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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the It's-a-trap! dept.

dotdotdot writes:

"I am the IT guy for a small business with about 20 users. We use Microsoft Windows and Office, and I regularly audit our Microsoft volume license usage to make sure we are compliant.

I received an email from Accordo Group Ltd about a Microsoft Volume License Software Asset Management (SAM) License Review. The introduction letter stated, 'Microsoft would like to work with your company to review all Microsoft software products in use throughout your organization. This review process will be undertaken with all customers over a period of time and is intended to help you control your software assets.' The email and all the attachments were written as if they were from Microsoft, not Accordo. My first and last name, as well as the name of my company, were all misspelled.

So this is what I would like to ask SN:
Has anyone else had to deal with this? Are they just phishing for people who will agree to this?"

 
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:46PM

    by frojack (1554) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @06:46PM (#11452) Journal

    Ignore them, never agree to do this.

    The review will go way beyond just Microsoft products, regardless of what they say.

    Typically Microsoft will see the same license requesting automated updates from different machines Physical machines, and that suggests to them that you are using the same copy on more than on machine.

    Just moving a license, or changing the configuration of a virtual machine that is running windows can cause this. (As can intentional pirating of their products or running bootleg copies of stuff).

    This almost never comes out well for you. It will cost you time and money no matter how perfectly compliant and clean your shop is. You may have Original Certificates for every single license in the shop, but just emptying desk drawers and storage bins trying to find them is a huge disruption.

    They may threaten court action but the cost to them for carrying through on this is enormous, and they invariably just walk away.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Wednesday March 05 2014, @08:31PM

    by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @08:31PM (#11503)

    MOD PARENT UP

    Responding to these letters is the same stupidity in freely talking to law enforcement.

    Unless it's from a local law firm informing you of Microsoft intending to enforce their licensing agreements with an audit, you ignore it. Microsoft, or their representatives (maybe-look at the agreement) are the only ones with legal standing.

    Even then, it's still a legal contract. You wait till they threaten to sue, and then you respond back with a friendly worded letter asking them to prove that Microsoft is their client, and the contacts over in Redmond that can verify such legal representation exists.

    After that stage, you tell them you want a legal document constructed in which you agree to the terms of the audit to protect you from unreasonable searches in desks, and the even more unreasonable searches in which they want their technician to have free access to systems with business data. They may come back and try to bully you and say you have no right, but it will cost them a crap load of money and time (the same) to go through the process.

    Once Microsoft hears about it (from you), and they can see that you have spent thousands with them already, they will drop it like it's poison.

    Asking Microsoft, or their representatives to indemnify you and hold you harmless from data breaches as a result of the audit is not unreasonable, especially given that states are progressively enacting heavy fines for such data loss that impacts citizens.

    If you just answer anybody and let them in the door because you're afraid, you deserve what may happen.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Reziac on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:02AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:02AM (#11692) Homepage

    My understanding (which comes from attending Microsoft events in years past, and hearing their guy speak on the subject) is that the original certificates will NOT prove your software is 'legal' and properly licensed. For that, you must have the original purchase receipts.

    --
    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:46AM

      by frojack (1554) on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:46AM (#11776) Journal

      I've heard as much myself, which is all the more reason not to play their game.
      Make them pull that stunt in front of a judge.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.