Medical service and supply provider Home Care Medical was nearing its Microsoft Open Value license renewal when the company was contacted by Microsoft regarding a Software Asset Management (SAM) consultation. Through the SAM engagement, Home Care Medical gained confidence in its licensing compliance, prepared for future growth, confirmed that it is using the proper volume licensing program, and increased its understanding of SAM best practices.
Based in New Berlin, Wisconsin, Home Care Medical operates two locations in southeastern Wisconsin. The company’s healthcare professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deliver healthcare procedures such as respiratory services, fittings for prostheses, and other therapies and services. In addition, Home Care Medical offers home delivery of medical equipment and supplies.
The healthcare provider’s IT infrastructure comprises 160 computers and mobile devices and approximately 30 servers. Home Care Medical acquired its Microsoft software under the Open Value program, part of Microsoft Volume Licensing. The healthcare provider wanted to confirm the accuracy and validity of its license entitlements prior to the renewal of its Volume Licensing agreement.
In early 2010, Microsoft contacted Home Care Medical to inquire into the company’s interest in participating in a Software Asset Management (SAM) engagement. “We are kind of a mixed shop; we switched from Novell about a year and half ago,” says Scott Barnett, Lead Information Technology Specialist at Home Care Medical. “We needed to know where we were with licensing, and I thought this was a good opportunity to find out.”
After confirming the provider’s interest in a SAM engagement, Microsoft contacted SoftwareONE, the large account reseller (LAR) for Home Care Medical. In addition to being a LAR, SoftwareONE is a Microsoft Certified Partner offering SAM services.Solution
The SAM engagement for Home Care Medical covered software assets at the provider’s two locations as well as software installed on the organization’s mobile devices. To begin the engagement, Oliver Berchtold, SAM Manager U.S. at SoftwareONE, contacted Barnett to schedule a kickoff call. “During the call, we laid out the process and discussed the scope of the engagement, including locations,
||If we … need to bring on new employees, we are now more prepared. Thanks to the SAM engagement, we are in a position to determine what our needs will be and what software licenses we will need to acquire.
Lead Information Technology Specialist, Home Care Medical
obstacles, employees, statistics, and a proposed timeline,” say Berchtold.
Next, SoftwareONE installed a software inventory tool, Network Asset Tracker Pro from MIS Utilities, to a virtual server provided by Home Care Medical. The inventory tool discovers any applications that are installed through Windows Installer as well as applications listed in a device registry. Through the use of the discovery tool on the virtual server, SoftwareONE performed a scan of all machines and devices without touching any client or server computers. The tool gathered valuable data including operating system, software version, product key, and product ID. Also, the tool reported instances of installed service packs and security updates. Once the inventory was complete, SoftwareONE uninstalled the inventory tool.
After completing the inventory for Home Care Medical, SoftwareONE compared the organization’s licensing data with its Microsoft License Statement and the LAR’s own transaction records to highlight any instances of overlicensing or underlicensing. “I was a bit surprised, because I thought we would be underlicensed in more areas,” says Barnett. “But it confirmed that we were just about right. It was a really good exercise.”
To complete the engagement, SoftwareONE conducted a SAM Optimization Model review, which is a brief analysis of the SAM processes and procedures in place at Home Care Medical.Benefits
Home Care Medical has renewed its volume licensing agreement, with the knowledge necessary to continue to manage its software assets and IT investments. By participating in the SAM engagement, Home Care Medical is more confident in its license management.
Specifically, the healthcare provider has:
Increased self-assurance in compliance. Home Care Medical now has confidence that it is in compliance and properly licensed for all its software assets. In addition, Barnett comments, "Without the SAM information, I would have assumed that we needed far more licenses than we actually did; we could have ended up overspending on licenses that we didn't need."
Improved preparedness for growth. With an accurate baseline inventory of assets, Home Care Medical is ready for any changes in staff that may affect software licensing. “If we get into a situation where we need to bring on new employees, we are now more prepared,” says Barnett. “Thanks to the SAM engagement, we are in a position to determine what our needs will be and what software licenses we will need to acquire.”
Confirmed correct licensing program. After completing the SAM engagement and gaining accurate licensing data, Home Care Medical confirmed that it was signed up for the appropriate volume licensing program. “Trying to figure out the differences between licensing plans can be confusing, and I don’t have a lot of time to spend researching them,” says Barnett. “Having access to experts who understand the subtleties of the various plans and can confirm that we have the best plan for our business was a great benefit. The Open Value agreement still works for us. It is nice to know that we aren’t missing out on a more beneficial agreement.”
Enhanced understanding of SAM. Home Care Medical now understands the benefits of having proper SAM procedures in place and is looking into getting its own inventory tool. “I received some sound recommendations from SoftwareONE, and I have a better idea of where to begin my research regarding an inventory tool,” says Barnett. “Because of our size, I think we will probably move forward with an annual inventory schedule.”
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