What a Microsoft Licence Review means for you and your organisation
This guide has been put together to address any questions or concerns you may have about undergoing a licence review with Microsoft. We understand that you will want to know what’s involved, how the process works, what we expect from you, and what you will get in return. If you need extra information or clarification, please get in touch with your Microsoft contact at any time during the course of your review.
A SAM-led approach
Licence reviews are just one aspect of a wider initiative to encourage all of our customers to adopt Software Asset Management (SAM) policies and processes. SAM is widely recognised as industry best practice, supported by an ISO Standard and the IT Infrastructure Library. Why have I been chosen to be reviewed?
Your organisation, along with a number of others, has been identified as part of an ongoing data mining exercise that encompasses all UK customers.
Simply put, we’ll ask you to supply information about your software estate, and then check that the software you have installed matches up with the licences you hold (Microsoft licence reviews only encompass Microsoft software and software licences). We work in partnership with you in an open and transparent way, and do our utmost to keep any disruption to a minimum. However, you should be aware that you will need to dedicate some time to completing the review. Your input is vital to ensure accuracy and to enable us to complete the process together as swiftly as possible.
How long will the review take?
It depends on the size, structure and complexity of your organisation, and how easy it is for you to access the information we’ll need to finalise the review. If you have strong asset management processes in place, and systems that can easily extract the relevant data, the overall timescale is likely to be shorter.
What happens if I’m under-licensed?
In our experience, customers are often over-licensed as well as under-licensed, which can identify opportunities for long-term savings. If your review does reveal a shortfall, you’ll be asked to buy licences to cover what you’re using, normally within 30 days. If you are faced with an unexpected bill, Microsoft Financing can help smooth out any cashflow or budgetary concerns that might arise.
What do I get out of the review process?
At the end of the review, you’ll have a clear and accurate picture of the licences in your estate and where they’re being used across your organisation. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing you’re properly licensed, and also a valuable insight that will allow you to avoid costly ‘shelfware’ and put you in a stronger negotiating position for future purchases. Our customers often see positive outcomes upon completion of their review which they admit they didn’t expect at the outset.
Your opportunity: take control and reap the benefits
Following a review you have complete visibility of your Microsoft software estate, so you are perfectly placed to strengthen your SAM processes. Taking firm control of your software assets makes sound business sense and brings many advantages, but getting started can be a daunting prospect.
That’s why Microsoft set up the Microsoft SAM Programme (UK) which supports you in integrating SAM best practice into your organisation. It’s designed to help you see the tangible benefits of implementing SAM policies:
• Long-term cost savings on software licences – up to 30 per cent in the first year alone – allow you to re-direct budget to where your organisation needs it most, or to more strategic IT project
• Avoiding the legal and financial risks of being under-licensed, not to mention potential damage to your reputation
• Stronger negotiating position through accurate tracking of software usage – so you only pay for what you need
• Reduced security risks from counterfeit software
• Less time-consuming administration devoted to tracking and managing licences – freeing up your staff for more productive tasks
As part of the programme, you are entitled to free training and a complimentary SAM consultancy session with an accredited SAM partner. On completion, you receive a certificate recognising your Microsoft software. It’s valid for 12 months, so you should not need a software review for at least that long