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

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 process of troubleshooting issues on remote PCs. While we certainly don’t claim to be a dedicated help desk tool, customers often provide access to Express Software Manager’s reports to their technical support staff. Here are a couple of common issues our users are able to identify and tackle using Express Software Manager’s IT asset reporting.

Application Conflicts

Let’s suppose Mary in Marketing calls the help desk reporting that her PC is locking up on occasion. You recently learned that a newly deployed CRM application has a conflict with Windows Messenger. By viewing Express Software Manager’s software usage reports, you can see exactly what’s running on Mary’s computer at that moment in time. Indeed, you see that she is simultaneously running the new application and Windows Messenger; mystery solved!

On a related note, in Version 9.5, due out in Q2 of this year, we’ll introduce a new PC inventory feature that allows you to query all your PCs for specific application combinations. For example, you can locate all machines to that have both Application X and Application Y installed. You then have the opportunity to discover and resolve application conflicts before they become a real problem.

Operating System Bloat

Wally Web Developer calls the service desk saying his computer is sluggish. He doesn’t appear to be running any apps that present a conflict, but you notice from Express Software Manager’s hardware asset management reports that Wally’s machine is almost out of disk space. You run a “What’s Changed” report to see what Wally has installed since the last time a baseline network inventory was performed. As it turns out, he has installed several full-featured evaluation copies of graphic design software, as well as 120 GB of MP3 files. You advise Wally to remove the MP3 files to free up disk space, and remind him that personal MP3 files should not be stored in the company environment; disaster averted!

In my next post, I’ll discuss some of the ways Express Software Manager can assist with preparing for technology migrations. In the meantime, if you have unique ways of using Express Software Manager, please let us know.