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SPLA and CSP-Hoster Audit Defense

SPLA Audit Stress

Microsoft audits are high-risk and high-stakes, especially for service providers:

  • Unexpected, unpredictable event,

  • Unbudgeted fees and penalties,

  • Risk of reputational damage,

  • Time and resource pressure,

  • Responsibility for end clients' non-compliance,

  • Complexity of licensing scenarios and terms,

  • Auditors making worst-case assumptions,

  • One-sided view benefitting only Microsoft.

You are in capable hands

Our dedicated SPLA experts will:

  • Ensure that what you don't have to pay for, you won't – well before negotiations,

  • Steer your team's efforts to stay focused and efficient,

  • Ascertain that you only provide the data the auditor needs to see.

  • Help you gather all the defensive evidence they must see.

  • Forensically analyze your business practices and data.

  • Build a strong audit defense case.

When the technical phase of the audit is finished, we will help you negotiate the outcome.

How we work, exactly

We help you minimize the penalties and consequential damage by using a methodology proven in over 100 audits.

  • We know how they work and think,

  • We ensure that you are always a few steps ahead.

It is best to call us right when you receive the audit notice from Microsoft. However, no matter when we join your team, there is always an opportunity and the means to defend your position.

SPLA audit process timeline steps

Our comprehensive audit defense process will be adjusted to your situation and timing.

{We defend your position in every step of the audit


Understanding the audit landscape

  • Scope and timeframe
  • Where you are in the process
  • Your service catalog
  • Infrastructure diagram
  • Business history
  • Your clients
  • Your partner channel
  • Licensing practices

Initial analysis

Identifying possible issues

  • Gathering inventory
  • Gathering reporting history
  • Gap and risk analysis in reporting
  • Contractual compliance
  • Process analysis
  • Identifying the issues
  • Mitigating honest mistakes
  • Preparing the right data

Data provision

Controlling the data flow

  • Ensuring only the right data is provided to the auditor
  • Avoiding over-submission
  • Providing additional evidence for mitigation
  • Responding to auditor queries
  • Preparing for on-site auditor visits

Report analysis

Technical defense

  • Responding to assumptions
  • Ensuring there are no calculation mistakes
  • Providing additional data and evidence
  • Shadowing auditor communications

Negotiation planning

  • Finalising your defense case
  • Business objectives
  • Map relationship with Microsoft
  • Comercial leverage
  • Plan of action
  • Team preparation

Negotiation execution

  • Multi-cycle negotiation alignment
  • Proposal analysis and feedback
  • Tactical war room of experts at your disposal
  • Closing strategy


We deliberately don't partner with Microsoft or sell licenses. It ensures that our advice is impartial and there is no hidden agenda.


We employ our thorough understanding of contractual compliance, service provider licensing and how Microsoft works to help you achieve the best possible results.


You don’t have to take our word for it. We will organize a reference call so you get first-hand feedback from a provider we helped.

Why SAMexpert is the right choice

In over 10 years, SAMexpert consultants helped avoid and mitigate over $500 million of audit penalties.

We have worked with 100+ service providers ranging from boutique SaaS companies to multinational business process outsourcing giants around the Globe.

We have distilled our joint experience into a data-driven and battle-proven process that is continuously updated to meet the latest trends in Microsoft audit defense.

For additional peace of mind:

  • We provide an ROI guarantee on a fixed-fee model,

  • We offer a success fee option. No win? Don't pay us.

{Over $500 million saved

Call us now for peace of mind