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The Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) has today announced the publication of its first major review into Oracle’s licensing and auditing practices.
The report Key Risks in Managing Oracle Licensing, states that Oracle’s approach to licensing and auditing has resulted in customer relationships that are predominantly “hostile and filled with deep-rooted mistrust.”
The Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL) prepared the report so that its members were better informed when dealing with Oracle, and to form the basis of a constructive dialogue with Oracle so that positive change for both the customer and Oracle could result. The report builds on quantitative and qualitative research from three sources;
All of those who participated in the report are responsible for Oracle licensing in their organisation. They are therefore experienced software buyers and are used to negotiating with many software vendors, so the opinions they gave are based on a deep understanding of the broader software licensing landscape and how Oracle compares to it. The specific job titles of those surveyed were software asset managers, IT asset managers, software licensing specialists or IT procurement professionals. Oracle was also given the opportunity to respond to the report’s findings prior to publication, with their responses included throughout section two of the report.
According to the survey, Oracle’s audit requests are often unclear and difficult to respond to, Oracle’s own License Management Services organisation (LMS) is largely unhelpful to customers during an audit, and the company’s licensing changes are often poorly communicated (to the extent that in some instances Oracle’s own sales teams and LMS are often found to be working with out-of-date licensing information).
While CCL’s research uncovered numerous challenges when it comes to dealing with Oracle licensing, the CCL has summarised the customer experience by the following three themes:
“Based on our research and conversations over the last six months, we have found that customers’ relationships with Oracle are hostile and filled with deep-rooted mistrust,” comments Martin Thompson, founder of the Campaign for Clear Licensing and author of the report. “So entrenched is this feeling of mistrust that some organizations were fearful of speaking to us in case of any audit repercussions.”
“Whilst every organisation entering into contracts must be accountable for the agreements they purchase, a disproportionate amount of risk and management overhead appears to be placed on the customer by Oracle. Similarly, many customers have not invested, or are not capable of investing, sufficient resource to manage their Oracle estate, or are aware of the investment in management overhead that they will require prior to engaging with Oracle. On the whole, the customers we surveyed appear to have an arms length, impoverished relationship with Oracle.”
The Campaign for Clear Licensing, acting on behalf of its members and those who participated in this study, recommends that Oracle focuses on addressing the following issues:
Mark Flynn, CEO of the Campaign for Clear Licensing concludes:
“One of the Campaign’s stated roles is to meet with software publishers in order to improve dialogue with their customers and ultimately improve the experience for everyone involved. This is our first thorough review of a vendor’s approach to licensing for our members, and while the results might not surprise anyone who deals with Oracle software licensing on a day-to-day basis, the deeply negative experience of its customers should serve as a wake up call to Oracle. We have been impressed with Oracle’s willingness to work with the Campaign and welcome its openness in forming this meaningful dialogue with its users. Change will take time, but we hope that this exercise will result in a more positive experience for Oracle customers in the future.”
Thanks to everyone that helped compile this report. See you on the 21st November to continue the conversation.