201609.20
0

Defending SPLA Audits: Critical First Steps

Many businesses contact Scott & Scott, LLP regarding Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) audits after providing extensive information to Microsoft’s auditors and receiving compliance demands that would be ruinous for their bottom lines, if paid in full. At that stage, it might be difficult to “un-ring the bell” with respect to the data allegedly underlying…

201609.20
0

In Microsoft Audits, Don’t Forget About True-Up Rights

Following the conclusion of a software audit, Microsoft’s standard practice is to require an audited company to purchase licenses associated with calculated “unlicensed use” within a set period of time (typically, 30 days) following receipt of Microsoft’s settlement demand. However, it is important for companies with Enterprise Agreements to keep in mind the fact that…

201609.13
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Is Microsoft Trying to Kill Self-Hosting?

Earlier this year, with no fanfare (which is perhaps unsurprising), Microsoft implemented a significant change to its Product Terms pertaining to Software Assurance (SA) benefits that likely will have a significant licensing impact for companies that have taken advantage of the Self-Hosted Applications benefit accompanying SA. For several years now, Microsoft has allowed customers with…

201605.31
1

For SPLA Audits, When Historical Data is Missing, Creativity May Be Required

Most software audits pertaining to products licensed under perpetual licenses (such as licenses acquired under a Microsoft Select Agreement, MPSA or (usually) Enterprise Agreement) incorporate a snapshot-in-time approach, where licenses owned generally are compared to deployments identified through data collected about current-state product deployments. In contrast, audits pertaining to products licensed under a Microsoft Services…

201603.14
0

Be Wary of Changes in New SPLA Contracts

Companies that have long relationships with Microsoft know that the company’s form licensing agreements have steadily evolved over time, and typically for the worse. If software licensing can be said to have any “natural laws,” certainly the First Law could be paraphrased to something like: “If you agree to an inch, be prepared to give…

201602.24
0

Beware Audit Terms in Microsoft’s New MPSA

Microsoft is in the process of transitioning many of its volume-licensing customers from the Select Plus Agreement to the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). (More information on the transition framework is available here.) A notable difference between the Select Plus Agreement and the MPSA is that the MPSA is self-contained and is not…

201602.24
0

Microsoft Updates Volume Licensing Use Rights Documents

In the past, business consumers of Microsoft’s products and services have needed to reference at least two documents – the Product List and the Product Use Rights – to help determine the purchasing requirements and licensing rules applicable to those products and services. Both documents were incorporated by reference into Microsoft’s volume licensing agreements and…

201602.24
0

Be Mindful of Historical Usage When Licensing Microsoft Products Under SPLA

The Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) is Microsoft’s preferred licensing option for businesses wanting to use Microsoft products in support of hosted software solutions made available to end users over the Internet. For many companies, SPLA is a good fit, in that it incorporates a monthly reporting mechanism, rather than an up-front license purchase, and…

201602.24
0

Is Hosting Microsoft Products via Third Parties a Good Option?

Most providers of hosted software solutions traditionally have delivered those solutions over the Internet from their own servers. However, an increasing number of businesses are interested in outsourcing not only their internal-use IT infrastructure but also the systems used to host their client-facing solutions. Doing so may allow a business to focus more on product…

201602.24
0

Non-SPLA Licensing for Hosted Microsoft Software

Most businesses seeking to license Microsoft software for the purpose of delivering hosted software solutions over the Internet turn first to the company’s Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA). SPLA is Microsoft’s flagship licensing model for commercial hosting services, and it offers the primary benefit of permitting a licensed hosting company to pay on a month-to-month…