Tis’ the season to be merry! To bring a little holiday cheer, Microsoft is gifting you an audit! In this article, I will break down some of the tricks to stay ahead of the game when Mr. Audit comes knocking. If you need help, please email us at email@example.com We have the resources and the expertise to help navigate through the process.
Do’s of an audit:
- Do a pre audit yourself. This is best to engage a third-party to know what is in your environment and what the auditors will look for. I like to think of it this way, if you pay your reseller 20k dollars a month (as an example) don’t you want to make sure you get it right?
- Use your own tool or method to collect the information. We know (and so does Microsoft) that you may not be collecting everything that auditor’s will look for but that’s one of the reasons why you should engage a third-party. We can use your data but we will compare it against the licensing rights so we know the risk before it becomes a risk.
- Know and understand customer owned licenses. Auditors will look at everything that is installed in your hosted environment. You need to know what you should be reporting and what you can get away with not reporting.
- Engage with the publisher, not disengage. Avoiding the notification will not solve anything and put you in a tricky situation.
- Keep calm. Overreacting doesn’t help your cause.
Don’t’s of an audit:
- Similar to 4-5 mentioned above, don’t be a jerk. Kind of like getting mad at another driver at a stoplight, it never solves anything.
- Hire a law firm to work with Microsoft on your behalf. If that happens, the publisher will engage their legal and it becomes very black and white. In this case, my bet is on the company with the billions of dollars in their bank account. If you engage in a third-party, it’s best to work with the third-party directly with your organization, not the third-party work with the publisher.
- Give the auditors everything they ask. Sometimes they ask for things that are not relevant to the situation.
- Throw in the towel. Even organizations who never report SPLA but are hosting can find a way to negotiate.
- Rush to close it. There are strategies that work out to your benefit if you hold off. Another benefit is it may give you better financial options.
Thanks for reading,