What is Microsoft True-Up?

There are many good reasons to enter an Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Microsoft, the biggest is probably the flexibility when deploying new hardware and software. However, the EA is a two way street and once a year it’s your turn to hold up your end of the bargain, with a Microsoft True-up.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

The EA is a licensing option that targets large scale enterprises with at least 250 desktops or users, which wants to license them for a three year period. An EA isn’t for everyone but has a really good value for organizations that wants cloud services and software licenses under one agreement.

What is a Microsoft True-up?

The True-Up is the yearly evaluation of the qualified licenses you’ve deployed in your EA. It usually takes place on your annual anniversary of entering the Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft. During the year you can deploy or remove as many Microsoft licenses as you wish. And for the True-Up, you compile a list of devices and/or users to stay compliant with the EA. As the Microsoft EA True-Up Guide clearly states:

“This is the True-Up process: an inventory of all the qualified devices, users, and processors added over the course of the year.”

Since the True-Up is basically a report of change in the number of licenses to Microsoft it’s important that you only report products that are licensed under the EA. Make sure that you complete your True-Up in time, otherwise, you might get hit by a licensing compliance audit.

What to inventory

  • EA-qualified devices that use Microsoft-licensed software. I.e: servers, computers (desktops, laptops, and terminals), and mobile devices. Document the number of devices and their service dates.
  • The number of qualifying, underlying OS licenses on devices, including the type of OS and service date.
  • All Microsoft application software. (see Microsoft’s updated product list here)
  • The number of User CALs and Device CALs within your enterprise

True-Up Best practices

When it comes down to compiling the True-Up report it’s fairly straightforward. You put together the information from your documentation/inventory and calculate the changes for the statement. The best practices focus on how you manage your EA licenses and processes over the year.

Best practices

  • Maintain a defined process and always make sure you remove old users & devices. Analyze data and optimize license usage all year round.
  • Maintain updated documentation of servers, devices, and users all year. This can be done manually or with tools. Using a software solution like vScope will save you headaches and days of work over a year.
  • Identify products and their versions in your organization that applies to the EA.
  • Make use of Microsoft their resources. They are there to help you.


Having a True-Up around the corner can be stressful unless you are prepared. But by having good documentation and management of the Microsoft EA licenses all year around it’s a different story. Make use of tools, processes, and resources provided by Microsoft to focus on more critical work instead of spending hours compiling reports for Microsoft.

Using vScope you always have updated documentation all year around. Always ready for True Ups and audits.


August 27, 2018

Author Soroush Pourhadi

Anton Berghult

Product Marketing

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Example of Reports found in vScope