2 page Case Study
Posted: 12/2/2013
Rate This Evidence:

Clyde and Forth Press Media Group Makes Quick Move to Cloud with New Volume Licensing Agreement

Clyde and Forth Press wanted to introduce new cloud-based software while reducing time spent procuring and managing new licenses. The company signed a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) to benefit from simpler, more flexible licensing. With its new non-expiring MPSA, the company quickly deployed Microsoft Office 365, and can easily access and manage the software it needs for both on-premises and cloud services.

Business Needs
With titles that include the Greenock Telegraph, Reading Chronicle, and Impartial Reporter, Clyde and Forth Press, a subsidiary of Romanes Media Group, provides local and regional news to readers across Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland. Through its daily and weekly newspapers and websites, it is a key part of communities across the United Kingdom.

The company’s IT department is dedicated to using technology to deliver innovation and support business operations in the highly competitive local media market. With a team of just four people, Group IT Manager Richard Bruce is continually looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce costs while better serving the business.

As a long standing Microsoft customer, Clyde and Forth’s licensing had grown organically over a number of years. Maintaining two separate license agreements increased complexity, and the company spent a significant amount of time managing the purchase and installation of new software, in addition to ensuring that the company was properly licensed. Consequently, Clyde and Forth sought a simpler and more flexible approach to licensing Microsoft software to improve the overall experience.

“With a small team, we needed to be able to do more with less people,” says Bruce. “We had multiple agreements with Microsoft, which made it difficult to keep track of our existing product licenses, and it took substantial amounts of my time to manage the process. Buying and installing new software was taking two to three weeks, and we spent unnecessary time managing paperwork. Given the complexity of our licensing arrangements, we had no clear picture of software assets across the business. All in all, it was hampering our ability to innovate and introduce new technologies, such as cloud computing.”

* The shift to the MPSA was very influential in our decision to move to Office 365 as it made purchasing and deployment very straightforward. The agreement length was reduced by 70 percent, and we were able to self-provision quickly and easily. *

Richard Bruce
Group IT Manager, Clyde and Forth Press

Clyde and Forth was one of the first companies to adopt the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) under the next generation of Microsoft Volume Licensing (NGVL) initiative.

Created to meet the changing needs of businesses, the Microsoft NGVL initiative features an improved agreement structure and the MPSA, which simplifies the processes for purchasing and introduces completely new systems and tools for managing volume licensing. The MPSA is a single, non-expiring master agreement that covers online, on-premises, and services offerings for an entire company (or group of companies). The agreement is entered with a single signing event that simplifies the process and saves time.

The MPSA introduces multiple purchasing accounts, allowing individual parts of the business, such as departments or subsidiaries, to procure their own licenses, with each one able to work with multiple partners. The overall administrator can view assets across every account, and the organization automatically receives the best price as all purchases are pooled.

Because purchasing is simpler under the MPSA, Clyde and Forth could self-provision Microsoft Office 365 through the new Microsoft Volume License Center (MVLC). The company also receives easy-to-understand volume discounts, which include discounts for its Microsoft SQL Server licenses. The MVLC automates major processes and acts as a single portal for all Clyde and Forth Microsoft licensing.

The new MPSA made the Office 365 deployment simple. “Our business is becoming cloud-based, with the vast majority of users working in virtual environments,” says Bruce. “After evaluating Office 365, we saw that it provided exactly what we needed. The shift to the MPSA was very influential in our decision to move to Office 365 as it made purchasing and deployment very straightforward. The agreement length was reduced by 70 percent, and we were able to self-provision quickly and easily.”

With the flexible MPSA, Clyde and Forth’s IT team can better support the business while also increasing productivity. Key benefits are:
  • Seamless migration to the cloud. Deploying new software, such as Office 365, is now dramatically faster. Clyde and Forth can easily see who is using licenses and reassign them as necessary. “After our 10-day trial of Office 365, I made my decision to buy,” says Bruce. “It took two days for me to acquire the assets and provision them to all my users. Previously, for any software, the process would take up to three weeks.”

  • Future-proofed, simpler structure. With just one master, non-expiring agreement, Clyde and Forth enjoys a simpler purchasing process. The IT department can now focus on meeting business needs, instead of procuring and managing licenses. The ability to add additional purchasing accounts under the same agreement for different areas of the business provides a future-proofed solution that can respond to changing corporate needs. “The MVLC is now our one-stop shop for anything Microsoft-related. We can see all our assets in one place, giving confidence that we have exactly the right licenses now and for the future,” says Bruce.

  • Improved user experience. The completely new MVLC makes asset management more straightforward. Features such as the ability to filter by product group mean that information can be found in seconds, which saves valuable time and ensures that licensing is correct. “During our rollout, I needed to get software to particular users immediately. This was incredibly simple to do—I accessed the keys instantly without having to decipher which agreement they were under or where they were stored. The MVLC showed me exactly what I should be downloading, removing any worries about buying the wrong software, which would waste budget or lead us to be improperly licensed,” says Bruce.

For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit:

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 350 employees

Organization Profile

Clyde and Forth Press is a major independent media group. Based in Scotland, it publishes 32 newspapers and operates more than 30 websites across the United Kingdom.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft Volume Licensing
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Vertical Industries

United Kingdom