Looking back on two and a half years’ experience with Snow Software, we can say that it fully meets our compliance requirement and that our return on investment has been quick because of significant savings on the use of software across the European NYK sites.
-Ing. Rob van Erk, Manager European IT Support Team
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NYK Business Systems is the ICT service provider of global logistics enterprise, NYK Group. With a team of approximately 50 employees based in London and Rotterdam, they manage more than 2,000 workstations and related servers for all NYK’s European operations.


Better insight into daily software use within the NYK Group, to ensure that it stays compliant and that available licenses are used more efficiently.


Intelligent and automated risk management delivers significant costs savings through re-harvesting of licenses. Improved control over the software budgets thanks to the extensive reporting options available in Snow.


NYK Group has both met compliance obligations and achieved a return on this investment by optimizing license availability. Real-time insight prevents the misuse of software.


NYK Group has been specializing in goods transport by sea, rail, air and road for nearly 130 years. With many thousands of employees, the Japanese group is a large globally operating logistics service provider with its head office in Tokyo. NYK also operates cruise ships and invests in the development of innovative transport solutions with its own R&D company. They have also set up their own NYK Business Systems service provider that manages group workstations and servers because of the business-critical importance of ICT. The European branch, NYK Business Systems Europe, operates from offices in London and Rotterdam as well as other locations.

“During the past few years, the focus of our ICT-policy was on the virtualization of all our servers,” says Rob van Erk (Ing.), the European IT Support Team Manager. “Following positive experiences, we have now also started with workstation virtualization. Naturally, we are not just managing all hardware but also all the software in use. The NYK Group servers and workstations run mainly under Windows and Office is the most popular application. We had previously used an Excel sheet for many years to manage our software licenses. A friendly audit conducted in association with Microsoft showed, however, that our spreadsheet-based system was not effective and that our software use was not in line with our requirements or entitlements. We were running the risk of both being non-compliant and also wasting money.” 


NYK Business Systems Europe started to search for a professional software asset management platform in 2011 to ensure it could better manage all software and related risks. The related procedures and processes were also defined at the same time.

After comparing a shortlist with the three best solutions for Software Asset Management (SAM), NYK decided to use Snow License Manager, Snow Inventory and Software Recognition Service: “For us, the most important business benefits of SAM are compliancy and automated risk management,” summarizes Van Erk.

“The reallocation of licenses that are not used or are only used occasionally can lead to significant savings on costs for a group such as the NYK Group. It will, after all, reduce the risk of fraud and abuse because all used software is now checked on a daily basis. We decided to implement Snow because of the favorable performance/price ratio, the fact that experience had already been gained with it during the audit for Microsoft and the extensive functions that are easy to use through a user-friendly interface. Another factor that determined the choice was the fact that NYK Logistics in the UK had already gained good experiences with the package and that Snow supports our terminal server environment. That Snow software is an excellent investment from a financial perspective is shown by the savings of more than 100,000 euros that we achieved during this autumn alone by reallocating licenses that were not being used across our European operations. The time to a full ROI was particularly short.”


Many companies underestimate the complexity of software management. All suppliers have their own licensing rules and can change them on a regular basis. This makes it difficult to become and stay compliant. To provide additional license expertise and advice, NYK Business Systems Europe has also entered into an ongoing support contract with Insight as a structural solution to this issue.

“Although for many organizations, getting access to the Snow platform via a managed service is highly cost-effective, this arrangement doesn’t fit with the security policies of NYK Group, so we run our Snow installation in our datacenter in Rotterdam,” says Van Erk.

“After the Snow installation, we first prioritized on achieving compliance for our top ten suppliers including Microsoft and IBM. To help with this goal, we entered into a Managed Service contract with Insight so that they can assist us in staying compliant despite the many changes in the licensing policies of our various software suppliers. They do this by performing a remote control audit every six months and making recommendations about possible improvements based on this. We can also ask for assistance from their helpdesk when we have questions. Looking back on two and a half years’ experience with Snow software, we can firmly say that it has fully met our compliancy needs and that our return on investment has been short because of significant savings realized across the European NYK sites. To conclude, we have much better control over NYK Group software budgets in Europe thanks to the extensive reporting functionality.”