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SQL Server 2016: Getting Compliant

Why You Should Consider Upgrading to SQL Server 2016


SQL Server 2016 is the latest addition to the SQL Server lineup. Here are five reasons you'll love SQL Server 2016:

  • Industry-leading OLTP
    Build mission-critical applications for online transaction processing (OLTP) with breakthrough scalability, in-memory performance, and high availability.
  • Least Vulnerable Database
    Protect data at rest and in motion with new Always Encrypted. SQL Server is the least vulnerable database for six years running in the NIST vulnerabilities database.
  • End-to-end mobile BI
    Transform data into actionable insights. Deliver insights on any device--online or offline--at one-fifth the cost of other business intelligence (BI) solutions.
  • In-database advanced analytics
    Analyze operational data using R Services, in real time and at scale, directly within SQL Server database--without moving the data for analysis.
  • From on-premises to cloud
    Whether data is in your datacenter, private cloud, or Microsoft Azure, get a consistent experience across server and database as a service.

Thousands of Microsoft Audit Letters and Emails Being Sent to SQL Server Users


Microsoft has announced that it will be sending thousands of audit request letters or emails to businesses who purchased Microsoft SQL Server. It doesn't matter who you purchased it from or what price you paid - Microsoft is mostly looking to make sure that if you have 200 employees using their software, that they have the proper amount of licensing keys. If you haven't received a Microsoft letter or email announcing an audit request yet, you may still receive one before the end of 2016. There are also emails getting sent out with the subject line "Microsoft Software Asset Management Review".

This can be an intimidating task to take on for some businesses, but it doesn't have to be. Our certified Microsoft Licensing experts at SoftwareMedia.com will walk you through the process of making sure you are compliant, making it as painless and stress-free as possible.


3 Types of Audit Letters and Emails that Went Out


Microsoft Internal Self Audit Letter/Email


Most companies will be receiving a Microsoft self audit letter, the most common audit type Microsoft employs. Microsoft asks companies to verify their compliance by executing a self-audit by a specific date. The letter usually states, "The purpose of the internal self-audit is to allow the parties to update the number of licenses granted under the Agreement. Please be advised that any removal of Microsoft software currently in use across your enterprise as of the date of your receipt of this notice in order to comply with existing contracted number of licenses will be considered a violation of the terms of the Agreement. An example of self-certification email has been provided below for your convenience." You will typically be required to provide evidence of your compliance by sending them the software keys you have, which they will compare with their records. If you have received one of these letters or emails our licensing experts are on hand now to help you through this process. This is what we specialize in. Contact us today!

Microsoft Software Assets Management (SAM) Engagements


A SAM Engagement is a voluntary process Microsoft promotes to its licensing customers to make sure you are not over or under licensed. SAM Engagements are a collaborative process, paid for by Microsoft, using one of their Software Asset Management partners. This is a value-added service that is effectively an audit; AKA a "Microsoft Software Asset Management Review". Since Microsoft pays for the audit they will see your licensing inventory, and if you're not compliant you could very easily get stuck with a large bill. There are many factors that contribute to licensing compliance, and most companies will be non-compliant in some way. Before going forward with a SAM engagement be sure to give our licensing experts a call. SoftwareMedia will likely be able to save you a significant amount of money.

Microsoft Legal Contracts and Compliance (LCC) Audit


If you decline a SAM engagement for too long or Microsoft can identify major inconsistencies in your purchase record, they may request an Legal Contracts and Compliance Audit. They will look at your Microsoft License Statement for areas of non-compliance so that they can take more assertive legal action. Again, our licensing experts can help you avoid the potentially high costs associated with an LCC Audit. Call today if you have doubts about your licensing compliance.


Microsoft Audits FAQ


I received a self audit from Microsoft, what is my first step?


Fill out the Deployment Summary (spreadsheet format) with all your Open License Program products and return it to your SAM Rep. If you have several agreements, make sure you list all the Open License products you have purchased.

What kind of information am I required to share with Microsoft?


You will be asked to share detailed network infrastructure and server access management information. The auditors will ask for as much information as you're willing to give and as much as they can get away with.

Should I install the MAP (Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit) software?


It is recommended that your complete the Deployment Summary spreadsheet first.

Is Microsoft conducting the Audits or a Third Party?


Microsoft hires out a third party auditor to conduct the Microsoft Software Asset Management Review

How can Softwaremedia.com assist me if I get Audited?


Softwaremedia.com will be able to provide helpful information and recommendations to make the Audit process smoother, provide license agreements, and order history. We can also analyze your existing software to make sure it's licensed properly and we can also quickly activate any licenses you need to purchase in the event you are out of compliance.

To learn more about Microsoft Audits, check out this video from Microsoft!


Send Me a Free Evaluation of My Licensing Environment

Running SQL Server? It’s estimated that over 50% of all SQL Environments are improperly licensed. With over half of businesses potentially at risk of an audit from Microsoft, we strongly recommend getting an evaluation on your licensing environment (especially if you run SQL Server). Sign up today for your free evaluation!
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