Take Control of Your Oracle Unlimited Licensing Agreement (ULA)

Ryan Bendana
Senior Director of Global License and Advisory Services
2 min read
Take Control of Your Oracle Unlimited Licensing Agreement (ULA)

Considering an exit plan from your Oracle Unlimited Licensing Agreement (ULA)? Discover how Rimini Street License Services can help you proactively manage compliance risk.

With tight IT budgets getting tighter, many Oracle licensees with Unlimited Licensing Agreements (ULAs) may be tempted to consider an exit plan to avoid the pinch of rising support costs. But, often too late, they may discover that their Oracle contract could prevent them from making the jump as seamlessly as they’d like.

Most enterprises want to avoid expending unnecessary time, effort, and resources on licensing issues, so they can focus on maximizing value and results. Unfortunately, Oracle’s enterprise license agreements, and, more specifically, ULAs, typically require consistent oversight and proper management to ensure successful outcomes.

Oracle has a reputation of aggressively ensuring compliance with licensing terms, which many organizations may struggle to remain current as they revamp implementations, undergo M&A activity, and shift environments. That’s why it’s tempting to opt for a ULA in hopes of avoiding the possibility of Oracle licensing audits.

Oracle ULAs may not always be “unlimited” in the traditional sense. In fact, many Oracle licensees may find that over the life of the ULA contract, their needs may have changed. Those changes can consist of software programs your organization didn’t intend or plan to use but may need today and software programs your organization thought they needed but no longer use or plan to use in the future.

How to approach your exit

Getting out of the ULA is no simple feat. Oracle customers typically must undergo a complicated certification process that includes a license audit to calculate a fixed number of licenses.

Noting potential pitfalls and best practices for an easy certification can help mitigate risk, maximize return on investment, and save money. Three of the more significant factors which may impede Oracle licensees from successfully certifying out of a ULA include:

  • Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures
  • Deployment of Oracle programs in public clouds
  • Use of unlicensed software

Don’t delay on exit certification

While it’s best to start early (usually six to nine months before certification is due), there’s never a bad time to begin working toward optimization to ensure you squeeze the maximum amount of value from your investment. The following actions may help you maximize your return on investment of Oracle software program licenses:

  • Expansion of Oracle software programs on underutilized/unused hardware (and hardware that maximizes the software program license count)
  • Verification that Oracle programs are both installed and fully running
  • Priority of the deployment of Oracle programs (generally based on potential cost and/or largest amount of use)

What makes the ULA license model unique is that you cannot calculate the true return on investment until you’ve certified and effectively ended the ULA itself. To determine ROI post-ULA requires a clear understanding of what programs and license quantities you certified to Oracle to compare against Oracle’s list price to determine an actual discount rate.

As long as you remain aware of potential risk factors and take action to mitigate potential risk, there should be  no reason you cannot certify out of your ULA and move toward alternative options such as Rimini Street to identify tangible cost savings and optimize your Return on Investment (ROI). Planning will help you avoid surprises and to drive predictable outcomes.

Learn more: Discover how Rimini Street License Services can help you understand Oracle license policies and agreements to proactively manage compliance risk.