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How do you manage software licenses?

By jdclyde ·
What do you guys do to manage software licenses?

Is there documentation you give your employees explaining the company policy?

We're doing a software audit for the site right now and I need to put something together to "educate" the staff on why we're doing this and the ramifications of this not being done.

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How about MvPCinfo & MvPCbase

by name holdout In reply to And the topic was ...

MvPCinfo will inventory everything on the computer including internet sites visited, serial numbers for all software. I bought the personal edition for $49 and it can be installed on a server and runs silently in the background when users log on. It runs on Windows 95 and newer, also can be run from a floppy, memory stick, thumb drive, floppy disk and accross the network.

MvPCbase is the data base management for MvPCinfo. It imports the saved text files and allows you to manage all of the data to include exporting to Excel or a txt file. I have been using it for years and it is excellent. I paid $129 for the personal version.

An added benefit is you have two years of free updates when purchased.

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by cwm In reply to good enough

I'm in a nightmare at the moment. Just started at a new job and I have so many problems. The company is going through an audit by the software police. Well I am the poor sucker that gets to find licenses. Its been fun to say the least. At one time the it manager thought that Microsoft action packs counted as legal licensing to use on a daily basis. That has been fixed but still a mess to finish cleaning up trying to find everything along the way along with digging through years of invoices, purveyors and such. Next time I?m turning around and running.

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by Software Guy In reply to freaks

Ouch! Too bad! I guess I am lucky that I deal primarily with software resellers. They track all of our licenses for us (I still track them myself, but I can go back to them for reporting).

Once you are all complient, it might be worth a look into. It doesn't cost any more - we actually get a much better deal than we would purchasing it directly from the vendor, for the most part.

I deal with Softchoice, but there are other software resellers out there as well. The important thing to do is stick with one vendor so that the tracking is consistant.

Good luck!

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If were talking about Windows Licenses on an MS domain <spit>

by mjwx In reply to How do you manage softwar ...

A good tool to use is MS SMS (system management service I think), or the commercial version of belarc advisor. I haven?t actually used either of these tools but I've seen the commercial version of belarc (I've forgotten it's name) in action and it looks good and gives a pretty good list of what?s installed on the machine, what?s in it and all MS license keys. I've been told SMS it similar (and cheaper with an MSDN or similar agreement)

The client can be silently installed without the users even needing to know about it, say using the login script.

As for telling the users, reinforce the impression that the IT dept is god :) . More seriously it depends on the user?s level of understanding. If they know a lot about business or IT then all you need to tell them is you need to keep track of what software is installed they will understand the business motivations of an audit. If they are not then I find scare tactics work well (I'm sure you're creative enough to fill the rest in), if you talk to idiots you better speak idiotese.

BTW JD, terribly sorry to drag this discussion on topic :) but in my defence I'll happily waffle on about atheism, Islam, Israel, gun laws and oil prices.

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Well, I sometimes

by jdclyde In reply to If were talking about Win ...

get silly and actually do discuss tech related topics. I just try to keep it to a minimum, don'tchaknow?

I have used the Belarc stand-alone free version, but not the commercial version. Will have to see what they have to offer!

Right now the only waffles I want will have syrup on them!

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Here is some of the software i have looked at ...

by iklm In reply to How do you manage softwar ...

I am in the beginning phase of an assessment of the hardware and software for my company and have done a lot of looking. Money is a issue, so i have probably focused on the cheaper end of the market.
Looks very good but a little too expensive for me. However, it uses WMI which i have had no end of trouble with.
I used this with my previous employer. It was quite good. Installs a small client on workstations to do the scan.
I use a logon script to run a small exe that scans workstation and reports results to a management station running a service and MS SQL Express. There is a basic web-based front end for browsing the results. If you want to run queries you will need to design yourself. I think there is also a commercial version with more bells and whistles. You will need to add your own stuff to track licenses and compare to installed software.
Free for max 25 workstations. Annual subscription for more than this. Uses WMI to scan workstations. I had all sorts of problems with this until i gave up.
There is a free version for 100 workstations, i think. Interface needs a lot of improvement. I am still considering this but am really finding it hard to get past the interface. Commercial version offers more features. But would you pay for the interface! will soon be replaced by ...

If you search for 'inventory' you will find a number of tools.

There are also numerous commercial applications out there. Some will even report how often an application is used etc. It just depends on how much money you are willing to spend.

I will probably settle with lansweeper for the moment and roll my own queries to compare licenses to installed software.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks for the post!

by jdclyde In reply to Here is some of the softw ...

but for the record, the first one, Trackit by intuit is what we currently have, and I can't get off of it soon enough.

Product is poor, and support is worse.

Will look into the rest. Thanks again.

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TrackIT - good for newbies

by gdh19701 In reply to Thanks for the post!

I looked in to TrackIT, and found that it wasn't customizable,
even for their module that lets you actual "TRACK" support
requests. I agree with the other poster who indicated that it was
too expensive for what solution it was supposed to offer. But
for smaller companies or for newbie IT folk, it's a good start.
Again, tho', too expensive for what its supposed to do.

Then there's alway the route of an ASP, who can code what you
want in to the help desk, provide email alerts, etc., but now you
are talking development requirements and costs - about the
same price as TrackIT Pro/Enterprise, but requiring an annual
maintenance contract.

If it doesn't cover everything you need or want, or at least 80% of
that, "out of the box", it probably isn't worth investing the
money to acquire it, and is likely better for you to keep looking
for something that does.

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DRAFT Software Compliance Policy and other free whitepapers

by SentryWatch In reply to How do you manage softwar ...

PCProfile at offers the following free whitepapers that might be helpful as a 1.4MB zipped file of the feature articles as listed below, free of charge!

- Who is liable for software piracy?
- DRAFT Software Compliance Policy
- Governance Issues
- We Dont_Care_How_Much_They_Lose_Due_to_Piracy!
- Licensing FAQ
- Software Compliance Audit Task Template
- Copyright Code of Practice
- What is an Anton Pillar order?
- Why Do Staff Install Software To Your Systems Without Authorization?
- A simple model for an anti-piracy action at 80percent compliance level
- Management Dilemma of Software Compliance Auditing
- Risks of being caught with illegal software
- What steps are necessary when looking at the big picture?
- Stolen_is_a_strong_word_for_piracy
- 1st Principles
- Audit tools viewpoint
- Court orders and injunctions

Given that the fines being announced $US2M so far in USA and GBP 1.4M) are increasing in line with the reward schemes it might be very useful for organizations that have no idea what is going on, then this is a very timely reminder worthy of announcement to your managemnt to wake them up to their complacency!

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Other products

by razz2 In reply to How do you manage softwar ...

I have tested so many trying to find one I liked and they all have
some but not other features. I have tried Centennial Discovery
and Alloy Asset Navigator and enjoyed them in their demo
mode, but has anyone used them for real? Altiris is so much
more then I wanted and the alloy has integrated Help Desk.

Is anyone using a full Asset and License Complience Package?

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