Keeping a Lid on Oracle Licensing Costs while Ensuring Compliance

Posted in: Technical Track

If this post seems a bit like an “advertorial”, please believe me — it’s not. Well, at least it’s not an advertisement for Pythian in any way. What it is, however, is a post about a longstanding business partner of Pythian’s who run a very useful service I think more of you should know about. Rest assured there is nothing “in it” for me or for Pythian for writing this. (Doug, I look forward to hearing you out on whether this post was appropriate or not!)

As background, supply management as a discipline has grown leaps and bounds for managing the quality and cost of parts. I was reminded of this today as I was reading this outstanding analysis by the Boston Consulting Group of Toyota’s supply-management process and its related successes.

Supply management for services is a different matter altogether, and has not really achieved this level of discipline. I will save a blog posting on that subject for another day, as it turns out that the Pythian model actually enables some more advanced supply management methods to apply to infrastructure-management services. But as I’ve already said, this article isn’t about Pythian.

It turns out that there is a way to apply sophisticated supply management techniques to your database licensing costs in quite an efficient, turnkey manner, and that way is simply to outsource this work to Miro. I recommend this to Pythian customers all the time.

Miro has a unique and extremely useful business model: they are consultants, but their subject matter expertise is focused squarely on Oracle licensing. As a result, they know all of the different versions of the OLSA, the different methods by which licenses can be converted from one type to another, and so on. They stay on top of all of the changes so that they can claim the options and opportunities for conversions on the most beneficial terms. They also offer an outstanding service of documenting compliance with Oracle licenses, either in support of a licensing audit by Oracle itself, or simply in support of internal review of software asset licensing.

I first worked with Scott Rosenberg and Eliot Colon in 1998, shortly after Pythian’s founding, when they were at Cintra — back when Cintra was the largest Oracle license reseller on the US Eastern Seaboard. These guys sold so many Oracle licenses that they learned all the tricks. And then, they decided they could start a company that put that knowledge to work not for Oracle Corp. but for the Oracle licensee. Neat idea, no?

Note that they are not alone in taking on this consulting model: Vinnie Mirchandani appears to be able to make a good living doing much the same thing as an independent.

What prompted me to write this note today is that I asked Scott for permission to post his recent Oracle licensing circular to our blog, since it has direct relevance to our open letter to Larry Ellison on AWR licensing, from this summer. Now that I’ve introduced Miro, I’ll write another blog post with their circular so you can have a glance at it. Stay tuned.



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About the Author

As Pythian’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul leads this center of excellence for expert, outsourced technical services for companies whose systems are directly tied to revenue growth and business success. His passion and foresight for using data and technology to drive business success has helped Pythian become a high-growth global company with over 400 employees and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Paul, who started his career as a data scientist, founded Pythian when he was 25 years old. In addition to driving the business, Paul is a vocal proponent of diversity in the workplace, human rights, and economic empowerment. He supports his commitment through Pythian’s hiring and retention practices, his role as board member for the Basic Income Canada Network, and as a supporter of women in technology.

5 Comments. Leave new

Well, it’s advertising, Jim, but not as we know it.

I think Oracle licensing is a fascinating subject and there’s such a lack of knowledge in this area that it’s useful for people to know that there are experts out there who can help them. It’s not even just about saving money, either, but knowing what your options are.

I’m lucky at my current site that we have a single, very experienced chap who looks after this stuff for us. It’s almost a full time job when you include all of the different products he has to manage. But why should big organisations who can afford this role pay *less* for their Oracle than smaller enterprises? That seems unfair.

So, perhaps it’s not an advert so much as the start of a campaign ;-)


The Credibility Police

Niall Litchfield
November 21, 2007 10:07 am

Hi Paul

I too think it acceptable advertising – and in an area which is largely underappreciated.


Thanks Doug, thanks Niall.

I’ve been struggling with the subject of how to disseminate business information about Pythian. I don’t want to go the press release route because frankly it just doesn’t fit with the company culture. But I don’t want to contaminate this blog, which is intended as a technical resource, with content that is sure to rub some the wrong way.

I’ve thought about creating a new category, and then hacking WP to exclude that category from the main RSS feed so that at least the aggregators don’t pick it up.

I’ve thought about going Doug’s route and having a separate blog altogether, so that I could maintain it as a blog style without changing the tone of this one. But that idea is not growing on me.

We have so much exciting news to share – we’ve signed on some great new customers, made some great strategic hires, taken on some amazing new work – but I don’t have a venue to mention it right now. It’s got me stymied.


vinnie mirchandani
November 21, 2007 10:49 am

Thanks for the mention

Not so much an indie as a small firm and we partner with a couple of larger firms, and always open to more partnering. We tend to cover a broad ground of IT negotiations from enterprise sw to outsourcing to offshoring to telecom. Gives us a much broader view of where there are plenty of “empty calories” in IT spend. Clearly in the Oracle ecosystem there are many such “diet” opportunities and write about many on my blog.

Webinar tomorrow: Applying the supply management promise to IT
March 3, 2008 11:42 am

[…] the presentation is being hosted and sponsored by Miro, a great partner of Pythian’s, and I blogged about Miro once before, here. You can register for the presentation by following this link: […]


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