Novell Service Pinpoints IT Costs

The Rapid Technology Rationalization consulting service provides a quick hit evaluation of existing IT investments and uncovers costs that can be eliminated

Novell Inc. yesterday launched the third in a series of Jump Start services focused on helping clients reduce costs and rationalize IT resources across large organizations.

The Rapid Technology Rationalization consulting service provides a quick hit evaluation of existing IT investments and uncovers costs that can be eliminated.

IT spending has doubled since 1996, and in such fast-paced growth, "some spending may not have been carefully planned," said John Dobbs, principal strategist in Novells Cambridge Strategy Services Group in Atlanta.

The focus on the assessment done as a part of the RTR is on cost avoidance, cost reduction and cost recovery around IT resources and infrastructure.

Cambridge Technology Partners, Novells e-services division, conducted an assessment of its own IT resources and achieved a total savings of $10 million, according to Ramesh Pattni, senior strategist in the Strategic Services Group in Cambridge, Mass.

"We looked at everything –the wan, bandwidth utilization, servers, topology, mail, applications," he said. The biggest savings came out of the network, where Cambridge Technology Partners renegotiated non-competitive contracts, moved to more competitive network providers, and eliminated charges for services not in use.

In one case, WAN circuits discontinued for 6 to 9 months were still being billed to the company. "One vendor had to refund $500,000 for 9 to 12 months of charges," said Pattni.

In another example of cost recapture, Cambridge Technology Partners also discovered it was being billed for more software licenses than it had. "No one had looked at that. We renegotiated and got a refund of $300,000," said Pattni.

Cambridge Technology Partners also realized significant savings through server consolidation. The firm realized a savings of $1.2 million by reducing its number of Windows NT file and print servers from 58 to two, and it reduced its total number of messaging servers from 45 to eight by re-architecting its messaging system.

The service is delivered in three phases. In the first phase, Cambridge Technology Partners identifies the opportunities for cost reduction through a comprehensive assessment. Then the service provides a return on investment calculation or business case on what can be achieved with the reductions. Then consultants create a prioritized roadmap for necessary changes to achieve those savings.

The service uses a series of ROI calculators developed by Novell to show how its own software could pay for itself. Cambridge Technology Partners extended those to address other areas.

In its assessment, the service looks at opportunities across technologies for standardization, optimization or consolidation.

In a sign of the times, the RTR assessment focuses on short-term ROI.

"Were looking at what we can do to reduce costs in a 0 to 6 month time frame," said Dobbs.

The assessment typically takes about three weeks. Once CTP delivers the plans, clients can implement the changes on their own or with CTPs help. The service is priced in the range of about $100,000, depending on the size of the organization, number of locations, size of the team and other factors. It is available now.

The Jump Start services offerings were launched last August with the Novell Identity Provisioning for PeopleSoft offering. The Novell Secure Partner Portal service came out last month.