202008.31
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Preparing for the Inevitable SPLA Audit

If your company uses a Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA)—and it probably does if Microsoft considers you to be in the commercial hosting business—you will be audited at some point. Typically, Microsoft SPLA customers are audited once every three years. When that time comes, it is important to know how your company may be…

201910.29
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What is a Microsoft SPLA Verified Self-Audit?

If you provide commercial hosting services using Microsoft’s Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA), you may become a target of an ever-increasing variety of license audits from Microsoft and its vendors.  The latest flavor of a Microsoft SPLA audit is the verified self-assessment or VSA.  The SPLA verified self-assessment differs from both the independent audit and…

201909.18
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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…

201906.27
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Consult with Counsel for SPLA Audits

Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”) is a popular licensing framework for businesses delivering hosted or rented software solutions to their customers. However, as with many software license agreements pertaining to resale or other business channel partnership programs, the SPLA typically includes audit rights language giving Microsoft the ability to review a SPLA partner’s records…

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…

201602.24
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Innovative Solutions to Circumvent Burdensome SPLA Requirements

Many online service providers are well aware that Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) entails a licensing framework that can be difficult to manage. SPLA may be a great model for businesses seeking to “float” their license expenditures from month to month based on usage. However, what Microsoft considers “usage” and what most companies and…

201602.24
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SQL Server Licensing Strategies for SPLA

Licensing Microsoft server products in any environment can be a challenging undertaking, given the complexity of some of Microsoft’s licensing rules. However, licensing Microsoft products for commercial hosting environments under a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) can be especially daunting, due to the different use rights and license metrics available under that model. Licensing SQL…