International Outsourcer revolutionize value proposition of SAM Managed Services with Certero
As the outsourced IT partner for a local government organization within the UK, the customer is always looking for new ways to improve services and increase value for their clients.
One long-standing service that the customer provided for their client, was Software Asset Management. This was delivered through a SAM Managed Service, provided by a traditional SAM consultancy partner, covering several major software vendors including IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft.
The Same Old Methods Derive the Same Old Results
The customer was not unhappy with their old SAM services partner, accepting that the output of the service was meeting expectations of a traditional ‘SAM Managed Service’ at the time; simply contractual reports, periodically detailing point in time Effective License Positions (ELPs) for each vendor.
This went as far as determining license compliance and assigning installed software to purchased licenses and providing ‘snap shots’ of any potential risk. Although the report often referred to ‘actionable intelligence’, the service fell short of applying expert analysis against the compliance data to determine not just what the licensing position was but what it ideally should be.
Services around IBM licensing largely amounted to the SAM partner making sure ILMT was deployed correctly and providing a compliance position based upon ILMT data annually.
For SAP, they would provide reports matching licenses to users based upon the SLAW reports again for compliance, neither approach looking any deeper than the basic reporting and would only provide a scheduled report at a predetermined date.
Reports typically took weeks to produce and were created from gathering data from various sources and performing manual calculations from spreadsheets. The output to the customer was only ever the end report and never the evidence or data used. This often led to concerns from the Local Government client – questioning the accuracy of inventory data and in turn the customer would be in the middle of the client, the SAM Service consultants, and their 3rd party SAM solution vendor, to try and work out the truth.
This, was all normal and had been the way that SAM Managed Services had been delivered for years. Following a decision to strategically move away from SAP to Oracle financials coinciding with a natural service review point, the customer was introduced to Certero and recognized that it was worth exploring how a technology led SAM Managed Services could be delivered differently and how far greater value may be achieved.
A New, “Transparent” Approach to SAM Services
Through Certero’s ‘Technology-Led’ services approach, the value output of a SAM service can be greatly increased, which for the customer, means greater value and cost savings for their Local Government client.
The customer highlighted the following significant improvements with Certero’s Technology-Led approach:
Speed & Efficiency – The speed with which the Certero solution could be deployed impressed the customer, allowing the project to smoothly move ahead at a pace dictated by change control protocol and never any technology hurdles.
Access to Data – The technology-led approach meant that all the valuable asset inventory and licensing data – all the insights, BI reporting and analysis was completely available to the customer at all times, with unrestricted access to the Certero Unified Platform. This provides complete transparency and unity of understanding, as everyone is working from the same single data-source. This benefit extends beyond the SAM remit, whilst eliminating the common headaches of working between different partners.
Automation & Clarity – Certero’s live inventory and SAM solutions within a unified platform meant the difference between working from mere ‘snapshots’ of data to actual live information. So instead of waiting months for their next ELP, the customer has a constant and live ELP’s 365 days per year with a complete understanding of compliance and can trend progress through different routes towards license optimization.
Depth of Information (Hardware as well as Software) – The level of information and detail within Certero was unlike anything the customer had seen before. Hardware and software across the entire estate is visible, plus detailed information on usage. Having the live data means that trending can be performed, and the truth can be determined over a longer period – that is particularly useful across the datacenter where they needed to understand usage to help right-size and plan a strategic move away from SAP. Instead of a typical snapshot over a month-end, Certero can look at a longer view – a quarter or a full year. Given 2020’s disruption during the pandemic and with staff on furlough, a longer-term view gave the customer a more accurate view of real usage that they could trust and would not have achieved previously. This increased the customers confidence that they are now better informed.
A Single UI and a Bigger Picture View – The benefit of the single unified technology platform is that it all simply works together through a single UI and reporting interface, so all vendors can be managed thoroughly through one solution and reporting is accessing a single data source, meaning the ‘big picture’ view is present as well as the ultimate detail if you want to drill-down into it. There is no discrepancy between the report and the information source.
The Value of Expertise
Beyond fundamental data accuracy and trust, Certero’s SAM team also provided an extra level of analysis that was missing with the previous SAM partner. The customer was also impressed with the work Certero’s in-house consultancy team did with the data. Within SAP for example, the customer was made aware of many inactive users in the system, this provided them with a rapid cost saving opportunity. They also needed to help their client work through a process of redundancies, so the clarity from Certero helped them to tidy everything up in parallel to that process. Certero not only looked at compliance and usage but also identified what licensing should be for the customer to be optimized. This is where significant cost-savings can be made. Certero also identified a potential compliance risk through user’s potential access within SAP – not yet an exposure but certainly important for the customer to know, understand and control for Governance Risk and Compliance.
By removing the old roadblocks of compiling and accessing data and insights, the Certero approach fundamentally boosts service deliverables from merely ‘discovering what is’ to ‘understanding what should be’ and working towards optimization.
Through being forward-thinking and evaluating how SAM technology has evolved and how it can be done differently, the customer has been able to enable the Digital Transformation of ITAM & SAM and deliver greater value to their client, without increasing their costs.