The CIO of a healthcare client was looking to reduce costs for his 500 Microsoft users. He talks about his experience with SmartView and 365Metrics. Developed with the Power Platform, SmartView's 365Metrics tool allows auditing of Microsoft license usage. Jean-Christophe Denis, business engineer at SmartView, met with the customer in the healthcare sector (the company wishes to remain anonymous)
In what context did you come to us?
I recently joined the company. The CFO quickly made me aware of the steady and continuous increase in Microsoft's costs over the past few years.
A few weeks before the true up, we started to try to find out by ourselves, with the logs and tools at our disposal, what was the use of our Microsoft license. We found some leads, but nothing conclusive. So I searched on the internet for partners and/or solutions that would allow me to audit the use of the Microsoft license, and I came across SmartView.
The idea was really to take stock of Microsoft license usage. The company hadn't done an accurate assessment in years. I felt there was something to be done. Between the people who left the company, those who changed function, etc... there was a lot of cleaning up to do, in my opinion, after several years of history.
You were talking about "cost growth", there could be several reasons for this such as headcount growth, more Microsoft licenses, more products or increased sales costs at Microsoft. What was your reason?
That's the difficulty. We are a growing company. My predecessor gave the reason that the increase in costs was due to the increase in employees. I think that's true, but it's not the only reason... So we needed something concrete to prove it, factually.
Can we quickly go back to the Microsoft licenses that you have at home?
We have the Office 365 Suite. We also have a lot of Microsoft Project licenses, even though we deployed a new project management tool a year ago to replace Microsoft Project. And we also have a lot of Microsoft Visio licenses. And also Dynamics, with a significant cost issue.
What is your role in the company?
I joined the company in November 2021, as Group IT Manager. This is a new position. There was a French manager, but due to the growth of the company abroad, the company has chosen to recruit a group information manager.
What is your field of activity? Its specificity?
The company has two markets: aesthetic and medical.
Our main product is a machine capable of reproducing a precise massage technique, usually practiced by physiotherapists or beauticians. This machine has particular techniques and properties: both aesthetic, to eliminate cellulite, and medical, to reduce scars.
So we designed this machine to replicate these massage techniques and improve it. We have almost no competitors. We position ourselves here on a high-end product. It is completed by a range of cosmetics for some time.
Thanks to this innovation, the company is growing rapidly, with branches opening abroad every year. We now have 500 employees, with a turnover of 100 million euros.
What did you find first when you looked for us?
I don't remember what exactly I typed into the search engine, but it seems that your 365Metrics tool came up first. I then came across several sites, several companies and several tools. I asked a couple of them, two of which got back to me. We quickly hit it off, especially because of the answers you gave me.
Can we say that you had an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft, with a more affordable price?
Yes, there is no secret. In summary, the issues were firstly, to understand why costs were increasing and secondly, to have elements to negotiate the True up.
365Metrics also does the usage audit, did you use these results, will you use them, or on the contrary, was it the financial aspect that prevailed above all?
The objective was to work on the financial aspect. Having information beyond this aspect was a nice surprise. It will help us understand to what extent and how collaborative tools are used, or not, in our company. We also got information on the security aspect, we haven't fully exploited it yet, but we had noted it. It was a bit like the icing on the cake! It's a good idea to have multiple lines of analysis for your customers.
Did you have an ROI objective before starting the process?
I had in mind an amount of savings that I expected. This amount was in fact largely exceeded. The idea was to find a solution that would cost the maximum amount I estimated, a solution that would be "paid back" by the savings it would generate, at a minimum.
How did you estimate these savings? From experience?
Indeed, from my past experience, and also from the few researches I had done by exploiting the Microsoft logs myself.
It seems to me that when we started working together, 365Metrics did not have all your Microsoft licenses on board. SmartView has actually updated the tool to meet your needs.
Yes, indeed, this is the case for Dynamics. And it is, in fact, one of the areas in which we have generated the most savings.
How did the 365Metrics service go?
Beyond the cost of your service, there was not only the tool. It was also the advice that was important to us.
We were close to the True up, we couldn't spend much time on this project. And that was the other good surprise. It was deployed very, very quickly, with few prerequisites. I wanted to put it forward.
The True up is over, what did you manage to renegotiate?
As far as rates are concerned, we have not renegotiated because we have a fixed rate that runs for another 2 or 3 years.
What's next for the usage part?
We have seen that your solution makes it possible to have analyses on these uses.
You could say we're at the beginning of the deployment of SharePoint and Teams, at least it's already in place. But we have a desire to accelerate the rollout of these tools and the adoption in 2022. It's likely that we'll want to measure adoption at the end of that deployment.
How much did you save on your Microsoft licenses?
We generated a saving of 9%, which is not negligible at our level. Especially if we compare this to the cost of your service / solution, it is beneficial.