Microsoft teched Europe 2009 Berlin – Registrations open

By tom on June 22nd, 2009

Just saw on the Teched Europe website that registrations are open as from today June, 22.

The format is a bit different than previous years, with all sessions (for developers and IT professionals) in one week: from 9 to 13 November

The venue will be held in the ‘Messe’

Hope to see you there!


Issues with Microsoft Netherlands licensing desk

By tom on June 5th, 2009

First a little of context: my company is registered in Belgium, works with Belgium-based distributors, but does a lot of business with clients based in the Netherlands.

Recently, one of those clients received a mail from someone in the licensing department of Microsoft Netherlands. They wanted to have a phone conversation about the license management, as they had noticed some discrepancies between certain Microsoft volume licenses.

My client asked me to do this for them, as they trust me as their licensing partner. So I looked up their volume license history to prepare for this conversation.
The phone call took place, first with a little overview of what was bought, what was planned to buy, etc… All in all, this went fairly well, one or two points were brought to my attention.

Just as I thought that the conversation was coming to it’s end, a statement from that guy hit me right in the face: “Do you know that all ‘Open License Program’ licenses your client has are not valid, as they were bought via a foreign partner (my company)?”

Hmm, no I did not… But wait a minute, we are part of the European Union, where one of the basic laws is free transfer of goods and services throughout the whole EU; and furthermore for licensing issues I always work together with the license desk of the distributor and they work together with Microsoft Belgium’s licensing specialists.

It didn’t matter what I told this person, he simply said that this law of the EU was not valid for this. He was going to make a case out of this and the result probably would be that all licenses that my client had bought, would be declared not valid and they needed to buy all licenses again via a Dutch licensing partner. The total worth of this would be over € 250.000! You can say that at that moment I was a little bit shaky… The conversation ended with his promise that within a week I would receive an ultimate statement from Microsoft Netherlands about this issue.

After I recovered a little bit, I called the license desk of my distributor and explained the whole issue, their first reaction was (like mine) “this can’t be true”. They told me that they were going to talk with their contacts at Microsoft Belgium to resolve this as soon as possible, because they have a lot of customers that are in the same situation as I am.

An hour later I received an email from the Microsoft Belgium’s license specialist, who confirmed me that nor me, nor my client were in error and that everything was ok. He asked me for the details of my Microsoft Netherlands contact person, so he could settle this.

We are now almost a month later and I still haven’t had a mail or phone call of the Microsoft Netherlands license desk with their statement. Talking about professionalism…

If you happen to be in the same situation or having a phone call with MS NL about licensing issues soon, please keep this in mind. If you are having problems, contact me directly at tom [at] synergysolutions [dot] be and I’ll be glad to share the names and mail addresses of the persons that helped me.


So finally after a looooong time, I heard back of the Dutch license desk and after some more mails going back and forth, I finally received a confirmation that I could sell Microsoft Licenses to my Dutch clients without any problems…