Working as a software asset manager (SAM) can be a very rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful if you don’t have the tools and visibility to licenses. Many sleepless nights are often the result, especially leading up to an audit. We recently spoke with Ulrich Koch, License Manager at Syntegon Technology, and he shared his story on how software license management software has made for more restful nights and happier days.
For 10 years, Koch worked for a German telecommunications enterprise that had not yet embraced the value of a software asset management (SAM) tool. Despite having a 10-member global team who logged countless hours of hard work managing licenses for more than 30,000 servers, there was always a degree of uncertainty over incomplete software visibility. This made optimization extremely difficult and led to rising costs and growing risk. All of this contributed to high levels of concern for Koch because he knew there was a better way of verifying.
Several years later, Koch found a new role as License Manager at Syntegon Technology, a global pharmaceutical and food industries processing and packaging provider headquartered in Germany with more than 30 sites in almost 20 countries. Koch joined Syntegon about the time they were embarking on an ambitious business transformation project with aspirations to cut costs, improve efficiency and enhance profitability. This made for an interesting journey into gaining visibility.
Koch sat down with us to explain why working with the Snow Software SAM solution and their Snow premier partner, SoftwareONE, who hosts Snow and manages the Syntegon SaaS, datacenter and end user computing environments, was critical to the success of the project as well as his own professional growth and satisfaction.
A path to simplification
With over 5,800 employees relying on 6,500 workstations, 3,000 mobile devices, and 700 servers, Syntegon software licenses comprise a substantial proportion of their annual IT spend. Syntegon considered a few different SAM solutions and tested two in proof-of-concept exercises. The goal was to cut costs and streamline the management of software agreements and licensing terms with enterprise applications from Microsoft, Oracle and SAP®. It was also important to better manage specialist engineering software, including EPLAN, AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Rockwell. Through the process, Snow quickly rose to be the clear winner.
The exciting part of this journey is that with Snow Software underpinning its asset management activities, Syntegon was able to uncover huge year-on-year savings. This dramatically simplified software license management and strengthened their compliance position, which pleased the team.
Visibility improves collaboration
Visibility has made a huge impact for Syntegon and it has made life much easier. For Koch, the Snow-powered visibility into what software the company and their 30 worldwide subsidiaries have and how it gets used has made all the difference.
“It’s so important to have the right tools to do your jobs well . . . With Snow, there are many benefit paths that impact many different departments.”Ulrich koch, license manager, syntegon technology
For example, the metering capabilities that Snow provides serve as the ground floor for the purchasing department to start new contract negotiations because the company now has evidence of which applications are used. Koch explains that this insight includes how many licenses are held currently and what they will likely need in the future. Cost reductions are a natural result.
Software visibility has also proven important from a security perspective. “With detailed knowledge of what Syntegon has, we can give our IT security teams leads into what they should be looking at and what could potentially be an insecurity issue,” Koch says.
Another benefit Koch sees is what ultimately turns into a more accurate, meaningful software catalog. This information then allows him to produce more timely, complete reporting for company leadership and he can demonstrate, with certainty, what works and what doesn’t. As a result, Snow has also fostered more proactive cross-departmental collaboration at Syntegon, from IT to purchasing, legal to finance teams. The software catalog data leads to certainty that everyone can confidently act upon.
As more people rely on the software catalog and its insights, the cycle becomes self-perpetuating. Software requests are easier to make, and people are much more likely to get the tools they need for maximum productivity at the onset.
Higher job satisfaction
In summing up his experiences, Koch offers the following recollections and advice:
“Before having the right tools, life was not easy and manual tasks did not lead to job satisfaction because you never really knew if you had captured all the data needed. Having the tools you need to do your job well and make definitive decisions is hugely rewarding; your job satisfaction increases. If you feel you’re able to give 100% and what you’re delivering is high quality, it’s very satisfying, and this type of satisfaction brings great joy because we have a higher degree of confidence in the data.”
“With Snow, I can show reports and results and we can decrease our costs,” Koch concludes. “I can answer my colleagues’ questions with confidence and offer them advantages or even substitute products. I’m now able to do the work as it should be done.”
Learn more about the benefits Syntegon realized using Snow Software in the full case study.
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