Microsoft License Management and Bi-Annual MLS Inspections

By Cindy Barron-Taylor

Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI

August 23, 2018

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Microsoft license management is an ongoing endeavor – one that requires rigor given the vendor’s complicated licensing structure and programs. If you’re a large enterprise customer, it’s important that at least twice a year (possibly more often) you take the time to review your license purchases and status of software assurance. You might be surprised – and that’s not necessarily a desirable outcome when it comes to Microsoft license management and spend.

Oftentimes, we find clients that have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) also find that there has been transactional purchasing occurring on a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, Select Agreement or Open Agreement unbeknownst to the Software Asset Manager. This can be both costly and unnecessary so it’s important to catch the transactions quickly when they happen to remedy as soon as possible.

Make it a goal to ask your Licensing Solutions Provider (LSP) for an updated Microsoft Licensing Statement (MLS) at least twice a year so the software asset manager at your organization can review the transactional details of your Microsoft portfolio. If this hasn’t been done for a few years, be prepared to spend some additional time ensuring that your LSP has an accurate list of your affiliates (controlled 50% or more) as any additions or deletions of affiliates will impact the results of the MLS. You want visibility into the total footprint for leverage and cost/license management.

Microsoft License Management Pitfalls to Look For

Here are the key items to look for as you inspect the MLS:

  1. Do you have software assurance expiring on licenses that could be migrated onto your EA?
  2. Is there redundant purchasing occurring across your portfolio?
  3. Is there purchasing occurring that contradicts your enterprise-wide commitment on your EA or Server and Cloud Enrollment?

The quicker you can catch these items, the better off your organization will be!