By Mandi Sue Bleau
When you are getting ready to determine your software license compliance position by reconciling your software license entitlements with your software deployments, you need a place to start-- a baseline. The information provided by software publishers make it such that the process of creating a baseline can vary by vendor, and frequently, customers have limited information about their purchases. Common things I see when working with customers: missing descriptions, missing stock keeping units (SKU’s, which are software product part numbers) and missing contracts. Below are the top 3 software vendors that I help our customers with, along with a brief description of how to get started with creating a baseline.
For Microsoft, you can start with a Customer Price Sheet (CPS) from your Enterprise Agreement (EA) in addition to requesting a Microsoft License Statement (MLS). The MLS will provide you with great detail about your previous purchases for all programs, however you need to validate that you have the backend purchase order history to match. Generally, you can correlate these with purchase order history on the Volume License Service Center (VLSC) site. If you decide to just use old purchase orders to determine your Microsoft license entitlements, you can be missing items like expired Software Assurance (SA), license transfers, license migrations and Software Assurance roll-in’s to the EA. These can give you false positives on license entitlements.
For Adobe, you can request a License Intelligence Report (LIR). Starting with a baseline for Adobe is a MUST. In the past, Adobe has allowed customers to place purchase orders for upgrades that didn’t have an underlying entitlement. If you decide to use your purchase history and do not validate against a LIR, then you open yourself up to errors related to software product upgrades and could possibly be applying license entitlements where you don’t actually have them; this could end up costing your company thousands of dollars. You can compare your LIR against the information in your Adobe Licensing Website (LWS) account.
For Symantec, requesting the latest Install Base Report (IBR) will give you the best information on your current software license entitlement position. Using this information and the “My Symantec” website will ensure that you have your full entitlement history.
As always, you must have proofs of purchases for your license entitlements, including transfer documentation and contracts that are signed with the publisher.
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