Microsoft keeps a lot of secrets from its clients. They can cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in compliance penalties and wasted expenditures. They can also cost you your job.
1. You’re Paying for Cloud Whether You Use It or Not
Microsoft Enterprise Agreements typically include an “Azure Monetary Commitment” fee. This is Microsoft charging you for using their cloud, even if you didn’t want it or ever use it. Not only do Microsoft reps usually not explain what this fee is, they use it to make your discount seem larger than it really is. Miro can help you calculate what your real discount, and help you understand how to actually get use out of the fees you’ve already paid.
2. Your Microsoft Partner is Contractually Obligated to Report You to Microsoft
To be a Microsoft Partner, you have to sign a contract saying you’ll report all out-of-compliance issues about your clients back to Microsoft. This is why it’s critically important to get independent advice on your Microsoft situation, and not rely on your Microsoft partner to evaluate your compliance position.
3. To Settle an Audit, You Might Pay Far More than You Think
Many Microsoft clients are shocked to find out that if you’re more than 5% out of compliance, Microsoft can charge you the retail price for the products included in the settlement. Depending on your current pricing – perhaps Level “D” under an Enterprise Agreement – this could amount to a serious outlay of cash.
4. You’re Going to Need a Lot More Network Bandwidth
If you’re moving your Windows Server, Desktop or Office to the cloud, your networking bandwidth needs may increase substantially, often negating or, at least, seriously reducing any cost savings. Miro has seen Clients whose bandwidth needs have risen nearly a million dollars just from the incremental extra data going back and forth to the cloud for simple every-day operations that were formerly local connections. And, depending on how critical this hosted service is deemed, redundant bandwidth might also be necessary.
5. You Can’t Use the Desktop Version after the Online Subscription Ends
Office 365 comes with the option of installing a copy of the Office Suite on your local computer. While this local version will still function for a while after the online subscription is terminated, your organization won’t actually be licensed to use it. If you do, it’s just like using pirated software. Of course, Microsoft’s products won’t give you any warning of it happening.
6. You’re Still Going to Need Your Database Administrators in the Cloud
If you’re planned cost savings when moving to the cloud include the salaries of your database administrators, you’ll probably be disappointed. Database administrators will still be needed for the planning, migration and long-term management. Microsoft may promise to handle those needs for you, but they have little incentive to provide the highest level of service, and they won’t be familiar with your systems and data like your current team. You may need more network administrators as well, to deal with the extra bandwidth the cloud requires. You’ll definitely still need someone to manage your vendor relationship with Microsoft, preferably someone who understands the technical details of every day usage.
7. Having Software Assurance Can Hurt You
You really should, or should not have Software Assurance, depending on the product. For some products, you need Software Assurance to be on the “Long-Term Service Branch”. With other products, you can NOT be on the “Long-Term Service Branch” if you have Software Assurance. Miro can help you understand when you want it, when you don’t, and why.
8. Some Microsoft Audit Information Requests Are a Scam by Third-Party Companies
You may get an email from Microsoft demanding information on your licensing, with warnings that you are not legally allowed to ignore the request. Even though they come from a @microsoft.com email address, they are not actually from Microsoft, and you should probably ignore them.
There are unscrupulous Microsoft partners who will mass spam emails to company IT and Executive teams, demanding licensing info. They will almost always find that you are out of compliance, and need to purchase additional licensing from them. The good news is that you can probably safely ignore them, but if you send the information, it’s too late. Check out our recent blog post to see what the scam emails look like, and how to tell a real Microsoft LLC audit from a scam partner audit.
Want to learn more about Microsoft licensing and how to prevent and deal with a real Microsoft Audit? Download our Microsoft Licensing Guide or our Microsoft Audit Guide, both free, to get all the information you’ll need.
Contact Miro to speak with an analyst about your specific situation. Miro is fully independent of Microsoft and does not share any information with them.