Ons is a Dutch Shared Service Center based in Zwolle. They provide business management solutions to government organizations in the Zwolle region. Ons focuses on providing good services to society through supporting ICT, HR, and Purchasing & Contract Management for the province of Overijssel and the municipalities of Zwolle, Kampen, Zwartewaterland, Dalfsen, and Westerveld.
With 200 specialists, they continually support their partners and users. And this support ranges from advising on issues to the temporary deployment of specialists.
Within the service package for ICT support, Ons also provides software license management for the partners mentioned above for the contracts and applications managed by Ons. And for license management of Microsoft software, Ons engages Blackbelt XP.
Municipalities and governments are also trying to keep their costs as low as possible, and in doing so, they are looking closely at their software expenses. “Every year we submit a so-called True-up to Microsoft in which you indicate under the Enterprise Subscription Agreement, the ESA, whether you have started using more or fewer licenses,” explains Jan. “And every year we find that the rules and conditions of the ESA become more complex. We have basic knowledge but not the expert know-how needed to choose the most efficient licensing model at the lowest cost every time.”
So here are opportunities for municipalities and governments to make savings.
Furthermore, a 2020 Gartner study shows that half of all organizations have up to 25 percent of unused software licenses on hand. And a quarter even has up to 50 percent of this so-called shelfware and pays unnecessarily for it.
And municipalities and governments are no exception. “Because we have no expert knowledge of licenses, it is almost impossible for us to make a well-founded justification at the annual True-up. And to make the right choices.”
“Additionally, Blackbelt provides guidance on how to properly implement Microsoft solutions and thus more easily comply with contract rules, terms, and conditions.”
In the cloud and software as a service (SaaS) world, licensing models, contracts, and terms are complex. And the portals through which software vendors provide insight into purchased licenses and their use are often cluttered and complicated.
An independent software license expert offers a solution because they provide clear insight and know all the ins and outs of licenses. Furthermore, they have extensive experience negotiating with software vendors and intermediaries and know all their tactics.
Jan Timmerman has long been a strong advocate of getting support on license management issues from an independent expert such as Blackbelt XP. “I have two reasons for that: first, Blackbelt helps by gathering the right information, asking critical questions about the usage, and correctly filling out the True-up sheet with us. And second, they negotiate with the LSP and Microsoft on our behalf, and Blackbelt only does that from our interests, not their own.”
Furthermore, Ons sees this benefit of Blackbelt XP: “We also get advice from Blackbelt on how to deploy the Microsoft solutions legitimately and therefore more easily comply with contract rules and conditions.”
Meeting contract rules means that an organization is compliant. This is important for every organization in the context of corporate social responsibility. If anything, it is even more critical for municipalities and governments due to our public mission and role model.
By partnering with Blackbelt XP, Ons customers are now permanently assured of the following:
✅ the most efficient licensing model.
✅ the best licensing terms.
✅ the lowest licensing costs.
✅ maximum and ensured compliance.
“Thanks to Blackbelt XP, we can confidently answer our partners because they are assured of the maximum result. Blackbelt realizes this for them by, for example, scaling down unused licenses, selling surplus ones, choosing a more appropriate license form, or deploying second-hand licenses,” Jan concludes.
Furthermore, Ons finds the cooperation with Blackbelt XP very pleasant: “Blackbelt’s process follows a fixed pattern, which is nice because you know exactly where you stand. The contact with the experts and our people is pleasant, and after years of working together, you get to know each other well.”
Do you also want software licenses with the best conditions at the lowest cost? Then contact an expert.
As a Shared Service Center, we are an integrated part of our partners. This allows us to connect knowledge, resources, and people and provide the best service! We offer our partners an edge by offering three services: ICT, HR, and Procurement & Contract Management. Want to know more? See www.ssc-ons.nl.
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