How to Avoid a Microsoft License Audit
What is a Microsoft license audit? Who performs them? What are the common risks associated with Microsoft license compliance? Read on to learn more. This article covers the basic facts about Microsoft license audits, as well as common risks associated with licensing your company’s software. Here are some examples of potential problems that you can avoid. A license audit performed by Microsoft is a legal requirement, and you need to be prepared for it. You should have a clear understanding of what it entails and what to expect.
What is an Microsoft license audit?
An Audit is a formal review of compliance with Microsoft’s licensing policies. Microsoft conducts audits with its business customers through third-party accounting firms. The objective of an audit is to ensure that a company is fully compliant with its licensing policies, and this audit process can have a financial and operational impact on an organization. The following are the steps to take to ensure compliance. Identify the types of license audits Microsoft may conduct.
The first step in preparing for a Microsoft license audit is to review your software and hardware usage. A software license audit is likely to reveal that your company has too many licenses for your hardware and software. It may even result in penalties and fines that are much higher than those incurred when a company performs a self-assessment. Fortunately, there are ways to stay compliant with Microsoft’s licensing policies without incurring significant costs. The Microsoft service desk solution can help you keep track of software licenses. This solution automatically records changes and updates to software licenses. However, few people can accurately list the number of licenses they use. Large organizations may want to schedule regular software inventories.
If you are a large enterprise using Microsoft software, you may be a candidate for a Microsoft license audit. Microsoft has a systematic approach to selecting volume license customers, and audits are expected every three years. While this audit process is voluntary, it is a significant burden that requires considerable internal resources to successfully complete. In addition, refusal of an audit may result in a breach of contract, affecting your rights to use Microsoft software.
Who performs Microsoft license audits?
Before hiring a Microsoft auditor, make sure your company understands how their licenses are used. Not all audits are created equal. To avoid a Microsoft audit that may result in costly fines, create a proactive License Position Assessment (LPA) using an independent expert. These assessments can identify potential Microsoft risks and protect your budget from the costs of a license audit. Before receiving an audit letter, prepare your organization by building an audit team that includes IT, legal, and C-level representatives. If necessary, hire an independent expert to conduct the audit for you.
The first step is to determine whether your software compliance is up to date. The renewal rate may have been lower in recent years. This is a good indicator of significant non-compliance. You may also be able to determine whether your company is currently under audit. Microsoft will choose an independent certified public accounting firm to conduct the audit, but be aware that this information is subject to change without notice. In addition to the audit process, you should understand the terms and conditions of Microsoft’s volume licensing programs.
A SAM audit will determine whether your organization’s software licenses are properly managed. The type of audit your organization undergoes will depend on your company’s IT infrastructure and business requirements. In general, customers with Volume Licensing contracts should undergo annual audits. Audits for Open and Selection licensing agreements are more common than those for volume license agreements. The frequency of audits increased by nearly seventy percent between 2008 and 2011 alone.
What triggers an Microsoft license audit?
The Microsoft license audit process is one way of ensuring that your company is using the most recent version of software and is compliant with licensing rules. Typically, software companies audit Volume Licensing customers every three to four years. Watchdogs and software companies also periodically check for compliance.
What triggers an audit? Here are two common reasons.
You might be a target for a software audit if you have a history of non-compliance.
- You’ve received a notice that your company has been selected for a Microsoft license audit. This notification can mean several things. First, it could be a national accounting firm focusing on Microsoft license compliance. If you’ve been contacted by a national accounting firm, this could mean significant areas of non-compliance. Second, it could be a symptom of a more complicated IT environment. For instance, high usage of cloud infrastructure, BYOD, and virtualization can lead to an audit.
- Second, an audit may be scheduled for your organization if you don’t regularly maintain your software inventory. To avoid being audited, update your licenses regularly and use an automated service desk to keep track of all your software.
This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally use software that isn’t licensed. If your organization uses software from different vendors, it may be difficult to communicate what types of software it has. If you’re planning to go through a Microsoft audit, you might want to consider an external solution that will help keep track of your software licenses automatically. These solutions can streamline your organizational strategy and save you time.
Common license compliance risks with Microsoft
Common license compliance risks with Microsoft can affect a company’s ability to renew its software contract or handle audits of its software licenses. By understanding the risks, businesses can take proactive measures to minimize these costs. In addition to minimizing audit risk, proactive license management can also help companies reduce software costs and avoid over or under-licensing. In fact, Gartner has found that organizations can save up to 30% on their Microsoft license costs the first year after proactive licensing.
For example, a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement may have been expired during the recession, leading to a potential compliance risk. Additionally, few organizations have purchased new Microsoft products since 2008, making the company’s license compliance risks even more difficult. Additionally, companies must deal with issues such as BYOD, desktop virtualization, cloud environments, and evolving Software Assurance benefits. To avoid these issues, organizations should consult with a Microsoft licensing expert and consult a Microsoft licensing consultant.
Regardless of the size of a company, it is crucial to make sure that licensing reports reflect the entire Microsoft estate. Oftentimes, licenses purchased by acquired entities are not included in the license compliance report because they are listed under their entity names rather than the parent organization. Additionally, licenses purchased in a retail environment may not appear on the report at all if they were purchased less than 45 days ago. The lack of license compliance can cause a number of serious problems for a company.
Benefits of getting help in an Microsoft audit
Getting help in an auditory is not always easy. Many organizations struggle to track their software licenses due to their large size, and IT professionals can sometimes juggle multiple vendors and products. This can make it difficult to keep track of software licenses and renewal dates. One way to streamline the audit process and save time is to use an automated service desk solution. These services allow organizations to keep track of their software licenses, including Microsoft and non-Microsoft products.
There are numerous advantages of using an expert in an audit. For one, they can help you optimize your software licensing portfolio, negotiate the best T&Cs, and navigate the Microsoft audit process. These services can also help you determine if you are currently under audit, as well as verify your current license status. By getting help in an audit, you can avoid a potentially costly situation later. With the help of an expert, you can avoid wasting time, money, and resources on an audit that you cannot afford.
Obtaining professional help is essential in an audit because Microsoft is becoming increasingly hostile and formalized. As a result, audits are more likely to include large financial penalties and fewer friendly requests to “true up” licenses. While companies are contractually obligated to turn over license information to Microsoft, if they don’t, they may face hefty financial penalties. The best way to avoid a Microsoft audit is to get help from an independent third party that specializes in such matters.
Negotiating a microsoft license audit
The best way to negotiate a Microsoft license audit is by using the techniques and strategies used by the software giant. Software Asset Management is a process that integrates processes and technology to improve software usage throughout an organization. While Microsoft License Compliance Verification (LICV) and Software Asset Management may be confused, they are very different. The key to negotiating a Microsoft license audit is to be prepared for every eventuality. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
The first step in negotiating a Microsoft license audit is understanding the underlying reasons why your company has been notified of an upcoming audit. For instance, if your organization has a large Microsoft footprint or uses cloud infrastructure heavily, you may have a higher risk of being audited. In addition, if your organization has high levels of virtualization or BYOD or industry devices, you may find yourself subject to a Microsoft audit.
Another mistake that many organizations make is not being prepared for an audit. Microsoft typically sends a document outlining requirements and challenges the quantities declared to be in use. Moreover, if you recently launched a new project requiring a large number of SQL Server Processor Enterprise licenses, Microsoft may challenge those amounts as well. You may have been unaware that the project is run by the marketing department, which may not have read the fine print on your contract.