Trust is engrained in the corporate philosophy of Zollner Elektronik AG located in Zandt, eastern Bavaria. With over 10,500 employees, the family company is the largest employer in the region. As a professional mechatronics service provider, Zollner offers individual industry solutions along the entire supply chain
Trust alone, however, isn’t always enough. For several years, Zollner has, therefore, been using Software Asset Management (SAM) to manage its IT so that it has a precise overview of the IT solutions used company-wide. This not only ensures the IT is legally-sound, but also creates a lunch pad for the strategic development of the infrastructure.
Zollner Elektronik AG’s story starts back in 1965, when it was founded as a one-man electronics shop offering installation by Manfred Zollner in Zandt, eastern Bavaria. 20 years later, the “Electrotechnology factory” as it was called, had grown to have 685 employees. In 2001, the company was rebranded as Zollner Elektronik AG, but remained fully owned by the Zollner family. Today, the company has eight plants in Germany as well as branches in Hungary, Romania, China, Tunisia, the USA, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Hong Kong. With Tradinno—the world’s largest four-legged walking robot—Zollner made it into the Guinness Book of Records in 2012.
Zollner Elektronik AG now provides services in industries ranging from industrial electronics, rail technology, automotive technology, healthcare and life sciences and aerospace and defence to metrology, office electronics and data technology, other consumer products and telecommunications. At all 18 international locations, the signs are clearly pointing to growth.
A few years ago, the company installed Software Asset Management (SAM) for the approximately 8,300 devices used in the company in order to standardise decentralised licence management and gain an overview of all software licences being used. For SAM, Zollner leverages Microsoft Gold Partner Matrix42’s licence management tool, which is continuously being developed in close collaboration with the Microsoft Silver and Matrix42 Platinum Partner, TAP.DE. In order to further optimise its Software Asset Management and achieve the objective of consistently legally sound IT equipment, the company had the support of Microsoft Gold Partner, Bechtle-Comsoft GmbH. Zollner actively collaborated with Microsoft over the course of the project and ends each SAM-related one with an annual SAM certificate. Thanks to tool-supported SAM and the related processes, Zollner now has an up-to-date licence report at its disposal at all times, which provides an overview of how they are used and distributed. The central licence manager can now very easily ensure that under and over-licensing is a thing of the past. Additionally, reports show which organisational units are using which products and what the resulting costs are. And that’s not all, because hen SAM works well, it helps compliance with the Law Against Unfair Competition (UWG).
The driving force behind Zollner’s desire to introduce Software Asset Management was to ensure compliance. However, a SAM project that makes the software inventory transparent, companies can also gain valuable information for the future of their IT. For example, within the framework of the SAM project focussed on SAM Value Engagement for SQL, Zollner was able to concentrate on the use of SQL Server and to use the findings to help decide which path to take in the future. This shows that SAM facilitates the planning of software requirements. Particularly when it comes to the digital transformation of companies, SAM can become an important strategic element because the active management of licences allows a holistic view of the software lifecycle.
As we all know, the digital transformation is not a question of “if”, but more “when” and “how”. SAM also plays a role in this regard and provides information to help companies decide which technology trends they want to focus on and when to renew or replace existing technologies.