It seems more and more companies offer audit support. Yeah, we can help you there too. BUT what about getting it right the first time? What’s wrong with not throwing caution to the wind and actually understanding the licensing impact before deploying the technology?
Here’s why SPLA providers get audited:
- No true way of counting users.
- If they do have a way of counting users – are they counting indirect access?
- No full understanding of product use rights – SAL for SA, SQL, Mobility, 3rd party datacenter hosting, Office 365, Azure, RDS, and the list goes on.
- No asset management strategy.
Here’s my thought on all of this. If I was a service provider reporting 100K annually on SPLA licensing, I would think it would be worth it to understand the licensing and more importantly the reasoning why I’m reporting what I’m reporting. To put it another way, if I was paying 100K dollars for a Porsche, wouldn’t I want to test drive it first?
I always think about what would happen if I was wrong in my licensing strategy. Whatever fee I would’ve paid initially for consultation would be peanuts to what I would owe in an audit.
I will leave you with a short story –
John hosts Dynamics CRM. Dynamics is what he knows extremely well and what he built his business on. Microsoft comes along and says – “Hey John, you are hosting Dynamics, you should be under SPLA. Here’s a 100 page SPUR to read. Best of luck.”
Now John understands he needs to license CRM software. What he doesn’t know is he needs to license SQL and Windows. More importantly, he doesn’t understand how he could help his customers take advantage of use rights to deploy in his datacenter.
Fast forward 2 years. John gets audited. He owes two years worth of licensing for Windows and SQL. He was also under the impression that if a user didn’t use CRM for a particular month, he didn’t have to report them even though they potentially have access to the software. He goes back to his customers to help pay for the compliance bill. They were thrilled to hear the news.
Last, his customers are not only upset that John is asking them to pay for a compliance true up, they feel they shouldn’t of had to pay for CRM in the first place because they already owned the licenses. Ugh. Poor John…No customers, no business.
Get the licenses right the first time. It will be worth it.
Thanks for reading