A Fortune 200 company headquartered in Virginia, USA with operations worldwide.
With more than 10,000 employees and even more endpoints, plus a software budget in excess of US $24 million, the organization wanted to optimize its application footprint for major vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe, SAP and Oracle.
The organization bought Snow’s SAM platform, comprising Snow License Manager, Software Recognition Service, Snow Inventory, Virtualization Management Option, Oracle Management Option and Snow Optimizer for SAP Software. Within a year of implementing Snow, the company made huge cost avoidance savings, with over $500,000 on Microsoft Project alone, similar six-figure savings for Microsoft Visio and even $45,000 for its small-scale adoption of Tableau.
- Nearly $1 million in cost avoidance of buying new software
- Huge time savings: only five minutes to gather data and run a report for what in the past would take a week
- Identification and utilization of upgrade rights to avoid spending full price on new licenses unnecessarily
- Software license optimization – harvesting and reusing some licenses as well as cancelling maintenance and support on unused software.
The Information Technology Manager is responsible for managing 11,100 endpoints through Snow. “In a very short time since adopting Snow, we have achieved full visibility of software utilization across our entire estate and can quickly demonstrate great savings, cost avoidance and license optimization, all of which we were never able to do before.”
FULL VISIBILITY & INSIGHT = BIG SAVINGS
The organization has an annual software and maintenance spend of $24 million but, despite deploying both SCCM and ServiceNow, it did not have confidence that this expenditure was driving optimal value to the business. The technology manager joined the company with a vision to mature the asset management practice for both hardware and software.
“From reading Gartner research we realized we could make savings – anywhere from 5% to 30% of our annual spend in avoidance savings – if we implemented a mature SAM process. We were realistic,” he explains, “We said that we don’t know what we don’t know, so when Snow starts reporting we may find other issues that we need to address. Therefore, we targeted a $1.2 million saving over three to five years with the proviso that even this [5% saving] might have to be offset by remediation to resolve any compliance issues Snow might uncover.”
Obvious initial targets were large software vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe, SAP and Oracle, where the company wanted to rationalize its application footprint.
“A nice easy example of how beneficial Snow has been for us is the cost avoidance savings we have already made on Microsoft Project. We had about 1,500 installations and we were getting ready to purchase upgrades to Project 2016. Historically, the process was to consult SCCM, see how many instances we had installed and that’s how many upgrades we would purchase. It would have cost about $700,000 had we done that last year,”
says the technology manager.
“Instead, thanks to the application usage metering data from Snow, we discovered only 380 active users. We made a saving of $521,000 as I only had to fund those 380 licenses plus buy an extra 10% for stock.” The company performed a similar exercise for Microsoft Visio and again actual usage numbers were much smaller than the number of installations, also saving the company a six-figure sum.
Another great example is Tableau. The technology manager comments:
“At just over $2,000 a license plus maintenance, it’s not a cheap application. We provided the product administrator with the license admin rights, gave her a tour of how to use Snow and in the first month, she harvested 22 licenses. That represents $45,000 in annual cost avoidance.”
For Adobe, the organization wasn’t making the most of utilizing its upgrade rights. “With an Abobe product you are entitled to up- or downgrade [N-minus two or plus two with Acrobat products],” the technology manager says, “Before installing Snow, we would just keep buying the regular full licenses for new versions. Once we had our Adobe license entitlements imported into Snow, I realized there were a lot of unused Adobe Acrobat 10 and 11 licenses we could upgrade for reuse.
“The way Snow tracks the upgrade for the base license is just fantastic. We didn’t have this capability before. An upgrade pack is about 35% cheaper than a whole new license. This is the great thing – using Snow we monitor the usage and when we see we are getting close to capacity we upgrade those base licenses. We can proactively make smart purchases because Snow gives us that ability to do that.”
“Inventorying the server estate was very eye-opening because [again] we just hadn’t had visibility. Right now, we are focused on Microsoft and Oracle. Our data center manager loves the hardware report we get out of Snow. When we were doing our Microsoft true-up last year, we completed the roll-out of Snow Inventory agent in the data center. I was then able to provide her the server report that she needed for the Microsoft true-up which also gave her all the information she needed relating to the number of processors per server.
“It took me five minutes to do what our provider would have taken a week to compile. To be honest I didn’t realize how robust the data was the agent was collecting. It is so good that I started taking the Snow data into ServiceNow instead as it is consistent and robust for what I need.”
The company is now putting Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software into production. “Today, we have full-time employees on a the same license type, but know that not everyone needs the same level of access to SAP. There is a huge opportunity here for optimization and savings,” says the technology manager.
“When I look at our original goal of 5% cut in software costs [across our whole estate] due to optimization, I can see we are on course. Already in a year we have made 3-4% in cost avoidance savings, well over $800,000, and I’m confident that within the next 12 months we will more than achieve our target – all thanks to Snow and better SAM maturity.”