Oracle License Audit – 1st Steps after the Letter

You have just received what appears to be an Oracle license audit letter, what do you do next?

How you respond to the initial audit request from Oracle will have a significant impact on the deal that is finally agreed with Oracle LMS. Below are a few steps you should consider.

Who is the Oracle audit request from?

It might seem obvious but you need to confirm who the audit request letter is coming from. Is it actually from Oracle LMS or is it an Oracle account manager, VAR or 3rd party consultant acting on behalf of Oracle. Not all license reviews (audits) carry the same weight and who the letter is actually from will determine how you respond to the request.

Type of Oracle Audit

Oracle LMS don’t like to use the word “audit” in their correspondence and prefer to say ” license review”. The end results is the same but it does lead to confusion among their clients. If the letter makes specific reference to your agreement and the section that gives them rights to review your usage, then you are being formally audited.

It is worth noting that some (usually very large) organizations have negotiated the audit/review clause out of their agreement so this is worth double checking, you could be one of the lucky ones.

Confirm receipt and your (conditional) Support

A license audit letter is never going to be a welcome sight and it will be tempting to ignore it for a week or two but this would be a mistake. In your initial communications you have an opportunity to set the tone and the ground rules for the audit.

Confirm your receipt of the notice and your wish to cooperate, but you now start to set down the conditions for your support.

Establish Scope and Schedule

A typical audit letter from Oracle LMS follows a set format and is usually light on details. You’ll want to immediately clarify what the exact scope of the audit is including: product families, legal entities, geographic regions and their suggested schedule.

Oracle LMS typically separate audits of Oracle Technology (database, options, packs and middleware) from Oracle Applications (EBS, Financials, Siebel, etc.) but this is not always the case.

Getting the proposed schedule can also help in negotiating concessions around the scope and will influence later strategy.

Single Point of Contact (SPC)

Right from the start you must set the communication protocol with Oracle. This should include a single point of contact (SPC) through which all communication (written, email and oral) must come to your organizations. The SPC should be at least one level removed from the senior manager addressed in the original letter.

Information Management (lockdown)

You need to inform all stakeholders in your organization that there is a vendor audit in progress and that all communication with Oracle must go through the SPC. The communication lockdown applies to Oracle Account Managers, resellers, consultants, Oracle support and any other party affiliated with Oracle. This instruction must come from senior management so there is no ambiguity.

No New Oracle Deals

It must be made clear to Oracle that this audit does not come without risk to them. This means that all negotiation across the entire organization related to the purchase of Oracle products, services and hardware are suspended until the audit is resolved. Keep in mind that not all Oracle Account managers will be rewarded by a deal coming from an audit and this may be included in your strategy later.

Get Advice – Fast

The sooner you get independent Oracle license advice the more time you have to prepare and act. An experienced license advisor will help you prepare your defence strategy, find and reduce compliance risks and coach you though the audit process. The stakes are too high to try doing this on your own.


Getting notification of an Oracle audit can be unnerving but by following the suggestions above you will establish your Oracle audit defence on a sound footing and significantly reduce the cost to your organization.

If you have receive an Oracle audit request, contact Suredatum, we can help you prepare no matter where you are in the process.

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Piaras MacDonnell