Microsoft Enterprise Agreement
The EA is a licensing option that targets large scale enterprises with at least 250 desktops or users, which wants to license them for a three year period. An EA isn’t for everyone but has a really good value for organizations that wants cloud services and software licenses under one agreement.
What is a Microsoft True-up?
The True-Up is the yearly evaluation of the qualified licenses you’ve deployed in your EA. It usually takes place on your annual anniversary from entering the Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft. During the year you can deploy or remove as many Microsoft licenses as you wish. And for the True-Up you compile a list of devices and/or users to stay compliant with the EA. As the Microsoft EA True-Up Guide states:
“This is the True-Up process: an inventory of all the qualified devices, users, and processors added over the course of the year.”
Since the True-Up is basically a report of change in quantity of licenses to Microsoft it’s important that you only report products that are licensed under the EA. Make sure that you complete your True-Up in time, otherwise you might get hit by a licensing compliance audit.
What to inventory
- EA qualified devices that uses Microsoft-licensed software. I.e: servers, computers (desktops, laptops, and terminals), and mobile devices. Document the number of devices and their service dates.
- Number of qualifying, underlying OS licenses on devices, including type of OS and service date.
- All Microsoft application software. (see Microsoft’s updated product list here)
- The number of User CALs and Device CALs within your enterprise
True-Up Best practices
When it comes down to compiling the True-Up report it’s fairly straightforward. You put together the information from your documentation/inventory and calculate the changes for the statement. Best practices is how you manage your EA licenses and processes over the year.
- Maintain a defined process and always make sure you remove old users & devices. Analyze data and optimize license usage all year around.
- Maintain an updated documentation of servers, devices and users all year. This can be done manually or with tools. Using a software solution can save you headaches and days of work over a year.
- Identify products and their versions in your organization that applies to the EA.
- Make use of Microsoft their resources. They are there to help you.
Having a True-Up around the corner can be stressful unless you are prepared. By having a good documentation and management of the Microsoft EA licenses all year around it’s a different story. Make use of tools, processes and the resources provided by Microsoft to focus on more critical work instead of spending hours on compiling reports for Microsoft.
Using vScope you always have an updated machine inventory all around the year. Always ready for any True Up.