Hexagon is a leading global provider of information technologies that drive quality and productivity improvements across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications. Three of its divisions, Hexagon PPM , Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure and Hexagon Geospatial have a joint IT function which looks after all of their IT and Software Assets.
These three Hexagon divisions were relying on a popular deployment and configuration management tool to monitor their environments. Not conceived as a Software Asset Management (SAM) solution, it only provided basic SAM functionality and did not perform metering or normalization well – resulting in higher license cost implications.
The divisions sought a SAM solution and chose Snow; helped along by the recommendations of its sister companies in Canada and Europe who already had it implemented. Using Snow, the three Hexagon divisions have been able to proactively make cost avoidance savings thanks to its ability to measure true usage as well as renegotiate the licensing agreement with Microsoft.
- ROI on Snow based on the savings made on two popular enterprise applications alone
- Trusted data for negotiating better vendor deals
- Faster and more accurate reporting to reveal licensing position
- Transparency into software usage.
Rick Angel, Senior Systems Consultant at Hexagon has been able to generate reports with normalized data and now has the data on true usage. He says, “We’re really happy with Snow so far and we believe there are a lot more benefits out there that we just haven’t explored yet.”
The business model for Hexagon’s leading-edge technologies is heavily research-driven: more than 10% of group revenue is ploughed back into R&D. This explains why the three combined divisions of Hexagon PPM, Safety & Infrastructure and Geospatial – with some 5,300 employees – represent an estate of 20,000 computers, counting both physical and virtual. The bulk of this hardware is used for development and testing, not production, but the tool in place to monitor inventory and compliance was unable to detect this distinction.
Hexagon’s Senior Systems Consultant, Rick Angel explains:
“Our former solution was used for inventories and compliance management. However, in our environment the majority of computers are not in ‘production’ but are for development and testing of our software which runs on Microsoft servers so many showed up as servers.The problem was that the cost point for the server agents was 10 times as expensive as for workstation ones.”
Angel attempted to persuade the software vendor to treat the non-production end points as workstation licenses but his arguments fell on deaf ears and he was facing over a million dollars to upgrade. Angel’s response? “It was a no brainer – we had to find something else.”
“The most important benefits of Snow? I would say it’s a toss-up between being able to generate reports with normalized data and the ability to see true usage.”
Rick Angel, Senior Systems Consultant
A NEW SOLUTION
The search was on for a Software Asset Management solution. The company looked at a few solutions but none were as comprehensive as Snow. Added to this, two of Hexagon’sister companies were already using Snow, and their feedback persuaded Angel to roll out Snow License Manager, Snow Inventory, Snow Automation Platform and Virtualization Management Option.
As often happens, Hexagon saw significant early gains with two popularly downloaded but little used Enterprise applications. “For the first time, we got data on true usage,” says Angel, “Andfound out we only had 52% usage with them.” Angel believes that savings on these two applications alone are paying for the cost of Snow, a “tremendous” return on investment.
He is expecting other common enterprise software to wield even greater savings down the line. For example, Hexagon isentering its final year of its three-year Cloud subscription with Adobe, but Snow will bear down on renewal costs when the contracts come up for renewal. Development and testing is the backbone of Hexagon’s competitive advantage, and so it comes as no surprise that between 50% and 60% of its employees use Microsoft Developer Network. “That’s like 3,000 and that’s a crazy percentage,” says Angel. “Because we’ve got such a large user-base for MSDN, it makes compliance reporting exponentially more difficult.” In tandem with clearing up its licensing position with MSDN, Hexagon is using Snow to renew some of its global agreements with Microsoft. “We did a new Server and Cloud Enrollment which in our case included all SQL Server and MSDN subscriptions,”
Angel explains. “We used Snow in conjunction with our Active Directory information to produce some of the MSDN reports and more, specifically, for the SQL true-up, we used it heavily. We did all the inventory for the SQL true-up using Snow.”
The process was a lot quicker and more accurate than in the old days using the previous solution where the data was littered with false positives.
Angel has been extremely busy migrating all Hexagon computers to Office365. When he comes up for air he wants to exploit the full potential of the Snow platform. That means centralizing the procurement process across Hexagon’s 90 offices and hosting its top 10 applications on a user self-service portal using Snow Automation Platform.
TO SUM UP
“The most important benefits of Snow? I would say it’s a toss-up between being able to generate reports with normalized data and the ability to see true usage.” Angel concludes: “We’re really happy with Snow so far and we believe there are a lot more benefits out there that we just haven’t explored yet.”