Software Asset Management (SAM) Review Request
You’ve used Microsoft products and platforms for years, and it has always been business as usual. Today, however, you happen to open your email to find a Software Asset Management (SAM) review (also known as an “audit email”) request enclosed.
Although a SAM audit is touted as an “optional” engagement, the email asserts the service is “extremely beneficial” for your company, may offer valuable insights regarding your current SAM practices, and can provide your company opportunities for improvement. In addition, your participation in this “optional review” can serve as a way to “avoid a contractual audit”, which makes it sound much less optional than previously stated. What should you do?
Is It REALLY “Optional”?
A SAM audit email will often arrive out of the blue. Although the email claims the review will be optional, it is nothing less than an audit. If you consent to a SAM engagement, Microsoft auditors will demand information about your software deployments. In addition, they are likely to make seemingly unreasonable deadline requests for all of the information.
How To Respond to a SAM Review Request
If you have received a SAM audit email, it is important to know that you are not being fined. Though you might be tempted to ignore the review request, promptly responding in a detailed manner will ultimately benefit you. The audit may seem intimidating, but consider it a good opportunity (albeit unplanned) to review your software and to remedy any existing compliance issues; thus avoiding potential legal actions and over $100,000 in fines.
- Correspond with the Microsoft SAM team on your behalf
- Complete an independent licensing check on your systems
- Provide a licensing package that gets you in compliance (at minimal cost)
- Compile licensing package to satisfy SAM compliance report
- Provide a growth roadmap and prospective budget
Document Your Assets
If the results of your audit are unfavorable, it may not be your fault.
Dubious software providers have been known to pay for a single license and charge for multiple licenses while installing the single license on all of the workstations, so it is important to maintain a license for each workstation. It is also important to store all of your project proposals, make copies of all receipts, and request licensing copies whenever a provider facilitates a new project. Furthermore, if you have unintentional over-deployment of Microsoft products (e.g., unused installations), your company will be expected to purchase these uses.
Trusted Tech Team is an accredited Microsoft CSP Direct Bill Partner, carrying multiple Solutions Partner designations and the now-legacy Microsoft Gold Partner competency. Based in Irvine, California, we report trends affecting IT pros everywhere.
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