In the trying times of the 2020’s no organization is safe from the Microsoft License Verification Letter. Small or large businesses have been receiving these in higher frequency than in normal years. Let’s take a dive into this phenomenon:

A Microsoft License Verification is not actually a software audit. It’s more like a tax return where you report what your Microsoft licensing holdings are. It’s also an optional review, designed to help organizations stay compliant and (more than less) to help protect Microsoft’s intellectual property.  Maybe even generate a little back end revenue on the non-compliance fines too. But that’s not official.

Although this is an optional procedure it is recommended to always respond to it in a timely manner. This is because ignoring one could lead to an actual mandatory software audit due to Microsoft thinking you may have something to hide. It could also lead your team to forget about it, which could harm your standing if this leads to heated negotiations down the line.

Either way, when you receive one of these letters, you need to prepare a few things and take certain steps to make sure you come out unscathed.

These steps are:

  1. Contact an expert
  2. Gather all proofs of licensing purchases
  3. Run a report on your software inventory
  4. Review findings – share only what you need to
  5. Create an accurate licensing position
  6. Submit a Deployment Summary to Microsoft
  7. Negotiate with Microsoft


Now negotiating with Microsoft on the technicalities of what you should and shouldn’t be paying for can be the dragon many people don’t want to slay. Which is why step one is so important. Having an expert in arms length that can negotiate on your behalf is going to safeguard you from falling prey to Microsoft’s dubious reporting practices and keep their assumptions at bay.

If you have received a License Verification Letter from Microsoft, please book a meeting with one of our negotiation experts to help set you on the right track. Don’t forget to check out the video as well.

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About Mike Austin

Mike Austin is the CEO and team lead here at MetrixData 360. Mike brings more than 15 years of Microsoft licensing experience to his clients’ projects. He assists companies with negotiations of Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (EA), Premier Support Contracts, and Select Agreements, from Fortune 500 to organizations with as few as 500 employees. Mike's vast experience across multiple industries including financial services, high tech, manufacturing, media, health care, government, and retail give him an edge in any business environment. In addition to helping negotiate contracts, he assists clients with creating and implementing software asset management processes to prevent over-purchasing of licenses and ensures terms and conditions reflect actual usage.