Guest blog post from James Slade, Civica Services.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has an IT estate of circa 7,000 devices made up of portables, workstations and servers, encompassing Windows, Linux & Macintosh operating systems. Full time staff equates to 2,299 and there is a student base of 24,000.
Following a centralisation exercise, the Information Systems Department was keen to gain a clearer understanding of NTU’s licensing position, establish compliance and ensure they were getting the best possible value from leveraging the most advantageous licensing methods.
Accordingly in July 2012 Civica was commissioned to perform a Baselining exercise, utilising funding from Microsoft’s SAM Services Initiative.
“We selected Civica based on the long running relationship and trust that we have for their licencing expertise, knowledge and professionalism. The timing of the exercise also coincided nicely with our EES renewal, so it was hoped we could start to realise benefits in a short period of time,” said Chris Toseland, Service Transition Manager, Information Systems.
Ultimately the exercise proved beneficial as Chris goes on to explain:
“The Server estate was not in anywhere as bad a licencing condition as expected with only 2 licences needing to be purchased. Desktop was a little worse off; it seemed the wrong media was used for some installations which meant incorrect versions of products were installed. However this was mitigated by adding Project & Visio to our EES agreement, which not only allowed us to reach a state of compliance but also aligned well with our strategy of making software as widely available as possible to improve the student academic experience. Not only do we now know what Microsoft software we have, but we also have a good understanding of what it’s for and how it’s licenced.”
The exercise also highlighted a number of process and policy improvements which have been implemented to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to assist the effective management of software assets, maintain compliance and minimise cost.
As Chris concludes: “Working with Civica in conjunction with Microsoft’s Software Asset Management (SAM) Services initiative has certainly enabled us to start planning from a position of knowledge. There is still some way to go, but SAM is definitely having the desired effects.”