Completing an internal Microsoft License Audit

Depending on the size of your organization, doing a Microsoft license compliance self-audit can be a very daunting task. I would suggest if you do not have internal resources, contract with a firm that will complete the process correctly and in a timely manner.

SAM (Software Asset Management)

If you do not have either of the resources, I would suggest finding a firm that can complete a SAM using Microsoft tools (same tools that would be used if Microsoft called for an audit). A SAM can provide the use and cost of your current software and helps you in understanding your current licensing structure and how to use it more effectively.

Below are 4 things that Microsoft points out in their website as benefits of SAM:

  • Improved visibility; “always on” means no surprises or disruptions to your business
  • Real-time deep data insights to drive the right technology decisions for your business needs
  • A potential savings of up to 30% on IT spend
  • Processes for metering, right-sizing, and harvesting of unused software and cloud services to eliminate unnecessary consumption.

“By 2020, enterprises with an effective SAM practice will reclaim 25% to 30% of their total software spending, compared to enterprises that do not.” -Gartner, Three Steps to Create an Effective SAM Tool Strategy With Gartner’s Tool Decision Framework, 15 February 2017.

One of the best recommendations is that the business team makes sure they are staying compliant and not trying to catch up.  Below are a few things that I have found important to help your business in the process of getting through a compliance audit.

  • Make sure your license agreements /renewals are intact! The easiest way is to work with your VAR to make sure your Enterprise agreement is up to date or if possible, you are purchasing Software Assurance to future proof your versions.
  • Start now! The last thing you want is to be out of compliance if Microsoft knocks on your door.
  • Store all your invoices! Make sure to keep all Microsoft license purchase invoices in a single place for easy access.
  • Inventory your Microsoft Software! Make sure as an ongoing practice that you keep an inventory sheet of all your installs and users/devices so that you can easily prove that your business is compliant.
  • Your VAR is important! Make sure you have a trustworthy VAR that can provide the correct licensing as needed. Microsoft may be understanding if you are missing a license here or there, but they also want you to have a fast ability to true up if needed.

Finally, if you have concerns about your current compliance please do not hesitate to reach out to the DeltaWare team to discuss how we can help you in this process.