NORVIEW 869 Software Asset Management

squealingmunsterSoftware and s/w Development

Oct 30, 2013 (4 years and 11 months ago)




Software Asset Management

Members discuss software license tracking tools and strategies during
this June 2011
NOREX retains the original, unedited version in order to facilitate future

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*Please note that this is a transcript of an audio conference and it may contain misspellings and grammatical er

The names of participants have been abbreviated, and their organizations have been deleted from this transcript.

License tracki ng methodologies and tools



Hornbill products


IBM Maximo



Investing in an asset management tool



Microsoft licensi ng boot camp






eSmart licensing




NOREX WebForum Transcript

Software Asset Management

June 23, 2011

License tracking methodologies and tools

Starting with
a basic question today from Megan; what methods do others
use and recommend for tracking sof
tware licenses? Megan, what are
you doing now?

Megan B.

Right now, we do not actually have anything in particular that we are doing
currently. We do

have software options that might be coming down the line to us in the
future. But I just wanted to try to get a handle on what some other individuals are doing.

Jan M.

We currently use TrackIT. We have had some issues with Track
It, because I
think we have a more ass
ets than what they intended. So

we have backup
spreadsheets and things, too. We
are hoping

to find time to look at a Dell product called
eSMART. It is a clo
ud program that allows you to track your hardware and your
The only limitation that I can see to that one so far is; it does not allow you to
actually assign licenses to people.
You can see what you have purchased, you can see
what is in use, but

if you come up with a number that is not correct, then you do not
know who was supposed to have it and who was not.

That was eSMART a
sset management from Dell
. They also have a
product called Kace that includes asset management. It has been mentioned at
NOREX events.

Jan M.:
I am not familiar with it.

OK. I looked up some notes from a conv
ersation we had on software asset
management a while back, and someone had brought up Dell KACE as an asset
management or an overall IT management tool that offers some tracking as well.

Jan M.:
Well, it is
very challenging


Diana M.

What version

of Track
It are you using for your asset management?

Jan M.:
We are version 9.

Diana M.:
Version 9, OK. We are running a pretty old version, and we are looking to
upgrade or move into something else.


Jan M.:
We went from 7 to 9. Are you on 7?

Diana M.:
Gosh, I would have to double check. Probably.

Jan M.:
There is a big difference. The new version is a lot more user friendly. I know our
helpdesk people have been having conversations with Numara about

believe it is, which has some

asset management stuff in it, as well. But I do not know
anything them.

All right, thanks, Jan, for that info.
Joe also submitted a topic

asking what
programs or

tools are people using to help manage software licenses

What are you
doing now?

seph V.
Well, we have multiple types of software that we use. It is kind of like we do
not have one program that does everything. I actually have an asset management tool
that I use to track all our equipment, but separately we will track software thro
ugh a
couple different programs.

There is a program called Lansweeper. It is a download. I think it is about $250. But the
issue with that is, it really only scans what has actively been used on your network. So,
you know, we have a lot of external emplo
yees and some other sites. Basically it only
looks at what is logged in since you turned the software on. So it does not really tell you
exactly what everybody has and what you own.


we are really looking for is to try and have something where we can input like the
total of what we own and compare it against what is installed. It has to be something
where you can do a better search than what we currently have. So that is where my
tion was coming from.

Jan M.:
That was one of the reasons why we looked at eSMART. Anytime the user
would connect to the internet, you could set it up so it would automatically audit their
machine. So, both your internal and your external users would get
audited. Because we
are challenged with that now, when we audit our users who are on the network, but yes,
what do you do about all those people that are not?

Joseph V.:
OK, that is great. Because actually, we have another piece of software
called AssetWo
rks. It came with like our helpdesk management tool, but again, it is not
a great tool, because I think it is kind of similar in that it only searches what is on the
network. But it also does not get rid of anything, so you will have everything that ever
as installed on somebody’s machine, anybody that ever logged in on a machine. So it
does not really give you a complete, up
date status of everything.


Jan M.:
Yes, I feel your pain.


Recently a NOREX member recommend a
product from a company cal
ManageEngine. The product i
s AssetExplorer, and it is kind of an all
asset manageme
nt tool, and obviously it can track software
as well. They
were very high on it.

Joseph V.:

You said that is good for all types of asset management.

Yes. It says, AssetExplorer is a co
mprehensive asset management
software that offers enterprise
wide visibility and control to manage all of your IT and
IT assets.

Joseph V.:
That is great.

Topic: Hornbill product

Here is a topic from Cheri
She is asking if anyone is us
ing Service Desk
applications, such as ServiceNow, Hornbill, or

to store software assets.

Joseph V.:
Actually, the AssetWorks program I was t
alking about before is
part of the
Hornbill ticketing program. So it is like a secondary tool that it comes with when you use
Hornbill as your ticketing system for your helpdesk support. Then AssetWorks kind of
populates all the user data that goes along with each individual use

But the only thing I can say is; we are not really that happy with it.
That is why I am
looking into other tools, for the reason I described before. Plus, we just do not like the
way the

ticketing system works.

It is not great for ticketing and they give you a program with it called Asset Works but
that also doesn’t really
it tells you everything that you have but it doesn’t get rid of
anything. So it will tell you everything that you e
ver had and it is not really like a good
read of what is active on your system. I know we have had a lot of problems using it
before and that is why we are looking at something else.

Cherie G.:

I think our top vendor right now is SysAid but a lot of thes
e tools seem to
have the capability of graphing and showing relationships between software. The
demos always look better. I just wondered if anybody had any real luck with porting data
into and then seeing a real asset management ____ for anyone.


Yes, that is what we are looking to do. I don’t have one but maybe
somebody else does. (no response)


Apparently not on the call today. Cherie, let’s follow up with you on this and
see if we can find some folks.



Topic: IBM

Amy J.

Does anyone use Maximo?
That is what we are starting to implement and we
are actually already managing some hard assets such as inventory and different things
using Maximo. So we are going to try to adopt that to also control our software.
It is not
set up necessarily for that. I was just wondering if

else had used Maximo as
their asset management system and use

it for software.

That is IBM’s asset management solution? So it handles obviously more
than software.

Amy J.:

Yes. Actually it primarily is like a work order system.


It appears nobody on the call today is using Maximo. We will check the
rest of the membership and find somebody who can help.

Amy J.:
Thank you.

Topic: Investing in an asset
management tool

Jeff T.

I have got a question for the group. Does anyone have and are you willing to
share what they believe was a solid business case to justify investment in an asset
management tool?


We wish we did.

Jeff T.:

Me too!


Yes, because they are pretty pricey. We have looked at

and some
of the big ones. None of it is cheap and I think it is truly one of those

of things
where you get what you pay for. I know we have found with Track IT that Track IT was
an inexpensive solution when we bought it back in 2005 but we have had issues and
continue to have issues with it.

So like I said you get what you pay for som
etimes. Certain organizations just don’t see
the value but when you get audited, which we are in the process of finishing up an IBM
audit, it can be pricey.

Pam P


just went through an IBM
audit and I have been trying to get
management to und
erstand that we needed a good asset management tool for our
software and it actually was what pushed it to be in the forefront. So it is probably the
only case that you can use is taking information from an audit and providing that

upper management to g
et them online to say that this is some
ing that we have to
have, regardless of what the expense is. You are going to get what you pay for.


I think one of the biggest challenges that we all face is that licensing is not just
like one license one person or one license one device anymore. There are also

scenarios that they use for licensing where it is not an easy thing to put

a t
ool even
and make it understandable. That is what we found in our IBM audit was that


things that just were, you get into value units rather than

of devices or users
and trying

put that information int

a tool and make it make sense

is challenging.

Jeff T.

I know exactly what you are talking about. We just went through all

because we are looking at doing a Citrix environment. I must have had ten different
calls with
Microsoft and Adobe people trying

figure out what type

of licenses you
need to own in order to be legal when you are going to VM. It all gets different. Now if
you have 20 people log into one VM how do you license that if it is not a server license
or something? Actually the way it works is the number of peop
le that connect is the
exact number of licenses that you need. So even though you might only physically have
to install one license you need to own enough licenses to co
ver all of the people in your

Topic: Microsoft licensing boot camp

Jan M.:
hat is right. I am going next week to a Microsoft boot camp in Seattle.
It is a
day event. I went to it last year. It is put on by a company called Direction

Microsoft. Their sole purpose in being is to explain Microsoft licensing. So one of my
mary goa
s is to really learn the VDI stuff this time because a
ear and a half ago
when I was there we really weren’t into VDI yet. So now it is kind of like you have got to
understand all

the nuances of how all of that stuff works.

What is the cost for attending that two day session?

Jan M.:
I get a discounted rate because I am an alumni but I think it was about two
grand. They have

another one coming up in October in Florida and it is like on the
Universal Studios property. It is a little more expensive because they

the cost of
the room in the price. The name of the company is called Directions on
. If you
go to the
ir website they have a

of good information. In fact because I went to their
boot camp last year they discounted my subscription. On their website they put

they send written materials on Microsoft on what is going on. They really write in great

hen you are back from that class do you suppose we could schedule
another webinar and pick your brain a little bit or is that a non
disclosure thing?

Jan M.:
No, n
t at all. It is two days. In fact they just sent me the agenda yesterda
y. I
remember last year
n I went I was really dead tired at the end of the day. There are
a lot of people asking a lot of good questions and there was everybody from people who
knew nothing in the room

people like me

have been working with this s
tuff for
years and still are challenged by it.



Who are these folks? Are they former Microsoft


Jan M.:
Some of them are.


I have heard that Microsoft keeps their licensing extremely complicated on
purpose. Is that true, do you think?

Jan M.:
I don’t know. I think coming into the virtual world and the multi processors and
all of this stuff, they want to get

money. It u
sed to be a server license. Well now
servers have multiple processors. Well now sometimes they do it by processor. There
are so many different littl
e things now that they would lo
se a lot of money if they didn’t
change their licensing.


Well J
an we may get a hold of you afterwards. When is that?

Jan M.:
I go next week.



see if we can do a follow up to this session and focus more on
Microsoft licensing if that would be OK. Jeff, we can certainly check with our other
members. Y
ou guys are pretty large. Let us check with some of our larger members and
see if we can find a business case that you

. I know they are out there
somewhere. We have had some good

on this. A lot of them have built it
around the
argument of what if we get audited.

How do the rest of you feel about
having another session in the near future and just drilling down into Microsoft period?


I think that would be great.


That definitely would be of benefit.

Amy J.:
think that is a good idea.


We will do that then. (schedule

for July 7, 2011)

Topic: Altiris


All right, I have a chat

from Megan. Has anyone had experience
with the Symantec Altiris asset management piece? Is anybody on t
he call using Altiris
for asset management?



Yes, we use Altiris currently

other tracking but we

branched out
into the asset management piece at this point in time. I was curious if anybody had any

Amy J.:
We do use Altiri
s for some asset management as far as polling machines to
see what licensing is out there and stuff. We primarily use Altiris for patch management.
I am sorry I am not very close to how it is used. I do know that we use parts of Altiris.



ody in your company might be a good resource for Megan.

Amy J.:
Yes, there are people who actually know how it works! I just know that we use

Topic: eSmart licensing

seph V.

I had a quick follow up about
. Do you have a ballpark around what
it costs or how they license it?



t is licensed per user and I know when we first kind of looked at it (I have
gotten so far away from it) it was probably about a year and a half ago. We were just
only looking

at doing our people in the field. It seemed to me like
I think we gave them a
number of 75 people and they gave me a cost of about $1500 a year or something.

Joseph V.:

That is not too bad. I know certain things like Altiris was like eight grand
when I w
as looking at it.

Jan M.:

You know we looked at Altiris a cou
le of times and it is just outrageously

Joseph V.:

It does way more than you need.

Jan M.:

Yes, exactly. We are a company of about 800.

Joseph V.:

That is where we are. OK,

Jan M.:

I think it is a good product. Like I said the one thing that we really kind of like to
have is knowing who is licensed for what. That way when you get out of compliance you
can go; OK where did it go wrong.

Joseph V.:

You said that Dell o
wns that right?

Jan M.:

Yes. That is a Dell product. If you have a Dell account rep just call them and
they can help.

End of discussion

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