How we assisted a large energy network company in utilities with their Oracle Audit

Avoiding a $ 15M claim!

Company: large energy network company

Case: audit focused on Oracle Database, Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Options, Oracle Middleware (WebLogic & Tuxedo) programs & Oracle Siebel programs 

Cost avoidance: $12.2M (List License) and $2.8M (List Support) 

Cost savings: $812K Annual Net Support 

Oracle’s audits are a costly issue for an increasing number of companies due to the complexity of Oracle’s licensing methodology and policies. A large energy network company that provides energy transport and distribution of electricity, (bio)gas and heat, received an audit letter from Oracle License Management Services. The scope of this audit included Oracle Database, Oracle Database Enterprise Edition Options, Oracle Middleware (WebLogic & Tuxedo) programs and Oracle Siebel programs. Upon receipt of the audit letter from Oracle, the client reached out to B-lay for our Software Audit Services.

Our solution

As part of these services, we supported the customer by delaying the audit and by executing an internal audit in parallel. This internal audit was needed to provide insight in the obtained license and support rights of the client. Based upon a wide range of Oracle documents provided by the client, we performed a detailed contract analysis. We created an overview of all the active and inactive licenses, the technical components/products included in these licenses. In addition to this, a financial analysis was performed with regards to the current investments made so far (CAPEX), the annual recurring investments to be made (OPEX) and the corresponding re-buy values to determine how cost savings could be obtained.

After this, we collected and analyzed deployment and usage data of Oracle programs as included in the scope of Oracle’s audit. The measurement scripts as used by Oracle during such an audit and its corresponding audit methodologies were applied, exactly as if Oracle would already be conducting the audit itself. This analysis resulted in a complete and accurate overview of the current Oracle software programs installed, whether these programs were in use and whether such usage was required to be licensed or not. Based on the established effective license and deployment position, the compliance position was determined and expressed in financial terms. With this information, we started several license remediation actions, resulting in a compliant situation for the client. On top of that we provided license optimization services to identify cost saving opportunities. These services consisted of removing support maintenance fees for licenses that were no longer used and migrating unused licenses.

Business impact and results 

Our software audit services, technical knowledge and licensing expertise helped the client to effectively tackle Oracle’s audit. Thanks to the internal audit, we discovered a financial exposure of $12.2M (list license) and $2.8M (list support). By remediating all non-compliance license issues, we were able to bring this back to zero. By choosing to proactively share all (optimized) deployment and usage data with the Oracle LMS auditors, we gave Oracle no reason to actually execute the audit. They confirmed B-lay’s conclusion that there were no compliance issues identified. 

If the energy network company haven’t reached out to B-lay and Oracle had executed the audit, the company would have had a license exposure of $15M, highly likely followed by an Oracle claim with the same amount. In addition, by migrating unused licenses and removing support maintenance fees, the client saved a total amount of $821K annual support maintenance fees.

“We reached out to B-lay for their in-depth knowledge of Oracle’s licenses and the way its auditors work. Of course, I’m happy we made this decision. Just look at the numbers: they saved millions for us. It’s also important to note that they are not a one-trick-pony. They were not just focusing on this one audit, they helped us establish a long-term strategy to prevent compliance issues and unnecessary costs in the future.”