Achieving costs savings and managing software licences
It has been a successful partnership from the beginning in 2015: Accenture, the consultancy firm with over 425,000 employees, teaming up with the software license experts of B-lay. Together the two companies are helping some of the world’s biggest enterprises achieve costs savings and better manage their software licenses, with an ‘as a service’ model for software asset management.
Andre Guerreiro, Managing Director at Accenture: “With their in-depth vendor knowledge and their ability to perform quality data analytics, B-lay is an important addition to our global software asset management practice. Our partnership enables both companies to create financial benefits for every CIO we work for. At many of our clients, our cost optimization allows them to better invest in software and even generate funding that can be used on other initiatives.
Monetary value This financial benefit is what makes SAM such an interesting initiative to pursue, especially for enterprises with large IT spend. Building an effective SAM strategy is an investment, but it’s a certainty that this investment pays back – either in cost savings or in the prevention of contract breaches that can result in hefty fines. In general, companies that invest 3-5% of their annual software budget on SAM reduce overspending up to 20%. On top of that, many companies move their critical business applications to the cloud without investigating if that’s the best step for them – both technically and financially. A proper SAM analysis can provide the right data that helps them make the right decision. It can be seen as the start button of a company’s journey to the cloud.
Guerreiro: “More and more CIOs see the financial benefits of software asset management. Most of the times the question doesn’t start at SAM though, but in many cases SAM is the solution they need. Many companies come to us with very specific questions: can you help me cut costs? Can you help us deal with this audit? Can you advise us about moving software to the cloud? Of course we can. When we demonstrate the outcomes SAM delivers, we end up creating and executing a long-term SAM engagement with our clients that helps them spend better and that gives them a clear position on how software will positively impact their strategy for cloud and service management.”
Complementary skills A key part of every successful partnership is the complementary skill set that both parties bring to the table. Accenture and B-lay work in a collaborative model, in which Accenture brings its service delivery and project management experience to coordinate and execute SAM engagements across multiple disciplines within the client’s organization and its suppliers. B-lay then processes the data by applying its licensing, contracting and vendor knowledge into meaningful information. Together, Accenture and B-lay create scenarios and execution plans for clients to extract maximum value from its contracts and software usage.
A key ingredient of our successful way of working together is the IP that both companies bring to the engagegement. We use a proprietary delivery methodology which is based on SAM industry best practices, SAM policies framework, and blueprint for SAM processes. This methodology significantly accelerates the delivery of the SAM engagement from the onset, helping our clients to realize benefits from a SAM program much faster than following a traditional approach where everything needs to be stand-up from grounds up. To complement, our proprietary Zyncc family of data processors and entitlement systems helps our clients to build a complete auditable trail of entitlements and contracts. It produces rich and valuable insights and analysis on entiltements, contract events, purchase history and use rights.
Guerreiro: “B-lay are specialists. They have in-depth knowledge of the way big software vendors work, how their contracts are built and what their audit practice looks like. That specific knowledge is unique as well as crucial for us. On top of that they deliver good quality data, which is important for every company to make informed decisions about IT resources, new cloud products and spending.”
Mark van Wolferen, co-founder and managing director of B-lay, adds to that: “Partnerships with big integrators like Accenture give us the possibility to expand our reach. In the end, we’re a bunch of nerds that are good with numbers and data analytics. Andre and his team are specialized in taking clients by the hand and helping them to implement a long-term SAM strategy. Another benefit is that Accenture has such a wide range of IT services, the ability to scale fast and a local presence in almost every country. Their Innovation Center in Houston is a great place to show our joint SAM as a service model to the whole world.”
Innovation and entrepreneurial spirit Another area where the two companies find each other is innovation. Guerrero: “An innovative mind set is key for us. We only work with partners that are trying something new all the time. And that’s certainly the case with B-lay. Innovative thinking is in their DNA. They were one of the first guys who treated software compliance as an exciting chance for enterprises instead of a boring obligation. That was a big inspiration for me when we started building up the SAM practice at Accenture. And now they keep developing new tools like Zyncc, their online license management platform. That fits perfectly with the way we work at Accenture. You can definitely say that innovation is the main driver of the successful business we do together.”
Van Wolferen can only agree with this. “I can really identify with the entrepreneurial spirit at Accenture. In general big firms don’t innovate, but Accenture is not like that at all: Andre and his team are always looking for the next big thing. Partnering up with them doesn’t feel at all as working with a corporate. That also becomes very clear to me in the way they treat this relationship. We’re equal partners, we know how we can strengthen each other. That results in an open partnership, with both parties highly committed to that one goal: adding value to the business of our customers. And that’s what it’s all about in the end.”