2 page Case Study
Posted: 6/25/2013
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WATG Design Firm Saves Time, Gains Compliance Confidence with SAM Baseline Inventory

In 2012, WATG entered into a Microsoft Volume Licensing Enterprise Agreement to move toward a standardized desktop environment. When the time came for the design company’s first annual True-Up inventory, the firm worked with Microsoft Partner Network member SoftwareONE to undergo a Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) Baseline inventory. Through the SAM Baseline, WATG saved on IT time and travel, and became better informed about licensing options.

Business Needs
In 2012, Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG) had multiple versions of operating systems in its desktop environment. As the new Director of IT, Scott Fares settled into his position and saw an opportunity to standardize the desktop environment.

Fares contacted Microsoft Partner Network member and large account reseller SoftwareONE to inquire about licensing options for the latest Windows operating system. With the help of SoftwareONE, WATG entered into a Microsoft Volume Licensing Enterprise Agreement and was able to standardize on the Windows 7 operating system. When the first year of the Enterprise Agreement was over, WATG was notified that it was time for its first annual True-Up license reconciliation.

* By undergoing a SAM Baseline inventory, we were able to understand where we were with licensing, and we were able to obtain the necessary information with minimal work on our end. *

Scott Fares
Director of IT, WATG

Before WATG entered into the Enterprise Agreement, its software was obtained through a variety of ways. The previous IT director had worked with another large account reseller, and additional software was acquired from various sources as needed. The company lacked a formal process for tracking software licensing. After the previous IT director left WATG, there was a lapse in tracking the company’s licensing until Fares took over as Director of IT in 2009.

For Fares and his team, conducting a manual inventory of the company’s licensing assets would be time-consuming and costly. The design firm has seven offices worldwide, and it does not have an IT person at each location. Consequently, Fares would need to travel to each office to perform a manual inventory. WATG had Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, but it wasn’t fully deployed so the inventory capabilities were unavailable. WATG needed a simple and cost-effective way to gather the required licensing information in time for its True-Up deadline.

Knowing that the True-Up process for WATG was approaching, SoftwareONE, a partner with several Gold competencies, including one in Software Asset Management (SAM), reached out to the design firm and suggested a Microsoft SAM Baseline engagement. The SAM Baseline inventory would be conducted by SoftwareONE and would provide WATG with a comprehensive licensing count for use in its True-Up.

SoftwareONE held a brief conference call to go over the SAM Baseline process and set expectations for WATG. After that call, SoftwareONE scheduled a kickoff meeting with participants from SoftwareONE, Microsoft, and stakeholders from WATG. During this meeting, discussions were focused on the inventory tools that could be used to gather the required data. “We mentioned that we had System Center Configuration Manager in place but that it wasn’t fully installed,“ says Fares. “SoftwareONE told us they could install a connector to System Center Configuration Manager. The connector would pull inventory data from those devices with Configuration Manager fully deployed.”

Once a plan was established, SoftwareONE went to work on the inventory. A software connector was used to gather the deployed desktop software information from System Center Configuration Manager, and another agentless tool was used to obtain additional inventory for the servers that didn’t have Configuration Manager fully deployed. WATG and SoftwareONE held weekly update calls to monitor progress and address any questions with the data.

After the licensing counts were approved by WATG, SoftwareONE, and Microsoft, the design firm was able to finalize its True-Up of necessary licenses.

WATG completed the SAM Baseline and licensing True-Up efficiently with the help of SoftwareONE. The customer benefited from the engagement in the following ways:
  • Minimized time and cost. WATG is a global organization with offices throughout the world. The customer avoided costly travel and manual inventory time for its IT team as a result of conducting the software inventory remotely. “By undergoing a SAM Baseline inventory, we were able to understand where we were with licensing, and we were able to obtain the necessary information with minimal work on our end,” Fares says.

  • Became better informed about licensing.SoftwareONE provided guidance on alternate licensing strategies for the architecture and design firm. Fares adds, “SoftwareONE provided us with information on various pricing models. They were quick to answer any questions we had and helped us to really understand our asset inventory.”

  • Increased knowledge to plan for IT upgrades. Using the information gathered during the SAM Baseline inventory, WATG is currently moving to Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and has plans to move to Microsoft System Center 2012, too. “After the inventory was complete, SoftwareONE guided us through the various options for moving to newer versions of products and seeing the biggest impact for our investment,” says Fares.

  • Had confidence in the results. WATG enjoyed the confidence that came with having a third-party vendor facilitate the SAM Baseline process.Fares appreciates the accuracy of the licensing counts and knowing that his company is compliant.

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 400 employees

Organization Profile

Started in 1945 in Honolulu, Hawaii, WATG has grown to be one of the leading design and architecture firms in the hospitality industry. WATG has worked in more than 160 countries.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft System Center 2012
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  • Microsoft Volume Licensing

Vertical Industries
Architecture, Engineering & Construction

United States