Located in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, the Silentnight Group is the UK’s largest manufacturer of branded beds for the home. In the past 60 years, Silentnight has manufactured over 40 million beds and currently produces some 1,800 beds a day – 700 of which are delivered directly to customers with the remaining 1,100 sent to retailers across the UK.
Consolidation – the first step
Silentnight had developed a plan to upgrade its Microsoft software but, states Lee Gregory, Senior IS Support at Silentnight, the company did not have accurate details of their existing licences, user base or installed software. “Over the years, Silentnight had acquired a number of businesses, each with its own software and we had no real idea of exactly what we owned across the organisation,” explained Lee. “This made it difficult to get a handle on our upgrade costs and thus decide how to acquire the relevant licences."
Lee had worked with Softcat previously and had been impressed with their ability to understand customer pain points and explain the benefits and capabilities of a variety of appropriate solutions.
“I invited Softcat and several other Microsoft resellers to the offices to discuss our objectives,” continued Lee. “We were looking for a partner to work with us as we moved forward. Softcat was the only LAR to take the time to listen to our concerns and to help us understand Microsoft’s licensing policies. They filled in all of the gaps unlike the other LARs who only appeared interested in a quick sale.”
Calling in the experts
Silentnight’s main objectives were to upgrade its domains and Exchange platform, move to Windows 7 and roll out the latest version of Microsoft Office. Recognising the need to gain an accurate picture of what Silentnight had across its network; Softcat recommended and implemented Snow Software’s licence management toolset. Snow Inventory allowed Silentnight to track all hardware and software on their network, with Snow Licence Manager cleansing the data, allowing Silentnight to maintain, track and manage all software across the estate. The Snow Software Recognition Service (SRS) also ensured that this inventory data was always up to date, and ensured the origin of installation media could be tracked.
As part of an ongoing license compliance drive, Microsoft approached Silentnight, and requested that they complete a software licensing review. As they were already working on an active SAM project with Silentnight, Softcat were able to enrol Silentnight into the Microsoft SAM Programme, which allowed Silentnight to work with Softcat towards compliance, rather than directly with the vendor.
From weeks to seconds
In order to create an Effective License Position (ELP) and maximise the investment that Silentnight had already made in Microsoft software, Softcat undertook a Proof of License Review (POL) that identified all of Silentnight’s physical Microsoft licensing. With a combination of the POL and a Microsoft Licensing Statement (a report that includes all Volume Licensing data such as Open, Select and Enterprise Agreements), Softcat started to build a clear picture of Silentnight’s purchasing history. This purchasing history, combined with the installation data from SNOW Software, allowed Softcat to create an Effective Licence Position. This report outlined Silentnight’s licensing position, and not only satisfied the request for information from the vendor (and the completion of the Microsoft SAM Programme), but also allowed Silentnight to make accurate decisions on upgrading their current licensing estate to gain access to the technology stack the business required.
“This was quite a large project and one where we definitely needed expert assistance, guidance and knowledge,” explained Lee. “The entire review took about two months, and included four days of on-site professional services by Softcat Snow technicians. Much to our surprise, rather than being under-licensed on our existing Microsoft technologies, we found that in almost all cases we were substantially over-licensed!”
Thousands of pounds in savings
“The audit has saved us thousands of pounds and has made our lives a lot easier,” said Lee. “In addition to running regular audits to ensure that all installed software is fully licensed, Softcat have helped us to implement processes whereby we can identify users that are not using installed applications. This means that we are able to transfer the application and its licence to another user, within the terms of the End User Licensing Agreement, without additional purchase costs.”
For more information on Snow’s license management solution and Softcat SAM Services, please email SAM@softcat.com