As Auxilium Pharmaceuticals approached the renewal of its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, it wanted to get an accurate picture of its software assets. Through the Microsoft Software Asset Management program, the firm got an accurate software
inventory quickly and easily, with minimal impact on its IT staff. That accurate inventory helped reduce the company’s licensing costs and validated its implementation of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.
Having experienced rapid growth in both staff and clients, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals wanted to ensure that its workers had the latest software, while still controlling costs. It needed an easy way for its 18-member IT team to ensure that its licensing
was in compliance and to forecast software licensing costs as the company grows.
Auxilium worked with Softmart—a Microsoft partner with Gold competencies in Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) and Microsoft Volume Licensing—to learn how best to meet those challenges. After comparing the costs and benefits of various licensing agreements,
Auxilium decided that a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement covering the Microsoft Core Client Access License (CAL) Suite offered the best value and flexibility. The firm signed the three-year agreement in 2008.
Auxilium worked with Softmart, a Microsoft partner with Gold competencies in Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) and Microsoft Volume Licensing, to learn how best to meet those challenges. After comparing the costs and benefits of various licensing agreements,
Auxilium decided that a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement covering the Microsoft Core Client Access License (CAL) Suite offered the best value and flexibility. It signed the three-year agreement in 2008.
||We used the True-up to make better decisions about our Enterprise Agreement renewal, such as moving to the Windows Server 2008 Datacenter license and eliminating software that we didn’t need.
Senior Director of IT, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals
About five months before Auxilium was due to renew its Enterprise Agreement, Softmart and Microsoft invited the company to participate in a Microsoft SAM Baseline engagement, which provides a set of proven processes and procedures to quickly and accurately
assess software assets. Auxilium accepted the invitation and a few months later joined representatives from Softmart and Microsoft on a kickoff call.
Auxilium had not yet fully deployed Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager client software to all of its PCs, so Junod chose an agentless inventory tool to avoid installing client software on all of the PCs.
After a technical review call with Softmart, the Auxilium IT team deployed the inventory tool on the network and let it run for about two weeks to gather data. Softmart collected the results from Auxilium and exported the True-up license reconciliation report
from the inventory tool to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format. The report showed only small differences between what the company thought it owned and what it actually had deployed.
“We were pleasantly surprised because our True-up discrepancy amount was really small,” says Junod.
The True-up also helped the firm eliminate some software that it no longer needed and “step up” to the Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter operating system, which offers a licensing model that better suits the firm’s primarily virtual environment. The Windows
Server 2008 R2 Datacenter license includes unlimited virtualization rights. That means Auxilium can run one instance of Windows Server software on a physical server and any number of virtual instances of Windows Server.
“The True-up provided really good data about both physical and virtual servers,” says Junod. “Softmart walked us through the data and helped us determine that the Windows Server 2008 Datacenter licensing model is more cost-effective for us.”
Auxilium signed its Enterprise Agreement renewal in November 2011.
By engaging with Softmart in the SAM Baseline program, Auxilium was able to:
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Reduce licensing costs. Through the SAM Baseline program, Auxilium got an accurate count of its software and licenses so it could be sure that it was paying for all the software it was using and using all the software it was paying for.
“The SAM Baseline helped us reduce the licensing cost because we now are paying for what we really need rather than potentially overestimating what we need just to be safe,” says Junod.
Minimize IT staff time. Having Softmart handle most of the details of the True-up freed the Auxilium IT staff to focus on its regular work. “The SAM Baseline True-up process definitely saved time and worked well for our staff,” says Junod.
“Softmart came in, got out, and gave us the report. We didn’t have to wade through all the details, so it was very easy to manage.”
Enhance license agreement decisions. “We used the True-up to make better decisions about our Enterprise Agreement renewal, such as moving to the Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter license and eliminating software that we didn’t need,” says
Junod. “Thanks to the SAM engagement, we wound up spending less money than we expected to on the True-up and the renewal, which gives us more budget for new initiatives.”
Validate implementation of System Center Configuration Manager. Using a third-party inventory tool helped Auxilium validate its partial implementation of System Center Configuration Manager. “We took the numbers that came from the tool we
used and matched them to the same group of PCs in our Configuration Manager implementation, which helped validate that implementation so we can be confident about deploying it to the rest of our PCs,” says Junod.