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SAM Audit Questions

Posted on 2015-01-23
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Last Modified: 2015-03-23
We just got hit with a SAM audit.  If while administering the audit we find that we are not compliant, can we purchase the needed licensing and then report to MS?

Example:  Say we need 3 Office licenses.  Can we purchase these, install them, and then reply to MS with the newly acquired keys?

Also any tips would be greatly appreciated as it's our first time going through this.
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Question by:TechGuy_007
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by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 200 total points
ID: 40566383
Yes you can indeed (just hurry, those MS people tend to push you within 30 days, and then when you submit it, you have to wait longer for a reply, making you stress for an unnecesary long time).
If you have OEM, RETAIL and Volume Licensing mixed (why wouldn't you, most people buy PC's with Windows pre-installed?), you are in for a world of pain, as the questions in the excel file (I'm assuming you have the same or similar) are mostly AMBIGUOUS! It means, another few rounds of emails are necessary to get your point across.

There's nowhere written that you should submit it RIGHT NOW, THIS SECOND. If you buy it first, then submit it, you're TRUTHFUL with your answers (it's nowhere stated your answers should be from the date you received the letter, you just need to fill in the current state of affairs).
And actually, that's the whole point of this SAM exercise, they WANT you to buy stuff to be compliant.
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by:TechGuy_007
ID: 40566540
Can anyone else weigh in, I just want to make sure we are on the level if I make changes or make us compliant prior to filling out the sheet.  Considering I have already been notified by MS of the qudit.
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by:Mohammed Khawaja
Mohammed Khawaja earned 300 total points
ID: 40566631
My understanding is as per below:

- They look at the result for the day when the audit ran and they compare it to your existing licenses
- You can get away if you do it within few days (they are good that way)
- If you own 10 licenses for a product and you have 100 or deployed then no matter you do, they will not show any leniency

I agree that mixing different licensing model can be painful and costly if you have not been on top of your licensing.  Suggestion is to keep one model of licensing and if you can, purchase software assurance (SA) as it will make things much easier in the long run.
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by:TechGuy_007
ID: 40566872
Did you have to spend $ to become compliant?  If so how much?  Do they fine.
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by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 200 total points
ID: 40567350
That's easy to answer. You spend the exact amount of $ needed to become compliant.
If you were compliant already, you spend 0$
If you were missing about 300$ to become compliant, then you spend 300$ to become compliant.
If you forgot to add 30 licenses that cost 3000$ then you spend 3000$ to become compliant.
It depends TOTALLY on yourself.
As I said, they don't fine. I said it before, the purpose of this SAM is to get you to become compliant. They're NOT GOING to stop you from buying missing licenses, because that's the whole point of this exercise.
They're also NOT going to fine you, because as of now, there were no business on this globe stupid enough to let it get so far.
You either become compliant now and send in the form marked as compliant, or you send in the form with missing licenses. It doesn't matter, they will ask you to buy the licenses BEFORE resorting to other actions. "Other actions" could be a lot of things, but why would you want to try that when you can fix it so easily?
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by:Mohammed Khawaja
Mohammed Khawaja earned 300 total points
ID: 40567386
One thing to note is they will make you buy what is installed and is non-compliant.   For example,  if you installed SQL Server Data Center (lets assume you used a MVLS key) by mistake and you have a 10 MB database, you are still on the hook for Data Center edition license.  Their assumption is that if you installed it, you benefited from it, you must pay for it.
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by:TechGuy_007
ID: 40646363
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Did not find answer, but moved on.
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 40646364
Actually I already gave you the answer, bases on own experience for several SAM audits by MS the past decade. That you ignored it, doesn't mean it's not the answer.
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Mohammed Khawaja earned 300 total points
ID: 40646995
To sum up his question, please find my answers below:

1.  Microsoft will pull all the license agreements from their system if you have Volume Licensing agreement.  If you have been purchasing licenses that are not under Volume Licensing then you need to provide them all the required licenses
2.  They will make you run the MAP utility to get all the required information they need
3.  Microsoft will usually discount a computer or user where last logon if over 60 days old
4.  Microsoft does not charge fines, they just make you pay for what you installed but have failed to purchase
5.  For OEM licenses, you need to provide them proof (i.e. Windows OEM key sticker on the laptops and desktops).  You also have to remember that OEM Windows licenses are tied to the hardware and are not transferable
6.  Microsoft is very serious when it comes SQL server licensing.  There are restrictions and they go by the book.  Also note that if you have purchases a particular edition (i.e. Standard) but have deployed a different edition (ie. Enterprise) even though you have used any features of the enterprise, you will not get a break.  They will most likely make you pay for Enterprise
7.  Microsoft will encourage you to purchase Volume License or Enterprise agreement as license management will be easier
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