Thermal processing plant operator Bodycote has reduced the complexity of its Microsoft environment through an Enterprise Agreement, saving more than £400,000 in licensing costs.
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The company, which operates 185 plants around the globe, moved from multiple Microsoft Select and Open agreements to a single Enterprise Agreement covering Microsoft desktop and server software.
Garry Joiner, head of global IT services at Bodycote, said standardisation of desktops and servers would lead to huge savings on support and procurement.
“I embarked on a roadmap. The desktop was the most dispersed part of the business – we had DOS applications right through to Windows 7. Through a phased roll-out, we are moving all servers to Windows Server 2008 R2 and 60% of desktops are running Windows 7 and Office 2007 suite,” he said.
The Enterprise Agreement covers 2,400 users and allows the company to buy and sell businesses, without affecting licensing.
Simplifying software licensing
As he embarked on the Microsoft strategy, Joiner hired James Richardson, an infrastructure project manager he had previously worked with, who had experience of such licensing agreements.
Joiner explored the best options to amalgamate all of the company's disparate licensing agreements into one.
“We tried to tie up North America so that every part of Bodycote was under the same agreement. We needed to move fast to reduce our spend and with the Microsoft agreement for the UK coming to an end it was important to get a solution in place quickly. We therefore decided to have two Microsoft Enterprise Agreements in the end, although we have the option to include the North America business unit in 2012 if we want.”
With the requirement to include all European and Southern American operations, the Enterprise Agreement immediately expanded from a £70k to a £600k per annum investment as the company looked to build a global programme.
Fresh advice from a new reseller
Bodycote felt its incumbent supplier, Bytes, was not progressing quickly enough and that the organisation had not fully understood that this was now a much larger, international requirement. “We were doing all the chasing. I don't think Bytes really understood what we wanted to do [in terms of simplifying all the licences],” said Joiner.
However, his previous account manager, Charlotte Short, had moved over to another reseller, Trustmarque. Joiner contacted Short, who recommended Trustmarque consultant Martin Dolan to advise on the Bodycote contract.
Using the Trustmarque Commercial Benchmarking service as the platform, Trustmarque was able to formulate a long-term Microsoft licensing strategy for Bodycote. This was achieved by understanding the future technology strategy and commercial objectives of the business.
After a period of consultation with Microsoft, Trustmarque was able to define a licensing solution which reflected Bodycote’s ongoing technology requirements, allowing Bodycote to optimise and consolidate its global procurement of Microsoft licensing.
"We started with a cost of £1.86m, but Trustmarque helped us get this down to £1.63m and then negotiated further commercial concessions on top of that," said Joiner. "In addition, by speculating a further 100 users at the beginning of the agreement, we were able to benefit from additional discounts. In total, our costs reduced to £1.45m, saving us £411,000.”
Flexibility and upgrades built in
Due to the nature of its business, Bodycote buys and sells businesses regularly, so the number of IT users grows and shrinks. Joiner said that the way the licences are counted, on 31 March each year, suits the way the company operates.
“We may buy and sell plants, but we don't have to declare the number of users until 31 March," he said. "The true-up figure we supply works [in our favour] as we may acquire and sell parts of the business during the year,” he said.
The new Enterprise Agreement has also enabled Bodycote to upgrade all of its servers, PCs and laptops, where previously it did not think it had the licences to allow it to do this. Now Bodycote can upgrade its hardware and operating systems to the latest version of Microsoft Office every three years because this is covered under the new licence agreement.
Moving forward, Bodycote is working on a SharePoint project, a consolidation project and the implementation of Microsoft Lync with Trustmarque, which is expected to deliver further savings in terms of resources.
Bodycote has recently signed a global WAN standardisation agreement with EasyNet for six years to provide 2Mbps multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) with two circuits to all its plants. As this is rolled out, the company will be looking to renew its datacentres, using VMware to consolidate more than 180 physical servers to 50 in its Boston and Edinburgh datacentres.