Microsoft Audit: Beware of Errors in License Model Interpretation

Whether you are a Microsoft, Oracle or SAP customer, the mere mention of a license audit is enough to give cold sweats to any CIO or purchasing manager. In a research note, which LeMagIT was able to obtain exclusively, the research firm Gartner invite these companies, customers of Microsoft , to avoid any form of interpretation and conduct, methodically, an analysis of the state of its licenses, and this, proactively.

While audits have been perceived as a source of income in the past, they are now seen more as a re-adjustment. Now, they “are focused on migrating customers to the right model of adoption and desired use or the upselling of subscriptions to strategic online services,” note Ben Jepson, Victoria Barber and Stephen White, Gartner analysts, authors of this note. Online services and cloud models that have further complicated Microsoft licensing models. “Microsoft’s licensing models, terms and rights of use are complex, constantly changing and easily misinterpreted; which all too often results in costly non-compliance, “say the three authors. Without proper methods and checks,

As a first step, Gartner recommends carefully examining the license status “to assess their scope” and having a global encrypted approach based on the number of eligible active users of the company. Gartner notes that companies often base their calculations on Active Directory to count the number of users. But “if a user has left the company and his account is still active in AD at the time of an audit, it will increase the total number of users.” The second step will be getting accurate data, eliminating idle users and identifying those who are on long-term leave – which must be taken into account.

The consulting firm recommends “validating Active Directory data by comparing employee, provider, and third-party account records to ensure that only active user information has been included.”

Clarify models with Microsoft

But this is only a first step. Because Gartner alerts Microsoft corporate customers about misinterpretations, inviting them to clarify with the publisher the licensing models. He gives an example of a misinterpretation often cited by companies: virtual desktops licenses. “On-premises Microsoft desktop applications (such as Project, Visio, Office, and the Windows operating system) are mostly licensed with one device; therefore, the consumption is based on the terminal, rather than the user. A point that is often misunderstood and “which can lead to the mistaken assumption that the entire on-site offer is licensed with a per-user license”.

”  With virtual desktops , you have to license the device for both the right to access the virtual desktop environment and the applications it can access within that environment,” Gartner further decrypts. And to give some advice in the negotiations with Microsoft: “Access control must match the license model for the product in question. Microsoft can argue that, unless device restrictions are in place, users can access the software from any device that has network access to the application (inside or outside the device). ‘business). “

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