Licensing advice as a critical part of digital life

Ranja Ovedal

License

The IT Director at Løvenskiold Handel has made better use of the IT budget and had fewer headaches by using Evidi's licensing experts. Read about how Løvenskiold Handel received assistance in drawing up their strategy and and in in finding which agreements are best served over time.

CIO André C. Nyhagen in Løvenskiold Handel has had a constructively demanding first year in a new job. He took up the position just before Covid-19 shut down society, and the retail industry was facing its biggest speed bumps in recent history.

The IT department at Løvenskiold Handel consists of 15 skilled employees who manage and operate most processes by themselves. The company is standardized on Microsoft technology, and only obtains consultancy services in areas where it is strategically appropriate not to have it in-house.

Løvenskiold Handel is the largest business area in a billion-dollar corporation, which is best known for owning and operating Maxbo's more than 70 hypermarkets and building warehouses across the country.

Everyone should get Microsoft Teams

On the technology side, the company has chosen a "best of suite" approach where the solutions that are best for specified purposes are handpicked. Evidis consultants contribute expertise and advice, especially related to a large rollout of Microsoft Teams to all employees.

We have worked with Evidi for many years and received good service and follow-up. They always deliver on expectations, and have been important in supporting us in the roll-out of new technology, says Nyhagen.

The company is in the process of an IT implementation that few trading companies have done before them.

- We will offer Microsoft Teams to all our employees. Since some stores have over 150 full- and part-time employees, it goes without saying that this is a very large project. The investment is made to support mobility requirements in stores, to tighten security and to meet audit and traceability requirements.


Received assistance with training in the use of Microsoft Teams

When Covid-19 hit, the Teams project was accelerated so that every manager in the business had their own Microsoft Teams user. In the first phase of the Teams project, experts from Evidi were used to plan the implementation, advise on rules and guidelines for the use of the solutions, and with the necessary training and knowledge transfer. This laid the foundation for Løvenskiold Handel to handle the accelerated rollout in March/April.

In such a change, it is important to teach employees to use the tools correctly. Otherwise, you get a chaotic situation where some are using the new, while others are left behind in old routines," explains Nyhagen. Together with Evidi a concept was created that ensures that department by department is moved in a controlled manner from old work forms and file servers, and into the new life with Microsoft Teams.

It has been important to help employees see the new opportunities. Evidi has helped them change their routines and become confident in a new workflow.

Laying out the strategy for license purchases

In order to support such long roll-out projects, Nyhagen has been particularly pleased with the advice and support they have received related to the handling of licenses. Evidis licensing experts have a long track record and have worked at Microsoft themselves.

It is of great value that Evidi assists us in drawing up the strategy, and that they help us in the license negotiations. They know the systems and rules from the inside and know which agreements are best served by us over time," says Nyhagen.

To find the right answers, the license advisors are thoroughly familiarised with the company's IT strategy and know the investment plans.

- The help has been invaluable. Evidi has recommended the license packages that are right for us and told us about the consequences of the choices. They are very good at highlighting the value that comes from the various solutions, Nyhagen points out.

Chose the most flexible solution

Løvenskiold did not go for the cheapest license option, rather the one that offers the best value over time. Since they have major rollouts ahead of them, it has been important to have flexible agreements where the licenses and thus costs are activated when the company needs it. It also ensures that budgeting and resource usage become smarter, and costs follow needs in real time. The chosen license variant also comes with built-in solutions that provide advanced protection against threats.

- The rollout across the company is a major investment, and we have chosen a step-by-step introduction where we learn to crawl before we start to walk. We have a long-term perspective and it is the implementation that is the big cost, not the licenses, he says.

Gaining the benefits along the way

A controlled rollout has also made it easier to gain the benefits along the way. This is partly because costs move in line with consumption.

- We are very pleased with the license agreement. It provides assurance that our needs will be met and investment is under control. Predictability is very important, says Nyhagen.

Nyhagen explains that they could probably manage the actual license management themselves, but is clear that these are tasks that would require a lot of time in order to familiarize themselves with requirements and regulations. This time should rather be prioritized towards the tasks that the department is already good at.

- Familiarising yourself with the licensing rules is time-consuming and a separate field of expertise. It is therefore beneficial that Evidi has simplified these processes. Evidi knows us, and they are experts at Microsoft. We get good help to understand all the details of the licensing rules, and we can spend our time on value-creating activities. Based on our experience, it is easy to recommend others to use a licensing advisor. We save time and we use budget funds better, concludes Nyhagen.

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