Most common criteria by which Microsoft targets its audits

All big software companies conduct audits on how their customers use their software, and they can result in unexpected bills for customers if the audit uncovers improper software usage. Microsoft is no exception, if you are on Microsofts audit trail, you can expect to be audited soon. Not only the growing number of employees will stimulate Microsoft to perform an audit on your company. Other events can give a signal to:

Changing the license metric

The exponential growth of technology pushes software vendors like Microsoft to change their license models every once in a while. In order to better understand the situation, we can mention the case of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, in which a license model change caused clients to potentially be incompliant.

Being audited by other software vendors attracts Microsoft’s attention

We often see that when a company is audited by a major software vendor, it catches the attention of other software vendors, including Microsoft.

Mergers and acquisitions

When companies merge, assimilate or acquire other companies, there is a high probability of them becoming non-compliant. Software licensing is an aspect that is often overlooked during M&As. This can result in insufficient licenses to cover the usage of the newly formed entities.

Growing number of employees

Companies that experience growth in the number of employees will be on the audit list if at the annual true-up declarations there is no increase in the number of licenses. Microsoft will consider that the company is most likely out of compliance.

Declared financial data correlated with purchasing behavior

Organizations that experience an increase in their fiscal value will be targeted if they don’t reflect this growth in their licensing needs.

Dissatisfied employees or former employees with a grudge

Organizations such as the Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a member, actively invite individuals to come forward and report non-compliance issues. It is quite common to see that employees or former employees that feel unappreciated (or worse), report their employer to the BSA, which will certainly instigate an audit.

Prepare your company for the next Microsoft audit with B-lay. We recommended creating a recurrent SAM process with designated roles and responsibilities that will keep everything in check for you. Experts, either in-house or third party consultants with license specific knowledge will be invaluable to most organizations. They can play a decisive role in determining your licensing requirements and negotiating the best terms and conditions before non-compliance situations actually occur. They can also help enterprises get Software Asset Management on the right track, automate the process as much as possible and monitor with Self-Audits to ensure a comfort point is maintained.

​Make sure you have the right expertise

You can of course invest in staff and building knowledge completely on your own. But you might also want to consider enrolling in a fully operational license management program. This can be done in less than three months and will be tailored to the specific demands of your company. Please contact B-lay, and get your audit defense in place.

More information can also be found in our white paper “Be prepared for a Microsoft Audit ”. Our new white paper format is mobile friendly, so you can easily read it on your tablet or mobile phone.

This article was published on 22-09-2016