Betfair

Betfair doesn’t gamble with its software assets

“With six figure cost savings delivered from the outset, moving to a Snow-based SAM Managed Service was no gamble for us. The service has paid for itself many times over.”

Mark Cox, head of global IT operations, Betfair

 
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COMPANY BACKGROUND 

Betfair PLC is the world’s largest internet betting exchange, and the largest online betting company in the UK. 

CHALLENGE

Betfair initially had no SAM tool in place, so developing even a basic understanding of how software licenses were being used at this fast growing and increasingly complex organization was a near impossible task. As a result, annual licensing true ups were based on best-guess scenarios instead of accurate, verifiable data, causing Betfair’s software bills to jump significantly every year.

SNOW'S CONTRIBUTION

Snow License Manager, hosted and managed by Insight, ensures continual savings on desktop and server software. An EA true up service plus a series of multi-vendor SAM baselines, culminating in a fully outsourced SAM Managed Service.

BENEFITS AND ROI

Six figure savings delivered on day one. Residual savings ongoing by ensuring that software spend is efficiently aligned to usage.

 

THE STORY

Betfair PLC is the world’s largest internet betting exchange, and the largest online betting company in the UK. Founded in 1999, the company has grown quickly beyond its UK home market to include operations in the US, Europe and Australia. Betfair initially had no SAM tool in place, so developing even a basic understanding of how software licenses were being used at this fast growing and increasingly complex organization was a near impossible task. As a result, annual licensing true ups were based on best-guess scenarios instead of accurate, verifiable data, causing Betfair’s software bills to jump significantly every year.

Recognizing the need to implement a robust SAM strategy in order to have better visibility and control over its software costs, Betfair initially installed an onsite deployment of Snow License Manager to cover the company’s estate of over 2,000 desktops. However, with limited resources and licensing expertise in-house to manage the SAM programme, and in line with the IT team’s broader strategy to outsource non-core services to specialist third parties, the decision was made to move to a hosted SAM solution. Choosing a SAM services provider was made easier thanks to Insight’s SAM Managed Service being based on Betfair’s preferred SAM technology – Snow License Manager.

Conscious that there were likely unrealized cost savings to be had beyond the desktop estate, Betfair extended the SAM Managed Service to include its 3,000 servers. Due to the highly regulated environment in which Betfair operates as a betting exchange, with a growing customer base, who trust the company with their personal data every day, it was imperative that the SAM service be implemented without any risk to the integrity of its customers’ data or its user policies. Insight and Snow worked together with Betfair’s security team to ensure that the solution could operate to its full potential within the company’s stringent security parameters.

BENEFITS

The project started with a true up of Betfair’s desktop estate, which saw the company reduce its expenditure on Microsoft software by six figures. The project was then extended to Betfair’s datacenter where five separate SAM baselines were conducted for five different server vendors, ensuring that the company’s server licensing agreements were being fully utilized.

Beyond the significant cost savings achieved in the initial phase, Insight and Snow now manage Betfair’s SAM programme on an ongoing basis, ensuring that the company never pays over the odds for software or risks falling out of compliance. This includes monthly and quarterly SAM reports which are analyzed by dedicated licensing experts in order to maintain the company’s optimum licensing position.

“The regular audits conducted by Insight have enabled us to realize a robust licensing strategy, where the number of licenses we pay for matches as closely as possible with the number of licenses we actually use,” comments Mark Cox, Head of Global IT Operations, Betfair.

Knowing exactly how many licenses the company has of any piece of software at any given time (right down to the individual software version), which is then easily matched against who is using it and where, Betfair can now often choose to reallocate software to a different user before buying additional licenses. “Purchasing a new license is now just one of many options open to us when a new piece of software is required; in contrast to the previous situation when it was the only option we had,” says Cox.

Finally, by outsourcing the management of its SAM programme to a specialist partner, Betfair has the peace of mind that its software is being managed by experts; What’s more, with the entire programme delivered as a hosted solution, the company has no SAM servers or software to maintain and no SAM team to hire and train. The entire solution is taken care of. With Insight and Snow working together to ensure the efficiency of its software assets, Betfair is free to focus on its core business of delivering the most innovative Exchange, Sportsbook and Gaming products to its customers.

 

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