Building a Sound Foundation for Software Asset Management
SBM Offshore is a global player in the oil and gas industry. The company provides floating production solutions to the offshore energy industry, throughout the full product lifecycle. SBM Offshore’s main activities are the design, supply, installation, operation and the life extension of Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels. Globally, SBM Offshore employs around 4,750 people, spread over five regional centres, ten operational shore bases and its offshore fleet of vessels.
SBM wanted an overview of the software installed in its complex IT landscape, better insight into software usage and costs and spend less time on working to comply with suppliers’ licensing conditions.
With Snow License Manager, SBM Offshore has gained a better understanding of its actual software usage in a short period of time. As a result, it has been able to take steps quickly towards utilizing its software licences more effectively. In addition, the integration of a contracts database is a major advantage when it comes to ensuring compliance with the various license models of different software vendors. The system automatically identifies contracts that exist within the organization.
- More effective use of software
- Cost savings through the reallocation of licences or the cancellation of maintenance contracts
- Quicker access to data for drafting compliance reports.
‘Snow License Manager is good because of its simplicity, providing a good overview quickly.’
Erwin Sparreboom, Head of IT Strategy, Sourcing & Vendor Management, SBM Offshore
From regional to central
SBM Offshore is in a transition phase in terms of its IT management. In the past, the company’s five major locations (the Netherlands, Monaco, Malaysia, Brazil and the United States) each had its own IT policy. Eighteen months ago, the decision was taken to merge the various IT structures.
“From being regionally oriented to being centralized oriented,” explains Erwin Sparreboom, Head of IT Strategy, Sourcing & Vendor Management. “We now have international teams which are each responsible for a certain component, like the service desk, infrastructure, application management, security and project management.”
“However, in the past, each region was responsible for its own hardware and applications. Because of that, different software that served the same purpose was purchased multiple times. Some applications, like email, were shared, but most of them weren’t.” With the transition to centrally controlled international IT departments, there was an urgent need for a better understanding of software usage.
Overall picture for a complex IT environment
After a thorough analysis of different Software Asset Management solutions, Snow License Manager was chosen. The full insight into the IT estate that Snow Software offers was a key factor in selecting it. SBM Offshore’s specific IT circumstances demanded a versatile and total solution.
“We have a complex IT environment. The applications on our vessels and the extensive security measures that we take play a role in this. All in all, the environment encompasses more than 5,000 systems, consisting of servers, desktop and laptops. All of these have to be monitored,” says Erwin.
SBM Offshore has been using Snow License Manager since the beginning of 2016 and was happy about the speed with which Snow Software got the solution up and running. ‘Within two days Snow was operational and we started to gather data. That, too, is proof of its value: it is good because of its simplicity,” asserts Erwin. Snow’s solution can scan and recognize installed software thanks to Snow’s Inventory and unique Software Recognition Serivice.
Erwin also appreciates the way Snow Software as a company works: “Snow staff members came across as tremendously driven and dedicated. They are very responsive and approachable, and are always ready with a fast, professional response.”
Focus on major vendors
In the first stage of its SAM journey, SBM Offshore has been able to save costs by cancelling unnecessary software contracts. “We’ve been focusing on the bigger vendors in the initial phase. For instance, we’ve already seen that a fair amount of Microsoft software is not used, especially Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio. For some packages, we’ve found that as much as 50 percent of the software is not used. It goes without saying that we are busy removing all this software and the savings are immediate,” say Erwin.
Snow License Manager has also given SBM Offshore a better overview of all the software to be found across it’s IT estate. Erwin comments, ‘That was also one of the key requirements that we had when we first started looking for the most appropriate SAM solution.’
SBM Offshore has since started making plans to centralize its IT infrastructure even further to improve efficiency and be more cost-effective in future. “For this, we have bought Snow Automation Platform and we shall roll it out over the coming months.
Requesting software and approvals will be part of an automated process along with license management so we can maintain our software estate up to date. Ultimately we want to control the entire lifecycle of our software, and compliance is an important part of this,” Erwin concludes.