Reseller Risks for Microsoft SPLA and CSP

Robert J. Scott, Managing Director – Scott & Scott, LLP

Many MSP’s are considering adding cloud solutions to their menu of services.  The market for hosted software solutions that incorporate or that are built on Microsoft programs is a lucrative one. However, Microsoft has very specific licensing requirements for making its products available to end users through commercial hosting services, and the failure to abide by those requirements can be extremely costly. Before to committing to Microsoft’s Services Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”), companies must determine whether the SPLA model is right for them. That analysis depends on understanding the alternatives to SPLA, the obligations that a company accepts by signing a SPLA, and the risks associated with those obligations. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of that decision-making process by reviewing the following:

  • Who needs SPLA?
  • What is “commercial hosting”?
  • Licensing alternatives for commercial hosting rights
  • Defending SPLA audits
  • Estimating SPLA-audit exposure
  • Negotiating SPLA-audit settlements

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