The Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) can be a valuable tool for your organization. Although they are designed to alleviate the many worries of software license management, you can still face significant financial, legal, and operational risks, especially when certifying out of the ULA.
Don’t get stuck in a ULA contract that will end up costing you unplanned millions.
Here are three scenarios that you should be aware of when attempting to exit or certify your ULA:
1. THE EXPIRATION DATE
This is the day the unlimited deployment right terminates. Although this may seem to be a simple contractual term, it still needs close attention. In this scenario, a customer installed several Oracle databases with associated options and packs on what they thought was the last day of their unlimited deployment term. A project had started a while back, and they had decommissioned some of the associated servers and were merely trying to put things back to the way they were, before exiting the ULA. The contract stated that their unlimited deployment right was “for three years from the effective date of this order.” The contract did NOT say “three years—and one day—form the effective date of this order.” The Oracle account team under pressure to renew the ULA urged Oracle LMS not to allow the certification of the servers in question. The cost of misinterpreting this otherwise simple contractual term cost the customer approximately 5 million dollars.
2. THE PROGRAM LIST
The Oracle LMS team knows what programs are covered under your ULA. However, LMS will typically send over a certification form with additional lines inserted to fish for added programs the customer “thinks” are included in their agreement. Often, the customer will list programs where they only had limited rights. Poor SAM management usually triggers new ULA renewal negotiation discussions to remedy this problem rather than a certification out of the ULA.
3. THE TERRITORY CLAUSE
Some ULA contracts prohibit customers from deploying Oracle software outside a designated geography. Although this may seem like an innocuous clause, every Oracle LMS consultant looks for this clause before engaging with a customer. That’s because it’s often found to be a sticking point requiring you to buy more Oracle licenses or renew a ULA you did not plan to continue. In our global economy, it's best to negotiate this clause out of any contract before you sign with Oracle.
Unlimited License Agreements can be an advantageous arrangement for your organization with lots of benefits. But you need to be aware of the details of your agreement to ensure you are managing the risks. Don’t make any assumptions when dealing with an Oracle ULA and don’t underestimate Oracle LMS and their ability to find some way to generate software compliance revenue.
For more information on ULAs register for our February 1st webinar on Oracle ULA Certification Gotchas.
The Software Consulting Group can support you in managing your ULA so you can do more and worry less. Our services help you to maximize the value of your ULA without any fears of legal, financial or operational risks.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 888 466 2899 to learn more about how SCG can help.