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Conduct an internal audit before renegotiating unused Oracle licenses

We purchased, with Oracle's guidance, several Hyperion Planning modules that we did not actually need, shortly after the Hyperion purchase. It's apparent to me now that anyone that understood those modules and our company would have been aware we did not need them and weren't big enough to ever use them. My question is this -- is there any way to go back to Oracle and demand some type of credit for those licenses or ask to transfer those licenses to some other license we could actually use?

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I hear your frustration. You may try to go back and demand credit for the licenses in some way, but that opens the door to renegotiating your contract – which is typical of any software vendor – be it Oracle, Microsoft or SAP. If you don't have an up-to-date central repository on your software licensing, you may come out on the losing end as you may be opening yourself up to an audit. In all fairness, if you're asking for a change in Oracle licensing and, essentially, a change in Oracle's contract, Oracle has every right to go in and audit in order to understand your organization's environment better. However, you should be aware that we often find that in these situations, organizations are out of compliance, due to under or over-licensing (as you found with your Hyperion Planning modules). Here's what I suggest:

1. Do an internal audit and understand your environment first. If you don't have the time, energy or internal resources, seek a third-party auditor. You'll likely be surprised at what other cost efficiencies you can find during this stage.

2. Once you understand your licensing environment, you'll be in a better position to go back to Oracle to talk about the unused and unnecessary Hyperion Planning modules.

3. Depending on when these unused licenses were ordered, you may have other options that allow for restructuring around the excess.

This was first published in July 2009

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