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Business Drivers

Markel International was planning a migration to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment. The company had been using OEM licensing for all its desktops. Under the OEM licensing scheme Markel was not entitled to upgrades. This meant that new licences were needed to support the move to VDI, thus forcing a complete review of the current desktop licensing position. The organisation already had a complex Microsoft environment with server and desktop virtualisation and it was unsure of the optimum licensing strategy.

Mike Jarrett, Service Delivery Manager for Markel International, explains:

“We had a Select Agreement in place which didn’t cover desktop operating systems. With the move to VDI things started to get complicated and potentially very expensive. It was important to gain advice on how proceed and to ensure the best possible route to procurement.”


Markel already had a longstanding relationship with Trustmarque; therefore Trustmarque’s commercial benchmarking service was the obvious choice for the VDI project.

Trustmarque and Markel developed a future implementation roadmap incorporating the company’s Microsoft technology plans. Trustmarque proposed a number of different model options, outlining the cost per year and also over a six year period.

A breakdown of each of the software licensing options was provided, showing Markel their entitlement under each option and also how this fitted in with the company’s future strategy.

After considering the options available, Markel decided on an Enterprise Subscription Agreement (ESA) including Software Assurance which gave them access to future upgrades. Trustmarque worked with Microsoft and Markel to negotiate the most favourable deal.

“Trustmarque helped us to make sense of the extensive volume of Microsoft licensing documentation.” continues Mike Jarrett. “We gathered estimates of the future size and shape of the organisation; what we were looking to do with the company and our plans from a technology perspective over the next 5-6 years.

By undertaking such a thorough process we are confident that we have the correct framework in place to support the company moving forward. We are also certain that we have purchased the most cost effective form of bulk licensing for our organisation.” He concludes.