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USU Software Asset Management Certification – Oracle Database License Management

Executive Summary

The ITAM Review is pleased to announce that USU Software Asset Management is certified for management of Oracle Database licenses.

ITAM Industry Analyst AJ Witt said:

“USU Software Asset Management provides richly-featured tooling to assist customers in managing their Oracle database estate. Backed with excellent Managed Services it is clear that USU Software Asset Management will deliver strong ROI for any customer wanting to get better visibility and control of their Oracle estate.”

Customers praised its return on investment, flexible deployment options, ease of implementation, and USU’s managed services.

Product Assessment Summary

Pros:

  • Mature product from a SAM veteran
  • Highly Configurable
  • Oracle-verified for Database product discovery & inventory
  • Strong Managed Services
  • References report solution was good value compared to competitors

Cons:

  • Concerns around response times for technical issues/requests
  • Requires expert analysis to derive maximum ROI

Detailed Assessment

USU Software Asset Management was assessed against The ITAM Review’s Oracle Database License Management certification in Q4 2020. Two customer reference calls were completed, along with a questionnaire and product demo.

The assessment criteria are split into four categories:

Entitlement

Entitlements are managed within a dedicated Contract Management module. These are entered manually, but Aspera can help import large contracts via their consulting services if required. In keeping with Aspera’s approach to cost management in other products, entitlements can be assigned to an organisational structure including affiliates, departments, cost centres and so on. This is important for enterprise-size organisations needing to manage Oracle entitlements worldwide. Contracts and Entitlements of all types can be recorded, including those obtained under an Unlimited Licensing Agreement (ULA).

Consumption

Consumption data is gathered via the included USU Discovery solution. This tool does network discovery, agent-based, and agentless collection. Using customer-provided credentials it collects database-level and hardware-level information about Oracle database deployments both on premises and in the Cloud. This includes tracking licensing details for usage licensed via Named User Plus (NUP) licenses.

Data gathered includes Database Edition, Options, & Packs, and deployments can also be tagged as being test, development, or non-production. The tool can also gather license consumption information for cloud instances.

Reporting

USU’s integrated Oracle Optimization solution gathers the data required to prepare an Oracle Server Worksheet (OSW) for compliance engagements. As an Oracle-verified tool the data collected by the product is acceptable as an alternative to running Oracle-provided discovery scripts. To enable planning and forecasting the tool enables baselining and tracking of consumption trends. In conjunction with USU SAM Software Asset Management, it is possible for users to run scenario (“what-if”) models and to calculate optimal deployments for their entitled licenses. There is a fully configurable ruleset to enable customers to calculate compliance based on Oracle guidance on the use of virtualisation technologies such as hard and soft partitioning. For users with their own dashboarding and reporting tools it is possible to incorporate USU Software Asset Management reporting and data in tools such as Power BI, Tableau, and so on.

Additional Services

USU provides a dedicated Oracle License Consultancy service, available as a Managed Service. They also provide implementation and configuration support for new installations. USU Software Asset Management can be installed on-premises or hosted in a dedicated single-tenant cloud-based instance.

Customer References

Customer references were sourced in consultation with USU (formerly Aspera). References are representative of the typical customer size and use cases for managing Oracle database licensing. If you are a USU customer, we would welcome your review of USU Software Asset Management – you can provide this via our Marketplace.

Customer Reference 1 – Global Software Development Company

This US-based reference customer has been an USU Software Asset Management customer since 2017. The customer operates globally with approximately 8,000 employees primarily located in EMEA & North America.

USU Software Asset Management was selected by RFI in response to the need to certify an Oracle deployment to comply with the terms of a license agreement. The customer looked at options including Managed Services, a one-time engagement with an Oracle license consultancy, and having a solution that enabled continuous monitoring of their Oracle estate. USU Software Asset Management was selected for matching the need for continuous monitoring, value, and service.

USU Software Asset Management has delivered millions of dollars in cost avoidance by shining a light on areas where the customer’s Oracle estate could be optimised. Optimisation opportunities were then tracked by the tool to completion. Additionally, they use the tool to provide accurate budgeting, forecasting, and cost analysis.

They found the tool easy to deploy in conjunction with USU’s implementation support and the tool is managed day-to-day by USU’s Managed Services team. The organisation finds that the tool discovers Oracle database license usage across all their environments – including AIX and Linux – and enables complex analysis of deployments in those environments. They also appreciate that the solution integrates with other USU Software Asset Management solutions, enabling holistic reporting of Oracle usage in the context of wider software usage.

USU’s Managed Services provided implementation support and configured the tool to match the organisation’s unique business requirements. The customer is also happy with the ongoing Managed Services provision although they note that technical issues have taken a long time to resolve, in part they feel due to Oracle support for the product being based in the EU. USU’s Oracle technical support/development team for the product are based in France and support is not available 24/7. Whilst issues are resolved, they feel that resolutions could be provided more quickly. From a customer success perspective, they are happy that USU have acknowledged that this is an issue and that they are taking steps to resolve it.

Overall, the ROI delivered by USU Software Asset Management means that they are happy with the product and will continue to use it to optimise their Oracle estate.

Customer Reference 2

This customer reference is a global retailer headquartered in France who has been a USU Software Asset Management customer since 2017. They also use USU’s integrated Optimization for SAP solution and USU’s solution for enterprise SAM.

USU Software Asset Management was selected as part of an overall commitment to USU’s ITAM products in 2017. They are using it to manage the risk of Oracle use through optimisation of environments. Across over 50 Oracle servers they use the tool in conjunction with their Database administrators (DBAs) to optimise their license consumption. One area of success has been in reducing consumption of Oracle processor licenses by 1/3. They have also been able to move workloads to cheaper deployment options such as Oracle Database SE2.

The solution was installed and configured by USU’s Managed Services team who also calculated the initial license compliance baseline that they’re working to optimise. Over the past three years support have been very responsive in fixing issues and in working with them to modify the solution to meet their needs.

In terms of ROI the solution has delivered many times over. Whilst it is not a substitute for expert SAM & Licensing knowledge it does provide accurate, reliable data to enable informed decisions to be made about how best to deploy Oracle Database products from a licensing perspective.

Certification Process

The ITAM Review certifies tools and services against community-sourced and maintained certification standards. These comprehensive standards seek to measure real-world product capabilities by testing them against common use cases and scenarios. The certification process includes two customer reference calls, a detailed survey, and a vendor-provided analyst demo. In order to ensure certifications continue to meet current and emerging needs, products and certification standards are re-assessed every two years.

The certification standard for Oracle Database License Management is available here.

Scope & Limitations

The information contained in this review is based on sources and information believed to be accurate at the time it was created. Therefore, the completeness and current accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Readers should use the contents of this review as a general guideline, and not as the ultimate source of truth.

Similarly, this review is not based on exhaustive technical study. The ITAM Review recommends that readers complete a thorough live evaluation before investing in technology.

Independence

The ITAM Review is 100% privately owned, vendor and service provider independent, and impartial. The ITAM Review does not supply or sell SAM tools or services.

Copyright

You must not publish, sell, distribute or reproduce this report or any part of this report without the permission of the author.

Throughout this report, the author refers to brands, products and trademark names. Rather than place a trademark symbol at every occurrence, we hereby state that we are using the names only in an editorial fashion with no intention of infringement of the trademark.

This publication is Copyright © 2021 The ITAM Review / AJ Witt / Enterprise Opinions Limited, all right reserved worldwide.

 

 

About AJ Witt

A former IT Asset Manager, AJ is Industry Analyst for The ITAM Review. He's interested in hearing from end users of ITAM tools and also vendors. He enjoys writing about the SaaS Management market, practical aspects of ITAM operations, and the strategy of major software publishers. You can connect via email (aj.witt@itassetmanagement.net) or LinkedIn. AJ is based in the New Forest where he enjoys cycling, walking, spending time with his family, and keeping chickens

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