“We  saved 3 months effort in project costs & collected all the data  to kick off our modern office program”

Taz Snell, Head of IT Applications  |  penguin random house Australia


Better Data

Better Decisions


Customer Experience




Penguin Random House Australia is the local arm of Penguin Random House employing more than 10,000 people globally across five continents. It comprises almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.



  • 5,000 business applications
  • Value realised within 4 days
  • 3 months project costs and time saved



Penguin Random House have historically operated an 'open' PC environment meaning there was the minimal restriction to installing applications or modifying system configurations. Whilst this freedom is great for personalisation, it brings with it significant IT support costs, software licensing challenges and information security risks. As part of their Modern Office program, Penguin Random House plans to deliver a new Windows 10 managed operating environment with an optimised set of standard business applications at its core - addressing these challenges of the previous operating model.

In order to establish an understanding of which applications are key to which business users, Penguin Random House interviewed Project Managers and Businesses Analysts with a view to conducting a 3 month business application assessment. The outcome of this assessment was to determine who uses which software, when, and for what purpose across some 5,000 individual software applications.


Insightcentr was presented as an alternative approach to Penguin Random House's application assessment challenge. Being an automated data gathering tool, it solves:

  • Who's using what - current user information is captured along with the specific application in use - whether installed on the PC or run out of a browser (like cloud software)
  • When are they using it - data is sampled continuously giving breakdown and trends of usage over the course of days, weeks or even months - very handy to capture those critical end-of-month/end-of-quarter tool sets which may not be used every day
  • For what purpose - Insightcentr can inspect deeply to determine which documents are being used, or which departments are using which apps

Better still, there are no interruptions to business users asking them to fill out surveys, and completely eliminates human error in estimating timing or frequency of usage.


Immediately after signing the contract, the Penguin Random House team rolled out Insightcentr to a handful of IT users for technical assessment, and then the following day rolled it out to the broader business. Only 4 days later, valuable usage insights were already flowing in from across the organisation.

The total technical effort to implement Insightcentr across the organisation was less than one day - and that included both agent installation as well as walking through the reporting in Power BI.


Outside the Modern Office program, Penguin Random House can use the data collected by Insightcentr in a range of different ways - measuring the benefit of the new operating environment, providing productivity measures for technology business cases and ensuring licensing compliance and ROI on software investment.


“A surprising discovery  was the overnight screen saver time. Now we can implement better policies & save energy costs.”

Taz Snell, Head of IT Applications  | peguin random house Australia