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Posted: 2/23/2012
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STERIA Global Services Firm Benefits from Flexibility of New Licensing Structure and Financing

Steria wanted to reduce IT costs and increase efficiency while allowing its operations across Europe and Asia to deploy software as needed. With Microsoft Volume Licensing and Microsoft Financing, Steria achieved those goals and gained training and support benefits through Microsoft Software Assurance. Through Microsoft Financing, the firm also secured predictable, flexible payments that align with its software deployment schedule around the world.

Business Needs
Steria provides IT-enabled business services to clients in public services, finance, telecommunications, utilities, and transportation. Between 2000 and 2010, the company’s revenue grew tenfold—largely through acquisitions of companies throughout Europe and Asia. Those acquisitions led to multiple disparate IT environments with various versions of server and desktop software.

In 2006, Steria standardized on Microsoft software for both its desktop and server infrastructure, but it still wanted to provide each of its operations in 16 countries with the flexibility to run older software versions as needed for application compatibility. Steria typically updates its PC software approximately every three years when it refreshes its hardware, and it purchases the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) license for the operating system along with the new PC.

In 2009, the company’s local Microsoft Select licensing agreement for Microsoft Office was about to expire. Steria wanted the flexibility to upgrade country by country to the latest releases of Microsoft Office and the Windows Server operating system and still achieve a volume discount based on its total expenditures across the company. It also wanted to be able to add cloud services without renegotiating the agreement. Steria wanted to schedule payments for the software to coincide as much as possible with deployment.

In 2009, Steria signed a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement to cover Microsoft Office Professional 2010 for the group’s 16,000 PCs. Through this agreement Steria has the flexibility to license both on-premises software and cloud services under the same agreement and access the full range of Microsoft Software Assurance benefits—including training, support, and upgrade rights. It is taking advantage of the upgrade rights to migrate to Microsoft Office Professional 2010 in the second half of 2011. Steria is also testing Microsoft Office 365 and considering moving to other Microsoft cloud services such as Microsoft Exchange Online.

In late 2010, the company acquired Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Windows Server 2008 R2 through the Microsoft Select Plus program and acquired Microsoft Software Assurance for all those licenses. Steria chose Select Plus to provide the flexibility for each affiliate (company, country, division, or department) within Steria to implement Windows Server 2008 on its own schedule, while qualifying for a volume price based on the total purchases of all affiliates.

* ”Using Microsoft Financing made it easy to update our Enterprise Agreement. We were able to get the IT solution we need now and pay for it at a later date with flexible payments.” *

Phillipe Cournot
Corporate Purchasing Manager,

Steria chose to finance both Microsoft Volume Licensing contracts through Microsoft Financing and spread the payments over three years, so that the payments corresponded more closely to the company’s deployment of the software.

For the Enterprise Agreement, Steria made semi-annual ramped payments of 15 percent the first year (2009), 35 percent the second, and 50 percent the third year. ”Using Microsoft Financing made it easy to update our Enterprise Agreement,” says Phillipe Cournot, Corporate Purchasing Manager at Steria. “We were able to get the IT solution we need now and pay for it at a later date with flexible payments.”

Select Plus was purchased through a Microsoft Financing leasing solution, in which it divided the cost into three equal annual payments. The company started deploying Windows Server 2008 in June 2010 and delayed the first payment until January 2011 to align with its annual budget cycle.

With Microsoft Volume Licensing, Steria avoided 20 percent in additional licensing costs. And by combining Volume Licensing with Microsoft Financing, Steria is able to deploy Microsoft software as needed and pay for it on a schedule that aligns with its deployment timetable.

Payments Aligned to Benefits
By taking advantage of Microsoft Volume Licensing, the Extended Payment Terms of the Enterprise Agreement, and the Select Plus leasing solution offered by Microsoft Financing, Steria aligned its payments more closely to its deployment schedule. “My core IT challenge is to deploy Microsoft Office and Windows across our enterprise and reduce IT costs,” says Christian Revelli, Group Chief Information Officer at Steria. “Microsoft Financing helped me in this task by splitting the cost of the rollout over three years.”

Licensing Cost Savings, Predictable Budgeting
Through its Microsoft Volume Licensing agreements, Steria standardized and unified its licensing policy for Microsoft software so that it knows exactly what its licensing costs will be for a three-year period. In the process, it avoided 20 percent in additional licensing costs. “Our costs also decreased because we avoided a big payment at the start and adapted cash flow to the deployments across each country we operate in,” says Cournot.

With Software Assurance available through the Enterprise Agreement, the company can upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010 without additional cost. “We have the freedom to upgrade to the next version on whatever schedule is appropriate for each country without new negotiations or impact on licensing costs,” says Revelli.

Access to Latest Technology
With the updates to the Enterprise Agreement, Steria has the flexibility to acquire licenses for the on-premises version of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365 cloud productivity software through the same agreement.

“The combination of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and Microsoft Financing provides a solution that is easy to manage, cost-effective, and flexible,” says Revelli.

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 20000 employees

Organization Profile

Steria, headquartered in Paris, France, delivers IT-enabled business services to public and private organizations. It has operations in 16 countries and yielded €1.7 billion (US$2.46 billion) in revenue in 2010.


Third Party Software

Software and Services
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010
  • Microsoft Volume Licensing
  • Microsoft Software Assurance

Vertical Industries
IT Services