Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Jeff Kelsey

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Six Takeaways From Microsoft Licensing Boot Camp You Can’t Afford to Ignore

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Are you having trouble keeping up with Microsoft’s obscure and ever-changing EULAs? If the answer is “yes,” you’re apparently not alone. Companies and consultants offering Microsoft license training are cropping up by the dozen, offering multiple-day classes and two-inch thick handbooks intended to untangle the software giant’s labyrinth of licensing policies. Because it’s my job to understand the world in...

Creating an Effective—And Realistic—Software Usage Policy

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In the IT world, we tend to view end users as an occupational hazard—a perilous yet inescapable part of our jobs. After all, it seems employees will install just about any application they can get their hands on without regard for the potential licensing implications, compatibility issues, security holes, or bandwidth consumption.But who can blame them? They’re trying to do...

Microsoft SCCM Users Report Significant Challenges with Software License Management

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A couple weeks ago we hosted a webinar related to our asset management offering that turns SCCM’s software inventory data into reliable, license-centric reports. When the webinar drew to a close, we asked attendees to participate in a survey designed to gauge their degree of success using SCCM to manage their software licenses. The results closely mirror what we consistently...

Three Software Identification Methodologies – Understanding the Pros and Cons

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We often field questions from prospective customers about the different methodologies that can be used for software identification, along with their relative advantages and disadvantages, so I thought it might be helpful to devote a blog post to the topic. First of all, why is accurate software identification important? Well, without it, it’s virtually impossible to effectively manage your organization’s...

Few Technology Options for License Management in Citrix Environments

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In the most recent post in our blog series, “Managing Licenses in a Citrix Environment,” our marketing director, Debra Brandt, discussed the challenges related to antiquated per-device license models that don’t map logically to a user-centric application delivery approach made possible via Citrix implementations. Using the Citrix software delivery model, applications are installed on one or more Citrix servers, then...

The Real Scoop On Agent-Based IT Asset Management Technology (Part 2 of 4)

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This post is part 2 of 4 of a series of articles addressing many of the common misconceptions associated with agent-based asset management solutions. The four parts to the series are as follows: Intro: The Great Debate Agent Deployment Data Collection Network and End-User Impact Part 2: Agent Deployment One reason computer inventory agents have developed a reputation for being...

Managing Software Licenses in Citrix/WTS Environments

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Finding the right software license management technology is hard enough. It’s even more challenging if your network environment includes servers running Citrix or Windows Terminal Server (WTS), as precious few tools provide usage statistics or management capabilities for applications delivered through these platforms. To manage software in a Citrix or WTS environment, you need technology that collects software usage data...

End of Microsoft Fiscal Year Presents Opportunity to Get Licensing in Order

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For most companies, June marks the month that the window for license negotiations close before Microsoft’s fiscal year ends. Microsoft account reps are working around the clock to book every last dollar of revenue by June 30th, and many organizations, without adequate foresight and preparation, wind up getting locked into license agreements that aren’t in their best interests. So what...

Security and Software Asset Management: Application Insight Adds New Layer of Network Protection

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Network security has topped the enterprise IT priority list ever since networked computers hit the mainstream, and for good reason. Today even the smallest network is under threat from botnets, hacking, Trojans, denial of service attacks and information leakage. Malicious or criminal attacks, the most expensive cause of data breaches, are on the rise, and the consequences of poor network...

Wow, I just read the Microsoft Product Use Rights Document…

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Since the release of Windows 8 RT, a number of articles and discussions have “Surfaced” (sorry, couldn’t resist!) related to Microsoft’s introduction of licensing rules that make it less expensive to run Windows 8 RT on Windows “companion” devices versus non-Windows devices such as iPads, iPhones, Androids, etc. As a result, I set off to read the Microsoft Licensing information.

IT Purchasing System Now Shipping With Express Software Manager

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We’re pleased to announce that Express Software Manager Version 9.5 is now available! Current customers have already received the new release and the feedback so far has been phenomenal! The principal feature in Version 9.5 is the introduction of an IT purchasing system that will transform your ability to track and manage all the details related to your hardware and...

Express Software Manager Version 9.6 Now Available

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With the beginning of the new year, we are pleased to announce the release of Express Software Manager Version 9.6! This release includes two primary new features: Inventory support for Mac OS. Express Software Manager now offers an inventory client for Mac OS machines. With the Express Mac Client, you can collect basic hardware and software inventory data. This represents...

SMBs Historically Underserved by Software Asset Management Tools (Part 1 of 2)

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Small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t have it particularly easy when it comes to implementing IT solutions; they’re cursed by their need for capabilities similar in sophistication to those delivered by larger enterprise-oriented solutions. However, because of their smaller size, they generally can’t dedicate the same level of resources, whether financial or human, to investing in and managing complex framework...

Express Software Manager Now Accepts Inventory Feeds from SCCM

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For those of you who may have noticed a lack of blog entries over the past month, we’ve been very busy working on some exciting product enhancements! Today we’re pleased to announce that Express Software Manager now accepts inventory feeds from Microsoft SCCM, enabling IT staff to leverage their SCCM implementations for more effective oversight of and management of their hardware...

The Real Scoop On Agent-Based IT Asset Management Technology (Part 1 of 4)

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This post is part 1 of 4 of a series of articles addressing many of the common misconceptions associated with agent-based asset management solutions. The four parts to the series are as follows: Intro: The Great Debate Agent Deployment Data Collection Network and End-User Impact Part 1: The Great Debate Having read (and responded to) comments to Martin Thompson’s recent...

SMBs Historically Underserved by Software Asset Management Tools (Part 2 of 2)

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This is the second of two posts related to the challenges SMBs often encounter finding asset management software that matches their functional requirements, resource limitations, and budgets. You can read the first post in the series here. In this post I’ll explore five functional areas where SMBs have been underserved both by large, enterprise-oriented suites, as well as by the...

The Real Scoop on Agent-Based IT Asset Management Technology (Part 3 of 4)

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This post is part 3 of 4 of a series of articles addressing many of the common misconceptions associated with agent-based asset management solutions. The four parts in this series are: Intro: The Great Debate Agent Deployment Data Collection Network and End-User Impact Part 3: Data Collection Another misconception we occasionally hear is that agent-less solutions can scan and collect...

Software Asset Management Technology: Suites vs. Point Products

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In one corner we have the “do-everything” enterprise asset management suite that competes based on its heavyweight status—dripping with functionality and desktop management features that accompany its software license management capabilities. In the other corner we have the slender, agile point product that delivers swift punches with a narrower set of capabilities. So who wins the match? I will start...

Preparing For Your Windows 7 Migration with Express Software Manager

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If you’re an Express Metrix customer planning to upgrade to Windows 7, don’t forget that Express Software Manager has rich hardware and software asset management functionality that will help you plan, budget for, and manage your migration. One principal area of focus for your pre-migration planning relates to determining which of your existing applications will work with the new OS,...

Top 10 Road Hazards on Popular Seattle Bike Commuter Routes

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With the recent wrap-up of National Bike to Work Month, I thought it would be useful–if not my civic duty–to compile a list of the top road hazards or problem areas reported by our employees on popular Seattle bike routes. With over half of our Seattle work force participating in Bike to Work Month, we developed a pretty exhaustive list,...

Express Software Manager End-User Review

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This just in: One of our customers recently completed a product review of our asset management software, Express Software Manager, version 9.0. The evaluation was submitted to the ITAM Review and is, according to Martin Thompson, the highest end-user score received to date (90%). Terrific! The end-user customer is an environmental engineering firm with an estate size of roughly 580...

Three Technology “Gotchas” That Can Derail Your License Management Efforts

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We all know that relying too heavily on technology can be perilous. And while most IT pros recognize that software asset management tools in and of themselves don’t represent a “silver bullet” for managing one’s license position, they generally have a long way to go toward establishing, communicating, and enforcing the SAM processes necessary to address the gaps inherent in...

The Real Scoop on Agent-Based IT Asset Management Technology (Part 4 of 4)

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This is the final post in my blog series addressing the many myths and misconceptions about agent-based IT asset management technology. The four parts to the series are as follows: Intro: The Great Debate Agent Deployment Data Collection Network and End-User Impact Part 4: Network and End-User Impact Another common fallacy about agent-based technologies is that they create a significant...

Sneak Preview of Express Software Manager, Version 9.5

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With the start of a new year, I thought I’d provide a sneak preview of the kinds of enhancements you can expect to find in the 2010 release of our software and hardware asset management solution, Express Software Manager. We believe our current and prospective customers will be thrilled with Version 9.5, expected to ship in Q2 of this year.

Making the Case for a Dedicated Software Asset Management Tool in Your Organization

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IT managers are faced with tough decisions when it comes to software license compliance. The more diverse the business environment, the more complex the organizational challenges they face as they attempt to implement software asset management policies across an entire organization. The typical organization employs many dozens, if not hundreds, of software titles, and IT is expected to manage all...

Top Three Signs Your IT Department Isn’t Keeping Pace

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The good news is that your company is firing on all cylinders. Growing revenue means the business is investing in additional staff, product development, sales and marketing, and, very likely, new hardware and software to support it all. But inevitably, rapid growth can strain various aspects of the business as they struggle to align with shifts in strategy, more aggressive...

Use Express Software Manager To Gain Help Desk Advantage

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We’re always interested in hearing different ways our customers use Express Software Manager’s computer inventory and software metering reports to make their jobs easier. And believe me, over the last couple of years as budgets have been stretched thin, our end-users have been especially creative in identifying alternative uses. The one we most commonly hear is to aid in the...

January Report of the Month: Am I Compliant?

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Happy New Year from all of us at Express Metrix! We hope you had a terrific holiday. As I think about our blogging efforts in 2011, I’d like to address some of the suggestions we’ve received from customers to incorporate more product-centric content into our posts. To that end, I’m happy to introduce a new blog series which will feature...

The Apptria Software Catalog Will Power Numara Software’s Application Recognition

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When asked about our company’s products, most people immediately think of Express Software Manager®, our flagship product offered to businesses for IT asset inventory, software usage, and license reporting. What many (including our long-standing customers) don’t realize is that we also separately license our software catalog, one of the key components of Express Software Manager, to a very different “customer”—asset...

Sneak Preview of Express Software Manager Version 10

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With spring in the air and summer right around the corner, now seems like the perfect time to share bit about what you can expect in the summer release of Express Software Manager: Version 10! As always, we decided what to include in this release based on a combination of both current customer wishes and prospective customer feedback, and we...

Express Software Manager Version 10.2 is Now Available!

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We are pleased to announce that Express Software Manager Version 10.2 is now available! This newest release of Express Software Manager introduces enhancements within Express Purchasing that allow organizations to segment purchasing data based on organizational structure. When enabled, users are only able to view and edit Express Purchasing data that’s part of their “access profile.” To support this new...

Sneak Preview: Express Software Manager Version 10.2

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For those of you anxiously awaiting the next release of Express Software Manager, due out this spring, the official list of new features is published below. As always, we’ll be introducing some new reports, but the features central to this release will be found within the Express Purchasing Console. Specifically, we are implementing “access profiles” designed to allow organizations to...

Express Software Manager Version 10 is Here!

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We’re taking to all the channels to let our existing and prospective customers know that Version 10 of Express Software Manager is here! As always, we are very excited about this release and hope it delivers on our continued promise to help our customers effectively manage their IT assets. After all, every improvement to the product is driven by feedback...