A new concept of Best Practice in Software Asset Management with Vector Asset Manager Pro

By Colin Bartram, Director of Technology, Vector Networks (Page 5 of 7)

Setup and Discovery Phase

License Requirements

The Application Package Policy Manager provides a very simple method of defining who in your organisation should have, or must have, or must NOT have, selected applications. A Policy is a combination of one or more ‘Packages’ (Applications) with any selection of individual PCs or PC Groups.

  • Policies can be defined from a PC Group perspective – for example listing the standard applications you would expect to have installed on all the PCs in the Admin department.
  • Policies can be defined from an application perspective – for example listing all the Groups of PCs that you would expect to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.
  • Policies are very flexible, can be defined incrementally, and can overlap; Enterprise works out all the duplications.

Try defining a Virus Protection Policy that specifies the correct version of your virus scanner as a Mandatory app. Run the PPM Analysis, and then review the Compliance View for Missing Mandatory Apps.

It is important to realise that PPM can be exploited very easily, even if just for a few applications. It is not necessary to totally define the organisation's software requirements. Policies can be modified and updated at any time.

Licence Ownership

The Licence and Maintenance Recording module records quantity and price details that enable organizations to –

  • Summarize the value of their licensed software assets
  • Summarize the costs of standard Department configurations
  • Project maintenance expenditures by Department or OU
  • Identify cash wasted through maintenance of unused copies of software
  • Associate specific purchases of licenses with specific groups of PCs or Package Policies

This information is available to through the Asset Reporting Portal.

Application Inventory

Top quality inventory is an absolute requirement for successful management and optimisation of software assets.

  • Beware inventory products that produce a huge, disorganised list of PC executables. This information can be useful in some situations, but it is of little value for managing software assets.

The requirement is inventory data that is –

  • Comprehensive
  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Relevant

The Inventory capability in Asset Manager Pro is rated by independent testing as the most accurate and concise among the main players in PC Management Suites. Several features combine to produce this performance –

  • A powerful rules-based ‘Confirmed’ recognition methodology for known applications stored in the Applications Library, supplemented by –
  • Use of VersionInfo to generate ‘Provisional’ recognition of applications not yet in the Library, with
  • Interrogation of the Add/Remove Programs Registry.
  • Wizard technology to create recognition rules in the Applications Library and convert Provisional recognitions into Confirmed Recognitions
  • Sophisticated ‘exclude’ algorithms that reduce noise in the results from insignificant software components
  • Suite and Suite component recognition, customisable to the way you want to work.
  • A ‘Hidden’ property that can be applied to selected applications to exclude them from reports.

Application Asset Usage

AM Pro captures the detail of the time for which an application is in the Window in focus at the desktop. This means that the information provided gets much closer to representing true usage of each application. Metering products which report the time period between the start and end times for each application are ignoring the fact that many apps, once opened, are left open but inactive until the PC is turned off at the end of the day, or week.

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