Case study: Reducing Microsoft Licensing Overspend in the NHS with Prism

The Challenge

“When you ask around the NHS Departments, they are all facing the same problem: it is hard to determine an accurate picture of how many employees Vs licenses are needed and the buffer zone.” 

Environment Manager and Prism client

Many organisations are dealing with a sharp rise in software subscriptions or switching and upgrading licensing agreements, while also managing a flux in IT users. This makes it challenging to gain a true view of your license needs and usage, often resulting in unnecessary overspend. 

The organisations’ Environments Manager, who looks after the Microsoft licensing renewals and upgrades, explains why licensing had become a complex challenge for them.  

He reveals: “Working out exactly how many employees, contingent workers, starters and leavers there are in the organisation, is always difficult. We know we have about 1700-1750 users but we were paying for over 2,000 Office 365 licenses and couldn’t identify where the extra 300 licenses were placed.  We’ve never been able to bridge that gap as unfortunately, Office 365 doesn’t have the necessary tools to do so.” 

About the client

An executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe.

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Furthermore, the organisation had a long lead time for its starters and leavers process, causing constant fluctuations and making its licensing requirements an ever-moving target. 

“When you ask around the NHS Departments, they are all facing the same problem: it is hard to determine an accurate picture of how many employees Vs licenses are needed and the buffer zone,” the client confirms. 

Why Trustmarque was selected as a partner 

Trustmarque has been supporting the agency in question with some of its digital transformation projects for around nine years, including most recently looking at cloud development and specific projects within Microsoft Azure. Trustmarque was also supporting with their Microsoft 365 licensing procurement and the agency recognised that more could be leveraged from the partnership to help them gain a stronger software asset management position.  

The solution: PRISM

Prism is Trustmarque’s bespoke technology intelligence platform that provides greater visibility of your IT estate, to help manage and streamline IT costs.  

Prism Intelligent IT

Prism draws on information from Power BI and other sources to provide comprehensive, tailored, and largely automated dashboards that can provide an accurate reflection of the active directory and user estate. That includes identifying: active and inactive users, active disabled users, and inactive disabled users, including when a user was last active.  

“Prism provides the whole permeation of license uses and users. It allowed for easy number crunching and comparisons with HR numbers, i.e. maternity leave and secondments, to make sure we kept those licenses in place,” says the client. Prism can also look at specific software use cases to help shed a light on who needs what for their role by identifying when a user has not activated a standard license or premium license like Power BI.

For example, the agency identified that some 150 users had no requirement for Microsoft Word. For them, this not only helped to cut costs but provided a huge amount of time-saving. According to the client: “Prism is the ideal tool for businesses who do not have the time and in-depth knowledge to do this manually. To replicate what is done through Prism would take me nine months. It is a very low-cost high-value tool that would take a Power BI developer a lot of time and effort.” 

Outcomes and Results

With the data from Prism to hand, the agency was able to confidently reduce license volumes from 2,080 to 1,750, which includes a buffer of 20-30 licenses for new starters or those re-joining. In total, they have removed 330 licenses and achieved a total cost saving of £120,000 in unused licenses. “That is a substantial saving,” the client comments. 

“And it is a direct cost saving for the NHS at a time when other departments need vital investment for new machines to support the Covid-19 strategy. Prism has given us the visibility into that dark closed-off area of not knowing exactly how many users are active within Office 365. It is data-driven which is a key requirement of the Department of Health. It is intuitive and it enables the data-driven view to be brought forward.” 

Benefits of Prism for the client

  • 330 unrequired licenses removed
  • £120,000 cost-saving to reinvest in the NHS
  • A transparent and accurate view of license proposition
  • Improved compliance with licensing regulations
  • Fast access to data
  • Additional cost savings being realised

Feedback on Trustmarque 

“Trustmarque and specifically the specialist Consultant for Prism have been very helpful and have worked diligently to make sure the refreshers are timed so all the data we need is there. There has been a real collaborative approach to getting through any teething problems and the Consultants have such in-depth knowledge I feel confident about the advice that is offered. I would definitely recommend Trustmarque and Prism.”   

Next steps  

The agency has ambitions to utilise Prism to achieve more cost savings and to continue to improve their licensing compliance position. Service Management team members have also recently started to use the platform and they are expecting that need to evolve as they become more accustomed to the data and what can be leveraged. 

A trusted partner to the healthcare sector

We have been a trusted partner to many in the healthcare sector for more than three decades. We are passionate about helping you to leverage the opportunities of digital transformation so you can deliver efficiencies, improve your security and compliance and provide the best employee experience and patient care possible. Talk to us to discuss your needs.

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By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast