US FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
Keeping the [financial] house in order using Snow’s SAM Platform
US Chicago-based financial institution with offices around the world. An estate of 4,000 devices comprising laptops, desktops and VDI.
The company has a mixture of centralized and de-centralized software provision and software was being requested without the necessary approval checks. Costs were beginning to spiral and it was taking too long to deliver new software to users.
The company needed an automated way to get a handle on software requests and have the right approval processes in place to cut down application sprawl as well as harvest unused software to ensure it optimized its licenses.
- Nearly $90,000 saved by using existing Adobe Professional Licenses rather than buying new
- $45,000 saved on Adobe, Microsoft Visio and Project through harvesting unused applications
- Fivefold ROI on Snow Automation Platform implementation
- Time for software to reach a user reduced from 17 days to one
- Consolidation of applications and greater efficiency and helpdesk time savings
- An average of 250 application requests per day now handled automatically
- Reduced software sprawl – 10% percent of requests for licensed applications rejected
The Asset Management Manager is delighted in the savings achieved thanks to Snow: “The ROI on this has been totally worth it. It’s helped us become as efficient as possible, in certain cases we’ve not renewed maintenance as we weren’t getting any value out of it. Using Snow Automation Platform, we’ve hugely improved the license process, which adds up to millions of dollars that before, this company was sending out of the door for no good reason.”
OPTIMIZATION DELIVERS SAVINGS
The US financial institution has offices in Chicago, New York, the UK, Singapore, India and Brazil and an estate of 4,000 devices. It had a mixture of centralized and de-centralized software provision and as a result, software was being requested without the necessary approval checks. Costs were beginning to spiral and users had to wait too long for software. In March 2017, two years after implementing Snow License Manager, the company added Snow Automation Platform to streamline the request, approval and harvesting process.
The Software Asset Manager compares their previous license management to the present situation with Snow: “Adobe Acrobat is a perfect example. The way our procurement process worked in the past was any time a new request was generated, it essentially resulted in a new purchase. There was no way to tell or process to verify if the company already owned a license of that type. Last year, we saved $90,000 just because we stopped buying Adobe Acrobat, as we discovered we had [shelfware of] 100 extra licenses that we could use.”
"Last year, we saved $90,000 just because we stopped buying Adobe Acrobat, as we discovered we had 100 extra licenses that we could use."
Asset Management Manager
AUTOMATING SOFTWARE REQUESTS
With Snow Automation Platform, the organization has been able to streamline the request-to-delivery process. A Software Store was set up and approval workflows established. The Software Asset Manager comments: “Having emails generated through Snow Automation Platform’s built-in functionality has been awesome for us, because we didn’t have a real approval mechanism before. We’ve also customized the email message a manager receives to check the request has a legitimate business need. Then, if the request is approved, the user can download the software, and I’ll give him the license.”
The company has two categories of software – ‘free’ software which falls into two sub-categories: either the company has an enterprise agreement for it and has unlimited licenses available, or the software is free or open source. Either way a user goes in, requests the software and, as there’s no required manager approval, they just get it. The second category of software – licensed applications that have a cost – are listed in the store with the associated price. These need authorization. If the software in question has a perpetual license, the price listed is what the company pays for that license over x years.
He adds: “For our first harvest of licenses we targeted just three applications: Adobe, Visio and Project. We uninstalled those applications for people who had not used them in the past 90 days. For those three applications alone we were able to make cost avoidance savings of $45,000.”
IMPRESSIVE COST SAVINGS
“Where hard cost savings will be made, when we come to renew in December, is if it turns out that by doing this process once a quarter I’m able to reduce the overall number of licenses I need by let’s say 50, it means I’ll renew 50 fewer than I have today.”
The company has changed its policy on software procurement, and created a centralized budget for the most common applications in use. The Software Asset Manager is reaping the benefits of this change: “One of the things that Snow Automation Platform enables us to do is to substantially reduce the amount of purchases we make by consolidating them and using Snow to forecast our usage. I can now make informed decisions on what stock to buy ahead of time.
“We’ve also been able to reduce the number of Purchase Orders that go out the door, which saves money too. Thanks to Snow, we are projecting a 70% saving on the number of orders that will need to be processed – economizing on administration. It costs around $500 to have an invoice processed by our outsourced Accounts department.”
Other ways the company is using Snow Automation Platform is to push applications from the helpdesk to users’ computers. If a user is having a PC rebuilt then, using one of the workflows that comes with Snow Automation Platform, the application is pushed to that specific PC.
LESS TIME = GREATER PRODUCTIVITY
Time and productivity savings have helped individual users too. Before, a user had to navigate nine different steps to request software, which took 17 days to complete. Now, for the majority of requests, with Automation Platform, it takes less than a day.
The Software Asset Manager cites Snagit as an example: “A user can download the software for Snagit, but it requires a license key. We’ve consolidated our keys with our vendors and, where possible, we’ve embedded the keys into the product itself. If a request for Snagit is approved, the licensed version of that application gets delivered pretty much immediately to the user. “Interestingly, now that we have the appstore, we have seen about a 10% rejection rate from managers for software requests of licensed software. The managers just don’t think these are worth the money.”
A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT
The company has made a fivefold ROI on implementing Snow Automation Platform, and the Software Asset Manager enthuses that Snow is instrumental in the software asset lifecycle: “We can see what we own, see who’s using what (or not), harvest and reuse the software, as well as cancel maintenance renewals on software we no longer use. Snow gives us the ability to make the license process more efficient. It adds up to millions of dollars that this company used to send out the door for, really, no good reason.”