Audit Defense

With software audit activity forecasted to increase into 2021, SHI's independent licensing experts can help you understand your true exposure, minimize the disruption to your organization and even turn the tables on aggressive auditors.

Wherever and however you license your software – on-premises or in the cloud – there is a growing chance that you will be audited by one or more of your software vendors in the next 12 months. SHI's expert team of 80+ ITAM and SAM professionals are here to help reduce both the cost and disruption caused by software audits. They operate independently of software publishers, offering you impartial advice and focusing solely on representing your best interests at all times.

Audit Defense three-step process:

Whether you're defending an audit against IBM, Microsoft, Oracle or SAP (or indeed many other software publishers), SHI's three-step approach keeps the software audit defense program both simple and effective:



  • ITAM experts from SHI will meet with you to agree on overall goals and desired outcomes
  • Usage data (inventory) is collected from existing tools or using SHI's proprietary technologies
  • Entitlements and contracts are reviewed and compared against usage



  • Based on usage vs entitlement, plus an understanding of the vendor’s drivers and tactics, SHI’s experts will propose a course of action on how best to meet your desired outcomes



  • Our Audit Defense experts will work with you to optimize your estate prior to submitting findings to the vendor
  • We will act as an intermediary to manage demands for inventory and consumption data
  • Our team will represent your best interests and use their knowledge of the vendor’s licensing schemes to arrive at the best financial agreement
  • We will help you negotiate post-audit contracts best suited for your environment and can even contact publishers directly on your behalf

Benefits of Audit Defense with SHI

SHI saved customers $870M+ in audit risk in 2019 alone
Our team has successfully managed hundreds of audits
We have former auditors on staff who know licensing inside out
We can provide the necessary SAM technologies to help keep the vendor honest
Our experts know what a good outcome looks like and will get you the best deal
Effective defense reduces the likelihood of future audit requests

When do you need Audit Defense services?

Audit Defense shouldn’t start when you receive an audit notice from the software publisher. The best approach to identifying and minimizing cost and disruption is to take a proactive stance and regularly assess your audit risk.

Best practice is to incorporate periodic risk reviews of your Software Asset Management program (all SAM Managed Services from SHI include a regular risk profile analysis) to help focus efforts and prioritize vendors or applications.

If you don’t have a proactive SAM program, we recommend a regular risk assessment at six-month intervals (at minimum) to identify potential warning signs of an impending audit and minimize disruption to the business when an audit is demanded.

Received an Audit Demand? Here's what you do first:

It’s not a matter of if, but rather of when you get an audit notification. So, when that time comes, don’t hide your head in the sand or pretend you’re not home. Your immediate action plan should be:

  1. Notify your legal and leadership teams.
    They need to know and will support you in getting the resources you need to respond effectively.
  2. Reply to the publisher.
    Acknowledge receipt and tell them you will come back with suggested next steps in a week or less.

  3. Our team will take you through the three-step plan above and ensure your audit experience is as painless as possible.

Software Audit Defense Successes

Here are just a few examples of how the IT Asset Management team at SHI has helped organizations like yours successfully defend aggressive vendor audits:

Case Study

Texas Health Care Clinic Receives Prescription for SHI Audit Defense

SHI Audit Defense saves customer potential $1.2M in Microsoft audit

Image Description

Software Developer Reduces Oracle bill ($300M down to $150K) and resolves Microsoft audit ($2M down to $0)

SHI helps this Software Developer reduce Oracle bill by 99.95% and resolve Microsoft audit with a $0 bill

Contact us today to speak in confidence to one of our Software Audit Defense experts.