For peace of mind from a legal perspective and to ensure the best possible protection for license checks, the event technology company GAHRENS + BATTERMANN decided to initiate a SAM compliance project. Sycor took over the project and identified new options for its licensing.
For more than three decades, GAHRENS + BATTERMANN has operated as a full-service provider in the area of event technology, developing media technology solutions for events. The company aims to ensure that every event is an inspiration and of the highest quality in every aspect. Whether it is video, audio, lighting or IT – this events professional has mastered all of the relevant areas of media technology. A wide range of different Microsoft software versions were in use on the company‘s more than 270 PC workstations. Uncertainties regarding the issue of correct licensing and the lack of an overview of the actual license situation made it difficult to use the Microsoft software sensibly over the long term. With that in mind, GAHRENS + BATTERMANN implemented a Software Asset Management project with Sycor.
“Under-licensing is expensive and bears high liability risks. Any use of software without a license and the approval of the originator may even be illegal. Criminal charges can ultimately be laid as well. The best solution is simply ‘valid licensing’. You do need a large amount of reliable data for this, but effective SAM and license management ultimately pays off for every business,” says Erol Anil, Sycor's Project Lead. The first step in the SAM project for GAHRENS + BATTERMANN was the creation of a license compliance report. In addition to the classic Microsoft licenses, the licenses for the ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics Navision, were incorporated as well. "It was important for us to get a comprehensive overview of our current licensing situation. Since we also rent out PCs and notebooks for events, trade fairs and conventions, they also had to be taken into account to ensure our licensing is optimum,” explains Uwe Preuss, Head of the Technical Innovation and Support division at GAHRENS + BATTERMANN.
Sycor took inventory of the software that was in use on all computers and then checked the existing licenses, as well as the contract content and durations. This allowed Sycor to determine exactly which licenses GAHRENS + BATTERMANN held and whether the installed software was actually being used. Unused software could be assigned to a different user. This led to a significant reduction in costs. Rental rights licenses ensured that the rental business was covered by licensing regulations. In addition, Sycor recommended introducing a hire-purchase licensing agreement with spread payments for internal licensing. “Microsoft has provided ‘rental rights licenses’ for a number of years now. These licenses supplement a ‘normal’ Microsoft program with the permission to rent or lease out a specific computer with this program. Naturally, this licensing option is very interesting for companies that are active in the rental sector, such as GAHRENS + BATTERMANN,” states Erol Anil.
The SAM compliance certificate that was issued, which marked the completion of the SAM project, confirmed that the licensing for Microsoft products by GAHRENS + BATTERMANN was 100 percent correct. The final report also clarified how many licenses the company actually requires and how many are in use. “Thanks to the SAM project with Sycor, we have achieved our goal in full: correct licensing in the Microsoft environment. And thanks to rental rights licenses, we also have comprehensive legal security for our PC rental business. Added to this are the potentials for long-term savings that transparent license management has enabled for us. That gives us a sense of security and leaves us happy with the knowledge that we are properly licensed throughout the whole company,” concludes Hauke Amend, head of IT at GAHRENS + BATTERMANN.