Major Retail Group

Retail & Wholesale: Our Managed Services supports client's SAM development goals for value driven IT Asset Management

 

This client is one of the EUs largest general merchandise retailers with an annual turnover of many billions of dollars, employing over 25,000 people across hundreds of outlets around the world. The company is home to some of the worlds best known brands.

The group had a small team of people managing the SAM function for the entire group, from a Software Asset Management perspective the group is a large and complex organisation, which has grown through a combination of organic growth and acquisition. As a result, the range of vendors currently being managed by this team encompasses a broad and diverse spectrum including Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, IBM and Microfocus. Given their limited internal capacity and the ever-expanding number of software vendors being added to its portfolio, the scale of risks the business faces is constantly changing and they needed to ensure the business is protected from the potentially punitive commercial risks that vendor audits attempt to enforce upon end clients.

 

Rigorous Evaluation Process

In the summer of 2015, the client decided to engage a SAM managed service provider, for an initial 12 month trial period to provide additional expert resources to augment the internal team. “Before making the decision to appoint Livingstone, we undertook a rigorous evaluation process and reviewed the capabilities of eight potential firms. I have been in the business of Software Asset Management for many years and have worked with, or alongside most of the firms we looked at. I knew exactly what the business needed and wanted to ensure that the chosen provider could meet our exacting requirements, not only from the SAM perspective but from the point of view of security as well”.

 

Multi-Business Function Decision

The SAM Selection Committee comprised representatives from six business functions within the firm including the SAM team, security, procurement, IT, commercial management and finance. The SAM managed service capabilities RFP the client produced was very comprehensive, incorporating the precise requirements of every aspect of the business. However, after a very thorough evaluation of all the responses received, overall, Livingstone came out on top because they were able to demonstrate they could provide a comprehensive package of capabilities that met our combined needs, and as a result, the committee agreed that Livingstone were the best people for the job.

 

Strategic Decision Making

Since engaging with Livingstone the insights and experience we have provided proved invaluable. We provided a valuable sounding board in relation to tactics and strategies during the audit process and provide objective counter arguments to ensure that the client made the best possible decisions, because of the group's divesture and acquisition activities the client was engaged numerous audits which Livingstone supported, in addition to the usual two to three others the client had come to expect each year, simply due to the size and complexity of the estate.

Livingstone supported the client in being fully prepared for a number of significant vendor audit activities, including confirming the sizing of their maintenance contracts and assisted in new negotiations to reduce renewal costs and understand the details within the maintenance costs and potential future costs for our vendor roadmaps and forecasting.

 

Expert Advice

Livingstone's expert team was always just a telephone call away. To be effective and proactive, it is vital the client had access to objective and independent advice, from exploring new ways to get the best out of their overall software investments or reviewing activities such as cloud migration strategies etc.

 

Depth & Breadth Of Experience

A proven and robust customer service capability was also a key factor in the group's decision to select Livingstone.  The group's SAM team was impressed with how easy Livingstone were to deal with.  They understood that SAM skills are extremely hard to come by in this industry but, with Livingstone by their side, this was not a problem as the depth and breadth of experience within Livingstone's team was exactly what they needed. The client had ‘on demand’ access to relevant skills, as and when they needed them.

 

It’s All About Value

The group's SAM team was a big supporter of a managed service approach and appreciated the value they would get from the Livingstone managed service team. “From my perspective it’s all about value, because when it comes down to it, a tool is just a tool. My own personal experience has shown, that to do SAM properly, every business needs much more than tools alone. I also need to know that I have access to an experienced and professional team, who understand my needs and can fully support my SAM development goals whatever they may be. Livingstone satisfies these requirements” said one of the client's SAM Manager's.

Whether it is through organic growth, internal development or implementing bleeding edge technology to keep them at the forefront of the retail market. this client is constantly evolving, and with it, so does the SAM business function. The relationship between the SAM team and Livingstone developed, as they learnt from each other, and shared a joint vision deliver a value driven approach to the business of IT, Software and Cloud Asset Management.

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