This publicly listed automotive supplier decided to eliminate manual processes in Software Asset Management (SAM) and provide automated license compliance for all Microsoft products and around 100,000 workstations. The aim was to be prepared for a Microsoft audit at any time and to be able to make quicker decisions about future license purchases or maintenance contract extentions.
As the company grew, its IT landscape became significantly more diverse. Furthermore, the scope and complexity of the usage rights of its Microsoft products could no longer be displayed in Excel. The SAM team at the head office decided to digitize license management for the corporation and to introduce the SAM platform SmartTrack.
SmartTrack was implemented within a few weeks. The platform’s connectors enable it to connect many data sources reliably. Prior to implementation, creating a license balance took several days, but now the data is available immediately. Laboriously evaluating lists is no longer required since all commercial and technical data is kept in the SmartTrack master catalog and is always immediately available. Using the intuitive SmartTrack dashboard, SAM managers can have a daily overview of the corporation’s current worldwide license situation at the touch of a button. Overall, using SmartTrack cut the time required for strategic SAM in half. The corporate group is now using the time gained for optimizing its license situation and for strategic financial planning.
Changes to the IT architecture always require changes in license management – and vice versa. This requires a comprehensive change-management process. With its extensive experience and flexible services, Aspera was the perfect partner in this process, even after the implementation.
The group's Head of License Management
In a feasibility study, the SAM team presented how the structural investment – and in particular the costs of purchasing SmartTrack as part of the investment – would pay off. Today, the corporate group has complete transparency of its license situation. The implementation of SmartTrack revealed that there were more licenses available than supposed, meaning that the volume of later purchases could be reduced, and as a result, costs could be saved on a large scale.
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- Role-specific dashboards in SmartTrack and an intuitive user interface
- Mapping of complex Microsoft metrics in SmartTrack
- Experience with major customers in a complex environment
- Accurate and adjustable software detection and data consolidation (master catalog)
- Development of special features during ongoing operation, regular release upgrades
- Organizes regular user meetings, actively promotes exchange within the SAM community, e.g. in the form of customer round-table discussions
- Additional services can be booked during and after implementation, e.g. for system maintenance, license clearing and contract importing
- SAM tool for global, divisional and local license managers
- Adoption of a global standard for installation data recognition
- Incorporation of numerous special cases that resulted from company acquisitions
- Transparency and optimization of data quality
- Increase in efficiency and freeing up of resources for license optimization and strategic financial planning
- Organizational and technical approach to central license management
- The installation of SmartTrack as the basis for data integration
- Collection and consolidation of data from different sources
- Solved the biggest challenge: Standardization of data sets (Tool support through data quality management)
- The management of Microsoft license inventories in SmartTrack
- Role-based SmartTrack training
The next step for the corporate group will be to further develop its SAM maturity. The plan is to establish SmartTrack as the sole resource for further products and manufacturers. At present, the project has moved to the local level in order to create local license balances.