Herefordshire NHS and Council Share to Save with Trustmarque

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Value Added Reseller (VAR) Trustmarque Solutions has announced that its work with Herefordshire NHS and Council has enabled the public sector organisation to realise a combined cost avoidance of its Microsoft licensing model in the region of 1 million over six years.

In 2009 Herefordshire Council and NHS embarked on a project to share services across a collection of public sector organisations, bringing together a number of different facilities to collaborate on HR, Finance and IT. The organisations included: Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Primary Care Trust, the new Wye Valley NHS trust, local and community hospitals, adult social care services, Herefordshire schools, GP practices, and Herefordshire mental health provision from partner Trust 2GETHER.

A key driver behind partnering was cost cutting and part of this strategy was to reduce property overheads by introducing flexible ways of working, such as hot-desking and allowing staff in the partnership to work from any location. This, however, created a licensing issue as traditionally Microsoft licensing is assigned per legal entity - but the partners wanted to share licences across multiple legal entities to allow use of each other's assets at the various sites to enable this new way of working. Herefordshire worked with Trustmarque to establish the legalities surrounding creating a new legal entity for its licensing and successfully found a solution to this issue. When the time came to review the partnership's licensing situation and renewing its agreements therefore Trustmarque was the obvious choice to guide the organisation through the change.

The organisation embarked on a benchmarking project with Trustmarque which involved asset and licence discovery, and the creation of three and six year business plans including cost modelling of what the organisation needed now against its future plans. Alicia Bolger, ICT Operations Manager for the Council and NHS ICT shared services, comments:

"It would have been ambitious to deliver this type of programme in six months, and we only had six weeks. It was critical that we kept to these timescales as we would have fallen out of our software assurances on some of our agreements if we hadn't acted fast. Also, if we'd gone beyond April 1st we would not have been able to backdate the NHS licences, as at the time Microsoft would only agree to the back-dating of the NHS licence agreement if we did it by the end of the tax year. It really was a phenomenal effort that Trustmarque was able to keep within the timeframe specified."

As a result, the partnership has avoided large reinvestment and upgrade costs across the board, and it now has a license model that will support flexible working for its partners. The new license model will also support the future of desktop delivery to the partner organisations. Alicia Bolger explains:

"I'd estimate that we would have spent a million pounds or more over the life of licences across the organisation if we hadn't had advice from Trustmarque. We now have a mature understanding of the future impact of the work we have planned, and how our Microsoft requirements fit in with our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which integrates with our internal management information across the organisations in the partnership."

The Herefordshire Council and NHS partnership has been extremely pleased with the work carried out by Trustmarque and intends to maintain the relationship. Alicia Bolger concludes:

"We will definitely continue to use Trustmarque and would certainly recommend Trustmarque to other organisations that are in a similar position. We had an extremely complex situation and Trustmarque really guided us through the whole process. They were brilliant!"



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