If you recently went through an audit or just nervous about being notified, I outlined ten steps that service providers can take to arm themselves more efficiently and be compliant.
- If you are running Microsoft software, you must license Windows. All Microsoft software runs on a Windows OS.
- If you are licensing SharePoint- SharePoint requires SQL and Windows.
- Reporting SharePoint Enterprise you must license SharePoint Standard
- Installing Office on a server requires Remote Desktop (RDS) licenses. Office and RDS licenses should match (cannot have more Office licenses than RDS licenses)
- If you have customers bringing licenses into your hosted environment you need to host it in a physical and dedicated environment. (nothing shared among other customers)
- If you are reporting user licenses (SAL- Subscriber Access License) you need a license for each user that has access. For example, if you have 10 totals users in the month of May and only 4 actually use or access that software, you must license all 10. SPLA user licenses are similar to your cable bill; your cable provider is going to charge you regardless if you turn your TV on or not.
- If you have customer owned licenses in your environment, you must keep all relevant documentation. This includes enrollment information, start date, end date, and who they bought the licenses from.
- Renting out a PC make sure the PC has an OEM license preinstalled.
- No virtualizing/streaming Windows desktop OS from a datacenter.
- You can install your server on a customer premise, but do not install SPLA software on your customer’s server!
This is not bulletproof by any means. Use this as a guide when looking at your own environment. Look at it from the auditors eyes. What information would they need to verify that I am compliant? The SPUR (Service Provider Use Rights) is the best reference when it comes to Microsoft SPLA. You can download a copy here. If you have trouble sleeping at night; this is a must read.
Thanks for reading,