Microsoft software Audit: how to prepare, external support and the outcome  

Microsoft Audit requests when sent to organizations will require the provision of specific information and documentation that demonstrates compliance with the Microsoft Product Terms or other agreements.    

The Audit request or invitation is usually sent through an email or a written letter. After receiving this email, it behooves the organization to make sure they understand what the invitation expects from them. Then there is the need to develop a plan which should include gathering the necessary materials and presenting them on time.  

How your organization can commence preparation 

To ensure a successful audit or review outcome, your organization must carefully review each requested document to make sure it fully meets Microsoft’s requirements before submitting it. This may require updating existing software licenses and contracts, or exercising any options outlined therein.   

Companies should also be aware that deadlines are typically strict and should plan accordingly. Organizations may reach out to the services of a third-party who specializes in Microsoft auditing processes (Q-Advise) with experience that can help to lead the process of the audit review to meet all compliance questions and save on cost.  

Why doing nothing after receiving an Audit invitation is not an option   

Receiving the audit announcement especially unexpected may come as a shock or surprise especially when your internal license updates are long overdue. You might feel overwhelmed by the numerous steps, even considering the idea of not responding, but not responding should be out of the equation.  

You have limited choice to say you won’t respond as there is an Audit clause in your agreement with Microsoft which makes it mandatory for you to participate. Examples are a Microsoft Business and Services Agreement, Enterprise Subscription Agreement, Enterprise Agreement, Service Provider License Agreement, Microsoft Product and Services Agreement. You can’t escape it.      

Thinking of dodging the Microsoft Audit Clause? That won’t happen for your business whether you’re a business with an Enterprise Agreement or Service Provider License Agreement. The Microsoft Audit clause is part of your agreement hence signing to it means you agree to adhere to the audit terms.

But remember knowledge is power; preparation, knowing what to do and how to go about it is key.  

Getting prepared and ready for your Microsoft Audit 

The Microsoft Audit process may be spear-headed primarily by your IT department. They will be managing your IT infrastructure, software license use on-premises and cloud, but will they have updates on license compliance issues when asked?  

As part of software use is the requirement to monitor if the software and license are being used fully to capacity and in some cases, evaluating to know what the modern trends are and how they can be adopted.   

With all this, coupled with checking for license compliance may be overwhelming and if the right capacity is not gathered the Audit process for your organization may be cumbersome.   

You could go in for third-party support but even with that, your organization must first (put your house in order), get all necessary license documents up to date to begin with.   

There will still have to be time to monitor, evaluate and (re)organize license documents from time to time. An Audit requires a lot of capacity from the organization, through technology, understanding industry trends, administration and communication. You can organize all this yourself, but you can also get help from experts.    

The Audit Defense Process and Outcome   

Q-Advise is not new to the Audit Defense process as we have consulted for years and several organizations on various scenarios and projects. Our in-house audit and SAM advisors and experts are ready to support you through the Audit process and have it done as it should be.   

You are assured of the outcomes that are representative of what is on-site in your organization. We engage the Auditor and Microsoft with our knowledge when need be and ensure that the end result is  satisfactory to all parties involved (both you and Microsoft).   

We are here to support businesses worldwide with license & cloud challenges without a 3rd party’s influence. Reach out to our team of experts today.

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