BigFix on Jan. 13 announced the general availability of its new software asset management solution, Decision Support System – Software Asset Management.
The company specializes in high-performance enterprise systems and security management solutions, according to Jeff Spitulnik, director of product management at BigFix, and BigFix DSS SAM leverages the BigFix unified management platform to bring deep, continuous visibility and automation to software asset management, enabling enterprises to manage software licenses, deployment and usage with greater speed and accuracy than other approaches.
Indeed, by bringing new levels of visibility and efficiency to software asset management, DSS SAM can help enterprises cut IT costs stemming from unused software licenses, license misallocations, rogue and nonstandard software installations, software under-licensing penalties, and expensive software audit and true-up processes, Spitulnik said.
“We pride ourselves on the visibility and accuracy of the data we deliver,” he told eWEEK. “With a tool like DSS SAM you can get extreme visibility into all your endpoints, and you can turn software asset management from a difficult activity to an everyday activity.”
Case in point, Spitulnik said, is that during the beta process for the DSS SAM solution, an early adopter customer in the financial services sector took on DSS SAM as part of what was scheduled to be a 90-day activity to review all of their IBM software licenses. After a two-week period to install and get acquainted with the BigFix software, the customer was able to “reduce a 90-day activity down to a 10-minute process to produce a report. And they had 89,000 computers,” Spitulnik said.
Audits Coming: Be on the Offensive
Moreover, with the recession, “we’re seeing more vendors do audits,” he said. “We allow our customers to be on the offensive when it comes to audits.”
Once installed, “DSS SAM is always on, and inventory is always being collected and constantly updated,” Spitulnik said.
Indeed, BigFix DSS SAM continuously reports detailed information on all system and application software installed on servers, PCs, mobile computers and virtual images in infrastructures ranging from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of managed systems. BigFix DSS SAM also integrates a wealth of sophisticated analytical tools that track license utilization, costs and compliance with license terms and conditions.
In addition, BigFix DSS SAM delivers several key elements in software asset management technology, including:
a software asset inventory tool;
a software identification catalog with a customizable database of over 15,000 software titles, from which customers can monitor installation and usage compliance;
a contracts module;
computer attributes reporting; and
role-based, user-friendly report access.
“Studies indicate that companies misspend an average of 30 percent on software licenses and maintenance,” Spitulnik said in a statement. “With approximately 38 percent of IT budgets directly attributable to software applications, this can be a huge waste of money. Furthermore, IT managers have learned to dread the software vendor -gotcha’ game that kicks off at license renewals and true-ups.
“BigFix DSS SAM revolutionizes software management by giving the IT department and asset managers comprehensive visibility and control over software assets throughout the enterprise-even on mobile endpoints. The key here is that we have transformed the software asset management process from a labor-intensive -special project’ to a routine status monitoring and adjustment activity.”
During economic downturns, software vendors may try to make up for lost revenue by auditing their customers. So, software customers need to be proactive about software license compliance, according to Patricia Adams, research director at industry analyst firm Gartner. “To do this, IT organizations need cost-effective means to gain visibility into installed software asset inventories,” Adams said in a statement. “These tools should be used to actively manage software inventories and spending. Enterprises require up-to-date inventory counts, usage analyses, comprehensive software catalogs [and] license compliance measurements all supported by low-cost, easy-to-use tools to perform these functions.”
DSS SAM is available in a bundle with the BigFix SLM (Systems Lifecycle Management) pack, which includes patch management, power management, remote desktop for Windows, software distribution, software inventory, software usage monitoring and asset discovery for $20 per desktop or mobile computing device, $52 per Windows Server, and $84 per Unix/Linux/Mac server. DSS SAM is also available a la carte at $10 per endpoint and as an add-on to existing BigFix SLM or Asset Management customers for $4 per endpoint.