VELUX is a part of a €2.5 billion Danish manufacturing company that aims to create better living environments using daylight and fresh air through the roof with their product range of roof windows, skylights and sun tunnels . With 17 manufacturing companies in nine countries and sales companies in 40 countries, it employs 9,500 people.
With more than 1000 software manufacturers and 9,000 devices to optimize, VELUX needed an advanced Software Asset Management (SAM) solution to help gain full transparency of software procurement, usage and cost.
The Snow SAM platform has helped VELUX to ensure transparency, eliminate software license sprawl and make smart decisions about balancing compliance against optimization.
- Deep insight into software usage, helpful for harvesting and ensuring compliance
- Reputation as a good citizen when it comes to audits, with noticeably fewer audit requests
- Positive ROI for SAM over the past year
The slogan – “Bringing light to life” – is also an apt way to describe the goals and values of its SAM hero, Jesper Beck Lassen. “In VELUX, SAM is much more than counting beans,” he says, “it brings much more value to the table.” Inclusivity and transparency are key levers. “SAM is a team effort including many different practices in- and outside IT. Transparency is all about finding and commu-nicating the value of SAM through all the different datasets that we have,” Lassen explains.
RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR SAM
The VELUX Group is a Danish manufacturing company that aims to create better living environments using daylight and fresh air through the roof with their product range of roof windows, skylights and sun tunnels. With 17 manufacturing companies in 9 countries and sales companies in 40 countries, it employs 9,500 people.
VKR Holding that owns VELUX had revenues in 2016 of €2.5 billion. The company is heavily committed to social responsibility: 98% of the wood for manufacturing is sourced from sustainable forests, while 97% of production waste is recycled or used for energy generation. Its proactive approach to managing the availability and optimization of software is informed by a similarly forward-thinking and holistic approach.
“Being able to inventory more of the device estate and automatically recognize whatever software is out there now allows me to work in a much more focused way.”
Jesper Beck Lassen, VELUXManager
Despite having previously invested in technology to help manage software licensing, VELUX was struggling to reconcile raw audit information against commercially-licensable applications, making it difficult for Jesper Beck Lassen, Software Asset Manager at VELUX, to deliver the value he knew SAM could provide.
Rather than struggle on, VELUX turned to Snow’s SAM platform, which includes Snow’s world-leading Software Recognition Service, to help it manage the growing number of applications, devices and platforms.
Lassen explained: “Snow offers a far superior technology within SAM. We now have a much higher percentage of devices sending information back to us than we did before. Being able to inventory more of the device estate and automatically recognize whatever software is out there now allows me to work in a much more focused way.”
Internal compliance monitors over 50 manufacturers, with some 700 different product versions. The SAM program is split into quarterly review cycles. Working with Snow partner, Crayon, the team creates internal compliance reports that highlight where the risks lie.
“I use these reports to scope and figure out which products I should focus on. We combine the reports from Snow with other information, such as new software purchases and software maintenance records.. With the historic information Snow gives me, it’s a matter of figuring out what happened between the last time and now,” Lassen says.
For example, a compliance reading highlighted that of over 200 installations, VELUX had a perceived deficit of 51 licenses, “But thanks to the report from Snow I could see that we had 73 installations that were unused. So I looked at the usage sheet and went and cleaned up,” Lassen comments.
“What I really like about Snow’s reports is that they give a very nice and easy overview of our current licence position and what we might need to do about it.”
SAM RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Another report revealed that VELUX was overusing for one specific software . “We tried to figure out if we could do some kind of reconciliation or uninstalls,” Lassen says, “But when that was not possible, we had to get more licenses. For us that’s still a positive finding even though it had a negative monetary impact.” Being compliant with manufacturer terms is VELUX’s number one priority in its SAM program.
Based on an earlier PoC, VELUX is now implementing Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software: “As we are increasing the use of SAP products, we want to ensure that we comply with their terms, also in the future. We believe that the Optimizer will be a valuable complement to Snow License Manager. ”
The reports from Snow do not exist in a vacuum. Activity Logs and Task Lists around the findings are shared internally ‘to avoid the out-of-sight, out-of-mind issues that might arise’. “We are able to find and communicate the value of SAM to the rest of the organization. Snow brings so much more value to the table than just being able to figure out if we have a correct licensing position,” Lassen says,“Now we can automatically recognize a lot more software than we did before. This allows us to automate our risk assessment and figure out where we want to prioritize our resources in the internal compliance cycle.”
“We want to ensure fair licensing, ensuring we only pay for what we use – that is basically it,” Lassen explains. Having the transparency that Snow provides is key. And although this transparency might lead to savings, they are not the sole focus of Lassen’s brief – for him, they are a very positive SAM by-product. “I see SAM as a continuous process, which you need to keep going on a cyclical basis – even if in some years you might see a negative return on investment.” However, that was not the case at VELUX last year. Lassen enlightens us, “Last year’s ROI for Software Asset Management at VELUX was positive.”
SUCCESSFUL AUDIT DEFENSE
“If we didn’t have the transparency, accuracy and automation that Snow delivers, we wouldn’t be in position to achieve the level of optimization we want,” comments Lassen, “With Snow supporting our SAM program, we are able to document our license position any time. Our compliance reporting further ensures that we can prevent or mitigate findings, which could lead to unplanned costs. Further, when approached with an audit request, we can respond rapidly, with relevant documentation.“
And it works. VELUX collaborates actively with large software manufacturers to discuss issues and improvements to their licensing programs, and VELUX has successfully passed several audits. “Rather than being passive customers, we can be an active partner. Audits are part of reality, but with an excellent SAM practice in place, we are ready to respond.”