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Senior director for Western Europe reports growing demand for LMS services
Every enterprise software asset manager wants a better grip on Oracle licensing. To that end, there's probably no better source than Oracle itself. With more than 400 consultants worldwide in 114 countries in its License Management Services (LMS) department, Oracle partners with customers large and small to help them not only understand their contractual rights but get the most out of their Oracle software investment. The LMS team offers education on Oracle solution management and best practices, and helps customers plan and budget more accurately for projects.
And the demand is growing, says David Fraser, Oracle's senior director of License Management Services for Western Europe. "What we're seeing now is an absolute appetite to engage in a larger conversation to understand Oracle licenses on-site and in the cloud. Cloud licensing is still relatively new in the market and customers are working through their cloud strategy," says Fraser.
Growing interest in managing software in the cloud is not surprising because cloud licenses—in private, hybrid, or public environments—are rapidly growing, billion dollar run-rate businesses, according to Safra Catz, Oracle Chief Financial Officer. (See http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/oracle-reverses-decline-in-hardware-revenue-238666.)
And license managers at both senior and junior experience levels tell IBSMA they need guidance when it comes to cloud and on-premise installations, for Oracle and other enterprise software.*
Fraser and his team of experts spend a large amount of time helping Oracle customers ensure that their Oracle software is deployed properly. One of the most common areas of concern arises with outsourcing and acquisitions, he says. "Often we see a large company going through a merger or an acquisition, and they've acquired a business that was maybe doing something [in the cloud] that then gets rolled into the larger organization's software portfolio without a close look at the licensing. These types of situations happen, and we always encourage companies to work with us in these circumstances to ensure that [the licenses are] deployed properly."
Despite the fact that software deployments are unique to each organization, Oracle's LMS offers a trove of best practices that can be applied universally. One simple, yet often neglected best practice is to have strong procedures and processes in place. "Just by having good governance in place and a collaborative approach, organizations can prevent a lot of licensing issues," Fraser notes.
"We've seen projects where there isn't the governance in place or the procedures or the tool systems to check if the software can be used in the way that the company wants to use it." The results can range from simple over deployment to more complex licensing issues.
In his nearly 19 years at Oracle, Fraser has encountered a wide range of SAM programs. Although most are robust, he's seen understaffed and underfunded departments, and incomplete or nonexistent procedures. Yet a lot of the problems have to do with a lack of executive buy-in and support for license management requirements, he says.
To address this, Oracle LMS seeks to engage customers in a wider, more strategic conversation not only across business tool sets but including a customer's business goals and objectives and a clear understanding of their requirements and strategy. And a growing percentage of Oracle customers are taking advantage of its license management services (which are separated from its sales area) to not only uncover licensing issues but to optimize their entire Oracle portfolio.
For more on the unique perspective of Oracle LMS, join the crowd of experienced SAM professionals at the SAM Summit in London, Oct. 21-22, where David Fraser will present Oracle's Approach to License Compliance.
To schedule a one-on-one meeting with an Oracle LMS representative during the SAM Summit on October 22, stop by the event registration desk. Visit SAMSummitLondon.com.
*Source: IBSMA 2014 member surveys and course and event evaluations.
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