Software Fraud

  • How to Face a Microsoft Audit

    What Happens During a Microsoft Audit?

    It is no secret that most organizations dread software audits. Consequences for failed audits could mean hefty fees. Preparation can be time consuming and frustrating. The benefits of audits are seldom discussed and understanding these benefits, such as lowering costs by getting rid of unused licenses, can relieve some of the frustration that comes from audit preparation.

    The fact stands that every company has a right to protect their intellectual property. Microsoft is listed as one of five companies most likely to perform an audit. A Microsoft audit will not only benefit Microsoft, but will benefit your company by maximizing your current license position.

    As Microsoft tends to prevail in most audit conversations, it’s important to understand its audit process, along with the benefits. When Microsoft requests an audit, it is impossible to tell the reasons behind the request. In most cases, they will not take legal action against you and are just trying to verify that the company is “right licensed”.

     

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    Types of Audits

    There are four types of requests that you may receive and they go as follows. You will get an email request to self-audit and reply to the email stating that you have performed a self-audit and believe you are in compliance or you will receive a letter or email requesting a self-audit including documents to fill out sent by the SAM manager, you will receive a letter. If compliance is still questioned, Microsoft might take more serious action.

    You could receive an email or phone call requesting to do an audit on behalf of Microsoft, or you will receive a letter or email from Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs, which could indicate that your company is on the verge of getting sued.

    Microsoft audits are a way to make sure that all the copies of the installed software in a company is licensed. In addition, they minimize the spread of viruses that can come from uncontrolled software copies. Though failing an audit might lead to fees, the audit itself can save a company from prosecution due to software theft. Overall, the Microsoft auditing process can be beneficial if the proper precautions are taken to prepare.

    How to Escape from a Microsoft Audit

    Royal Discount will never disclose private, personal or business information to Microsoft to initiate an audit. Our services are 100% confidential, and we can often negotiate a position for those who have already received a self-audit letter. Audits are initiated directly by Microsoft through their proprietary systems. These systems look for various red flags. These red flags are what initiate an audit. An example of a red flag event would be not investing in CALs with the purchase of SQL Server or Windows Server (if needed). For more information on audits, or audit prevention, contact our licensing desk for a free consultation.

     


  • 4 Secrets to Saving Big on Software Costs

    Tips When Buying Discount Software 

    As software has become increasingly more complicated over time, the need for the user to be conscious of their purchases has become increasingly important. Every smart enterprise is undoubtedly looking to save money, and this requires it to remain well-informed. There are indeed a lot of ways in which the uninformed user can be driven to overpay for their software, or driven to purchase a product that simply does not fit their needs, but fortunately, keeping just a few simple tips in mind can help every consumer make the best purchase possible:

    1. Work with a licensed Microsoft partner.

    Though software licensing agreements (SLA) may appear to be uniform for every user, they can actually be adapted and customized to meet the user’s particular needs. Many enterprises can save upwards of thousands of dollars by negotiating more flexible payment schedules, licensing swaps, and by restructuring the terms and agreements of their SLAs. In order to avoid confusion—or in some cases, outright scams—working with a licensed Microsoft partner can assure the most accurate information possible is provided. Only by engaging directly with their software provider can the user discover and negotiate their most workable solutions.

    Learn about Microsoft incentives and licensing factors.

    Many incentive and software licensing programs can be rather complicated, but, fortunately for users, there are many useful resources from which they can acquire information. Microsoft is one of the largest and most diverse software companies in the world, and there are many details of this company that often go unnoticed by its users. The Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) is a good place to begin learning about Microsoft’s intricate licensing program and begin dissecting these details. An organization’s specific licensing agreement will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as the specific number of computers it may use, its desire to enter a perpetual or non-perpetual agreement, its long-term goals, and many others. As a company of its size, Microsoft offers incentives in order to satisfy the niche needs of every user, and these incentives can each offer a tremendous amount of savings.

    3. Avoid questionable retailers.

    Unfortunately, in the modern world of software sales, there are many ways in which even the most cautious users can be harmed or deceived. When shopping for discounts on software—or anything digital, for that matter—it is absolutely vital for users to be conscious of the retailer they are dealing with. A good retailer is one that is willing to present information in an objective manner, assure that their customer’s information will remain protected, and offer continuous support throughout the entire purchase process. Most good retailers ought to have plenty of available reviews and information about themselves online, and if the company seems to be avoidant of consumer’s inquiries or have a generally bad reputation, it may be one that would be better off avoided.

     

    Discount Software Computer Error

    4. Look for holistic solutions and long term support.

    If any enterprise hopes to remain competitive and survive, it knows it cannot just be thinking about its particular needs in the status quo—it needs to be thinking about the future. With the purchase of any Microsoft software, the license holder is entitled to comprehensive support from the company, and this support can be crucial in the long run. Having support from a team of knowledgeable specialists can save a substantial amount of money over time due to the avoidance of unexpected costs associated with the alternative. Furthermore, holistically integrating all of an enterprise’s technology into a unifying source can avoid costs by avoiding redundant payments and avoiding multi-device incompatibility. The best solutions for any problem are the ones that are the most comprehensive, and holistic planning alongside long term support are necessary for creating real value.

    Ultimately, it seems that thinking with a “big picture” mindset is what will best enable the user to realize big savings. For more information on software licensing, or to speak to a member our staff with questions, contact us here.


  • What Happens During A Microsoft Audit (SAM)

    How to Survive a Microsoft Audit

    Avoiding unforeseen liabilities is an ongoing reality for most businesses, and one of the biggest expenses can come from the licensing problems associated with Microsoft software. The management of such high-value software can be a difficult problem, exasperated by ever evolving licensing agreements with greater levels of complexity and lack of best practices for software license management.

    In medium to large companies, the risk of fees associated with failed audits is compounded due to the sheer number of software license contracts they must manage. With an average of 70 software license contracts, determining compliance can become almost ambiguous until an actual audit is performed. A failed audit can lead to company embarrassment and fees that can negatively impact company profitability.

    Internal Management Is Costly; Outsource SAM to a Partner

    Microsoft is reported to have an especially aggressive audit strategy, from informal audits through audit partners and workshops, to more formal, official on site audits. These expensive ordeals are highly likely for medium and large sized companies, with over 60 percent of executives reporting some sort of Microsoft audit associated activity occurring in the last 12 months. Preparing for an audit begins with understanding the terms of your software license agreements.

    Illegal Software Audits

    Until recent years, internal SAM management systems haven't aligned with the cost-conscience business models most companies utilize, encouraging the tendency for reliance on poor data. This leads to costly miscalculations and mistakes, but is also where Software asset management systems come into play. These services handle the complex issues presented by high value enterprise applications. The best methods for asset management include maintaining continuing compliance utilizing SAM services, keeping a roster of active software licenses (using VLSC or others) and ensuring constant preparation for any potential upcoming audit.

    Centralizing license operations can give managers access to all agreements for tracking and maintenance. Automating licensing operations also ensures software availability and easy reassignment or bill-back. One best practice is to analyze usage reports, in order to make sure usage data is as accurate and complete as possible and adopt the right management tools. Effective management of software assets is almost impossible without effective tools and software.

    Preparing for a company-wide SAM audit can be as simple as meeting with a Microsoft Certified Partner, and setting up an free consultation. With the right plan and tools, maintaining compliance can be largely automated and easily managed to prevent future worries.


  • How to Find Discount Software On Amazon

    Fraud Re-Sellers on Amazon Offer Software at Bargain Prices - At a Cost To You

    With the introduction of online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, it is no surprise that end users are looking for the best software deals, to help them save on their often costly business investments. The problem is, most buyers don't realize the inherent risks of buying from un-registered, un-verified third parties. The fact is, an overwhelming majority of discount software retailers on these online marketplaces are selling illegitimate copies of software that often leave the end user at risk for costly audits and downtime. When buying from a re-seller on Amazon or eBay, it is important to verify the legitimacy of the products being sold and to read the reviews to determine if the product is genuine and legal.

     

    Cheap Software Turned Our Fraud

    Deals That Are Too Good to Be True Usually Are: Don't Fall For Fraudulent Software

    If you find software that is listed well below list, or MSRP price, be wary. Most genuine retailers cannot afford to sell their products for rock bottom prices, and there's a reason for that: The margins on software are simply not that big. So if you find that killer deal on an expensive piece of software, it probably isn't a legitimate copy. Most of the time, if fraudulent, it's the wrong version, a compromised key, or made for a region outside of the U.S. - this means you will get software that might work for a few weeks, months, sometimes a year or more, but eventually you will be paying more to rectify these types of issues. Downtime, expensive audits, and lack of functionality can severely hinder businesses and become extremely costly in light of the up-front savings.

    Protect Yourself: Buy Genuine and Eliminate The Risk of An Audit

    Did you know a Microsoft Audit can cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars. All it takes is for one piece of software on your network to be out of compliance for Microsoft to initiate an Audit letter, placing your entire business and infrastructure under the microscope. Trying to save on that one piece of software just isn't worth it unless its certified genuine. For those trying to save a few bucks, Royal proudly offers some of the lowest prices in the business, with monthly promo codes and incentives to boot - We ONLY sell legitimate software, ensuring our clients are never put in harm's way.

    Have questions about a specific deal online? We can verify if it's legitimate or not. Contact us for more information or call our licensing department direct at 1-877-292-7712.