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Discover how EDF is taking the power back with SAM Essentials

After a number of challenging software audits, UK energy company EDF invested in License Dashboard’s SAM Essentials 5 service, which combines our leading SAM tool, License Manager, with a SAM managed service for its top five software publishers, and ongoing training of its SAM team.

Since engaging in SAM Essentials 5, EDF has passed two audits from well-known software publishers with flying colors; reporting an unprecedented 100% compliance in both cases. It has also received significant training and support from our software licensing specialists to train and grow its internal ITAM team.

Keeping EDF’s data secure

EDF’s team supports 25,000 users at any given time, and includes a mix of full-time employees, partners and contractors. As the operator of six nuclear power stations in the UK, security is a top priority for EDF. As a result, the organization runs a highly secure and unique IT environment with three distinct networks, each with their own tailored security requirements. This not only presents additional challenges when it comes to maintaining the license inventory or conducting proactive license management or audits (since they have three entirely separate networks to monitor), but it also makes it difficult for EDF to receive third-party support due to the specific security credentials required by individuals to access the networks, while also adding the specific requirement for software inventory tools to be agentless.

The unique nature of EDF’s IT estate also makes it difficult to run agents or scripts on the networks, as every script must receive prior approval by the internal security governance team before it is permitted to run on the network. The same team must also review the output of such reports before they can be sent to software publishers or other third-parties to ensure that sensitive data is not compromised.

Following several difficult and costly software audits, EDF explored ways to bolster its SAM team’s licensing expertise. Given the growing complexity of license management, the broad range of software that EDF uses, and the limited size of EDF’s SAM team, the company knew it would not be able to reach the level of specialism required to confidently overcome similar audits with in-house resources alone.

EDF Wind Turbine

License Dashboard’s solution

In 2019, EDF invested in our SAM Essentials 5 service, which combines our market-leading License Manager product with a SAM managed service. This ensures that EDF is getting the most out of its SAM tool with:

  • Quarterly health checks
  • A personal development program combined with training for its team
  • Dedicated consultancy for five of EDF’s most pressing software publishers

At the quarterly health checks, our consultants look at the work EDF’s team has done and works with them to compile a risk log, making recommendations for where to focus their time over the following quarter. Ultimately, it provides an opportunity for EDF to validate where its most high-risk areas are and determine where to focus its efforts to minimize non-compliance and audit risks.

For the personal development part of the service, we developed a mentoring plan for two members of the EDF team. The plan includes access to the LD Academy for SAM tool training and enrolment onto The ITAM Review’s LISA online licensing school. After three years of training, both members of the SAM team are now certified ‘SAM Experts,’ and are making a significant contribution to EDF’s SAM team.

When it came to audit preparedness, our consultants worked with EDF to review its compliance position for a specific software publisher with which EDF had experienced a very challenging audit in 2017. EDF wanted to ensure it was in a much stronger position if it was ever audited again, so our consultants completed a full baseline assessment in License Manager and developed an action plan for EDF’s team to work through. Inevitably, EDF was audited by this same publisher again in 2021. However, this time the outcome could not have been more different from the 2017 experience; instead of a hefty and unbudgeted software bill, the software publisher confirmed EDF was fully compliant and that no further action would be taken.

“The difference between our audit experiences before and after engaging with License Dashboard is night and day. Before License Dashboard, audits were characterized as intense and costly experiences which were felt very keenly by our team members, but now we approach audits with a sense of control and clarity we never thought possible. Thanks to License Dashboard we are no longer intimidated when audits come our way.”


Cat Carter
Software Asset Management Lead

The outcome

With the support of our software licensing specialists, EDF has:

  • Successfully countered two software publisher audits with 100% compliance confirmed in both scenarios
  • Grown the maturity of its SAM team to yield additional advantages, such as the near elimination of Shadow IT
  • Much greater visibility and control over software versions installed across its three networks, enabling EDF to make the most of its perpetual licensing agreements. For example, by ensuring that only software up to that version is installed
  • Developed its SAM team into a Centre of Excellence for the company, with certified specialists now able to take a more proactive approach to license management and tackling audits with ease
  • Pre-packaged all software through a project to standardize all devices to Windows 10, putting an end to the security risks and management challenges of manual installs

The future’s bright for EDF

Looking to the future, EDF plans to maintain its use of SAM Essentials to benefit from our specialist knowledge for its most pressing software publishers, while continuing to grow and nurture additional members of the team towards their goals of becoming certified SAM experts.

Cat Carter, concludes, “License Dashboard has helped us to grow as a team and reach a position where we have strong visibility and control over our software estate. Since working with License Dashboard, we have virtually eliminated Shadow IT, optimized our software costs, and matured into a strong and respected team that delivers value to the company on a daily basis.”

Follow in EDF’s footsteps

Take control of your own software license management now. Get in touch to discover more about our SAM Essentials service.

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