Based just outside Dublin, Coillte are privileged custodians of 7% of Ireland’s forests and land extending over 440,000 hectares. Over the last 30 years, Coillte have cared for and developed their estate and businesses while being firmly focused on maximising the financial and social potential of these natural resources in a sustainable way.
Coillte have three high potential businesses: Forestry, Land Solutions and Medite Smartply.
Medite Smartply is Ireland’s leading producer of innovative, environmentally friendly wood panel products and exports to 32 countries worldwide.
The nature of Coillte business has changed in recent years, and as well as supporting its core forestry function Coillte has diversified into manufacturing value added timber products, development of windfarms and also initiated a number of biodiversity and recreation projects.
ICT business solutions and data underpin these initiatives and are key to the success of our business. Microsoft products provide many of the solutions that enable our business, and ensuring we have the right product mix with the requisite quality and cost to meet the needs of the business is always a challenge.
Coillte had a Microsoft EA renewal looming and with costs constantly increasing it is often difficult to justify increasing budgets to the business. With the business evolving and making the move to Microsoft 365 subscription licensing there were further complexities to consider such as Microsoft licensing rules that are always changing. There were also some legacy perpetual licenses that Coillte had previously invested in that would no longer be required and just sitting dormant.
The business was concerned about over investing and getting value for money, but also about under investing whilst ensuring they were compliant from a licensing perspective. Coillte wanted to get it right and in the most cost-effective way, so they turned to Software Recycling and The SAM Club for advice.
Paul McGrath, Service Delivery Manager at Coillte said “The SAM Club simplified the very onerous task of reviewing our existing Microsoft product portfolio. They helped us navigate through the very complex catalogue of Microsoft products and advised us on the selection of new products and services which would meet our current and future needs”
Why Coillte engaged The SAM Club
The SAM Club was recommended to Coillte by Software Recycling due to its proven and demonstrable expertise in Microsoft licensing strategies. Coillte liked the idea of the License Review service as the approach is practical, pragmatic, fully forecasts licensing option costs and delivers clear and actionable recommendations with clear explanations to ensure compliance.
As The SAM Club is independent and does not resell software the advice given around the EA negotiations was impartial and provided the best outcome for Coillte, allowing them to choose their preferred license reseller and achieve the best pricing discounts for the new agreement.
Paul McGrath said “The SAM club provided Coillte with invaluable, impartial advice which helped us understand the complex and differing supplier, contract and pricing arrangements which ultimately made it much easier to renew our Microsoft EA and at the best value for Coillte”
Methodology & Results
As a baseline, The SAM Club compared licenses installed with those owned, enabling any discrepancies to be resolved, and ensuring compliance.
Reviewing Coillte’s current license position The SAM Club identified some smarter ways to license and reduce costs. One example was checking whether the versioning was correct, did a user need Microsoft 365 E3 based on analysing their current usage or would the E1 plan be adequate?
In addition, The SAM Club documented surplus licenses that were no longer required and helped Coillte identify a potential unexpected financial windfall of just over €40k from these redundant software assets which included Core CALS, Office Pro Plus, Windows Server Standard, 2 Core plus other licenses.
Following The SAM Club’s guidance and suggestions with negotiating the new Enterprise Agreement, a 10% concession was achieved which was a further welcome saving.
Ian Nicholls, Managing Consultant at The SAM Club said “Co-operation between Coillte & The SAM Club throughout the exercise was excellent, enabling the process to go smoothly. We clearly saved Coillte significantly more than our fees”
Paul McGrath said “As any IT Director knows – Renewing your Microsoft EA is not for the faint hearted! – With the expert product and commercial knowledge provided by Ian from The SAM Club, we navigated our way through to a new EA Agreement which I’m comfortable is the best deal we could have achieved for a company of our size. I am very glad that I followed up on the recommendation to give them a call as they more than proved their worth, and I know who I will be calling the next time around”