How Compliant Are You?

You may have heard that Microsoft does periodic software compliance audits on random companies but most people have never heard of anyone actually having an audit done…until now.

This year, we have seen four companies be put to task by Microsoft.  And don’t think a Software Compliance audit only happens to ‘big’ companies.  Our latest one has only 7 employees!

Let’s review what is involved in a Microsoft Software Compliance Audit:

1) Microsoft will send you a copy of any Volume Licensing Agreements they currently have on file for your company.
2) You will be given a deployment summary (Excel spreadsheet) to list any Retail or OEM software titles which you return to them by email.
3) You will be asked for copies of all invoices pertaining to software purchases which may include the actual hardware purchased with the OEM software installed.
4) You must list a minimum of 5 license keys for each version of each software title installed on all computers
5) Once Microsoft receives your deployment summary they will analyse the Microsoft software in use against the licenses held and provide you with an Estimated License Ownership Position. 
6) When this is done, a finalized License Ownership Position (as of the date of the consultancy) will be provided, detailing what you own and what Microsoft understands you are using, based on the information you have   supplied.  This final summary will detail over-licensing or any apparent variances that may need to be remedied.
7) Along with the final License Ownership Position summary you will also receive a Software Asset Management (SAM) Tips guide.

What  do you  get out of the review?

1) Consolidation of all your licensing records into one concise report which can then be maintained and modified by your organisation in the future;
2) A certificate from Microsoft confirming that you completed the review.
3) Assistance with understanding licensing rules, and, in particular, how they relate to your own specific situation
4) Licensing expertise and advice available to you throughout the process
5) Guidance regarding on-going Software Asset Management to eliminate waste and redundancy and mitigate risks of non-compliance.

What Can You Do Now?

1)  Gather all hardware invoices and store them in one place.  Most of us file our purchase invoices in a box filed by year.  Make an extra copy and keep it in a convenient place.
2)  Make note of license keys, usually kept on a sticker at the back of the computer (then buried in a mess of wires under your desk).  Keep it with the invoices.
3)  Print a copy of any downloadable license keys.  Leaving them in your email for safe-keeping never works.  Envariably your hard drive will die and there goes your proof of purchase.

Still confused?  Give us a call.  We can help!