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Webinar Highlights: Are ULAs easy to get out of?

In theory, leaving a ULA should be simple – but that’s rarely the case.

When you leave a ULA, you go through a process called ‘certification.’  You declare or ‘certify’ what software you’ve used from your ULA, get this signed by a C-level executive, and submit this certification to Oracle. Seems simple enough, right? Here’s where problems arise.

Complex contracts

When you submit your certification, it’s likely that the Oracle sales rep will tell you that it’s not that simple and they need to know the full complexity of the deployment of your licences. They take advantage of your fear during this process and they’re likely to start mentioning things like audits, scaring you into simply renewing your ULA to save yourself the hassle.

Contradicting clauses

The real ‘gotcha’ greatly affects ten to 15-year-old ULAs. The contracts you originally signed refer to web pages that have since changed, your contract has been tweaked each year, and things can start to get messy and confusing. Oracle like to constantly improve their contracts to benefit themselves, including your ULA contract.

Oracle’s Trojan Horse

Often, Oracle will offer to help you “get the most from your licences” rather than cancel your ULA. This is the oldest trick in their book. If you accept their help, they will send an audit/sales team in disguised as an “optimising team” and if they find any kind of non-compliance, they will offer you one way out: buy another ULA.

What can you do about it?

You can make the process of escaping your ULA simple if you follow these steps:

  1. Give yourself plenty of time to go through the certification process (12 months if possible)
  2. Get the right people involved internally or find an independent advisor
  3. Ensure your independent advisor is 100% independent, without any vested interests or remuneration from Oracle
  4. Be conscious of what is in Oracle’s best interest (Hint: ULAs generate huge revenues for them)

Mark Bartrick from Forrester and Mark Smith, CEO of Support Revolution, go into more detail regarding this widely believed myth in the webinar highlight below.

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