The first step on ascertaining your license position is to go through a discovery process. The purpose of this exercise is to ascertain exactly what software is deployed across your organisation. This should include all sites from the central HQ to regional offices. This will include owned affiliates.
The method you approach this will depend on your organisations existing investment in Software Asset Management (SAM). You will need access to a discovery tool which will enable you to scan your network. Software inventory tools intelligently “discover” software installed across the network and collect software file information such as Title, Version and Edition. Some inventory tools compare software inventory data with purchasing information to reveal license deficits and ensure that organizations remain compliant with their licensing agreements.
HINT: As a starting point you can start this project using the Microsoft Inventory Analyser (MSIA) Tool.
If you have limited resources to conduct a Microsoft License Review it is recommend to agree and scope out a project with a Microsoft SAM Partner. You can choose your preferred LAR (Large Account Reseller), who will have a SAM department, or an independent SAM consultancy.
The Discovery Process will ascertain the following,
- Identify all Windows based hardware assets within the Company.
- Identify and categorise all major software applications deployed on hard drives.
- Provide a consolidated MLR (Microsoft License Review) document.
- Provide the core data to identify exposure to mislicensed software.
A Microsoft SAM Partner will deploy audit software. This software can be deployed either on-site or remotely. The audit software will then intensively scan all possible Windows devices.