Software asset management tech saves hedge fund £2.3m

Man Investments has saved more than £2.3m some two years after deploying Snow's SAM software to automate software licensing audits.

Man Investments is one of the world's largest independent alternative asset managers, with assets of over $55 billion (£34 billion).

With over 2,500 physical and virtual Windows and Linux servers, 2.500 physical and virtual laptops and over 1,500 different software applications from Oracle to the finance industry specific Linedata, Man Investments' IT team was inundated with audit requests.

It needed to automate the compliance process and take the opportunity to reduce IT costs; with greater visibility IT could renegotiate license renewals and ensure that they were not buying more than necessary.

Suffering from inaccurate data, the firm could not rationalise by recycling or reducing support costs. It had previously relied on spreadsheets and informal information provided by the IT department and compliance checks were ad hoc.

Mark Duffy, software and communications manager at Man Investments, said: "We identified a considerable non-compliance risk and it was time consuming to prove our licensing position because information was not held in a single location. There was a danger of over purchasing to compensate for poor data and we obviously want to avoid any wastage".

Man purchased 6,000 licenses for Snow License Manager and awarded Snow's partner Softcat the deployment job.

Man's Snow software spans the time a user requests new software, applies daily compliance checks, prepares budgetary figures for procurement negotiations with vendors, and re-harvests surplus licenses. It can also help the service desk retire an asset.

Data center savings with VMware

In addition to desktop licensing, Man has cut costs in the data center. "We renewed our three-year VMware agreement last year and used Snow to ensure we purchased the optimal set of licenses. Without this data it would have taken a lot of manual effort to get a basic understanding of usage and we may have over-bought to ensure compliance."

Additionally, Man is testing Snow's Oracle Management Option. Duffy said: "Man's Oracle estate is fluid and time consuming to manage, with a large number of changes across 400 servers.

"Automating this using Snow is definitely the best solution and will enable us to run scenarios to understand the effect of underlying hardware upgrades on licensing."

Moving to Linux?

The firm uses Linux servers to power various applications both written in-house and provided by third parties.

"We can get software from anywhere, make it inter-operate, choose our own comfort level regarding support and we have less chance of vendor lock-in. Plus there is a large open source community offering help and advice. Trialling software is less of a hurdle with the easy and free setup if using completely open-source flavours.

"There is a large user base already out there, from start-ups to multi-nationals."

But despite the desire to rationalise on costs, Duffy said "there is no plan or strategy to move away fully from Microsoft, and we will add to this estate with new servers and platforms."

This story, "Software asset management tech saves hedge fund £2.3m" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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