Verified asset management tools help speed Oracle audits

Too bad they don't help customers achieve a position on compliance

Oracle-verified third-party tools for software asset management are being used by Big Red to save time and effort conducting software audits, even though they do not offer users a compliance position.

Earlier this week Oracle spoke to an International Business Software Managers Association (IBSMA) webinar to give details of its approved third-party tools for understanding a user's Oracle footprint.

The ERP giant has run a third-party verification program since 2010, and ramped it up from 2019. Vendors on the list include ServiceNow, Micro Focus, Aspera, Certero, Eracent, Flexera, Snow, and Matrix42.

But Garrick Brivkalns, program manager for Oracle Global Licensing and Advisory Services, surprised some listeners when he said that Oracle verified the accuracy of these tools only in terms of raw usage data.

"We're not working to verify any other aspects that the tool might possess such as entitlements tracking, matching entitlements, the usage, and compliance position determinations," he told the webinar.

While third-party tools don't help users in terms of achieving a compliance position, they can help Oracle with audits, which have been known to strike fear into the heart of the most seasoned Oracle users.

A separate webinar run by Palisade Compliance, a company that specializes in helping businesses navigate Oracle's licensing and auditing, heard that Oracle was taking data from third-party asset management tools, speeding up the audit process and making it more efficient — for Oracle.

Once you pin Oracle down what they're really after is the data repository behind these tools. That is what they're after because it has a lot of the data that would be retrieved by the actual Oracle audit scripts themselves

David Arnold, Palisade Compliance vice president, said: "What we find is when the customer provides the reports, from these tools to Oracle, a lot of times Oracle says it needs additional information. Once you pin Oracle down what they're really after is the data repository behind these tools. That is what they're after because it has a lot of the data that would be retrieved by the actual Oracle audit scripts themselves.

"If you have one of these tools, Oracle can, in most cases, conduct the audit in less time because they don't have to provide their scripts, you don't have to test them run them and so on. Instead, they can ask for the reports, say it's not adequate, and then get a copy of that data dump repository and that's almost as good as the extract from Oracle's audit scripts themselves.

"If the tool has that type of repository, Oracle's going to say it's certified because it has basically all the information they need to perform the audit," Arnold said.

Craig Guarente, Palisade Compliance founder and CEO said: "If you use a tool verified by Oracle and Oracle use ti audit to you, it's actually better for Oracle because they don't have to hand you their scripts and argue with you and find it with you about running them and testing them. Also, there's less work for Oracle: it's faster. You're relying on something that Oracle says can't give you a compliance position, and Oracle gets to take all that data, do whatever they want with it to give you a compliance report."

Oracle was asked to comment on March 18. ®

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