FAST Ltd link up with Civica offers prospect of public sector software licence savings

By David Bicknell

Managing software assets effectively is one way of reining in the public sector’s IT costs, which is why a newly created partnership between software asset management (SAM) and IT compliance specialist FAST Ltd and Civica Services looks like an interesting tie-up.

The new partnership will give FAST customers access to Civica’s specialist advice and guidance across a broad scope of software licensing and fulfilment services, offering users the ability to mitigate future compliance risk, save time and money and meet their business objectives.

The Civica Services relationship will enable FAST Ltd to offer a range of services to its customers, helping them improve efficiency through more effective software lifecycle management.

Since 2003, FAST Ltd has provided a best practice and structured programme around licence compliance for businesses spanning all sectors and sizes.  One of its customers, services company Amey cut its hardware and software bill by £150,000 by managing, monitoring and auditing its IT estate.

In recent years FAST Ltd’s portfolio of services has expanded to include SAM, which led to customers requesting additional services such as ICT Strategy Planning Services and Software Fulfilment Services. 

Matthew Barnes, Managing Director for FAST Ltd  said, “The partnership of our two organisations is an exciting development for our customers and helps us to reach our goal of providing a ‘one stop shop’ for Software Asset Management  and IT Compliance. ”

One of Civica’s public sector customers is Gravesham Borough Council which faced a challenge to ensure the best use of its software assets given the government drive for efficiency.

The authority brought in Civica Services to review its Microsoft infrastructure for compliance. It also wanted advice on using the Public Sector Agreement—PSA09—for more cost-effective software licensing devised by the government and Microsoft. Under this licensing model, Gravesham has saved £46,700, equivalent to 80 per cent of its annual software spend. It is making a 74 per cent return on investment (ROI) from the Microsoft Software Asset Management review—more than its original target.

The council now has a three-year roadmap for IT development which includes a refresh of all desktop software and a virtualised infrastructure to enhance management and cut operational overheads. 

Some of the key issues around SAM and software licensing were discussed at FAST Ltd’s annual conference at Twickenham a few weeks ago.

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