Simplified License Management and Cost Savings Empowers M247’s Global Network Expansion

Simplified License Management and Cost Savings Empowers M247’s Global Network Expansion

Executive Summary

As M247 expanded its network presence across major markets, the complexity of managing its Cisco software licenses became a significant challenge. With multiple differing renewal dates and varying prerequisites, contract management became very cumbersome, and the maintenance process grew time-consuming. To address this issue and support M247’s network transformation project, Camworth introduced a Service Provider Network Agreement (SPNA) that instilled confidence in the management of all Cisco licenses and streamlined the licensing process.

Moreover, Camworth identified a stunning 32% cost saving on license renewals over the five-year contract period.

Now, all of M247’s devices efficiently utilise the appropriate licenses, with the flexibility to acquire licenses precisely when needed. By leveraging this ‘On-Demand’ model, Camworth eliminated the requirement for a minimum number of licenses, enabling M247 to scale up cost-effectively as part of its worldwide network transformation.

M247 in Brief

M247, a leading connectivity and cloud services provider, serves over 10,000 clients around the clock. With a network encompassing 7,000 servers connected through 70 strategic data centres in 26 countries, they offer lightning-fast speeds of up to 10GBPS, supporting the growth of businesses worldwide.

As a technology partner for accelerated growth, M247 delivers market-leading connectivity and 5G-enabled services in cloud, hosting, voice, and security. Their award-winning services are known for their transparency and flexibility, perfectly adapting to the pace of change. M247’s team of over 200 experts manage an ultrafast, secure fibre and wireless network, connecting clients from 110 countries to global financial hubs.

The Challenge

M247 embarked on a network transformation initiative aimed at refreshing their legacy Cisco hardware within the UK and internationally. The entire network underwent a ground-up redesign, adopting a Cisco carrier-grade routing platform set to operate for the next five to ten years.

Despite their strategic approach, M247 found itself locked into a rigid license purchasing model, known as the à la carte or flexible consumption model.

This model required them to obtain a minimum number of Right to Use (RTU) software licenses, often irrespective of their actual need. Adding complexity to this situation, different devices in a product family demanded varying minimum licensing requirements, resulting in a surplus of unnecessary licenses and an inefficient procurement process.

Managing and administering the licenses became impossible, given the multitude of contracts with different termination dates, a mix of old and new licenses, and a growing network with hundreds of devices, spanning thousands of ports, varying bandwidths, and unique features—each requiring distinct sets of contracts with differing end dates.

The complexity of the situation became apparent as the IT teams approached the termination dates and grappled with the challenge of confirming which licenses were actually in use and calculating the necessary additional budget for forecasting. It was at this juncture that Camworth approached M247.

“The lack of a clear overview of their license portfolio made budgeting an uphill battle. Chris Beswick, Network Solution Architect at M247, explained,

Without this visibility it made the administration of the network difficult. You’re constantly having to go back to the business to ask for additional funds to renew licenses, which put added strain on team members’ budget and forecasting.”

The resolution necessitated  a comprehensive audit of the license estate and a new approach for managing licenses, releasing additional Capex, and enabling more effective OpEx forecasting.

The Solution

Camworth presented a solution in the form of a Cisco Service Provider Network Agreement (SPNA), tailored specifically for the flexible consumption of Service

Provider technologies but typically reserved for Tier 1 Service Providers.

After constructing a compelling business case on behalf of M247, an agreement was successfully reached with Cisco, granting M247 access to the Cisco SPNA. This agreement promised to streamline the procurement, utilisation, and management of all Cisco software licenses for M247, offering a single termination date, fixed pricing throughout the term, and the flexibility to scale licenses up and down as needed.

The initial step involved an audit conducted by Camworth, providing a unified view of the entire license estate, and serving as the foundation for implementing the SPNA.

After the audit results were delivered, Chris Beswick stated,

“It was clear that we had a significant number of licenses that had either been incorrectly allocated, missing, dual-provisioned, or not provisioned at all. As our NCS product portfolio grew, we were being forced to buy a minimum number of licenses that we might never use. And, with different termination dates on literally thousands of licenses, it quickly became an administrative nightmare.”

Until this point, M247 had spent excessive time trying to predict network license renewal costs, diverting their focus from their core business and network transformation project. The consolidated management overview

of M247’s licensing position offered clarity regarding existing licensing consumption, documented various end dates, and confirmed the correct allocation of licenses.

M247’s traditional licenses were transformed into SPNA licenses, which could be managed within a single Enterprise Agreement workspace (EAWS). The integration of Cisco’s True Forward feature allowed the company to exchange unconsumed licenses, simplifying administration to maintain compliance. On-demand consumption streamlined usage and significantly reduced the time-consuming maintenance and unintentional expiration of licenses. From this point forward, M247 could order routers without being obligated to purchase an excess of licenses, leading to cost reductions and savings on renewals.

Chris Beswick was quick to acknowledge the benefits of the program.

“I recognised the benefit to the program straight away. Camworth has become a trusted partner. They do a thorough job, and you know the work is being done correctly. They take the initiative, ensuring any duplications, issues, or shortfalls are addressed and deal with Cisco on our behalf.”

The Benefits

A Cisco SPNA solution is delivering long-term benefits for M247

“M247 has a fixed commercial agreement in place for the term of the SPNA. Thanks to that price protection, we have realised cost savings somewhere in the region of 30% using this model versus the traditional à la carte model and renewal costs over that five-year term.” Chris Beswick, Network Solution Architect

  • Cost savings Fixed net dollar price for licencing protection during the five-year agreement means significant cost-savings. M247 will save over 30% compared to a la carte licensing over five years.
  • Budget predictability Fixed net dollar price for licensing for the term of the agreement and True Forward billing allowing for accurate forecasting.
  • Simplified software license management A single end date for all software reduces the risk of unintended expiration or duplications.
  • License portability Ability to use licenses held in the pool to fund the purchase of overconsumption elsewhere.
  • Reduced administration Cutting time-consuming manual monitoring also reduces human error.
  • Freedom from minimum license requirements New licenses and functionality can be drawn down as needed.
  • Visibility A single-license management portal shows that all licenses  are accounted for and maintained, enabling accurate forecasting.
  • Engagement with Camworth A reliable and accredited Cisco partner, with over 15 years’ Service Provider experience, proactively finds solutions and deliver costs savings

“It’s less complex. Prior to onboarding with the SPNA if we wanted to upgrade or innovate, we had to worry about the minimum RTU, and SIA license count for a particular device. Now it’s a simple case of buying the hardware that is needed—and then we can draw down the licenses as and when we need to meet that particular requirement.”

Connecting to confidence and clarity

The SPNA solution delivers a transparent and cost-effective method for managing software as M247 expands to network the world’s growing businesses.

“This is the most efficient mechanism to manage and pay for licences. Purchasing routers without ordering a surplus of licences gives us breathing room in our budgets and allows us to use our capital to scale the business. We can now forecast OpEx costs without worry and the benefit of having a trusted partner goes beyond finances,” said Chris Beswick.

As M247 continues to offer a world-beating network, its reliability and transparency with its clients can be matched with confidence in its own software licence estate. The five-year SPNA contract will generate an estimated cost savings of around 30% compared to M247’s previous licensing structure.


Camworth did an extremely thorough job of our audit and ensures that everything is done correctly which is so important to us as it validates and verifies everything we’re delivering. They are a trusted partner.


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