A little bit of background
Defining your Microsoft Licence Position (MLP) is one of the most complex licence management tasks you will ever have to do, so if you crack this you are well on the way to achieving a major part of your software licence compliance objectives.

In this section we have broken things down so that you approach your MLP in the best way we know how based on SAMsource experience of working with organisations ranging in size from 5 to 100,000 machines.

Why define your MLP?
There are two main reasons for defining your organisation's MLP - compliance and cost avoidance - MLP business case

If you do nothing else, make sure you reconcile your MS priority products.

Microsoft only really take an interest in certain products, so to make sure you have these completely sorted.

NB - inventory tools – Initially you DO NOT need a tool to do this work.  It is far more important to understand the concepts involved and the basics of Microsoft licensing than struggling to make a tool work for you. 

If you already have a tool, then what we are about to discuss will help you make sense of all that information.

Who is this for?
  • Every organisation that uses Microsoft software.
  • Organisations that have never reconciled MS software licensing before.
  • Organisations that have done this before but wish to check that nothing has been missed.

What are you trying to achieve?
To define a licence position, you need to compare two sets of data for each software product:
  1. The number of software licences required – MS licence requirement
  2. The quantity of valid licences that your organisation can prove it owns today – MS licence entitlement

What do you need to do?
Step 1
- Define your framework as the first step in establishing your organisation's MS licence requirement

Step 2 - As soon as possible begin to establish your organisation's MS licence entitlement

Step 3 - Create an Initial licence position.  In each product section below (e.g. Office suite) we take you through exactly what you need to look for and how to do it.

During these initial steps we guide you through the importance of being focused on the MS priority products as these are the products that Microsoft themselves will focus on if ever they look at your organisation's licence position.

All other advice we have seen treats all Microsoft software products with the same importance.  The problem with this approach is that you are initially inundated with work.  The result is often that people don’t reach a conclusion with any of it.

Step 4 - Refine the licence requirement definition and search for more licence entitlement where necessary.

Step 5 - Reconcile final requirement and entitlement figures...

Let's begin with a look at the MLP business case....