Orbit Group

Orbit Group is one of the largest housing providers in the UK, employing over 1,500 people and managing around 38,000 homes.

The challenge

Having been a Phoenix Software customer since 2000, the Group chose to outsource the management of its software licence compliance to Phoenix in 2012. With the Phoenix Software Clarity Service (previously Focus Service), Orbit Group now has the peace of mind that its software licence compliance is managed by experts and that every pound spent on software delivers real value.

With over 1,500 seats running on a range of different platforms, the Orbit Group has a considerable IT estate to manage. What’s more, with software and hardware purchased through a number of specialist suppliers, including Phoenix Software, the Group found that compiling and maintaining a single view of its entire software licence liability was proving to be a real challenge.

The Group knew it needed to take action. At the same time, Phoenix Software had also demonstrated the cost saving benefits that Software Asset Management (SAM) could provide to Orbit by better aligning its software purchases with its software requirements:

“We wanted to gain greater control over our software assets. With so much money spent on software every year across our estate of 1,500 devices, it was essential to ensure that our investment represented value for money,” commented Roy Evans, ICT Technical Services Manager, Orbit Group.

The solution

In light of the high number of seats at the Group and the deep technical software licensing expertise required to understand its complex licensing environment, the Orbit Group chose the Phoenix Software Focus Service as opposed to a solution that was managed in-house. Powered by License Dashboard License Manager, the most sophisticated software asset management solution on the market, the Clarity Service supervises all aspects of Orbit Group’s software lifecycle, regardless of whether the software is purchased or installed through Phoenix Software or not.

In addition to the day-to-day management of Orbit Group’s software lifecycle, Phoenix Software also produces a quarterly software licence management report for the group.

The report details all of the software purchases made by the Group in the last quarter, combined with an inventory of all the software currently installed across the 1,500+ seats. A reconciliation of the two positions is then produced, flagging any software licensing shortfalls, unused applications that could be re-harvested, licences that are due to be renewed in the next three months and any other software compliance issues that are relevant. The report is effectively a full audit of the Group’s software licensing position every three months – something that most organisations struggle to do properly even once a year. Armed with this information on a regular basis, Orbit Group is thoroughly prepared for any potential vendor audits and is assured of the value it is getting from its software purchases.

License Dashboard License Manager solution also comes with Cloud Console, a self-service web-based portal that allows managers across Orbit Group to access the latest License Manager reports via a web browser.

Fundamentally, we now have complete control over our software spend without having to lift a finger, which leaves us free to add value to other areas of the business
Roy Evans, ICT Technical Services ManagerOrbit Group

The benefits

With the Clarity Service in place, every single software request goes through Phoenix Software prior to approval to validate whether a new purchase is necessary. If an existing software licence is found elsewhere within the Group, then Phoenix Software simply reallocates that licence, saving the Group from inadvertently spending money on new software that is not needed. If a new software licence is required, then Phoenix Software’s licensing experts work with Orbit Group to determine which type of licence is the most appropriate to purchase.

Early on in the engagement, Phoenix Software discovered that the Orbit Group’s existing software inventory solution (the tool which compiles the list of software in use across the network) was inadequate and was failing to detect large portions of the deployed software. Phoenix Software was able to resolve this issue by advising the Orbit Group on the best alternative inventory solution to deploy. Once deployed, the new inventory solution, combined with the Clarity Service (previously Focus Service), was able to deliver the project’s first financial success: after its first scan of the network, it isolated a number of unused applications across the organisation which were promptly retired.

The quarterly report gives the Orbit Group the management information it needs to make informed strategic decisions about its software purchases. In addition, the Group is able to see which applications are being used versus those which are not – helping it to retire any applications not delivering value. For example, if a new application is left predominantly unused for three months then the IT Team can investigate why and take the most appropriate course of action. Without this management insight, the application concerned may have been renewed without question at the end of the year.

“Phoenix Software really has taken the headache out of managing our software licensing. We not only have the peace of mind that every single software licence is diligently recorded and accurately assigned to a piece of hardware should we ever be audited, but that every pound spent on software is properly scrutinised before being approved. Fundamentally, we now have complete control over our software spend without having to lift a finger, which leaves us free to add value to other areas of the business,” concludes Evans.