Tools hire firm Speedy Hire expects to save £2m over the next six years after rationalising the way it licenses Microsoft software.
The company has merged 10 IT procurement teams into a single department after discovering that different parts of the business were buying software individually, failing to take advantage of a bulk licensing agreement with Microsoft.
"We were buying Windows, MS Office and even server products off the shelf or as part of a hardware purchase, rather than using our existing Microsoft Select contract," said James Fleming, infrastructure manager at Speedy Hire.
This disparate IT procurement made it difficult for the company to keep track of whether all its software was correctly licensed, said Fleming.
With Speedy Hire growing ay 25% a year and expanding into Ireland, Fleming said he needed to predict how much IT to buy over the next three years.
The company hired Computacenter to help it manage its Microsoft licences and establish a replacement single volume licence agreement across the business, covering 3,500 IT users.
Speedy Hire used BMC Configuration Management software to work out what software was running on its PCs and servers. Computacenter used the results to draw up a shortlist of options for Microsoft Enterprise and Select licences.
The company found its existing licensing agreement quoted for a full professional desktop, including MS Office for all users. But only about 60% of its 3,500 staff needed MS Office, so Computacenter recommended that the software was licensed per user rather than through the enterprise agreement site licence.
Speedy Hire also deployed AppSense application manager to control which users could access MS Office, in order to reduce the per-user licence fee.
Janice McGinn, research director at analyst The451 Group, said, "It is not unusual for companies to over-license software." She said companies could easily fall into the trap of over-licensing after mergers and acquisitions, in which each company brings in its own licences.
"Post-merger is a very difficult time for both companies. There is always a period of rationalisation." Part of this rationalisation should involve IT systems and licences, she added.
Speedy Hire has bought a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement site licence for Windows, Exchange 2008, SharePoint and Windows Server 2008, and a Select agreement to cover licensing of MS Office for individual users.