Are You Targeted for a Microsoft Audit/Microsoft Software Asset Management Review?

The current areas being targeted are in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Riverside County.  I am sure other areas in the country are targeted as well.

One of our clients just received a request from Microsoft for what is called a Microsoft Software Asset Management Review.  In other words it is a Microsoft software audit.  If you have gotten one of these letters and you need some assistance or guidance please contact us.  We have worked with a number of other clients over the years as they navigate through this process.  You can e-mail us at MicrosoftAudit@alvaka.net or call 949 428-5000 and ask for one of our consultants.

The letter sounds somewhat friendly and disarming.  They even mention a report that serves as a “final summary will detail over-licensing or any apparent variances that may need to be remedied.”

Be cautious.  Microsoft is not looking for customers who are over-licensed.  They are looking to find customers who are under-licensed to whom they can send a large invoice.  We have had experience working through this process with other clients. 

Below is a sample of that letter:

Dear John Doe:

Microsoft would like to work with your organization on a review of your Microsoft licenses.  This review process will be undertaken with all customers over a period of time and is intended to help you control your software assets.

The steps in the review process are as follows:

Process Steps

1.    We ask you to complete the attached Deployment Summary (spreadsheet format) and return to us via email.

2.    Once we receive your Deployment Summary we will analyze the Microsoft software in use against the licenses held and provide you with an Estimated License Ownership Position.  There may be areas that require further clarification.

3.    When this is done, a finalized License Ownership Position (as of the date of the review) will be provided, detailing what you own and what we understand 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.

4.    Along with the final License Ownership Position summary you will also receive a Software Asset Management Tips guide.

In order to make the process as efficient as possible we would highlight the following:

1.    You may wish to engage your IT Partner to assist you through (or even manage) the process on your behalf.

2.    We recommend that you request from your IT Partner/s a list of Microsoft licenses you have purchased via OEM (pre-installed with hardware) or FPP (boxed retail copies).  The purpose of this is to ensure that we are evaluating your total license ownership position.  Please note that records of licenses purchased under a Volume License Program (such as Open, Select or Enterprise) will already be available in the Microsoft records system.

3.    Microsoft makes available a free downloadable software product to assist with the inventory: MAP (Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit), which is a powerful inventory, assessment and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations and virtualization without the use of any software agents for up to 100,000 PCs.  It is available at www.microsoft.com/map.   

4.    If you have purchased Volume Licenses under a different company name or have acquired other organizations that may have purchased licenses, please try to have this information available.  This will enable us to identify any licenses you own which have been purchased under alternative names.

 The documents attached to this email:

•        A letter of introduction from Microsoft.

•        A document that covers some of the frequently asked questions regarding the review process.

•        A Deployment Summary that we would appreciate your response to by 25th April 2014.  If, for any reason, you are unable to meet this timeframe please contact us by return email. 

 What you can expect to get out of the review?

•        Consolidation of all your licensing records into one concise report which can then be maintained and modified by your organization in the future.

•        Assistance with understanding licensing rules, and in particular, how they relate to your own specific situation.

•        Licensing expertize and advice available to you throughout the process, free of charge.

•        Guidance regarding ongoing Software Asset Management to eliminate waste and redundancy and mitigate risks of non-compliance.

 Please note that if your organization acquires its Microsoft software licenses from an offshore parent company then we will not continue with the review process.  We would instead just need to ask you one or two clarifying questions by telephone and the review will then be closed.

 Please do ask questions if you are not sure about the information you are being asked to provide or if you have any queries whatsoever in regards to the SAM review process. 

For assistance you can e-mail us at MicrosoftAudit@alvaka.net or call 949 428-5000 and ask for one of our consultants