How we helped a media company simplify a complex Oracle audit claim

From a 300K claim to a million-dollar saving

Company: one of Canadaʼs largest media companies 

Case: correct licensing of Oracle Database, Middleware and E-business Suite software 

Cost avoidance: $2.3M 

Cost savings: 20% of annual support contract ($350K) 

Oracle’s informal audit claims have become a costly issue for an increasing number of customers due to the complexity of Oracle’s licensing methodology and policies. This was also the case for one of Canada’s largest media companies. After asking Oracle whether they had any unneeded licenses – which is something you should never do unprepared – the company was informed that they needed to purchase $300K in new licenses due to compliance exposure. The leadership team found itself unprepared and lacking the software licensing knowledge to fully understand what they could do to challenge Oracle and its claim. As a result, the media company reached out to B-lay for our Software Audit Services. 

Our solution 

We helped the client get full clarity on their situation and supported them during their discussions and negotiations with Oracle on the correct licensing of their Oracle Database, Middleware and E-Business Suite software. 

First, we obtained a complete and accurate understanding of their Oracle license entitlements. Using all relevant Oracle documentation, provided by the client, we performed a detailed contract analysis and created an overview of all active and inactive licenses, the technical components/products and restricted usage rights included in these licenses, the applicable license metric definitions, terms and conditions, the applicable support start and end dates and other limitations and restrictions that may apply to their entitlements. 

Our second goal was to obtain a complete and accurate view of the installed software programs. We conducted a License Deployment and Usage Analysis and divided the software deployment and usage data-gathering process into several steps, to come to a complete and accurate overview of the deployment and usage of the software programs. 

With this complete overview of the established license entitlement and license deployment details, we were able to determine their compliance position and express it in financial terms. Using this knowledge, we provided services to remediate all the non-compliance issues we found throughout the process to achieve compliance. Cost savings were also realized, thanks to our optimization services.

Business impact and results 

Our audit services, technical knowledge and licensing expertise helped the client to effectively challenge Oracle’s claim. We succeeded in bringing Oracle’s claim of $300K back to $0. In addition, after we completed an in-depth review of their contracts, we identified an additional 20% cost savings on their Oracle annual support contract after identifying software licenses they no longer needed. 

On top of that, the findings of our internal license audit proved to be an eye opener. The client’s software licensing dated back to the 1990’s and over the years they have had difficulty keeping track of the changes to their software and hardware environments, as well as staying on top of all their contracts, license rights, and usage details. Had they been subject to an audit executed by Oracle, they would have had a license exposure of close to $2M. We were able to roll-out a detailed strategy to mitigate these costs to maintain compliance without any additional license investment.

“Although we weren’t looking to buy the review, I’m very grateful we did. It saved us a tonne of pain. Had we been audited, Oracle would have been fully entitled to ask for money. We just didn’t know what was going on. Bad on us, but now we know.”