When it comes to software asset management, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out where to start. The BrainShare 2010 session on “Best Practices for IT Asset Management” answered this question and revealed best practices that can help organizations manage their software licenses in a way that reduces overall effort, better uses their existing software assets and saves money.
Where To Start
The first step in software asset management is determining what software assets you have. But when you have hundreds or thousands of applications, a standard inventory report containing a consolidated view of your software data can be overwhelming. On a typical workstation, you might have four or five applications that require license tracking, but standard inventory reports show the application view of all installed applications—even those that don’t requiring tracking. You might have a variety of browsers, messaging clients, readers and more—as well as different instances of .NET and Java that your applications require. Standard inventory reports typically provide more of a technical view into your software assets, one that is geared towards the needs of a helpdesk rather than software license management. As a result, you end up having to plow through a lot of data just to figure out where you stand in terms of license compliance.
Designed to simplify license compliance, Novell ZENworks Asset Management filters inventory data in a way that significantly reduces the number of applications you view when building your license definitions. It does this through its software license view, which acts as both a filter and an extension of the application view. It also facilitates processes and reporting needs specific to the asset management discipline. The software license view excludes applications that don’t have license implications, ignores individual suite components and rolls up different versions of the same software. As a result, the software license view in Novell ZENworks Asset Management can often reduce the number of applications that you have to assess and track by fifty percent. This is the critical first step in software asset management: knowing exactly which applications need to be tracked for license compliance. (See the White Paper “Novell ZENworks: Next-generation Inventory”, for detailed information on Novell recognition technology.
Getting Proof of Ownership