Prommis Solutions expanded through multiple acquisitions, which led to a fragmented IT environment. Facing its Microsoft True-Up licensing reconciliation prior to Enterprise Agreement renewal, Prommis worked with Universal Management Solutions on a Software Asset Management Assist. The result: Prommis gained confidence in its compliance, improved its complex IT infrastructure, and developed a virtualization licensing strategy to support further standardization.Business Needs
Prommis Solutions is a leading provider of technology-enabled solutions for the mortgage banking industry. Many mortgage foreclosure and bankruptcy processing services are performed internally by mortgage servicers, which may depend on in-house legal services. Prommis offers a strategic alternative through its ability to provide cost-effective, scalable services using technology.
Prommis has grown rapidly over the past few years, predominantly through acquisition. In early 2009, when Ken Meszaros joined the company as its new Vice President of IT Infrastructure, he discovered a decentralized and challenging IT environment. Many Prommis offices across the country had varying versions of software installed as well as differing installation and management processes. As the company moved toward a more centralized and efficient process for software management, Prommis needed better information about and control over its licensing situation.
Prommis was using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to manage the company’s software assets, but Meszaros still found it challenging to access correct inventory information and map it to actual licensing needs. At this time, Meszaros was contacted by Microsoft to participate in a Software Asset Management (SAM) Assist for True-Up license reconciliation. This engagement resulted in accurate data, but it was time-consuming. This was partly because the SAM partner preferred to use its own inventory tool rather than the firm’s existing System Center Configuration Manager information, which required the installation and use of the partner’s tool to perform a similar inventory function.
As Prommis approached the next annual True-Up, Meszaros needed a more efficient solution to gather the data and permit the company to use its existing technology resources to the fullest. In addition, Prommis was moving toward a fully virtualized environment, and Meszaros needed better information to validate his virtualization strategy.Solution
As Prommis Solutions approached the renewal of its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, part of the Volume Licensing program, Microsoft again offered to provide a SAM Assist engagement to the company. “At first I was a bit hesitant to conduct another SAM Assist,” says Meszaros. “The first time, the process was cumbersome.”
||One of the key goals for the company was to move to a virtualization strategy. The Software Asset Management Assist showed us … how the licensing strategy would work and where we could save money.
Vice President of IT Infrastructure, Prommis Solutions
Microsoft offered to connect Prommis with another partner, suggesting Universal Management Solutions (UMS), a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Licensing Solutions. After being assured that UMS would streamline the process, Meszaros agreed to participate in a second engagement.
After completing an introductory call that helped build Meszaros’s confidence, UMS began the engagement by reviewing reports and data from the firm’s installation of System Center Configuration Manager. UMS compared the information from Prommis with the company’s Microsoft Licensing Statement. A small portion of Prommis systems were not connected to System Center Configuration Manager and the data on those machines could not be collected using that product. Thus, any missing data was collected through a supplemental inventory tool. “We did have to install an inventory tool,” says Meszaros, “but it was only on a small subset of systems rather than the entire network.”
Meszaros really appreciated the improved efficiency. “The entire process was completed within two weeks, whereas last time it was closer to a month including three or four weekends when my team had to work to complete the tool installation and collection process on every system,” he says.
After completing the inventory, UMS reconciled its data against the licensing statement. Afterward, UMS presented its findings to Prommis and reviewed any instances of underlicensing. There were a few anomalies, but overall the results from the inventory met Meszaros’s expectations.Benefits
Through a more efficient SAM Assist engagement, Prommis Solutions acquired an accurate and timely inventory of its software assets. The company is continuing to move toward a centralized model for its distributed IT architecture, and the knowledge gained through the SAM Assist is supporting that initiative. Additional benefits include:
Virtualization planning. The SAM Assist offered valuable insight into how Meszaros could organize the company’s infrastructure when he implemented a virtualized environment. “One of the key goals for the company was to move to a virtualization strategy,” he explains. “The Software Asset Management Assist showed us where virtual servers could be consolidated using a shared licensing option, how the licensing strategy would work, and where we could save money.”
Better decisions. Prommis renewed its Enterprise Agreement on time and with better information than it had in previous years. Says Meszaros, “With the data that we received through the SAM Assist, we had all of the necessary information ahead of time and we were able to make better decisions regarding what we needed and wanted to purchase.”
Increased confidence. Meszaros feels more secure after having his company’s compliance validated by licensing experts. “Knowing that your company is in compliance is a good feeling—everything is accounted for and you’re not going to get hit with surprises,” he says. The information provided during the SAM Assist also helped Meszaros confirm that Prommis has the right IT strategy going forward.
Improved IT environment. Meszaros says that, in past licensing reconciliations, one of the most common problems that he discovered were instances of having the wrong version of an application installed on company systems. “That can really cause problems,” he explains. “The SAM Assist process identified that one of our acquired locations had 300 incorrect versions of the Microsoft Office suite. We were able to build a new image and reinstall to ensure that we were compliant.”
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