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License Review Saves Plymouth Council £494,000


The harbour at Plymouth, Devon, UK.

Plymouth City Council have saved £494,000 by reviewing their Microsoft licensing strategy.

With a population of 256,000 Plymouth is the largest city on England’s south coast. Plymouth City Council employs a workforce of over 14,000 people and delivers more than 300 services for Plymouth residents including transport, social care, leisure, education and schools.

Two years previously Plymouth Council decided against renewing their Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, due to the licensing scheme not matching their implementation strategy at that time. Since then Plymouth has been buying software through a Microsoft Select Agreement, using the licenses obtained through the previous Enterprise Agreement.

In February 2010 Plymouth City Council utilised a license benchmarking service to assist them in planning a number of Microsoft technology implementations over the coming three years.

The benchmarking was provided by UK Microsoft Large Account Reseller Trustmarque Solutions as part of their ‘Work Smart‘ campaign, focused on stripping out costs for local councils without affecting operations.

Trustmarque reviewed the council’s current Microsoft software usage and determined optimal future licensing options. As a result, Plymouth City Council was able to achieve cost savings of 26 percent equating to £494,000 over a three year period. Additionally, Trustmarque’s negotiations with Microsoft have allowed for non-standard product mixes and concessions to complement the use of Microsoft technology within the Council.

After providing over ten possible licensing routes to consider, the benchmarking process then presented Plymouth with an in- depth break-down of three pertinent options for their strategy, allowing the council to choose how they moved forward.

This gave Plymouth City Council the confidence to make a long term licensing decision, backed by a solid business case and the ability to show cost savings of 26%.

Commenting on the service from Trustmarque, Tom Unwin, Technical Architect, Plymouth City Council said “The benchmarking service has paved the way for an agreement with Microsoft that exactly met our requirements, after openly discussing all the licensing options available to us. We had been buying software through a Microsoft Select Agreement and we have now also signed up to an Enterprise Subscription Agreement. ”

The service details the benefits and risks for each licensing option an organisation may be considering, explains the in-depth analytical process and culminates with a recommendation and negotiation strategy.  The service helps organisations to understand licence ownership, determine whether they are on the right licence agreement and identify where licences can be re-harvested.

“Trustmarque is the VAR of choice for the public sector and we are committed to drive down costs for local councils through our Work Smart Cost Savings Campaign,” said David Marriott-Lodge, Services and Solutions Director at Trustmarque. “With our benchmarking service we help organisations achieve fair and balanced vendor negotiations through a detailed analysis and review of their software estate which results in a tangible value figure.  In this way we have helped many public sector organisations drive down costs where they might not have otherwise – achieving an average cost saving of 22.5 percent. One council we worked with actually achieved a saving of 66 percent equating to one million pounds over three years.”

Photo Credit.

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.


  1. £494,000 equals roughly…

    792K US Dollars
    564K Euros
    800K Canadian
    792 Australian Dollars

  2. Heather says:

    Hey I like your exchange rate on the Aussie dollar – I think you might mean 792K

    Australian dollars. 🙂

  3. Well spotted! 🙂

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