The Guardian

Media Group chooses Snow for improved SAM efficiency & license optimization

“Moving to Snow has simplified my role and made us more efficient as an organization. Adopting a next generation SAM tool has enabled us to combine cost optimization and prevention with more traditional compliance activities.” 

Dini Alim, Compliance & Asset Manager, Guardian News & Media

COMPANY BACKGROUND

Guardian News & Media is one of the UK’s leading publishers.

CHALLENGE

Guardian recognized the need for improved IT governance, through ensuring licensing compliance and optimization of available software assets.

SNOW’S CONTRIBUTION

Consolidation to a single integrated SAM solution, achieving higher levels of automation. Improved cost management through re-harvesting of licenses, facilitated by accurate and timely software inventory and usage metering. 

BENEFITS AND ROI

Guardian News & Media improved SAM efficiency using a next generation solution. Accurate reporting improves time management and real-time utilization data enables effective software contract renegotiation.

 

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THE STORY

With a total of 2,500 IT assets to manage across the UK, including many used by remote workers, being able to ensure software compliance and governance in an efficient way is a high priority for the SAM team at Guardian News & Media. Their objectives are to ensure software procurement costs are minimized, licenses are monitored on an ongoing basis for compliance and that accurate usage data is available to give the company an advantageous negotiating position when renewing software licensing contracts. An integral part of managing the Guardian’s IT assets involves ensuring that the wide range of software being used across the organization is optimized, with re-harvesting of licenses wherever feasible, based on ‘real-time’ inventory data. 

Consolidation, optimization and higher levels of automation were the primary business drivers behind the implementation of a SAM solution from Snow Software. Before implementing Snow License Manager, GNM were required to use two software tools to fulfil their SAM requirements, which was time consuming and laborious. They had one package for software discovery and another to complete the license reconciliation, which required preliminary data export and cleaning stages.

Rather than purchase the additional modules from their existing supplier to integrate these processes, GNM decided to upgrade their SAM capabilities and switch to Snow License Manager. Using Snow, inventory management and reconciliation were offered as standard.

“As an integrated, consolidated solution, Snow offered better value for money and improved asset visibility,” explains Dini Alim, Compliance & Asset Manager at Guardian News and Media. “Although opex costs are the same, we get more functionality with Snow as a next generation tool and everything is integrated into a single product.” Due to the multiple stages involved, software inventory reports were previously run once a month, which took two to three days and needed to be analyzed at a single point in time. Now, with Snow, the whole process is fully automated and integrated, which means it can be scheduled more frequently, saving time and providing more up-to-date information. “Snow License Manager gives us useful information right away which is updated on a daily basis,” says Dini Alim. “Not only do I have access to inventory data whenever I want without additional work, I have more time to focus on other critical areas like entitlement negotiations.”

USAGE PATTERNS AND LICENSE RE-HARVESTING

One particularly beneficial feature in Snow is software metering. This gathers data across all applications within the Guardian’s estate, providing an accurate view of software usage to support licensing negotiations and decision-making. In addition to seeing usage frequency and duration, Snow can even identify who is actually creating files within an application, rather than just viewing them. Using this information, GNM can identify where software is deployed but not used regularly. This information allows GNM to re-harvest licenses for higher value software applications including Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Visio and Project.

“Snow data has been invaluable when re-negotiating Tier 1 vendor agreements, which saves us money by avoiding unnecessary spending on new licenses when we can re-assign entitlement to those who need it most.” 

IN SUMMARY

Clear and timely management information is key for Guardian News & Media, in addition to improving efficiencies and cost prevention. Snow License Manager achieves this by allowing GNM to consolidate license optimization and save valuable resource time. Looking to the future, SAM will become more important as a business function for GNM, because licensing rules are forever changing and SAM technology is developing. It’s an ongoing process because GNM has hundreds of applications from different vendors to track, which needs to be done in stages. “In the future, as licensing changes to emphasize having named users or cloud-based registrations, there will be a greater focus on analyzing what products people are using and how. We are confident Snow Software will continue to evolve its functionality to provide all the capabilities we require as standard,” concludes Dini Alim.

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