Myth: Oracle/SAP will audit you if you leave their support

Myth Oracle SAP audits third-party support

An audit from Oracle or SAP is inevitable; switching to third-party support won’t change your chances, but other factors can increase the risk.


An audit is inevitable

Many customers with Oracle and SAP have the same constant fear in the back of their mind: the fear of an audit.

An Oracle or SAP audit has a risk of finding your organisation out of compliance and you’ll be asked to pay vast sums of money in fines and fees. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll be forced onto their expensive Cloud as it’s “the only way” to reinstate your compliance.

We often hear the belief that moving away from Oracle or SAP’s support programme, and switching to third-party support, puts you at higher risk of an audit.

However, the truth of the matter is this:

If Oracle/SAP want to audit you, it’s a case of when, not if.


What can increase my chances of an audit?

The risk of an Oracle or SAP audit is always going to be there. However, there are certain events which can increase the chances of one going ahead:

  • If they conclude that your organisation has grown – regardless of whether it has or not – but hasn’t purchased a new load of user licenses. This might also occur should your organisation undergo a merger, or acquisition. Anything which sees an increase to your staff numbers, and therefore, will potentially increase the number of users, license requirements, and accessed features.
  • If you contact them yourselves, to discuss new licenses. This raises their attention to the fact you may not have the right ones.
  • If one of their sales representatives present you with a proposal, and you decline to buy it. That person can then contact the audit team, to trigger an audit.
  • Also, if you decide to discuss options around moving to the Cloud. If you contact them about the Cloud and decide not to go ahead, they may trigger an audit to pressure you, then offer to waive their findings if you purchase Cloud licenses.
  • If it’s the end of the financial year and they need to find some more revenue before the close of Q4. Oracle specifically seem to use an audit not as a compliance exercise, but a method of generating revenue.

The myth around audits and third-party support

One thing which does not increase your chances of an audit is switching to third-party support. Admittedly, it doesn’t decrease your chances, either – in short, there is no correlation between switching and being audited.

Oracle and SAP use audits to their advantage, to catch you out and charge expensive fines – and they could do so at any point while you’re their customer. The only defence is to be prepared and to understand your contract.

Mark Smith, CEO of Support Revolution

If nothing else, you’re in the most danger of getting audited simply by being with Oracle/SAP’s own support programme as they have a much better insight into your business this way.

Don’t let them catch you out, and certainly don’t let the fear of an audit keep you from leaving their support programme. It should never be your motivation to stay with them. Make it your motivation to get away from them.

And remember, audits are just one of the dirty tricks that Oracle and SAP use to get more money from you or keep you locked into their services. We’ve written a report with the most common of these, plus our guidance on how to defend against them: