I am a bit confused in regard to what Microsoft means with "keep the records" in the audit/verification clause in license agreements:
You must keep records relating to the products you and any affiliate participating under a license agreement run.
We have the right to verify compliance with any license agreement, at our expense, during the term of the license agreement and any enrollment and for a period of one year thereafter.
I appreciate any input 🙂
My take is that you should make sure that you keep track of this in a way so that it is cristal clear and that there is very little, or no, room for interpretations.
As a Microsoft partner it is part of our duties to make sure that we are all compliant and that our customers are as well. Being role models ourselves is a great start!
Generally this says you need to have a documentation that outlines where, what type, what count of licenses are running in your organization (and those of affiliates) - so that during an audit the auditor can get an overview.
This is also helpful for yourself to check licensing strategy and adjust your license count accordingly.
The agreements generally do now mention specifics on how this documentation has to look like, so there is not a certain tool or format you need to use - generally you should have it in a way that the person doing the audit has a chance to understand it 🙂
There are some management tools that include the option to export a license report. This can help, but is not sufficient in most cases. E.g. since most licenses have specific terms on how & when & how often can be reassigned you might need to documents license reassignments you did make also.
"keep the records" is important with the clause that an audit can happen also up to one year after agreement ends. So you can not only rely on a management tool giving you the current count, you need to keep the records for a longer period - e.g. "one year" if the contract says you can get an audit also up to one yera later.