Managing land titles securely and efficiently is critical to the land ownership system in New South Wales. This is the responsibility of NSW Land Registry Services, a private organisation that operates the land titles registry on behalf of the New South Wales Government.
The community, businesses and Government rely on information-based products and services provided by NSW Land Registry Services to manage land, undertake conveyancing, develop property, invest, undertake local planning, deliver state economic development, and undertake historical research.
“In recent years we have invested to enhance the security of the register and enabled digital innovation in the conveyancing and surveying sectors,” says Heidy Liu, Head of Service Delivery, NSW Land Registry Services. “This includes selecting best-in-class suppliers to help us achieve these improvements. Adopting this approach led us to engage Invictus Partners to help manage licensing of the business-critical software we use to deliver our products.”
A move to AWS presented an opportunity for infrastructure optimisation
In 2018 NSW Land Registry Services made the decision to move infrastructure, applications, middleware, and services to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment. The shift from on-premise to cloud created an opportunity for NSW Land Registry Services to negotiate new software contracts.
The organisation’s portfolio of software vendors is substantial. It includes a significant IBM footprint incorporating IBM MQ messaging and queueing middleware, IBM ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) and IBM WebSphere, which provides a backbone for the organisation’s core systems and an online portal used by information brokers, government agencies and the community to conduct searches, undertake lodgements and complete other land title-related activities. A HCL Tech product optimises the digital experience for these stakeholders.
The IBM products and Oracle databases support a core land registry system that operates as the single source of truth for land information and connects via a plugin to the organisation’s SAP system to enable financial processing. The organisation runs its applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) virtual compute instances. The organisation also uses Microsoft Office for workplace productivity and collaboration.
Recommending Invictus Partners to manage software licensing
To transition seamlessly to AWS, NSW Land Registry Services engaged system integrator Versent and asked its team to recommend a partner to address the software licensing ramifications of the shift. The organisation needed a firm that could help it conduct a full review of licences for all enterprise software products in use, including IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Red Hat, HCL Tech and SAP.
Invictus Partners’ experience, expertise and track record of success prompted Versent to introduce NSW Land Registry Services to the licensing advisory firm. “We were extremely impressed with the Invictus Partners team and capabilities and engaged them to assist with the project,” says Heidy.
Cloud move the catalyst for software savings across multiple vendors
The move to AWS required the organisation to ensure existing software licences could easily be transferred to the AWS cloud instance, optimise its licensing structure for AWS and decommission any licences not needed under the new model. Invictus Partners performed a Software Licence Health Check, which included the review of software contracts across the entire portfolio of NSW Land Registry Services’ vendors and assessment of current and future usage requirements against contractual arrangements.
The Health Check demonstrated that NSW Land Registry Services could derive efficiencies from modifying licence arrangements with several vendors. Invictus Partners conducted licence negotiations and cancellations on behalf of NSW Land Registry Services across vendors including IBM, Oracle, and Red Hat and coached the NSW Land Registry Services team to renegotiate telecommunications pricing.
“We’ve worked very closely with Invictus Partners to manage our licensing costs,” explains Heidy. “We turned off a number of products that were no longer relevant to our business when we moved to the cloud, and we are continuing work on a roadmap for those products that remain.”
Driving further value through additional licence engagements
Following the software licence optimisation opportunities presented by the AWS migration project, Invictus Partners has provided ongoing support to NSW Land Registry Services through several licence audits and additional optimisation opportunities including:
Supporting a shift to Microsoft 365
Invictus Partners helped the organisation measure consumption and usage against licensing for Microsoft Office and determine the licensing needed to support the transition to Microsoft 365.
Ongoing IBM Licence Metric Tool (ILMT) support
Invictus Partners applied a managed service model–effectively ILMT as a service–to deliver ongoing support for NSW Land Registry Services’ extensive IBM footprint. This includes monthly monitoring of ILMT results connected to the AWS instance and performing necessary updates and reporting.
Deep knowledge and experience enabled effective IBM and Oracle audit response
NSW Land Registry Services also worked closely with Invictus Partners to prepare for and respond to IBM and Oracle audits, with Invictus Partners’ deep in-house expertise in the vendors’ products helping complete the exercises as seamlessly as possible.
“Invictus Partners includes a number of former senior IBM team members who have extensive knowledge of the vendor’s licensing structure,” says Heidy. “Their help is priceless. We also leaned heavily on Invictus Partners’ knowledge of Oracle licensing to answer questions from the vendor, prepare reports and undertake renewals.”
“Invictus Partners also stepped in to help us purchase additional licences from the vendor and streamline billing cycles, so now we have clear insights into what to do and what to pay.”
Significant savings with Invictus Partners
Working with Invictus Partners to optimise its software licence portfolio has enabled NSW Land Registry Services to achieve significant savings over the first three years, with more anticipated as the relationship matures. The organisation is now finalising a licence structure to support its cloud-first future for key applications and systems, positioning it to adopt a more agile, scalable, and cost-effective IT environment.
“Invictus Partners combines world-class service with deep knowledge of how products from major vendors work,” concludes Heidy. “Its team members go above and beyond to answer our questions, take full ownership, and complete their work to a very high standard. Invictus Partners is now very much a strategic partner to NSW Land Registry Services in licensing management.”