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Asset Management software?

By EMJ65 ·
I'm looking for asset management software the polls domains for networked hardware (that doesn't cost a fortune). We have under 1,000 devices, and do not currently have an asset management procedure in place, which we need for obvious reasons. What does everyone else use for this purpose, and how much did you pay for it initially, and what maintenance costs have you incurred over the time you've used it? I am doing research on my own, but it's always good to hear from those actually using the software. Any information will be appreciated. Thank you.

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Interesting Points

by Tech Exec In reply to Software Usage is importa ...

I agree that software usage is important. It is often the single most significant ROI benefit of an asset management tool.

How does any product determine the difference between an application that is opened by a user habitually as opposed to opened for "actual" use? What is the definition of "actual" use then? That the application gets a work out? How is this tracked?

I am intrigued by your distinction about actual use. Does the product you described also detect software usage from file types other than EXE or COM? How does it do this?

Regarding your final comment, I agree completely that anyone looking into asset management should address software usage. The product I mentioned does track usage, just not down to the minutes. It tracks how often an application creates a running process. Maybe I am missing the point, but I don't see the significance of "actual" usage by comparison.

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"actual" usage vs creating a running process

by dman0215 In reply to Interesting Points

The difference between "actual" usage and usage based on starting a running processes is the activity by the user when the application is in focus. If the user starts the process but spends only a couple of seconds with it in focus (meaning that it is the active window on the screen)means he/she probably is not using the app very much. In addition no keystroke or mouse activity is an indication that the user is not using it very much. Before making judgements there always needs to be input from the customer. The customer may be viewing something using the app as opposed to editing. I was involved in a review of a product that we were looking to upgrade. The current number of deployed users were surveyed and most of them said they used it alot. After reviewing the usage data it was discovered that only a few would be considered power users. The result was that most of the current users could use a "standard" version of the product as opposed to the "professional" version. The cost difference between the two was significant.

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Which tool is tracking mouse/keyboard?

by Tech Exec In reply to "actual" usage vs creatin ...

So... if I read this correctly, you're saying that a tool you have deployed watches keystrokes and/or mouse movement on an application that is in the foreground to ensure that someone is actually using the application. Is that correct?

How does it derive what software is installed or is this monitoring only specific applications? Is it using file header information or a repository of known software or both? Or is it targeted to manage Office or other specific software products?

How much time is spent on analyzing the usage data to determine the difference between how often a product is used and how much someone is mousing or keying in it?

I'm very curious about this as it may be feature functionality that should be considered for future releases of other products I have seen on the market.

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The results speak for themselves

by dman0215 In reply to Which tool is tracking mo ...

While I doubt that the developer will want to disclose to potential competition how he does it, all I can say is that you are correct in your assumptions. The software will monitor any application that creates a window regardless of the manufactureer. My understanding is that the next version will combine usage with discovery. I think that the usage tool could be used with any discovery tool to give a complete software asset mangement picture. If you develop the inputs correctly the analysis of the deployments vs usage should become automatic. As a side note, taking this type of usage information into negotiations with vendors is powerful. They are not use to seeing a customer who understands how much their product is being used as opposed to deployed.

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agentless software usage monitoring

by nanotechsoftware In reply to Software Usage is importa ...

we have an agentless software usage monitoring product that due to its ability to scan at the rate of 250+ nodes per second builds up a usage profile. However it does only monitor running apps. We also monitor file activity in real time (also agentlessly)

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Depends Upon Your Needs & Definitions

by Wayne M. In reply to Make your own

Unfortunately, "Asset Management" is a broadly used term with numerous definitions. What is appropriate for a particular situation depdends on the needs and definitions of each specific organization.

What you have developed may very well be satisfactory for your needs, though I might quibble about the $0 cost. Clearly, the information contained within "asset management" needs to be maintained by someone. I presume this is basically offloaded onto support personnel.

Full asset management covers the entire lifecycle of items, including purchasing, maintenance, and retirement. It can include financial information to and have ties to purchasing, personnel, helpdesk, and security. Clearly, what an organization needs and desires from asset management must precede and any recommendation for build versus buy or any particular product.

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Couldn't Agree More...

by Tech Exec In reply to Depends Upon Your Needs & ...

You are absolutely right on the issue of engaging the business in determining the needs of any asset management process, whether it is manual or automated. The needs of the business should drive the decision(s) to buy or build based on their requirements.

In addition, you are certainly on the money when you note that full lifecycle management should include purchasing, maintenance and retirement of the asset.

My perspective was based solely on the original intention (see origin of discussion) to use spreadsheets to track hardware and software for each end user.

All of the points you make are on target. Usually, once the requirements are clearly defined between IT and the business, processes and procedures should be clearly articulated and oftentimes, more than one software solution may come into play.

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Asset Discovery and Management

by Tech Exec In reply to Asset Management software ...

I would take a look at NetSource Discovery. It seems priced well, from what I've heard and is easy to implement. It discovers all networked hardware (that is visible via TCP/IP) including routers, switches, printers, etc.

They have some good white papers on their site, too. Check them out at:

http://www.netsourceamerica.com/software/netsource-discovery.html

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by bcecelija In reply to Asset Management software ...

We use Asset Management 2005 (http://www.assetmanagesoftware.com/) which doesn't track the assets automatically, but you can get someone to start inputting the data in for all your devices, especially new ones. It's kind of detailed, you can put in PO numbers, warranty details, images, assign it to a person in the organisation, all the serial/part number available etc. You can split the assets into locations, such as rooms etc. We use bar codes on each device, which can be scanned into the software if you use a bar code scanner, we don't bother with that since the bar codes are only 3 digits long.
I think the problem with asset management is that you need a person responsible for it, and it should be updated as often as there are changes, otherwise, you'll be scratching your head, buying things you already have etc. If you want automatic asseting via the network, this isn't for you, but if you want to manually input the data, then it may do the job, and it's cheap too.

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hyperspeed asset management

by nanotechsoftware In reply to Asset Management software ...

We are manufacturers of a solution that does what you are looking for and at a very low cost. Our solution is agentless, unobtrusive and on a network your size will monitor your assets continuously every minute if you wish and send you emailed notifications of changes. natoechsoftware.co.uk

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