How to Survive a Microsoft Audit: Part 3, Software Asset Management Review

Software Asset Management Review

In this series we are discussing the various types of Microsoft audits you may encounter and how to work through them.  You can read an overview of Microsoft audits in our first post in this series, and you can find procedures for “self-audits” in our second post.

Procedures for a Software Asset Management Review

The other type of audit you may encounter is the Software Asset Management Review or SAM Review. This is where Microsoft helps in the audit process by hiring a SAM consultant to help analyze the data. You will complete part of the process (with possibly the help of a consulting company such as Mirazon), Microsoft will complete part of the process, and the SAM consultant will take care of the rest.

This is a relatively new procedure for Microsoft so things may change, but the way I currently understand it the process is this:

Step 1:

(To be completed by Mirazon engineer and client.)

Microsoft will give you a “Deployment Summary” document that you will need to fill out or you will need to hire someone (such as Mirazon) to fill out for you. This is a rather long form where you will need to report:

  1. details about your company and any affiliates,
  2. what Microsoft products you currently have deployed in your environment,
  3. what boxed product (FPP) and pre-installed (OEM) licenses you own, and
  4. information about how you manage your software.

When you’re done, you will turn in the Deployment Summary to the SAM consultant that Microsoft has assigned to your account.

Step 2:

(To be completed by SAM consultant.)

The SAM consultant will receive the Deployment Summary from you and a licensing summary from Microsoft.  Then they will run an analysis comparing the two reports.

Step 3:

(To be completed by SAM consultant and the client.)

The SAM consultant will then supply you with an Estimated License Ownership Position document and will give you a chance to clarify or correct any information in their report. This will be your opportunity to fill in any knowledge gaps that the consultant still has so you can avoid unnecessary trouble with Microsoft.

Step 4:

(To be completed by SAM consultant.)

After that discussion, a License Ownership Position report will be finalized and provided to the client and to Microsoft.  In this report, you will be notified of any areas where you have a surplus or a deficiency of licenses.

Step 5:

(To be completed by the client.)

Any deficiencies will then need to be corrected by buying more licenses from an authorized reseller (such as Mirazon).

So in a nutshell, you will supply information about what is currently being used in your environment as well as what FPP and OEM licenses you own, Microsoft will supply information about the volume licenses you own, and a third-party SAM consultant will analyze the data and tell you if you are out of compliance.

At the end of the day, you may need to purchase some additional licenses to cover your environment and your users. But unless you are seriously abusing Microsoft products (for example, using a single license to install Windows Server on 20 machines), then there probably will not be any serious consequences.

As always, Mirazon is here to help.  If you would like to avoid any trouble with Microsoft if/when that audit letter shows up in your inbox, give us a call and we can help you get your environment cleaned up, your licensing in order, and help ensure that you are in compliance.

If you would like assistance with your audit or if you have any questions about Microsoft licensing, Mirazon would love to help. Please contact us at 502-240-0404 or at sales@mirazon.com.