Republic Bank had a Microsoft Enterprise Subscription Agreement and was preparing for its first True-Up license reconciliation. The bank had installed Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to help with software management but was new to the technology. Participating in a Software Asset Management Assist for True-Up helped Republic learn the new technology, improve its True-Up skills, and enjoy a smoother licensing approval process.
To simplify license management, in 2009 Republic Bank entered into a Microsoft Enterprise Subscription Agreement, part of the Microsoft Volume Licensing program. A variation of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, the Enterprise Subscription Agreement offers lower up-front costs and the ability to increase or decrease license count on an annual basis to accommodate changing needs. As with the Enterprise Agreement, companies with an Enterprise Subscription Agreement need to inventory and reconcile software assets only once each year, a process called True-Up.
Many Republic Bank employees were using Microsoft Office Professional 2007. There were, however, a number of users who still required the use of Microsoft Office Access 2003 database software. “A lot of our databases are older and do not really convert to Microsoft Office Access 2007,” says Scott Estes, Technology Services Manager at Republic Bank. As a result, the bank negotiated the right to continue using Access 2003 in its initial Enterprise Subscription Agreement.
In spring of 2010, Estes began planning for the upcoming True-Up. This would not only be the first True-Up for Republic Bank after entering into the Enterprise Subscription Agreement, but also Estes’s first experience with the True-Up process.
At the same time, the bank’s IT team was beginning to learn about the capabilities of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, which Republic had installed recently to aid with software distribution and inventory for more than 1,000 client computers. Estes hoped to use System Center Configuration Manager during the True-Up process, but wasn’t sure how to best take advantage of the capabilities offered by the technology.
“We were going to use Configuration Manager to pull together the base report, basically to compile a list of all of our software installations,” says Estes. He then planned to spend some time filtering the list to identify installed Microsoft products and manually comparing them with what was included in the Enterprise Subscription Agreement.Solution
Around this time, Republic Bank was contacted by CDW, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the bank’s longtime large account reseller, about the possibility of participating in a Software Asset Management (SAM) Assist for True-Up. “Our response was, ‘That would be fantastic!’” says Estes. “As someone new to the True-Up process and to System Center Configuration Manager, the reconciliation process would have been a lot to manage without something like the SAM Assist.“
||It was my first True-Up licensing reconciliation, and I was new to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. Working with CDW and Microsoft made it so simple—the benefits speak for themselves.
Technology Services Manager, Republic Bank
Estes was pleased that CDW would be able to walk him through how to use System Center Configuration Manager for the software inventory process, as his team had yet to run any active reports using the technology. CDW sent Republic a data file that contained the bank’s Microsoft License Statement, which Estes then imported into Configuration Manager. “It was very easy,” he says. “CDW sent us a file through email. The instructions were basically, ‘Right-click here and then click here to import. Configuration Manager then should generate a report and you are done.’”
With guidance from CDW to address initial challenges, Republic was able to produce its comparison report very quickly. The report surprised Estes by showing an apparent discrepancy in licenses. “When we first reviewed the report, we were a little confused,” Estes says. “We saw this huge difference in number of licenses for Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 that we owned versus number of instances still installed.”
In fact, the report showed zero licenses for the 2003 version of the product, but a large number of installations. Luckily, a conversation with the company’s Microsoft account representative clarified that the discrepancy related to the previously negotiated use of Access 2003, and was not a problem for the bank.
Otherwise, the bank had only a few minor license discrepancies that were easily rectified.Benefits
Republic Bank experienced a number of benefits from participating in the SAM Assist for True-Up, including support while learning a new technology, experience that will help the Republic IT team conduct future True-Ups more efficiently, and assistance from a trusted partner to easily secure license purchase approval.
Specifically, the bank:
- Increased comfort with new technology. Estes appreciated having an experienced SAM consultant to help him run his first True-Up using newly installed technology. “It was my first True-Up licensing reconciliation, and I was new to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. Working with CDW and Microsoft made it so simple—the benefits speak for themselves.”
Improved skills for future license reconciliations. While initial challenges caused some delay during this True-Up, Estes says that, once Republic understood and corrected the issue, “It was just a matter of minutes to spit out the reconciliation report.” Knowing how to use the capabilities of System Center Configuration Manager will be a significant timesaver for future True-Ups. “I would say that it would have taken us several days, if not a week or two, to complete the reconciliation manually,” Estes says. “With the prepopulated report from Configuration Manager, the whole process was so simple.”
- Enjoyed easy licensing approval process. Thanks to the longstanding relationship with CDW and the credibility that the software vendor’s involvement lent to the final results, it was very easy for Estes to gain management approval to purchase necessary licenses. “There wasn't any going back and forth with upper management about the final numbers. They knew it was correct,” says Estes.
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