LicenSeModel5Over the last couple years Microsoft has shifted away from its traditional role in the software industry.  Since 2013, Microsoft has ramped up its efforts to focus on Software Compliance Audits. Microsoft is in the process of conducting up to 30,000 licensure audits on small to midsize companies throughout 2014.

Microsoft conducts audits based on customers’ software usage. Many large companies have already put strict company-wide licensing policies in place, but smaller businesses typically have less formalized processes for ensuring licensure compliance. As a result, Microsoft’s focus has shifted to smaller companies, generally in the range of 200 – 2,000 users. These audits take advantage of the dense and often misunderstood license restrictions placed on software.

Businesses may encounter different types of Microsoft audits based on the size of their company, the number of licenses they have paid for and whether or not Microsoft has reason to believe that a violation has occurred.   A Software Asset Management engagement involves a Microsoft consultant examination that will look for misuse within a company.  Basic licensure misuses are often easy to spot but more complex agreements, such as per processor licenses or virtualization agreements can cause confusion.

Businesses should take steps to guarantee that their licensure needs are met before they are targeted for a software compliance audit.  The first step is to take a software asset management inventory. IT Computer Support of New York offers a free 25 user evaluation copy of software asset management software with a fixed price solution. For this and more information, please continue to the next installment of our blogs of licensure.