When it comes to SPLA audits, service providers just want things “sorted”

We helped an independent IT expert achieve the “Octopus effect” by allowing
them to prepare for a SPLA audit in under an hour – instead of a whole week.

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Köhler and Rapp are an independent IT expert that has operated since 1984 and have been working with Octopus Cloud since 2017. Originally a service provider for tax consultants, they now host more than 300 small and medium-sized customers across various sectors.

They mainly use Microsoft applications such as SQL Server, Office and Exchange which are hosted in a virtual environment.

Main challenges

Without an effective SPLA reporting tool, Köhler and Rapp were unable to create accurate reports and deal with the complexities of the SPLA licensing process. Not only did this expose them to significant risks if they were audited, it also limited their underlying business performance due to financial inaccuracies and operational inefficiencies.

Before Köhler and Rapp got to know Octopus Cloud, there was no SPLA tool in the company. Monthly reports were created based on client contracts using their own scripts from the enterprise resource planning system. But they were not a true reflection of the real situation. Apart from the amount of time spent, both underuse and overuse by customers could remain undetected. The consequences were overpayments to Microsoft and under-invoicing of customers.


Our solutions

  • Thanks to Octopus Cloud and the SPLA Manager, Köhler and Rapp have solved three critical questions at once.

  • Secure and efficient reporting

    The once-difficult licence calculation and reporting to Microsoft is now secure and efficient.

  • Efficient automated processes

    The ERP-based billing system for the customer is still separate, but automatic invoicing is now an option which has made the process more efficient and precise.

  • Improved customer service

    And last but not least, Köhler and Rapp were able to increase the quality of their service to customers.

Final outcome

In these two years with Octopus I’ve rediscovered how to sleep soundly,” Michael Köhler remarks. “I now have a complete overview. I get the monthly reports at the push of a button and I have more time for my original business. Audits are no longer a problem. Lots of companies claim they can perform license tests, but this one works”. When it’s audit time, Köhler and Rapp print out the last 12 reports, transfer them to a table and the report is ready.

There is positive side effect, both for Köhler and Rapp and for their customers. After each customer is created in Octopus with all its users and used application, Octopus functions almost like a customer file in the ERP system, which is constantly updated for users. This overall view is particularly advantageous for larger customers of Köhler and Rapp. When it comes to billing questions, the customer can sometimes be amazed at who is using what and when.

“In these two years with Octopus I’ve rediscovered how to sleep soundly,”


Michael Köhler