Part 1: Why all organizations should perform a license review

Why all organizations should perform a license review

Why all organizations should perform a license review

Controlling application license usage can be complex and time-consuming; many organizations neglect to consider inappropriate license usage until it’s too late.

In this article, I will briefly discuss two topics…

  • What is a license review?
  • Why all organizations should perform a license review?

This article has been written specifically with Oracle E-Business Suite in mind, but it equally applies to an organization using any other enterprise application.

What is a license review?

In a nutshell, a license review is a process of reviewing software license usage and comparing it to what you are actually licensed for with the specific goal of trying to help ensure you are not using more licenses than have been paid for.

A Simple Example

Let’s start with a simple, small example…

You have implemented Oracle EBS, you have purchased the following licenses…

  • Financials – 4 transactional licenses and 2 read-only licenses
  • Purchasing – 2 transactional licenses and 1 read-only license

During the implementation, you define your Oracle EBS users and responsibilities (roles).

Your assign financials responsibilities to 6 users (4 transactional and 2 read-only).

You assign purchasing responsibilities to 3 users (2 transactional and 1 read-only).

At any given point in time, you can determine which users are utilizing which licenses with relative ease because the numbers are so small.

So far, so good, right?

Scaling it Up

Now scale this up for your own organization’s user base; you might have 100, 1,000 or 10,000 users or more; you may have also licensed far more modules than just financials and purchasing. There could be hundreds, if not thousands of different roles and responsibilities all utilizing 10’s of thousands of functions and concurrent programs from a few hundreds of different EBS modules.

Now imagine just how difficult it is to keep track of exactly who can access what and how it might affect your Oracle EBS licensing.

The purchase of application licenses is done on a module by module basis (sort of) but license usage is determined at individual function and concurrent program level. This means that license usage is based on the actual functionality a user has access to at a granular level. An added complication is that many responsibilities/roles may include functionality from multiple modules.

Consider that Oracle EBS includes menus, submenus, and request groups that provide users access to data (through functions and concurrent programs) across different modules. A function available from a payables responsibility may provide visibility to data from purchasing. A function available from a receivables responsibility may provide visibility to data from order management and inventory. Request groups could provide similar, cross-module reports.

All of this means that it can be, at best, very challenging (often near impossible) to determine which licenses are being used by which users.

Forever Changing Licensing Landscape

Over time, new people join, some people leave, some people move around, new responsibilities and roles are created; all of these activities often provide different functionality to different people.

Individual functions and concurrent programs from different Oracle EBS modules find their way onto your user menus through new assignments, menu changes…etc. All the while, the possibility of a user suddenly having access to a module they didn’t previously is ever-present.

Why all organizations should perform a license review?

All organizations using Oracle EBS (or any other enterprise applications) are subject to a license audit, which will require a detailed analysis of your license usage. This could potentially reveal that you are using hundreds or even thousands of licenses that you have not paid for.

Your organization may find itself with a huge and unexpected bill for the extra licenses, not to mention possible retrospective payments and increased ongoing support costs.

This is a financial risk that all organizations using Oracle EBS (and other ERPs) face.

So, all organizations should perform some sort of regular license review to help ensure they are compliant with their software license agreements and thus help avoid any potentially unexpected license costs.

Want to know how we can help you perform a license review for Oracle EBS? Get in touch today and ask us about CS*License.

Want a quick overview of CS*License, check out the video below…

 

Next Time & Early Access

The next article in this series is “Why is it difficult to perform a license review“.

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Craig O'Neill
craig.oneill@caosys.com
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