Guest post on Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) from Fredrik Filipsson at Redress Compliance.
A common mistake companies make is signing an unlimited license Oracle ULA without fully understanding its limitations. Many organizations think that their license is unlimited and pay the bill for Oracle software, but then they discover the limitations and pay the “total support stream” cost. This is a costly and potentially legal mistake. Here are some tips to avoid violating an Oracle ULA:
To avoid violating an Oracle ULA, the first step is to notify Oracle in writing. You must do so within thirty days of the expiration date of your ULA. Your letter should state how many licenses are certified by Oracle and communicate this to all employees. If you don’t do this, you’ll risk renewing your ULA and locking yourself into a less favorable contract. Be aware that many customers are unaware of the legal ramifications of Oracle ULAs.
You should also review your current environment and any other Oracle agreements you may have in place. Oracle ULAs traditionally only cover the database, but you may also have agreements for Java and middleware. You should also review any contracts due for renewal at the same time as your ULA. Likewise, check current contracts with Oracle subsidiaries or customers. If you need to renew Oracle software, consult with an Oracle contracts attorney who understands these contracts. It will be easier to negotiate with an experienced Oracle contract lawyer.
Oracle ULAs have many stipulations. It is vital to understand what is included in your agreement, as well as how you can exit the agreement. If you don’t have a valid Oracle ULA, you may end up paying maintenance and support fees for the software. Oracle ULAs usually have a maximum term of three years, but an extension can be beneficial if your Oracle estate is complex or you didn’t know its value before entering the agreement.
Another important consideration is whether your consumption of Oracle products will increase or decrease during the term of your ULA. Oracle’s ULAs typically cost much less than purchasing licenses separately, but if your usage goes up or down significantly, you may end up overpaying. You also should consider your expected growth rate and ensure that your fees will cover the cost of any upgrades. You can always opt for a component-based model if you are not expecting exponential growth.
As part of the ULA renewal, you can also renegotiate your licensing. Some companies improve their terms when they renew their agreements, and you might be able to get better deals. Oracle is often willing to change the terms of your existing ULA if you are able to show that you’ve made significant changes. As a result, you should avoid being stuck with a single CSI. There are many benefits to adding more products to your Oracle licensing.
An Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) is an effective solution to the perpetual licensing problems that can plague your organization. It allows you to deploy unlimited numbers of Oracle products without incurring huge licensing costs. Using the Oracle ULA can save you a lot of money on software and hardware, and you don’t even need to purchase perpetual licenses. Instead, you simply pay annual support fees. The costs may rise or fall, depending on the number of products you use
Smart companies work with Oracle licensing experts to help them maximize and exit Oracle ULAs.