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Sorry Consultants; It’s time to redress your understanding of Oracle licensing technology

15 Feb 2021

The word ‘expert’ is a slippery proposition. It denotes a wealth of experience, proven success and authority. Yet, it’s possible to be an ‘expert’ and still be doing things wrong, or, to be doing things correctly but in an antiquated way.

As technologists, we need to be constantly learning. Experience and expertise are validated by embracing technology and being at the forefront of innovation.

Yet in the SAM consultancy world and particularly around Oracle licensing, there is an apparent level of scepticism still over emerging SAM technologies that goes beyond being healthy, even into the realms of neo-luddism; an open refusal to seemingly learn the parameters of what emerging SAM technologies can and can’t do before dismissing them offhand… and when the ego makes assumptions, errors are not far behind.

So, today we ask: Is the expert the one who continues to believe that their past experience is sufficient to discredit potential new technologies without investigation? Or, are they the one who embraces learning the new means at their disposal to think and do things better…?

Which would you follow for guidance?

The Technology-Led Approach

Neo-luddism in SAM is not necessarily dangerous; the consultancy-led approach will get you to an understanding with your licensing. The difference however to the modern Technology-Led approach, is that the former is only ever point-in-time; an exercise that is not inexpensive, but the value of which is exhausted almost immediately.

The technology-led approach with a modern SAM solution is at a very high level, about not needing to repeat the manual processes anywhere near as often. That is after all as technologists, what we do: Digital Transformation.

And in times gone by, what Certero for Oracle can do now would seem unthinkable to someone experienced at the complex ‘dark art’ of optimising Oracle licensing. However, the reality now is that that art is no longer dark; customers want transparency and control over their data, their information, their business assets. It’s not just buying a summary report, it’s having continuous visibility and control and having the power to make good decisions.

Certero know how incredibly valuable and indispensable the knowledge and expertise of licensing specialists is – we have our in-house SAM team for precisely this reason, both skills and technology are essential. But we could never be ‘tools agnostic’… not when we know the difference between Certero for Oracle and traditional means of discovery, plus we want to be efficient in our SAM Services and give customers the option to digitally transform and move away from the old ways of working.

So, without shouting ‘Fake News!’ and being adversarial to the old approach, in the interest of transparency and progress, please allow us to address some commonly held myths.

FACT CHECK: Certero for Oracle

Oracle GLAS/LMS Verification

Certero recently became an Oracle LMS Verified solution, meaning that output from the tool would be accepted by Oracle in lieu of running LMS scripts. The more information and accuracy you have, the better foundation you have to analyse and optimise your licensing position. It’s a way to avoid false positives. Plus, it gives you the ability to see what’s returned – control over your data.

 

MYTH: Being LMS Verified means information from the solution is sent directly to Oracle.

FACT CHECK: Untrue.

Using an LMS verified solution means that you have control over your own data. Nothing is sent to Oracle by Certero, but Oracle have tested the technology extensively and verify that the capability of the technology is sound. Thinking this is the same as Oracle running scripts in an audit is hugely missing the point – the solution is there to put you in control.

 

MYTH: Having LMS verfied solution and not using multiple inventory sources means you can’t identify errors.

FACT CHECK: Untrue… mostly.

Historically this would have been true and Certero for Oracle was created to be the ultimate solution to compare other outputs to. That’s why there was a need to create it. Now, you can still verify Certero against other sources, but you need to understand the depth and accuracy of Certero to appreciate its unrivalled capability. Overwhelmingly, it’s Certero that will correct the other sources.

 

MYTH: Oracle only accept the output of their Collection Tool in an audit scenario and will not consider supplementary data.

FACT CHECK: Untrue.

Certero for Oracle has been used in this context. Even prior to the LMS verification, evidence from Certero was used to validate customer’s positions as Oracle, like all vendors, are willing to consider evidence. Certero provides you with the data and support to be able to prove your position.

 

As a side note – let us say that only those businesses who have been through the Oracle verification process truly understand the complexity and level of testing that both Oracle and the 3rd party go through. If the verification process was easy, or just a marketing gimmick and had no real value – lots more businesses would be doing it.

 

Understanding Your Oracle ELP

MYTH: Using Certero for Oracle will not enable you to establish an accurate compliance position.

FACT CHECK: Untrue.

Certero for Oracle has been created by Oracle licensing experts, to be used to deliver SAM services. It’s what Certero do. We use our knowledge to enhance and improve the solution continuously and to keep pace with Oracle releases, like 21c for example. Our only reliance is upon completeness of inventory and entitlement which is much the same as anyone else approaching licensing by declaration or script – it’s just our method is more efficient and its on-going and “real-time” rather than a one off, point-in-time report.

 

Coverage

MYTH: Certero for Oracle only provides partial coverage – just database.

FACT CHECK: Untrue

Suggesting Certero for Oracle offers ‘partial coverage’ and is not sufficient, is a misleading statement, perhaps driven by a fundamental lack of understanding of the verification program. Oracle’s verification process only covers Oracle Database and associated usage. However, Certero’s solution also offers analysis and inventory for Middleware and E-Business Suite as well.  If and when Oracle offer verification for these additional areas, Certero will be first in the queue!

 

LMS Scripts & False Positives

MYTH: Oracle will require you to run LMS scripts in an audit anyway

FACT CHECK: Untrue

Certero for Oracle includes scripts that are Oracle created and are untampered with, so it’s very unlikely Oracle will require you to re-run them separately again as it would just duplicate data. Think of Certero for Oracle as LMS Scripts+ the contrasting data sources for accuracy is a key function of the solution.

 

MYTH: Using Certero for Oracle will allow ‘False Positives’ to be submitted to Oracle

FACT CHECK:  True but for a reason!

The beauty of Certero for Oracle is that “false-positives” can be dealt with directly within Certero by using override functionality. The false-positives themselves are not generated by Certero for Oracle, merely reported as part of the inventory and recognized accordingly. False positives are a known hazard in any audit process and would appear regardless of the collection method. The whole concept of having our solution is to give you, the customer, visibility of where these are and what they mean. So, whilst Oracle require you to submit all data unmodified, including any false-positives, Certero allows you to be ready to answer and defend and to be fully cognizant of your estate come audit time.

 

MYTH: You can’t contrast script output to Certero’s data

FACT CHECK: Untrue

It’s perfectly possible to compare the Oracle script output to Certero’s data and the solution helps this to happen. We openly admit Oracle’s scripts offer ad-hoc additional configuration data which Certero’s SAM team and customers can and do use to enhance the compliance position. We work hand-in-hand with Oracle’s recognition – rather than treat them as separate and disparate entities and its something of a value-add that we pass along to our customers too.

 

Seeing is Believing

We hope this helps to dispel some of the incorrect assumptions surrounding the role and capabilities of the Certero for Oracle solution.

 

Ultimately, Certero provide technology-led SAM Services, so we know the consultancy processes well and we created and use Certero for Oracle because the very visual and accessible data it provides makes the process so much more efficient – and repeatable. For customers, that means the ‘time-to-value’ is much faster and there’s the option of sustaining that value if desired.

 

As a trusted SAM partner, Certero remain independent, so we work for you directly and can provide anything from a tactical ‘Audit Défense’ service to a unified ITAM, HAM, SAM, MDM, SaaS & Cloud technology solution, or a sustained SAM Managed Service… including solutions for SAP & IBM.

 

Our outputs are backed by hard evidence and supported by a team of very knowledgeable licensing experts, working in harmony with ground-breaking technology. So, if any of what we say seems unbelievable – just ask for a demo! We’re always happy to prove it! 

 

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