As one of the world’s leading producers of oil and gas, the company profiled in this case employs over 2,000 people worldwide, and relies heavily on geological and geophysical software to support its production activities. The incessant demand for expensive software made it necessary to analyze how to best invest on these applications. Open iT inventory and reporting tools were chosen to help streamline software spending, and to find ways to better support application users.
With over 200 high-end users of crucial technical and business software in a variety of locations, the customer’s Technology Enhancement Manager and IT department faced a formidable task appropriating resources to meet user needs while keeping costs in check. Further, it became increasingly important for business managers to accurately prioritize IT resource spending to match defined user groups with a view to advance larger business goals.
The Managers had four software application categories that they wanted to monitor. The “core” software applications were used by everybody in all locations; and the “extended core,” were more function-specific, and used in fewer locations. For these, managers wanted to know how many applications were needed each year, and what flexibility could be built into vendor agreements to best support usage patterns. The “specialty,” applications were used by a small group for a short period each year, and if properly managed, could be leased on a monthly basis to get the highest value at the lowest cost. Lastly, the “data” applications provided critical data throughout the company. Without specific user information for each of these groups, accurate planning was very difficult. New purchases and upgrades were simply based on estimated headcounts of concurrent users at each location, and there was no way of knowing how frequently each application was utilized.
Burlington invested in Open iT LicenseAnalyzer, a software program focused entirely on license management. It includes software inventory, a real-time monitor and a usage-reporting tool that analyzes software and license utilization over specified time periods. With the metering system in place, the customer could instantly see which applications or features rarely, if ever had enough users to meet the purchased license-level threshold – where money was being spent needlessly. They could also see which applications were constantly in demand, sending denials to users who needed access. The reports were customized to show usage details that distinguished the “core,” “extended core,” “specialty” and “data” applications, enabling appropriate purchasing decisions for each, and guiding critical business decisions and goals.
Within 2 years of purchasing Open iT LicenseAnalyzer, the subsequent modifications made to license agreements realized a savings of $5 million. “After the first full year of having Open iT LicenseAnalyzer in place, we reduced our software expenses for the high-end users by 36%,” explained the Technology Enhancement Manager. “The second full year, we reduced costs by an additional 21%. Beyond the money saved, we are now properly enabling our users to do the work they need to do. If we see that users are getting frequent denials on a specific application, we know that we need to spend more money on that application for those users.”
The detailed, easy-to-understand graphical profiles of each application and user group, gave all key players a common language. Software vendors were able to evaluate the reports and learn how to better service the customer’s objectives, becoming valued “project partners” with their clients. “We now try to renegotiate with vendors and convince them to do trade-ins, showing them the benefits,” confirmed the customer’s Technology Enhancement Manager. “Also, with money freed up in our current budget, we can shorten the sales cycle on new software products and features. We help the vendor by showcasing his new technology.”
For the customer, Open iT LicenseAnalyzer has enabled technology managers to better service their users, giving them the resources they need for optimal production levels; it has helped business managers know where to add or reduce budget allocations to better advance the business; and, it has helped software vendors offer the newest and best features for their valued clients. “Open iT has helped us manage costs as we expand the business, supporting and supplying the needs of our highest producers”, explained the Technology Manager. “We could not have done this without a tool like Open iT LicenseAnalyzer. It meters usage 24/7, always hard at work for us, analyzing and providing data for optimizing our software resources, even as we reduce or expand our activity levels. This is not a once a year job!”
Indeed, the customer is now looking to further optimize its business by finding ways to measure the value generated by each application while it is up and running on various workstations. The company is now reviewing Open iT’s System module, which captures CPU usage and utilization statistics per application, user and host.
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