With offices around the world, a workforce of over 130,000, and a highly-active M&A strategy, the organization has a vast and ever-changing IT estate. Furthermore, with a mix of on-premise and cloud-based software solutions, hosted on both AWS and Azure, the client operates a particularly complex hybrid environment.
The scale and complexity of its operations present a significant challenge to its in-house IT Asset Management (ITAM) team. It must work out how to accurately capture which software and cloud services have been deployed and used across the organization, and how this correlates with the company’s often-complicated licensing entitlements.
With more than 140,000 assets deployed across the organization, this is no mean feat.
Livingstone Group has been working alongside this client’s ITAM team for a number of years, most recently on a managed service basis. Livingstone’s scope of work is to provide ongoing data on software and cloud service usage and deployments across its entire global IT estate.
The accuracy of this data is critical to the technology client. Not only does it provide visibility into the company’s compliance position, it also helps its own ITAM team identify opportunities to rationalize deployments, for example, by re-harvesting licenses.
Furthermore, in addition to helping its own customers boost the efficiency of their operations, the client is equally focused on ensuring its own business practices are as streamlined and cost-effective as possible. The trustworthy data provided by Livingstone plays a key role in ensuring the client operates in accordance with its own brand values.
The Livingstone team pays particular focus on its client’s contractual relationships with the ‘mega vendors’, namely, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP.
For each of these suppliers, Livingstone has established an Effective Licensing Position (EPL), which provides the client with a full inventory of its assets, which it can compare against its contractual entitlements and actual usage. This rich information helps with compliance and risk reduction, while it is invaluable during contract renewal negotiations and to support true-ups.
The specialist nature of the client’s operations means that it uses a myriad of additional software suppliers and cloud providers, not just the traditional “mega” five. Indeed, with each new acquisition, more suppliers enter the mix, so it is just as important that the client has an accurate handle on data relating to these smaller vendors as, combined, they can pose a considerable commercial risk to its operations.
The Livingstone team supports these deployments too, drawing on the experience of its many subject matter experts, who can deliver tailored advice on how the client should interpret licensing and usage data in order to identify and realise cost savings as well as minimize risks.
The regular and ad hoc reports provided by Livingstone, together with the advice provided by its team of experts, form the foundation stone of this technology provider’s ITAM strategy. Over the course of Livingstone’s relationship with the client, this approach has continued to deliver considerable value. For example, prior to one mega vendor audit, Livingstone advised the client on how to take remedial action in order to avoid costs in excess of $1 million, which related to licenses for products which which had been mistakenly categorized as free to use.
This is just one example of the efficiency gains achieved by the client. Extrapolate this by the number of contract renewals, true-ups and audits supported over the years, and the savings are magnitudes higher.
Furthermore, in addition to providing accurate and comprehensive data, the Livingstone team also manages the client’s service desk, processing and validating all request for software and services. This too delivers ongoing cost savings. For example, during one six-month period alone, Livingstone was able to help the client avoid costs of approximately $230,000 by re-harvesting existing licenses, rather by purchasing new ones.
The data provided by Livingstone supports much more than traditional ITAM objectives. It is also used to help the client identify software that is underutilized or surplus to requirements as well as monitor PC usage. This enables the client to identify new opportunities to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint, as well as avoid the overheads associated with managing obsolete equipment.
This reduction of the client’s technical debt not only positively impacts its bottom line, it also helps it achieve one of its core brand values, to enable businesses and consumers to use technology in order to adopt more sustainable and environmentally-sensitive practices.
In the future, Livingstone will continue to work with this client to proactively identify additional areas where its software and services can be optimized, placing the client in a far stronger position when negotiating contract renewals. Livingstone’s proven optimization model – which focuses on building an accurate bill of materials coupled with intelligence-led negotiation techniques – delivers an average of 38 per cent up-front savings to its clients.
Chief Revenue Officer, Livingstone Group
Chief Revenue Officer, Livingstone Group