Oracle ULA – The ultimate licensing agreement



Oracle ULA – Introduction

Oracle User License Agreement (ULA) is a cost-effective and flexible licensing model designed to help organizations maximize the value of their Oracle software investments. An Oracle ULA provides a company with the ability to obtain a large number of Oracle licenses for a specific period of time, usually three to five years. This agreement is designed to simplify the process of acquiring and managing Oracle software licenses and can offer significant cost savings compared to purchasing licenses on a one-off basis.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at what an Oracle ULA is, the benefits it provides, and how to navigate the process of obtaining one. Whether you’re an existing Oracle customer or considering making the switch, this article will help you make informed decisions about your software licensing needs.

What is Oracle ULA?

An Oracle ULA is a licensing agreement that enables organizations to obtain a large number of Oracle software licenses for a specific period of time. This agreement typically covers a period of three to five years, during which the company can use the software licenses as needed. The Oracle ULA provides a simplified, cost-effective way to acquire and manage Oracle software licenses, making it an attractive option for many organizations.

Benefits of an Oracle ULA

There are several benefits to obtaining an Oracle ULA, including:

  • Cost savings: By obtaining a large number of Oracle licenses through a single agreement, companies can often save significantly compared to purchasing licenses on a one-off basis. This can be especially beneficial for organizations that use a large number of Oracle products.
  • Flexibility: An Oracle ULA allows companies to acquire the software licenses they need, when they need them. This flexibility can be especially valuable for organizations that are growing or experiencing changes in their software needs.
  • Support: An Oracle ULA includes access to Oracle’s support services, including technical support, software updates, and product upgrades. This can be especially beneficial for organizations that rely heavily on Oracle software.

Navigating the Oracle ULA Certification Process

The process of obtaining an Oracle ULA Certification can be complex, but with the right approach, it can be a straightforward and efficient process. Here are some tips to help you navigate the Oracle ULA process:

  • Work with a trusted partner: Consider working with an Oracle licensing expert who has extensive experience with the Oracle ULA certification process.
  • Assess your needs: Take the time to assess your software needs, including the number of licenses you’ll need and the products you’ll require. This will help you make informed decisions about your Oracle ULA.
  • Negotiate terms: Be prepared to negotiate the terms of your Oracle ULA, including the length of the agreement, the number of licenses, and the pricing. Working with an experienced partner can help you negotiate the best possible terms.

ULA Problems and Solutions:

  1. Problems from deploying Oracle software not included in your ULA contract:
  • Compliance is a common problem with the ULA, often stemming from deployment of products not included in the ULA.
  • Recommendation: Run Oracle LMS scripts and have an independent Oracle licensing expert review the results before sharing data with Oracle.
  1. Oracle ULA problems from running software on servers in countries that are not included in your territory contract:
  • Limitations on where you can deploy your Oracle ULA software on servers can be a problem.
  • Recommendation: Ask for worldwide territory rights when entering the Oracle ULA.
  1. Oracle ULA problems from subsidiaries not included in your customer definition:
  • All Oracle ULAs come with a list of subsidiaries included in your customer definition.
  • Recommendation: Negotiate terms and conditions and the right to add to the list of subsidiaries during the Oracle ULA agreement lifecycle.
  1. Problems from the Oracle audit in the end:
  • Your Oracle ULA will end in an Oracle license audit.
  • Recommendation: Do your own internal audit as part of certification planning, running Oracle audit scripts, and have an independent Oracle license expert analyze the results before sharing data with Oracle.
  1. Problems from including products you do not use:
  • Only choose the products you need in the ULA to avoid locking yourself in without the possibility to make changes.
  • Recommendation: Perform an internal Oracle licensing review without involving Oracle auditors.
  1. Oracle ULA problems from mergers and acquisitions:
  • Oracle ULAs are often bought by large companies undergoing changes with new companies being bought or leaving the company group.
  • Recommendation: Begin reviewing your Oracle licensing deployments and ULA agreement terms 6 months before the ULA end. Perform an independent licensing assessment to enable an exit of the Oracle unlimited license agreement.

Oracle ULA Renewal: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Analyze your current agreement: Before renewing your ULA, it’s important to thoroughly analyze your current agreement and identify areas for improvement and potential risks.
  2. Oracle ULA Renewal Options:
    • Negotiate to add additional Oracle software products
    • Remove software products no longer needed
    • Renegotiate all contract terms, such as the length of the agreement, number of licenses, and cost of support
    • Consider an Oracle PULA (Perpetual ULA) instead
    • Sign a shorter extension to your existing ULA
  3. Renewal Scenarios:
    • Renew your existing ULA with no changes
    • Renew your ULA and make changes to the products included
    • Renew your ULA and make changes to the terms
  4. Negotiation Advice: Consider the following questions before negotiating with Oracle:
    • Has your company undergone any mergers and acquisitions?
    • How does your company plan to use the public cloud?
    • Are there any caps on technical support fee increases?
    • Will you face significant increases in extended support fees for older software versions?
    • Consider negotiating the certification clause for maximum leverage.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth renewal process and secure a ULA agreement that aligns with your current business needs and budget.

Oracle ULA Negotiation: Key Considerations

  1. Customer Definition:
    • List all entities that will access and use Oracle ULA software
    • Request “all majority-owned subsidiaries” definition in the appendix of the standard Oracle Ordering document for volume purchase
  2. Territory:
    • Define where you can physically deploy servers running Oracle ULA software
    • Make it as wide as possible, such as “worldwide usage”
  3. ULA Certification Clause:
    • Specifies how you leave the Oracle ULA agreement
    • Includes information on reporting deployment data to Oracle, co-operating with Oracle, and counting deployments in AWS or Azure
  4. Technical Support:
    • Oracle technical support increases by 4% Year on Year
    • Consider putting a cap on the increase for up to 5 years
  5. Merger & Acquisitions:
    • Restrictions on adding acquisitions or mergers of subsidiaries into the Oracle ULA
    • Carefully negotiate the right model for your company
  6. Points to Consider When Entering an Oracle ULA:
    • Carefully review which Oracle products to include in the agreement
    • Understand the trade-off of giving up the right to partially terminate support and licenses
    • Be aware that all existing support contracts will be migrated into a new support contract (CSI)
  7. Oracle ULA Pricing:
    • Ranges from $1 million to $50 million depending on the number of products, length of the contract, and negotiation specifics
    • Oracle typically starts by asking for projected deployment numbers for the next three years, then applies a discount
    • Experience in Oracle contracts and negotiation plays an important role in determining the final price.

Oracle ULA Certification

The Oracle ULA (Unlimited License Agreement) certification is a crucial process for companies that have entered into an Unlimited License Agreement with Oracle. The certification verifies the deployments through an official license audit and ensures compliance with licensing agreements, cost savings, and improved management of Oracle deployments.

Key Points:

  • The Oracle ULA provides unlimited deployment rights for a subset of Oracle products for a specified period (usually three years).
  • At the end of the ULA term, the customer must either renew the agreement or engage in an official license audit.
  • The certification process includes an Oracle license audit to count and calculate the number of deployed licenses.
  • Oracle licensing in public cloud environments (AWS, Azure) and virtual deployments (VMware) can pose challenges.
  • Non-Oracle ULA software deployments can result in penalties.
  • It is recommended to begin reviewing Oracle licensing deployments and ULA agreement terms at least six months before the end of the ULA term and to seek the help of an expert.
  • The benefits of Oracle ULA certification include compliance, cost savings, and improved management of Oracle deployments.
  • Pitfalls to avoid during the certification process include incorrect license counting, non-Oracle ULA software deployments, and lack of planning.

In conclusion, it is crucial for companies to understand the Oracle ULA certification process and develop a strategy for managing it effectively. The cost of hiring an expert consultant for a successful certification process will be far less than the cost of Oracle software and penalties for non-compliance. The benefits of certification include compliance, cost savings, and improved management of Oracle deployments

Frequently Asked Questions about Oracle ULA

Q: Can I obtain an Oracle ULA if I’m not an existing Oracle customer? A: Yes, organizations that are not currently using Oracle software can also obtain an Oracle ULA.

Q: How long does an Oracle ULA last? A: An Oracle ULA typically covers a period of three to five years.

Q: Can I obtain additional licenses under an Oracle ULA?
A: Yes, organizations can obtain additional licenses under an Oracle

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