- May 29, 2019
- Steven Myette
3 Reasons to Review Your Microsoft Compliance Position
Between software license audit threats, true-ups and software contract renewals, there’s a constant need to be on top of your Microsoft licenses and deployments. If you’re still not convinced, here are 3 common scenarios in which having a firm understanding of your Microsoft license compliance position can give you a leading edge when it comes to your relationship with Microsoft.
1. Software license compliance audit
Any customer with a Microsoft volume license can be selected for a software compliance audit at any given time. Microsoft software license compliance audits usually consist of a time-consuming data collection process followed by an on-site audit that can last over a week. Legal counsel may even be required to aid in the process.
Since software license compliance audits require a lot of time and internal resources, those same resources are pulled away from the day to day concerns of your business. While you may attempt to refuse an audit, doing so may be a breach of contract depending on your Microsoft licensing agreement which could result in losing your rights to Microsoft software.
If you have an up-to-date Microsoft compliance position, there will be no surprises in store when Microsoft comes knocking. You’ll also have the data in hand to back up any disputes you may have to Microsoft’s findings.
Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement provides you with the flexibility to deploy new software over the 3-year contract. This agreement means that every year you must evaluate the software deployed over that year and submit the results to Microsoft. This is called a true up and, in some cases, may lead to a software audit depending on what results are submitted to Microsoft.
To submit an accurate true-up, you need a complete picture of your users, devices and deployed Microsoft software. This process can take time and expertise to compile. Like software audits, true-ups can be extremely stressful and time consuming if you are not prepared.
Knowing your Microsoft compliance position in advance of a true-up gives you quick and easy access to accurate numbers that you can submit to Microsoft. True-up preparation should ideally begin 90 days out. This means that 25% of your calendar year could be consumed by activities surrounding your true-up if you don’t have ready access to your Microsoft compliance position.
Knowing your Microsoft license compliance position in advance gives you quick and easy access to accurate numbers you can submit to Microsoft for a painless true up without overspending.
3. Software contract renewals
Your software contract renewal can provide an opportunity to reduce your software spend on Microsoft software you may not be using. Knowing your Microsoft license position going into a contract renewal offers two big benefits:
- Software license compliance
- Cost savings
Contract renewals often include lengthy negotiations with a plethora of agreements from which to choose. It can be an overwhelming process. Having a firm grasp of your Microsoft compliance position is the ultimate negotiation tool since you’ll know exactly what licenses you need and how many.
So, when is the best time to review your Microsoft license compliance position?
As often as possible! With time-consuming annual true-ups, software contract renewals that require lots of preparation and negotiation, and the threat of looming software license audits, it’s important to always have an up to date Microsoft compliance position handy. Not knowing your software license compliance position when talking to Microsoft gives them all the power, leaving your company financially vulnerable.
Ideally, you are reviewing your Microsoft software license compliance at least once every 6 months. However, this can be much easier said than done.
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