

 

  • Customer definition, make sure it includes all entities accessing your SW.
  • Territory, make sure it covers all territories where you want to deploy Oracle SW. It also enables you to deploy in public cloud zones that may be outside of your territory.
  • Technical Support, look into capping your support fees. Oracle support fees increase by 4% year on year.
  • M&A this is to enable you to include new entities that you might aquire during the Oracle ULA.
  • Certification clause, arguably the most important term. At the end of your Oracle ULA, Oracle will audit you. Make sure the contract language is in your favor requiring you to co-operate as little as possible. Also dictate how to count public cloud deployment and when you should submit the licensing data to Oracle. 

 

 

 

Oracle PULA certification – is it possible ?


Yes, but it depends on your existing PULA contract.

 

    • Study your contract if you have a right to self-initiate the Oracle ULA certification process.
    • If no such clause exists, you need to negotiate with Oracle for them to allow you to start the Oracle ULA certification process. This can be easy or difficult depending on negotiation specifics.

 

If you want to exit your PULA contract, you can contact us to discuss how we can support you in exiting the agreement, because the certification includes an Oracle audit.

 

How should I certify the Oracle Perpetual Unlimited License Agreement?

 

    • Study your contract for certification process options.
    • Perform an Oracle license measurement process to understand the quantities
      that you will need to report to Oracle. – Use Oracle LMS Scripts to measure your deployments.
    • Remediate any noncompliance findings
    • Maximize your current Oracle  deployments by using virtual platforms.
    • Once the actions 2-4 has been completed, you initiate the certification & exit process.
    • Complete the Oracle PULA / ULA certification documents.

 

 

Oracle ULA vs PULA 

 

ULA vs PULA

 

Merger & Acquisitions

 

Oracle has put restrictions on how an Oracle ULA and PULA contract works with merger and acquisitions. Oracle usually allows you to add an entity with a maximum of 10% of your revenue or employee size to your Oracle ULA or PULA.

 

What it means for you: If your company has plans to be engaged in merger and acquisitions, you should carefully consider if the  PULA is the right contract for you.

 

Flexibility

 

With an Oracle ULA you can remove/add products every timey the contract is up for renewal.
With an Oracle PULA that is not possible, you can only add products to the contract, not remove.

 

What it means for you: If you want flexibility, the PULA may not be the appropriate agreement for your company.

 

 

Vendor Lock-in

 

Oracle ULA you will lock in all existing support contracts for the products that are part of the Oracle ULA. For example, all database contracts will become 1 support contract. If you had 50 different support contracts pre-Oracle ULA, you could partially terminate them as you needed. But once you enter the Oracle ULA, you give away that right and you cannot partially terminate unused software and licenses in the future due to Oracle repricing rule.

The difference with PULA is that Oracle wants to lock in support contracts that are not included in the PULA preventing you from reducing support and licenses on non PULA products.

 

What it means for you:  The perpetual unlimited license agreement has more restrictive language on technical support and prevent you from terminating unused software and licenses.

 

 

Pricing

 

Oracle ULA vs Oracle PULA difference in price? There is no price list for either agreement. Oracle usually prices the  PULA 30-50% higher than a normal Oracle ULA. Oracle see that if a customer signs an the agreement the customer receives more value from the agreement, as there is only a one-time license fee. If you enter an Oracle ULA and you renew, you will pay a new additional license fee every time you renew.

 

What it means for you:  Oracle ULA customers need to evaluate if the length of the contract is the most important criteria for the unlimited period. The longer the projected need for the unlimited period is, the higher is the value you will get from choosing the Oracle Perpetual unlimited license agreement.

 

 


Read more about Oracle ULA


Oracle ULA Certification – How to exit your Oracle ULA

 

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