We talk a lot about audits on here, today, we are going to take a moment and define the different types of audits.
Self – often requested by trade associations acting on behalf of software vendors. These are the friendlies of the audits, it is conducted by YOU and results are provided to the vendor.
Independent – This type of audit involves the use of a third part auditor and is the most costly and time consuming. You have virtually no say in the process and must bear the costs of the audit. The only upside is that the auditor is independent, and not an employee of the software vendor.
SAM Engagement – SAM engagements have been used recently by Microsoft, the software vendor requires a third party audit and the results are reported back. The auditor does not need to be independent and the audited company must purchase licenses to become compliant. These audits are typically much less costly as the vendor will forgive past non-compliance with the only cost being the license discrepancy.
Publisher-Staffed – simply said, this should be the last option, if you can avoid it, avoid it! Just as the name implies, this is an audit performed by the software vendor, they collect information and use it as a basis for the dispute. It’s intrusive and one-sided. Best to request a self audit if at all possible.
Any audit is bad news, our advice, get ahead of it!