What you need to know about SPLA Reporting
The Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) is for service providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) who want to license the latest eligible Microsoft software products to provide software services and hosted applications to end customers. There are 3 options in the SPLA licensing model:
- Subscriber Access License (SAL): A SAL is required for each unique individual user or device that will access/use the product.
- Per Processor: Each Processor license allows an unlimited number of users to access the software installed on that processor.
- Per Core: This offers the same use rights as Per Processor (I.e. Unlimited user access) but is based on the number of cores in each physical processor.
- Per Guest/Host Licensing Model:The Host/Guest licensing model requires both host licenses and guest licenses. Host licenses are required for your “host fabric,” a collection of physical and virtual operating system environments (OSEs) that are configured and operated as a unit to provide virtualization, networking, management, website, and file services. Guest licenses are required for your guest virtual OSEs.
- Product-Specific Licensing:
SPLA, as with most Microsoft licensing, is a predominantly trust based system and Service Providers (LSP) simply report back their software usage to their LAR (Large Account Reseller) on a monthly basis. This means the hosting providers submit monthly reports to the publishers (via LSPs) of the software to show how many ‘SPLAs’ have been deployed to end user organisations so that the LSPs can invoice them the corresponding amount.
However this becomes challenging for LSPs, who distribute the cloud based licenses on behalf of software publishers to keep track of licenses, as there is currently no efficient method of keeping track of which software is being used in hosted environments and hence which licenses should be paid for. The limitations in current technology have led to these reports being created either manually or with inadequate scripts deployed through the hosted environments. Microsoft estimate inaccuracy levels of 25% in the reporting, resulting in an estimated potential loss of 15% of SPLA revenues.
If you’re looking to start a new hosted service and/or transfer an existing onsite offering to the Cloud, and you utilise any Microsoft products, SPLA licensing must be on your list. And if you have any problem in reporting SPLA usage, contact our team today. Our SPLAreporter tool, an automated solution that collates software usage data into a report – a step change technology that has the potential to deliver a 15% increase in your SPLA revenue.