British Broadcasting Corporation Case Study

In 2002, the BBC received a mandate from its Board of Governors to cut their operating costs to avoid steep increases in its subscriber fees. The computing services team immediately engaged in a series of in-depth product evaluations of numerous software auditing products. During their tests, KeyServer stood out as the most robust Enterprise-level tool.

The BBC met the Mandate from its Board of Governors with KeyServer.

“From chaos to proper management”

BBC’s Mandate:
With 27,000 computers to manage throughout the United Kingdom, it would be no trivial task to deploy and configure their computers to audit usage and manage software license compliance.

KeyServer’s ability to integrate with existing IT tools, its support for MSI installers, its low traffic volume, and in their words: “the only tool that could offer real-time software license compliance at an enterprise level” made it a perfect match for BBC’s needs.

Early and Lasting Success:
Right from the start, KeyServer identified large numbers of installed software products that were not being used. One software product was installed and licensed on over 3,000 computers, but was only used on 300.

KeyServer identified many products that were either under-licensed or over-licensed and was instrumental in getting the BBC on-track with software licensing purchases.

Risk Prevention and Management:
A “surprise” benefit that KeyServer offered was its ability to deny access to unauthorized programs. BBC was able to put a stop to controversial peer-to-peer file transfers and identify employees who were attempting to run unauthorized programs like Kazaa.

Integration with other tools:
BBC conducts weekly audits of every PC (27,000 in all) in Wales, Scotland, and England, and integrates KeyServer’s reports with Altiris data to produce consolidated deployment and usage reports. They also integrate KeyServer with Active Directory for end-point authentication, and they cross-reference KeyServer data with their in-house software purchasing system for more accurate purchasing control.

Cost-controlling Empowerment:
In the final analysis, KeyServer helped to reduce the BBC’s software asset management workload from dozens of people scattered in different departments to two full-time positions in their IT department. KeyServer empowered BBC to be more effective at negotiations with software vendors, and it helped to fulfill the Board of Governors’ mandate to cut operating costs.

In one administrator’s words, they “went from chaos to proper management”.

KeyServer had more of the ‘must haves’ than any other product. It was the only tool that could offer real-time software license compliance at an enterprise level. That made it a perfect match for BBC’s needs.

· Neil MacArthur, British Broadcasting Corporation