I recently published a post on LinkedIn pulse discussing how conducting a baseline risk analysis for vendors such as Microsoft can help mature your software asset management without going to the expense of doing a full blown Effective Licensing Position (ELP).
ELPs are great to provide a hard monetary risk figure that will really make senior management sit up and take note, however an ELP is essentially the same as an audit, so to do it properly has the same challenges that make an audit so disruptive and difficult! I have known many companies who set out to create an ELP but who never finish it, and not only do they end up being no closer to an understanding for their licensing compliance issues, they end up with everyone involved exhausted and fed up and thoroughly cheesed off with the idea of SAM. In some cases you would have been better off never starting!
Instead I advocate doing a Microsoft Baseline Licensing Risk Analysis, with the Microsoft Licensing Audit Gotchas Checklist (which I wrote for the ITAM Review Conference in October) as a starter for 10. It includes the most common areas of risk that I encounter when working with clients to help understand their Microsoft compliance positions, along with some suggestions for mitigating these risks that don’t necessarily involve buying a lot of new licenses.
You can read the full article here, and download the Microsoft Licensing Audit Gotchas Checklist here.