Microsoft Licensing

Situation: One of our small business clients was recently audited by Microsoft. Microsoft sent third-party auditors to verify that our client paid for all the Microsoft products that they use. The audit ranged from server software through Microsoft Office products, and everything in between.

As you can imagine, our client had purchased these products over the course of the last decade. Keeping track of all of these licenses wasn’t part of their standard operating procedure 10 years ago and didn’t happen very consistently if at all. In short, they had holes in their proof of purchase.

Without some assistance, our client would’ve been facing stiff penalties from Microsoft.

Solution: Brightsource IT worked with our client to find the licenses they were missing through a diligent record search. We reached out to the vendors who sold Microsoft licenses to our client years before we met them. We also put in place standard operating procedures to keep track of any future purchases of software. Additionally, we worked with the Microsoft audit team to help them understand our client’s position and negotiate a better settlement.

In the end, our client was left in a very good position of needing to purchase a handful of licenses for software that was already due for an upgrade. The process saved our client somewhere in the order of $30,000.

During this process, we learned from Microsoft that they intend to audit every small business who uses their products, approximately every three years. This means that your small business will likely be audited in the next three years.

It’s time to be prepared. It’s time to plan ahead. It’s time to call Brightsource IT for a preemptive Microsoft audit review.

Questions to Consider:

Do you know where all of your software licenses and proof of purchases are located?

If Microsoft called you today, would you be able to produce records for all your software purchases?  Could you produce the records you need?

Do you know how many copies of Microsoft Office your company is using?  Do you have receipts for all of them?

Brightsource IT is an Information Technology provider located in St. Louis, Missouri. We have been providing complete IT management and tech support for small and medium businesses since 2004. As members of the Apple Consultants Network, we also provide Mac and iOS management training to corporate IT departments.

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