Top 5 Licensing Mistakes Service Providers Make Before an Audit

Hey, we all make mistakes, but do we learn from them? Over the years, these five mistakes consistently pop up in an audit. If you made these mistakes in the past, don’t make them in the future! Have a question? Let us know, and we can help solve the complexities called Microsoft licensing. Without further ado, here are the top 5.

1. I have one person manage everything.

SPLA Man: Who does your reporting to your reseller?
Hoster: Sally does it in accounting.

Sound familiar? The problem is, what happens if Sally leaves? Where do the relationship with your reseller, Microsoft, and other publishers go? In reality, Sally will leave, and no one will report accurately to the reseller. Have a team to help you manage this process. Don’t have a team? You do with Octopus.

2. Think “dedicated” means only the virtual machine.


In the Microsoft world, if your customer is bringing licenses into your data center, you must ask yourself two things: 1) does my customer have Software Assurance for these licenses? 2) Are the licenses eligible for license mobility? If not, you must isolate the hardware for that single customer.

3. Not knowing what is installed and what is accessed.


We installed Excel, but no one has access to it. It is used to generate a report.
If Excel is executed at the server level (not the individual desktop), it must be licensed.

4. Not removing users who leave from your AD.


Just because you no longer charge your customer does not mean they do not have access or should not be reported. Have a system to know who has access, when they leave, and when they need to be removed.

5. Not labeling users as “demo” or “admin” in AD.


When going through an audit, you must prove you are licensing the way you are. Trying to explain an account is used for demo purposes can be challenging. Do yourself a favor; label it as a demo if you set up a demo account. You will save time in the long run. As a wise man once said, time is money.


Thank you for reading,
SPLA Man

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