We had an interesting debate at work this week about CRM licences being used and how do you keep track of them in CRM 4. I’m not sure if it’s different in CRM 2011 but it’s probably the same.
If a company has a professional licence in CRM then it shows the number of licences avalable in CRM is unlimited. It shows this even if the user has purchased a certain amount of licences.
When I did my CRM exam there is a question on licences and how companies should manage them. The answer to this question was for the user to deactivate some licences whilst enabling others (inactive licences don’t use cals).
This lead me to believe that CRM would automatically disable users once a company had used up more than the amount of licences they had purchased. This proved not to be the case because the licences were always unlimited.
So I googled the problem and found this forum discussion.
The forum post basically says you can’t stop the user adding more licences except by using security roles to not allow them to add new licences.
These two answers I found the most interesting
You don’t need to install anything for a license. You simply report to your SPLA reseller on how many user licenses were used in the previous month. I’d suggest contacting your reseller if you are still unsure.
You can stop your customer from adding users via security roles. If they do require more users though, you should charge them accordingly for the extra users and report the usage to your SPLA reseller.
So it seems that the methods to control and monitor licence usage at clients site is to stop them adding new users via security roles and check up on them and inform your SPLA reseller. The forum sounds a bit big brother with it’s wording saying you should REPORT them.
It strikes me that this is a very trusting method used by Microsoft and I wonder how many installations are using more licences than they have paid for but no one has reported the extra licences being used.
I wonder if there is a technical reason why Microsoft doesn’t create licences with a finite number of users allowed. Maybe it would take a lot more resources to deal with people buying more licences but then this would probably pay for itself.
So make sure you are on top of the licences being used by your users and take away the power to add more.