SAMexpert Microsoft Licensing Experts
As a provider, you're in business to make a profit, and all the other things like "we want to make the world better, we want to create the most sustainable environment". I get that, but every business needs to make money. And in the SPLA business, there are a few obstacles that are in the way of that โ€“ making the profit. And it's all very simple, but it's not always obvious.

Firstly, undercharging for your services. Why? If you don't understand the structure of your licenses, if you're underpaying to Microsoft unknowingly especially, you may be undercharging your end clients for services because, well, you think these are the costs, but the costs are actually higher.

The other thing, on the other hand, is overpaying for licenses. And even in audit circumstances, what we have seen in every case, there is a bit of noncompliance, which is the third obstacle that leads to penalties. We see both overpayments for certain things that shouldn't be paid for, say various products and underpayment for other products. It's across the board.

And another obstacle right now to normal, sustainable continuous business in SPLA is that Microsoft is using audit results to push Azure. How? You get your audit results. If they're too high, Microsoft will probably pursue the penalties. They want their money. It's understandable.

But if it's more or less a reasonable number, what you may end up with is negotiation around "Fine. We're going to forgive you this if you lift 30% of your end-customer workloads and move them to Azure." And that activity is especially prominent in regions where Microsoft deploy new Azure presences. Famously New Zealand and Australia. Microsoft's presence was expanded maybe just less than a year ago. And the audits are very active in the area. And the outcome there is, "Shall you move to Azure, please?"

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