Beware of Microsoft's Free Offer

Author(s): Aadil Nanji

With Microsoft’s second quarter coming to a close in December, there has been a steady increase in the number of organizations that have been approached, offering a free SAM (Software Asset Management) engagement. Please note, you have the right to refuse these “free” engagements and we highly recommend speaking with one of our Microsoft Licensing Analysts first.

Nothing is ever truly free, and Microsoft offers these to companies who they believe are out of compliance by a baseline percentage. Microsoft recuperates the costs of such engagements, which are contracted out to various business partners, through the licensing shortfall payments they will receive, which can be very large. Once an out-of-compliance status is uncovered by these partners, there is only one way to resolve and move back into a compliance position: through spending.

A paid SAM engagement will normally cost 15-18k (Info-Tech offers these), and includes a comprehensive look at a client’s licensing position, with a strategic plan moving forward. Because of the complexity of licensing rules, many organizations have unintentionally fallen out of compliance, and even though the mistakes were not malicious, they are often handed a hefty bill.

At Info-Tech we wanted to give you a heads up, as we have noticed the growing trend and want to help you make an informed decision. Contact your account manager to set up an analyst call if you’re facing this situation or want to proactively understand your options.

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