In recent years, Microsoft have been encouraging further migration to their cloud services (to which they have had a lot of success in doing).

Because of this, their approach to audits has changed. You are less likely to receive an aggressive software licence audit (like you might with IBM or Oracle, but instead be asked to complete SAM Assessments and utilise Migration Readiness tools.

That’s not to say there’s not still pitfalls and issues that can emerge in regard to Microsoft licencing, they just look different to what you might be used to historically or from other vendors.

If you’re wilfully using software you’re not entitled to use, then this will rightfully be picked up and action taken.

Especially because Microsoft products have probably been in your organisation longer than any other software publisher with potentially years-worth of purchase orders and multiple versions of applications installed.

How to manage Microsoft audits

When our customers present us with assessments and audits from Microsoft, here are the initial steps we follow, to create adequate and compliant responses to Microsoft.
  • You can and should request your Microsoft License Statement [MLS], this will give you an accurate understanding of what licences you have purchased and are entitled to use.
  • Use a SAM toolset to gain visibility over your current Microsoft Estate. Once you have your MLS, you can actually directly import this to your SAM tool to begin cross checking your compliance
  • Don’t rely on your software reseller for SAM services. Their record will most likely not be an accurate representation of your estate and they may have a vested interest upselling services and software to you, when you expose a concern.
  • If you buy software and service direct from Microsoft again, do not place any reliance on your sales/account relationship with Microsoft as tactic to avoid audits and penalties. As with other publishers, sales and auditing are not connected within Microsoft business

Seeking independent advice on Audits

When seeking guidance on any ITAM challenges, it is important to gain experienced and independent advice. Many large consultancies, including those within the big four, may sell or describe themselves as independent.

However, there will always be some crossover and between your interests those of many software publishers, who can often also be customers of theirs. This can create quite subtle conflicts, which will sometimes lead to compromised outcomes.

An independent ITAM adviser will always be 100% on your side of any assessment or negotiation, All the data, reports or calculations shared between you and your ITAM advisor will forever remain confidential, any mistakes in previous licence management are treated sensitively and with the best end result for you in mind.

To speak with a truly independent ITAM advisor, get in touch with our expert team today, fill out the form below…

Get in Touch

If you’d like to find out how SAMGarde can support your business in succeeding with software, just get in touch today, using the form or details below.

Our Confidentiality Guarantee

We appreciate that sometimes you can find yourself in tricky position with licencing, and it can be difficult to share information on mistakes or accidental software misuse.

This is why we promise to keep all conversations confidential, and always approach your scenario with practical advice and without any judgement.


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