Are you ready for a Microsoft software audit?
If you have ever purchased software via volume licensing then your organisation or clients are on Microsoft’s radar and the software police will eventually come knocking. The chances are you have already gone through this process but if not listen up because you will and there is no escape!
I’ve gone through these Software Asset Management (SAM) reviews a few times now with various clients. Most of the time everything is fine but there have been occasions where the client cant find that bit of paper or that box that holds all of the Office install keys. In those cases the client had to purchase the licenses again to keep Microsoft happy.
Luckily we no longer offer pay as you go type services to clients so software management is always fully managed and made easier using remote management and monitoring tools (RMM) such as Logic Now’s Max Remote Management service.
If you don’t have a record of all hardware and software within your networks maybe its time to book in a review.
So what happens when Microsoft want to perform a review?
We get a few weeks to complete the audit and fill in the deployment summary document. Here’s what it looks like, its an Excel spreadsheet six sections to complete. Information on the company, the number of PC’s and servers you have along with all software you currently own and use get listed.
Once completed you send the document back to Microsoft and they will produce a report of all software you currently have and any discrepancies they find. In most cases they will ask for copies of license keys for specific products as proof of ownership.
If you have done a good job of documenting hardware and licensing within your business then Microsoft should be happy and will sign off their audit. If not then you will be asked to purchase any missing software licenses within 30 days and show proof of the purchase!
So act now and get your software licensing up to date. Find any missing licenses and resolve problems now otherwise you could be hit with a large and unexpected software purchase. Its far too easy to forget about user access licenses and Office especially when they are automatically installed via group policy to new machines.
- Write up a procedure for purchasing and deploying new PC’s which includes all software required.
- Consider putting everything into physical folders which holds all software CD’s and keys relating to each new PC and Server you deploy.
- Use remote management tools with software auditing capabilities such as Logic Now’s Max service.
- Assign responsibility of maintaining your software licenses to a single person or team.