Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman

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How can you tell if your client has OEM, Retail Box or Volume License software?

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How can you tell if your client has OEM, Retail Box or Volume License software?

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Recently, I saw a Partner post a question online stating that they had taken on a client who had an old server that needed to be replaced and they were wondering how to tell if their server software was purchased via OEM, Retail Box, or Volume license.  One reason it is important to know this is because OEM software has no transfer rights, which means if it is OEM software, it cannot be moved to the new server, so the client will need to purchase a new server software license.  If it were a Retail Box or Volume License server license, it would have transfer rights and could be transferred to the new server hardware. 

So how can you tell what kind of license they have?  Simple, look at the license itself.  Can’t find it?  Now that could be a big problem, and another reason why you should be purchasing your software through Volume Licensing instead of OEM or Retail Box.  Remember that in order to be licensed to run the software, you must have the proper license documentation to show proof of licensure.  Without proof of licensure, you have no license to install or use the software.   Here is where the choice of purchasing an OEM, Retail Box, or Volume License for your Server and CAL licenses really comes into play. 

If they purchased OEM licenses, they need to be able to produce and show:

·         The End User License Agreement (EULA)—this is the agreement between the PC manufacturer and the purchaser. 

·         The Certificate of Authenticity (COA)  (Needs to be attached to the side of the computer where the OEM software was originally installed)

·         Original media and manuals (if applicable) 

·         Your purchase invoice and/or receipt 

If they have lost their proof of licensure, they no longer have a license to install or run the software.

If they purchased Retail Box licenses, they need to be able to produce and show:

·         The End User License Agreement (EULA)—this is the agreement between the purchaser and the software manufacturer.   (This is a piece of paper that came inside the Retail Box)

·         The Certificate of Authenticity (COA) 

·         Original media and manuals (if applicable) 

·         Your purchase invoice and/or receipt 

If they have lost their proof of licensure, they no longer have a license to install or run the software.

If they purchased Open Business or Open Value server or CAL licenses, their licenses are securely stored electronically for them on the eOpen or MVLS website and cannot be lost.

This not only comes into play in everyday situations like the Partner is in now where they are looking to replace hardware with new hardware but also in situations like disasters (OEM & Retail licenses can be destroyed in floods, fire, theft, etc.), mergers/acquisitions (software licensing can add significant value to your businesses assets if you can show proof of licensure), or even with Software Assurance (Buying L+SA through Volume Licensing gives you electronic licenses that cannot be lost for both.  Buying OEM software and adding Software Assurance only gives you electronic licenses for your Software Assurance, so if you lose the OEM licenses you purchased the SA for, you no longer have a qualifying license for the SA.)

So remember, to find out what type of licenses your clients have for their software, simply look at the license itself.  If you can’t find it, it may be a good time to have the conversation with your client why moving to Volume Licensing as a business is so beneficial for them.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman

Microsoft US Senior Manager

Small Business Community Engagement

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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  • The manual and EULA are required as well?

    No wonder people feel threatened whenever we start talking licensing...

    OEM software is fine for *small business* servers and sites less than 10 people. We're there to make their business run (and make it legit), not scare them into what they think as "Microsoft tracking our software" - as much as it's untrue.

  • @ Voice in the wind:  Yes, of course the EULA is required.  The EULA is the End User License Agreement, which is their actual license.  Why would they have a license if they lost their license?

  • Couple of related questions on this - are you saying that you need all of the above to show proof of purchase?

    Also, as far as the open/mvls licensing goes - I've had a couple of cases where I've taken over IT and the client has no idea what licences they have purchased in the past - OR they may have some entered in the mvls website but how do I check that all the licences they have purchased are in there - unless i have i) the passport account and password ii) the agreement number and iii) the the authorization number I can't tell what software has been purchased, which means that licences CAN be lost if mvls has been used.

  • I saw a question recently from a Partner stating that they had a new client and were trying to determine

  • I saw a question recently from a Partner stating that they had a new client and were trying to determine

  • PingBack from http://msdnrss.thecoderblogs.com/2007/08/27/how-can-you-tell-if-your-client-has-user-or-device-cals-for-their-server/

  • @ Andy: The proof of licensure requirements are posted directly on the Software Asset Management page at: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sam/what_basics_licensingDocs.mspx.  This is the same link I included in my post above.  As for losing a Volume License, they cannot be lost.  A customer can request a license report from Microsoft and have their Volume License Agreement numbers sent to them so that they can access them, even if they forgot what the agreement numbers were and had logged in previously.  With OEM and Retail Box, once they are gone, they are gone.

  • I have seen a conversation taking place in one of the online forums about how Microsoft Office is licensed

  • I have seen a conversation taking place in one of the online forums about how Microsoft Office is licensed

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