Oracle ULA Certification –
Oracle will try to stop you

ULA Renewal / Exit - Process

Oracle ULA certification is when a company intends to leave its ULA agreement and Oracle will want to conduct an official license audit to verify the deployments. Oracle customers can both deploy non Oracle ULA software and be out of compliant but also incorrectly count the number of licenses that they have deployed during the Oracle ULA. Oracle ULA exit strategies that are successful can maximize the ULA contract with hundreds of millions and unprepared can cost you millions in penalty fees to Oracle. This article focused on the exit process and is designed to help you design a strategy for managing your Oracle ULA certification process.

If you’re considering getting an ULA certification, you’ll need to know what the costs are. Extending your Oracle ULA may be easier than exiting it, but it is still more expensive. Here are some tips that can help you plan ahead for your certification. The costs of certification vary by company, but this guide will help you decide which is best for your company. The first step in getting an ULA certification is to read about the pitfalls during the certification process.

Extending an Oracle ULA is easier than declaring all usage

When it comes to deploying Oracle software and implementing an unlimited license policy, defining usage is often a challenge. This can result in extended ULAs for a variety of reasons. First, defining usage is difficult when you are managing an estate. In addition, you don’t want to deploy a fixed license without counting. In that case, Oracle may demand that you declare all usage to avoid incurring additional fees for the extension. Secondly, it can be costly and even legally challenging to fail to provide an accurate and complete usage report.

If your Oracle estate is complex, extending the ULA is the best option for you. It will typically extend the existing agreement for a further three years. However, if you fail to properly manage your Oracle estate and determine the value of your Oracle license prior to entering the ULA, you will likely face the same problems at the end of the extended agreement. So, when you are evaluating your Oracle licensing strategy, a good first step is to take action as soon as you have identified the potential issues.

An Oracle ULA offers many benefits for customers. For example, a ULA typically includes all of Oracle’s software, but it does not cover all possible scenarios. This can lead to unexpected bills at the end of the agreement, or forced certification earlier than you intended. Fortunately, you can mitigate these risks by carefully controlling your Oracle estate and ensuring that your usage policy is adhered to.

Extending an Oracle ULA is more expensive than exiting an Oracle ULA

For businesses with complex Oracle estates, the most popular option is to extend the ULA for another three years. However, this option is not without its pitfalls. If the business is unable to control its Oracle estate and has not determined its value before entering the ULA, it may end up with an estate that has outgrown its original scope. Similarly, extending the ULA can also lead to higher support costs for licenses that have not been deployed.

To exit the Oracle ULA, you need a letter signed by a C-level executive. You must submit this letter no later than 30 days after the expiration of the ULA. Be sure to indicate how many Oracle licenses your business is currently certified with. You should also inform your employees that you are terminating the Oracle ULA. After all, a certification can free up your time to handle other tasks.

While an Oracle ULA is often touted as a “one-time fee” deal, it may not cover every situation. For example, if you’re using Oracle software for a project that isn’t part of a larger organization, it’s easy to consume it in ways not covered by the agreement. The result can be an unexpected bill at the end of the agreement or forced certification earlier than planned. Fortunately, these risks can be avoided by carefully managing the Oracle estate.

When choosing an Oracle ULA, it is vital to determine the scope of the commitment. A ULA provides the rights to deploy a specified set of Oracle products, usually for a set period of time. Depending on how much use your organization has of Oracle products, you may be surprised at the hefty price tag associated with the ULA. Oracle ULAs also comes with a lot of hidden costs. Extending an Oracle ULA is more expensive than exiting a ULA certification.

Costs of Oracle ULA certification

For customers who want to leverage pre-negotiated support fees, the costs of certification may be a big concern. The ULA is not based on forecasted demand, and as such, Oracle will be forced to support licenses that haven’t been deployed when the certification was granted. That means a higher support fee per license deployed. Oracle will try to defend its ULA, claiming that the discount would have been much lower without the ULA.

An Unlimited License Agreement is an agreement that allows organizations to buy licenses to Oracle products for a fixed price. In other words, users can buy licenses based on the amount they plan to use. While a ULA is considered an “all-you-can-eat” deal, it doesn’t cover all scenarios. It’s also possible to consume Oracle software in ways that are not covered by the agreement. These situations can leave an organization with a hefty bill at the end of the contract and may even force an organization to certify sooner than intended. But with careful control of the Oracle estate, ULA certification can be a surprisingly affordable option.v

While Oracle’s ULAs are generally less expensive, they’re not always the best option. If you’re expecting tremendous growth, a traditional component-based model is better in the long run. When determining how much you’ll pay, Oracle takes your anticipated demand and adds a growth factor that’s a multiple of that. After the ULA expires, support fees remain the same or increase by a set percentage annually.

Costs of exiting an Oracle ULA

Once certified, customers are locked into maintenance and support payments for as long as they keep the licenses under the ULA. However, many choose not to renew their ULA because they believe that their footprint isn’t growing as fast as they thought it would. When this happens, a customer can be left with huge costs, including annual uplifts in support fees. Here are some tips to avoid the costly mistake of exiting an certification.

First, consider your license usage. How many Oracle licenses do you need? How many users are using it? How many are you planning on maintaining? This is crucial because you don’t want to have a large, expensive infrastructure, or a small, inflexible system. Oracle will offer to certify you, but it will take as long as you want. Remember, you may have deployed a lot of licenses in the past, but their usage has fallen off. As a result, your Oracle ULA may have become outdated and a waste of time.

If you’re planning to exit your Oracle ULA, it’s important to plan ahead and make your decision about whether to renew your contract as early as possible. Start thinking about your future estate requirements six to twelve months before the expiration date. Oracle will be able to make modifications in the contract, but you’ll have to pay more support fees for the licenses that you don’t plan on using. Oracle will argue that they’re worth it, but you’ll have to pay a premium to be able to exit the contract.

If your company expects rapid growth, Oracle’s ULA is best suited for you. If you don’t know what your future needs are, a component-based model is more cost-effective in the long run. When Oracle looks at your forecasted demand, it adds a growth factor. After the ULA expires, the support fees remain the same and will increase annually.

What is an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement – Oracle ULA

To explain what an Oracle ULA certification process is, we need to start by explaining what is an Oracle ULA. Oracle ULA is an enterprise software license agreement from Oracle, it gives unlimited deployment rights to deploy Oracle software. Unlimited deployment rights are only for a subset of products and the unlimited period will expire, usually after 3 years.

What will happen the Oracle ULA expire?

Oracle will ask the customer if they want to renew the agreement and you engage in an commercial negotiation where you can re-negotiate contract terms and products. If you inform Oracle that you wish to exit, then the ULA certification process will begin.

Challenges with ULA certification

One challenge is how to certify Oracle ULAs in public cloud such as AWS and Azure. Oracle has designated them as authorized cloud environments where there are both special rules for counting Oracle licenses but also restrictions in the Oracle unlimited license agreement for how many licenses you can get from public cloud deployments. The second challenge is for how to calculate Oracle licensing in virtual deployments, Oracle licensing policies are sometimes vague for how to license Oracle in for example VMware. Oracle on VMware outside of an Oracle ULA can be risky, however in an Oracle ULA – Oracle on VMware is good as it will help you maximize your deployment counts. The third challenge with Oracle ULA is that you are most likely using and deploying non-Oracle ULA software. If this is discovered by Oracle, they will always offer you an new Oracle ULA

What is the Oracle ULA certification process?

The certification process includes an Oracle license audit where you together with Oracle will need to count and calculate how many Oracle licenses you have deployed at the time of the Oracle ULA ends. Then the license deployment numbers will be converted into a fixed number of licenses and your Oracle ULA will be certified.

When should companies start planning for certification?

The earlier you begin to investigate Oracle licensing deployments and ULA agreement terms, the more success you will have. Minimum 6 months is recommended, but ideally 9-12 months before the Oracle ULA term expires is when you should start to manage it in more detail. Almost every company who is aware of the risks with Oracle ULA and Oracle compliance works with an expert firm to make sure they are successful in their ULA certification.

Watch the video below for 3 actions you must take to certify your Oracle ULA

Use chapters below to skip to what interests you.
00:00 Introduction to the video contents
00:56 #1 step is to review your Oracle ULA contract, what will that tell you and why do you need to review it?
01:10 Review territory clause
01:18 Review the customer definition / legal entities
01:29 Other limitations/restrictions Oracle may have included into your Oracle ULA
02:03 How much do you need to co-operate with Oracle during the exit?
02:40 Reviewing a publically available ULA contract.
04:05 Run Oracle License Audit Tools to measure your licensing deployments.
04:55 90% of all Oracle ULA out of compliance issues are not because of over-usage but mistakes/misunderstandings.
06:40 What will you do after the license position, ULA software vs non ULA software products.
07:05 Why you need to identify non ULA software deployed and what actions can you take to save money.
08:05 How to maximize your Oracle ULA

ULA Certification – Frequently asked questions and answers

Can you sign a Java unlimited license agreement?

Yes, but it is difference from a technology ULA is that at the end of the Java ULA you will not recieve any perpetual licenses.

What is the difference between a normal ULA and a Oracle Perpetual ULA?

Oracle Perpetual ULA does not expire. Companies signing such agreement must include a self-exit clause.

What is the most common mistakes companies make ULA agreements?

Before they sign the Oracle ULA – They do not include the correct products. I lost count the number of times companies signed a Oracle ULA but didn’t understand what they were using. They often focus too much on price and not enough on the contract terms. End of ULA – They do not over-deploy Oracle ULA software and/or they are caught in the license audit at the end and are forced to renew their Oracle ULA at a higher cost.

Where can I read about my certification process?

Look in your ULA contract –> Ordering Document – > Certification clause. Depending on how you negotiate that clause, your exit process may be easy or difficult. By reviewing that term, you can understand: “How many days before or after your Oracle ULA ends do you need to report your exit numbers to Oracle? “What do I need to report? What data do I need to share with Oracle?” “How can I count deployments in public cloud?” “How much do you need to co-operate with Oracle audit team during the exit phase?” “Do you need to accept an Oracle license audit?” Well informed companies have negotiated that term to make the unlimited contrat as easy as possible and avoid a license audit from Oracle. Tip: Work with an experienced firm that has reviewed many Oracle ULAs and they can share with you what is possible to negotiate but also help you interpret your agreement. How can I be non-compliant with my ULA? We have helped over 100+ companies across the globe, renew or exit their Oracle ULAs. Not one (1) has been compliant! Everyone has accidentally deployed or used non-ULA software. Well informed companies work with an Oracle license expert who can analyze Oracle audit scripts. No, this is not something you can do in-house,1 out of 500 companies has this expertise. If you are out of compliant with your Oracle the compliance, risk is often tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Strong recommendation is to work with someone who can review and analyze Oracle LMS scripts. Redress Compliance can simulate a Oracle license audit.

How can I be non-compliant with my ULA?

We have helped over 100+ companies across the globe, renew or exit their Oracle ULAs. Not one (1) has been compliant! Everyone has accidentally deployed or used non-ULA software. Well informed companies work with an Oracle license expert who can analyze Oracle audit scripts. No, this is not something you can do in-house,1 out of 500 companies has this expertise. If you are out of compliant with your Oracle the compliance, risk is often tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Strong recommendation is to work with someone who can review and analyze Oracle LMS scripts. Redress Compliance can simulate a Oracle license audit.

Will my support costs increase once I exit my Oracle Unlimited license agreement?

No, it will not increase. You should deploy as much ULA software during the term. There is no penalty if you exit your agreement with 5000 processors. The support will remain the same as it has during the Oracle ULA. Two exceptions If you are running older versions of Oracle software, you may have to pay 10-20% additional in support due to extended support. You may face the 4% increase in technical support.

How does Oracle ULA certification Public Cloud

Older Oracle ULAs didn’t allow you to count any deployments in public cloud at all. For example, if you had 50% of your deployments in AWS or Azure, those deployments would not count towards your exit number. This is a massive financial risk. Newer ULAs Oracle has a standard clause allowing you to count an average deployment during a 12-month period.

Can I deploy Oracle on VMware while in the unlimited agreement?

Yes, you should as you will then be able to count all physical hosts in all VMware environments.

Is deploying Oracle on VMware the best way to maximize my ULA?

Yes, it is. This should be a mandatory ULA certification strategy.

Will Oracle be upset if I exit my unlimited license agreement with 5000-15000 processor licenses?

Not really, the sales team and audit team might have a difficult time explaining the numbers to their management teams, but there is little they can do. That is why you might face some resistance from Oracle when they don’t want you to declare all physical hosts in VMware. You should stand your ground and declare all the numbers.

After the ULA certification is completed, how to deal with VMware environment growth?

That’s a completely different matter, as you would then be out of compliant if the number of CPUs exceed your entitlement. There are no simple answers, but I recommend you get Oracle license expert help on this matter.

Contractually, where do most companies go wrong?

They do not include all legal entities or forget about worldwide usage. Those are the main 2 contract terms that makes the foundation of a ULA license agreement.

What other questions should I ask myself about my ULA agreement?

How does it work if you acquire companies? Can they use the Oracle ULA software? You should include a clause allowing you to add companies either max 10% of your company revenue or employees. Make a smart decision on what metric is best for your company.

Is there a price list for Oracle ULA?

No, there isn’t. Pricing is always based on an estimated business value that Oracle tries to make with you. (made up) That’s why a company who signs a ULA using a competitive offer from another software vendor vs a company who signs a ULA at the end of a license audit will always pay less. Often as much as 25% of companies signs ULAs at the end of alicense audit. That is why companies who are found to be non-compliant at the end of their contracts often ends up paying twice as much for the second contract.

Oracle PULA vs ULA, when should you sign a PULA and not ULA?

If someone needs a Oracle PULA it’s because they haven’t properly managed their Oracle ULA. If you manage your Oracle ULA correctly, there is no need for a Oracle PULA. But if I need say one reason, if you are looking at a long Oracle ULA (4-5 years) then you should look at a Perpetual ULA instead (Remember to include a self-exit clause).

When should you start to prepare for your certification?

Ideally 12 or 9 months out. If you start 9 months before the exit, it takes 3 months to perform a license audit. That leaves you 6 months to perform optimization and remediation activities. Then you have 3 months to get your certification papers in order or negotiate a new ULA in case you identified.

How can I make use of my existing SAM tooling when doing ULA certification?

Only use it for discovery of where you have Oracle installed. It’s a newbie mistakeif you are going to use your SAM tool verified or not for a license position. Verified by Oracle only means that Oracle will use the raw script data under your tool. Verified by Oracle does not mean that the tool can conduct a license position. This is why SAM tools are not ideal for Oracle software compliance.

Can I refuse to run Oracle audit scripts at the end of my Oracle ULA?

It depends, review your certification clause and understand your rights during your exit process. If you do refuse, you
should do an audit anyway. As Oracle have the right to audit you at any time at which point they run the Oracle audit scripts.
You do not want to exit your agreement and be out of compliance.

What should I do after i certify my Oracle ULA?

Well informed customers maximize their ULA the last year (deploy more on bigger servers, additional servers or use virtualization to boost ULA exit numbers) Once Oracle have certified your ULA to a fixed quantity number they often optimize (deploy Oracle on license efficient platforms)

What is the best Oracle licensing advice you can give me?

Get help, from an Oracle licensing expert who has certifed many Oracle ULAs previously the money the right consultant can save you pales in comparison to what Oracle software costs. Often companies only renew or exit one Oracle ULA. An expert consultant has done many. Follow our guide, we have helped over 50 companies renew or exit their Oracle ULAs.

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Oracle ULA Certification Service

Do you have an upcoming Oracle license audit? Now you have some help but if you compare the price of Oracle software having an Oracle audit defense specialist on your side will always save your company money. Contact us to discuss how we can support your company.

Redress can help you with:

There are several advantages to planning for certification. If your organization is well-versed in Oracle products, you may have enough software for years. However, improperly managed license agreements can extend the ULA and can even result in re-enrollment. If you are looking for guidance to plan for certification, contact Redress. We’ll help you navigate this process and secure maximum benefits.

If your license agreement with Oracle has expired, you should be prepared to renew it. If you choose to do this, make sure you write a letter signed by a C-level executive. It should detail how many licenses you’ve certified. Be sure to communicate this letter to your employees so they’re aware of the new conditions. If you’re not ready to renew your Oracle ULA, consider negotiating a counter-offer.

As with any Oracle agreement, you should review your environment to make sure you’re on track to meet all of the requirements. You should also take a look at other Oracle agreements. While Oracle ULAs traditionally covers only the database, you may also have agreements with Oracle on Java, middleware, and cloud-based software. It’s important to review these agreements, as they expire at roughly the same time as your ULA.

Before renewing your Oracle ULA, you should start planning your preparations at least a year in advance. While it’s not mandatory certify yourself before the expiration date, you don’t want to end up running late for your renewal. Therefore, you should begin your preparations 3-6 months before the expiration date. If you are planning for your Oracle ULA exit – reach out to us and discuss how we can support your company during the Oracle ULA certification.

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