Independent of whichever SAM tool that you select, there are certain principles you can follow to ensure that you have a successful software asset management tool implementation. Jeremy Pratt, Director of our SAM Tool Implementation Team presented a webinar, Keys to a Successful SAM Tool Implementation, and we’ve collected the notes here.
Software Asset Management Tool Selection
The real key to selecting the right software asset management (SAM) tool for your organization is that you must first have a clear understanding of your own environment and needs. Selection of a SAM tool will vary based on many factors, here are a few major ones:
– Publishers in focus
Your SAM tool needs can be very different depending on the software deployed in your environment. Certain tools are more equipped to manage certain publishers. For example, IBM requires that you use a tool that has been certified for IBM software – ILMT and FNMS are the only options. However, depending on the other publishers in your environment it may make more sense to go solely with FNMS or perhaps choose ILMT in combination with another tool.
– Organization IT infrastructure
Each organization has a unique IT infrastructure that will affect SAM tool choice. For example, some SAM tools are geared toward, or have historically been geared toward smaller organizations while others can easily handle enormous data inputs. Consider the organization’s count of servers and endpoints – how many do you have, what type are they? Additionally, some tools are geared more toward the cloud, while others may be better suited for on-premise environments.
– Existing software currently in use
Here’s a situation we see every now and again: your organization already uses ServiceNow for other functions. It may make sense to add SAM Pro to that existing implementation. Then again, it may be most beneficial to go with another tool so that the SAM team doesn’t report or require input from the team over ServiceNow.
Once you have a solid idea of your needs and whittled down your options to a few tools, you need to do the Request For Proposal (RFP). We won’t cover that process here, but here’s a very detailed article by Executive Vice President Kris Johnson covering the RFP process.
Software Asset Management Tool Implementation – Getting the tool up and running
Once you have selected a software asset management tool, you need to get it implemented. This stage is where most of the work takes place.
At Anglepoint, we start a SAM tool implementation with a system design workshop. The purpose of a system design workshop is to fully understand the organization. The workshop brings together all the right players and is a way to ensure that they have all the right information. Educating everyone within the organization is crucial to a successful implementation. During the workshop, everyone learns what to look forward to, potential issues that may surface, scheduling conflicts, and more.
From the system design workshop comes the project plan. The project plan is an outline and timeframe of the implementation. The project plan is detailed in each step, outlining what needs to be installed, how it’s installed, and who is responsible.
Example Project PlanA crucial part of the project plan is the readiness checklist. The readiness checklist gives a clear view of everything that needs to happen before the implementation starts – for example, what are the stats and hardware requirements needed for the servers to be stood up. We also provide clients with logical views of how the tool(s) will be set up. This is different and unique to each organization.
ILMT Logical View
FNMS Logical ViewAdditionally, if your organization wants to do a proof of concept the readiness checklist details exactly what it will take to bring that into a production.
Implementing a tool is not a quick and easy process, it must be planned and executed with great detail and care.
Software Asset Management Tool Baseline – Getting to an initial license position
It’s common for someone to believe that the work is done once the SAM tool has been implemented. However, that’s not the case; the implementation isn’t complete until you have an Effective License Position (ELP). There are more steps after implementation that need to happen for the organization to reach a solid standing. Such as:
– Mapping & Normalizing Raw Data
In some instances, create new naming conventions to their installation packages. So, if the tool is looking for one thing and the organization has mapped it differently it’s vital to make appropriate adjustments so that the tool can recognize that data and account for it properly.
– Bundling Deployments & Assessing License Consumption Details
This step is crucial but can be very difficult for someone who doesn’t have experience with the software publisher. Having a licensing expert can be very helpful because they are extremely familiar with bundling and consumption details.
– Audit Preparation & Support
Once the tool has been stood up, you start getting significant amounts of data and it can be tricky to know how that data is applicable to the situation. Some questions that need to be answered are: what licenses are purchased, how is it reporting from discovery, how can adjustments be made to know that the tool is accounting for it appropriately, etc.
Software Asset Management Tool Optimization – Maintaining ‘peak physical condition’
Once you have a tool running and you’ve generated an accurate ELP, it’s easy to feel like you’re done. However, there’s still more to be done. True, the most difficult and time-exhaustive parts are over, but effort is still required to optimize your tool.
Changes take place all of the time. Changes to your organization, changes to the software you run, and changes to the tool that you’ve installed are a few examples. These changes can cause you to come down from the peak, optimized level that you’re at. We recommend that organizations perform health checks semi-annually at least to stay on top of the changes.
Anglepoint offers managed services that provide regular health checks, updates, patches, fixes, data requirements, etc. With our health checks, we always provide recommendations on what can be done to improve. Below are examples of health checks for ServiceNow, Snow, and FNMS.
Discovery Health Check
Sample Discovery Health Check Recommendations
Health Check Example
Health Check Example
A software asset management tool may be crucial to the success of your SAM program, but it’s not a silver bullet. It is essential to bring together people, processes, and technology for sustained success. By following these four keys to a successful SAM tool implementation, you’ll be doing just that.
Braden Stringer: Hello everyone. Thanks for joining us. My name is Brayden here with Anglepoint and I’m excited to welcome you to this morning’s webinar, Keys to a Successful SAM Tool Implementation. We’re super grateful to Jeremy Pratt, the director of our SAM tool implementations team. He’ll be presenting today’s webinar.
And before we start, we do have a few quick announcements that we’d like to make. First, this webinar is being recorded, and we will be sharing that recording with you via email later this week. Second, we highly encourage participation, so if you have any questions, please feel free to throw those into the chat panel at the bottom, or the Q&A panel, excuse me, at the bottom of your screen.
And Jeremy will answer those. Either throughout the presentation or during the Q&A session that we’re going to have for the last 15 minutes of the webinar. And then the last announcement is we just like to make you aware of a couple of upcoming webinars that we have. July 28th, two weeks from today this exact same time, we’re going to have a SAM Tool Comparisons webinar.
It’s going to be somewhat of a follow up to today’s webinar. Jeremy will be presenting as well, and I’m sure he’ll speak a little bit more to that during today’s webinar. And then on August 11th, Ron Brill, our President, and Chairman, will be presenting a webinar about the critical need for publisher specific expertise.
I’m going to go ahead and throw links to register for those webinars into the chat, so if you’d like to register, feel free to do that. Without any further ado, I’m going to go ahead and hand it off to Jeremy and we’ll start the webinar.
Jeremy Pratt: Perfect. Thanks, Braden. So as Brayden alluded to the topic of this webinar is keys to a successful SAM tool implementation.
As he said before we are Anglepoint. We are one of the leading it asset management consulting firms. We drive cost optimization, risk, mitigation and operational excellence within the hardware and software licensing estate in the world’s most complex organizations So that’s just a little about a little bit about who angle point is and who we are here’s some of our service practice areas a little bit about what we do And today we’re going to be focusing a lot on SAM tooling on the gray piece that we have down here Implementation, integration, configuration, publisher, onboarding, and workflows.
And specifically, what are the keys to making a SAM tool implementation a successful SAM tool implementation? As was said, my name is Jeremy Pratt. I am the director of SAM tool implementation as well as IT for Anglepoint. I’ve been with Anglepoint for just over four years, almost five years now.
Prior to my time at Anglepoint, I spent about 15 years in the financial industry dealing with banks and credit unions working on their data migration data assimilation bank acquisition information, things of that nature. So that’s where my experience comes in. And more importantly what’s not mentioned on here I am based out of Utah, but I’m a father of four.
So, I have a wife and four kids here in Utah and really have enjoyed the time. That we’ve had, especially with the most recent events of the outbreak and having kids at home, I completely come to an understanding of the pitfalls, the work and everything that everyone has to go into to, to make things work in this complex new normal that we have.
So, when we talk about a SAM tool implementation or SAM implementation in general the first three things that come to my mind are that we need to have a good mix of people, technology, and process. If you have too much of one direction or another, that can cause an issue. You’ll notice that we have down here a little chart that shows when we have a good balance of all three, and all three in the appropriate manner, we get a sustainable, scalable, and consistent SAM process.
If we get to one extreme or the other, we then fall off to one direction. We can have an area that lacks scalability, we’re less efficient. We can have consistency issues and structure issues. Or we can have an area that lacks strategy and adaptability. Really when you first come into talking about a SAM tool implementation, the first thing you need to discuss is internally, do we have this balance of people, technology, and process?
So, when we talk about people, do you have the right people with the appropriate skill set to coordinate the SAM tool implementation? Do you have the right technology for the environment and the SAM requirements based on what you have? And it’s really about finding that happy medium and that balance to make sure that your organization is prepared to bring in and start with a SAM tool implementation.
Now when we talk about the keys to the successful SAM tool implementation, I wanted to bring up a few things, and the four keys that I want to bring up are selection, implementation, baseline, and optimization. So of course, selection is choosing the right tool for the organization. There are some things that we come into, and part of the discussion that we’ll have in two weeks is actually going into highlighting some of the various tools and the options that we have for SAM tools.
What are some of the benefits? What are some of the things that make it right for your organization? Now we’re not going to be able to tell you specifically this is the right tool for you This is not the tool for you based on what we discuss but this will give you some insight on what may be of a benefit to your organization over other tools Then we talk about the implementation of getting that tool up and running What does it take?
What’s the process to do and what is involved in that process? We then talk, once the tool is up and running, we can talk about your baseline and getting to your initial license position. And then finally, once you have everything up and running, it’s maintaining and keeping it an optimized format.
You’ll notice that here I mentioned maintaining that peak physical condition and all that just alludes to a discussion that we’ll have later on about Maintaining your SAM tool and your SAM environment at a peak physical condition standpoint. When we come to the idea of selection. Anglepoint is poised and has a significant number of people that are well experienced in the implementation of the following five services.
We deal with Snow, we have implementation for Aspera, Flexera, BigFix, and ServiceNow. Now when we talk about these five, these are your main five that we initially think of that are most useful for your organization in terms of SAM tools, and the selection between those five. Can vary depending on what your organization has currently, what needs you have, and things of that nature.
So, when we talk about it, first we want to talk about what are the publishers that you need to have within your SAM environment. Do you need to focus on IBM? Do you need to focus on MicroFocus?
Salesforce, Symantec, or Attachme, and any of the other publishers that we deal with. Depending on which publisher you’re dealing with, that can alter which of the tools would be the best fit for your organization, first and foremost. As we have talked about, or as we know, IBM has an ILMT tool. And for IBM SAM processes, there are requirements for reporting, and there are only two of the five tools that are currently certified for IBM SAM implementation, those being ILMT and FNMS.
So if you’re, if one of your first and foremost products that you have to manage and have to evaluate from a SAM perspective is IBM, you’ll definitely want to consider at least ILMT with a combination of another tool, if you have other publishers that are involved or FNMS, because it can encompass IBM along with those other publishers and those other things that are involved with that.
The other thing to consider is what’s your organizational IT infrastructure. Now coming from an IT background, this is something that comes, that hits me close to home. So, I’m very familiar with, IT organizations and IT infrastructures. And when we talk about the organizational IT infrastructure, we need to talk about the common pitfalls and the common things that are involved in the organization that may affect your choice in which SAM tool you want to go with.
One of the biggest things we want to talk about is how large is the organization? Some of these SAM tools that we have presented are more geared or have historically been more geared towards smaller organizations. Some can handle huge data sets without any issue, and sometimes it just has to do with what kind of requirements or what kind of server or hardware you’re going to put behind that machine to allow that SAM tool to function.
Another thing to consider is what’s the count of your servers and endpoints. What are the OSs that you’re dealing with? And that goes back to your publishers. Are you dealing with a number of IBM? Or are you dealing with a number of Windows servers? How many endpoints do you have? And what type of endpoints are those?
What is it that you need to strategically plan for so that you can adjust and pick your SAM tool that is best fit for your organization. Finally, what is it that, what is the organization’s IT infrastructure in terms of a hosted or an on prem? Are you a cloud first? Or are your On prem data center driven organization.
Some of the tools that are out there are more geared towards everything’s in the cloud There are basic clients and or beacon servers in your organization But everything is out is pushed out to the cloud Some organizations have requirements for security that require all those servers all the physical machines to be on premises And that would allow you to then run that SAM tool based on where that organization, where your organization is set up, where your machines are set up, and how they’re going to be communicating.
And when you think about that, another thing that comes to mind is what existing software is currently in use. Are you currently using ServiceNow? If you’re using ServiceNow, you can add on SAM Pro as an add on to ServiceNow instead of adding on a completely different. SAM tool that’s something that can be taken into consideration.
But if you’re going to be dealing with IBM, there’s still the need for ILMT and the API to connect between ILMT server and your ServiceNow environment. That’s not to say that it’s difficult or more difficult or less difficult, but those are different things to consider when comparing and trying to decide what kind of SAM tool it is that you want to bring into your organization.
Now, depending on what factors you’ve brought into in terms of your publishers, your organizational IT infrastructure, and how that’s going to be working out, that might gear you or make you lean one direction or another. And as we go through the webinar in two weeks, we can go ahead and discuss some of the positives and not so much the negatives, but the positives of what might make you lean one direction or another, and where that plays in, and how that can then apply.
Once you have your decision in there, you then have, you have the whole process of going through your RFP proposal, and everything that’s involved with that. When you’re at the point that you are wanting to discuss the various tools, how to go through the actual discussions with them at that point. I would recommend that you look back We had a webinar given by our executive vice president Chris Johnson on Sam tools in the modern age and he goes through the RFP process what we found Gartner has found in terms of reports from some of the most recent SAM tool implementations.
The attitude or some of the most recent events that have gone into that and how we can actually help with that process to help you, help guide you and help you in that process to be, become as successful as possible. Now, if you do have mainframe and ILMT doesn’t discover the mainframe software, there are some other tools that you can bring into play.
And we can go ahead and discuss those tools. That’s something that we can actually bring in of what various tools can bring in mainframe areas. We, when we talk about. IBM and ILMT, you have the whole, you have ILMT, you have BigFix, and you also have TAD for TAD for Z, which allows you to bring in some additional information from IBM but that’s where we want to bring in, if ILMT isn’t discovering exactly what you have and you want to bring in that mainframe area.
Then we can look into some of the other tools that may bring in the mainframe and what’s more appropriate for that. Those areas will be things that we discuss in that, that webinar in two weeks of which specific areas are more appropriate or which have been found to be more appropriate and most effective for some of the SAM tool implementations.
If you’re finding that the one tool that you currently have isn’t bringing in completely everything that you would like to have in your environment and bringing you to an effective license position for your environment. Like I said, it would be something that once you have an idea of what your organization is, what it is that you’re needing to report, what kind of endpoints and IT atmosphere you have, you then can discuss which of the various tools are most effective for you.
And when you discuss those tools, I would recommend that you look at the webinar that Chris Johnson presented at the beginning of the year that, that actually explained that. Now, when we get into implementation, I know that selection was a relatively short piece that we went to discuss.
Implementation is your lion’s share of the work that goes into what is going to be involved in the actual implementation, installation of the tool itself. For all of the tools other than the ILMT, we have generally recommended that when we go on site to do an implementation, we initially start out with a system design workshop.
We want to sit down with your organization. We want to make sure that we have all the right players, that all the players have all the information, and that we have a basic understanding of the organization as a whole. That way we can plan what do we have to look forward to? What kind of issues may pop up?
What are the different things that we may need to play into? What scheduling differences do we have? What are the various business adapters and things of that nature that we might run into that we need to work through for our, for the organization and for the implementation? And based on that, we can give you a project plan.
With a basic outline of what timeframes, we should be expecting to be able to do the installation. We can do a readiness checklist of what needs to be done before we start our actual implementation. What are the stats and what are the various hardware requirements that we need to have for servers to be stood up?
What do we need to have for the implementation itself to begin to take place? And we can go through the actual environment of whether you’re going to do an initial an initial implementation into a test. If you want to do a proof of concept and then what you’re going to do to bring that into a production environment as you see here, we have a plan on a page.
We have a simple one plan on a page of a Test as well as a production environment implementation We can give you a point to point of what needs to be done for each piece and each of these pieces can then be expanded to give specific directions on what needs to be installed How those need to be installed?
What are the specifics? Do we need to run into any firewall restrictions? What do we need to have and who needs to have which responsibility? As we bring this up, we can bring in an actual logical view of how your environment is going to be running. You’ll see here on the left side, we have an ILMT implementation and a logical view of how an ILMT implementation is put into place.
You have your BigFix platform that goes out to your BigFix clients. And reports that data back to your ILMT server. You have a web user interface, and you have your databases that are involved with that. On the right side, we have an FNMS logical view of how that works with your endpoints, with your business adapters and inventory adapters.
Those feed into your beacon servers. The inventory also feeds into that and how that then goes into your flex net management suite and how you can actually manage all the data that’s coming into that We will make these and gear these specifically how your organization is needing them and how best fit they will be for your organization But that all comes from our initial Workshop in driving and coming to an understanding of the specifics of your organization there have been a number of times that I’ve attended with our individuals the actual workshop So we can actually discuss what’s going on in there.
And you need to come to an understanding of who’s involved, what kind of feedback do we have, what kind of buy in do we have from them. There are times that people feel that an FNMS implementation is going to interfere with their current ServiceNow environment, or with the current environment that they have with something else.
And we can assure you and go through that discussion of how those two plays in together, how the FNMS system can actually have an API and pull data from the CMDB and from your… Discovery of ServiceNow to be able to be then use that data in your flexbile environment. But having those people being able to have the discussions with the individuals, discussing what’s most important, what needs to be done, how that needs to be done, what implications that may bring into the environment, and how that can then affect the project plan are something that are very important.
As we said, one other thing to come to an understanding is depending on how and which tool you decide to go with, that can then alter and can be affected by a number of factors of the organization and the environment itself. Depending on how many domains you have, what type of environments those domains are protected by.
Do you have firewalls? Do you have rules designating certain actions to be allowed or rules not allowing those things to be allowed? And we’ll go through what has to be installed. What are the prerequisites? What are the users that have to be created? What rights do those individuals have to have? What are the firewall rules that we need to have in place?
These are all things that can come up from that initial workshop so that we can Designate and the organization to come to an understanding of what is completely involved in that implementation Now when that occurs when implementation occurs, it’s a long process. It’s not a one-time one week and it’s done.
We have a number of FNMS implementations that can take upwards of a number of months and so there’s a significant amount of planning of resource planning of everything that goes involved that goes into that Implementation that we need to be Considering and need to take in place and so we can give you that appropriate Project plan with all the timelines we can begin to plan.
What are the resources? What’s the timeline? What are we going to have to do that implementation? And like I said, this is something that a lot of people think all the work goes into everything and once your SAM tool is implemented, it’s done, but that’s not quite the case. Now, this is basically a little graph or a little chart that shows too many organizations have been led to believe that a SAM tool is a silver bullet.
Just implementing my SAM tool is all that I have to do. And a lot of the work that goes into the implementation is specifically standing up the SAM tool, making sure that it’s able to touch all the endpoints. Making sure that all the data is being passed from those to the SAM tool and you think that you’re done Unfortunately at that point you are completely done with your implementation The implementation isn’t done until you actually have in an effective license position what you’ll notice is right here we have your SAM tool is number one, but there’s so much more underwater under the iceberg that still has to be done to get your organization into an effective license position into a solid standing for the SAM tool.
We have mapping and normalization of raw data. We have instances where organizations have created new naming conventions to their installation packages. Those are things that have to be brought into consideration of, if the tool is going to be looking for one type of thing, but the organization has mapped it differently, we need to make sure that those can talk appropriately, so that the tool itself can recognize that data.
Put it in appropriately and be able to account for it. Now, one of the big things that we have is bundling deployments. And assessing license consumption details. That’s really where our Angle points licensing teams can come into play. We have some specific licensing teams that deal with IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, Adobe, all of the various tools and publishers where they can actually get into What the bundling is, what are the consumption details?
Where is it that we’re able to combine, or where do we need to separate based on the hardware, the virtualization, the clusters, things of that nature. And this is something that it’s necessary. It’s not necessarily going to come common sense to an individual to know right off. Without having a significant amount of SAM experience.
And that’s really where I feel that Anglepoint really has a benefit in our expertise of our actual licensing personnel that we have here. We can actually go through, take the raw data that we received from your tool implementation. Bring that data in get all the corresponding information of clusters Servers things of that nature and combine that into what would appropriately be the bundle.
I just had a discussion today with one of my Flexera implementation consultants and he was discussing some of the Microsoft bundling that he came to an understanding of just a few weeks ago that there’s a change where based on how things are set up in a virtual environment, we need to account for things appropriately so that when we can bring that up and when we can account for that with Microsoft, we can show them the appropriate information.
That’s something that he actually got to share with our Microsoft team so that they can adjust on when you’re dealing with a cluster, when you’re dealing with VMs, and how that’s supposed to be bundled, combined, or separated. We can make sure that we have all of your information out there in the most appropriate fashion possible Now another benefit that we have of that angle point can share is the audit preparation and support Once that tool is stood up You’re going to be getting a significant amount of data and a lot of times it’s hard to come to an understanding of really How is that data applicable for what I have in play?
For example, We have some instances where we’re dealing with an implementation with a current client and we have all the various groups have a Subject matter expert that’s able to deal with specifically these are the licenses that this organization has purchased This is how it’s reporting from the discovery standpoint And how do we need to make those adjustments to make sure that it’s showing that appropriately?
It’s accounting for it in the most appropriate fashion And bringing that all in there appropriately so Just getting the software or the SAM tool up and running isn’t necessarily End all be all to get your organization up and running in a full-fledged SAM fashion and lastly we have optimization for cost savings and spend reduction That’s another area where our licensing group can take that data Utilize that data to the benefit of the organization in terms of optimizing the cost And the savings for that spend reduction.
Now, as we talked about what the SAM tool is and the four keys to SAM tool implementation, the last thing that we talked about was optimization. Once a SAM tool is built up, it’s stood up, it’s running, you’re able to make sure that you’re getting a good coverage of your organization. You’re able to see that all of the software titles that you are expecting are showing up plus those that you weren’t expecting.
That’s a great point. And even getting to that point and showing that to the licensing side is fantastic where you can then get to that point You have your base license and you have your cost reduction and optimization of your actual license position But the one thing to keep in mind is that the SAM tools just like any other software are a continuing changing process each of these vendors that sell these SAM tools are sending upgrades are sending adjustments are making adjustments to the license entitlement pieces, the actual background database pieces of what license ties into what.
So, there’s a requirement to keep your system optimized. And when I, when we alluded to it in the very, very top of, the four types, we talked about keeping in peak physical condition. When I think of peak physical condition, I think of once you’ve got your system standing up, your system is running its outputting data correctly.
You’re not getting errors. You’re getting all your data in an appropriate fashion and it’s coming in really smooth at that point You feel like you’ve made it you feel as though you are the top of the top in terms of your physical condition, but in a matter of months changes to your organization Changes to the software that your it group has installed changes to what your endpoint individuals have installed That can all take that and deplete or bring down where your peak physical condition of your SAM tool is.
So, there’s a need to maintain and keep things at its optimum level. Now, one thing that Anglepoint does offer is a managed service. Depending on any of the tools that are on there We offer managed service where we can at a periodic basis go in we can do a health check we can manage what’s going on with that in terms of updates of patches of fixes of Data requirements of checking to make sure that you’re still getting your same coverage In fact for a lot of our ILMT managed services On a monthly and or weekly basis, we’ll go in and validate that the organization is still running at its highest optimum level and or give recommendations on what needs to happen to bring that recommend or that organization back up to speed to where it is.
Now, in the current environment, we’ve all been separated. We’ve all been isolated to an extent. So, there are a few actual social things that we’ve been able to do since the beginning of this year with the outbreak. One of the few things that I was and to do was to attend a wedding. My niece actually married a gentleman that’s down here in Utah.
And to give you a little information about them. I’m going to go ahead and bring this slide up. Now, this is what I think of when I think of optimization. My niece married this gentleman that happens to be a professional football player. Now, he is in peak physical condition. If you, if we go to the next one, this is.
When he was preparing for the draft, he was lifting. He’s still lifting. Even in the offseason, he has amazing routines of what he does to maintain his body in a peak physical condition. This is an individual that from the time that he was 14, he decided he wanted to be an elite athlete. He stopped eating anything that was fried.
Any candy, any ice cream, anything of that nature, and adjusted to make sure that his body was in that peak physical condition. And even to this day, he only, he eats at every two hour interval, and he consumes an amazing amount of food. Having spent some time with them since then, I can attest that what he can, what he consumes is a crazy amount of food to keep his body at that peak physical condition.
Luckily when we’re talking about optimization of our SAM tool and our SAM tool environment, we don’t have to put quite the effort of what this individual has to do to keep his body in this peak physical condition. What we would recommend is a periodic check. to make sure that your SAM tool is still in its peak physical condition.
We do things, for example, we have our ServiceNow representatives that can do a discovery health check. They can validate that your SAM tool of ServiceNow is still discovering data at the most optimum and most available method best for your environment. We can then, we go through 44 different areas within Discovery, observing any gaps and recommending remediation options to make sure that your environment is running at its peak optimal potential.
What we normally do is we’ll send recommendations of all of those different 44 areas. What we observed, what would be the recommendation, and what you would hope to find within that recommendation when it’s been completed. Sometimes, especially with ServiceNow and with some of those that have actual patches and updates, we make recommendations of updating your organization’s environment to the latest, greatest.
And what you may find will be a benefit to you at that point. We can bring up, you’ll notice that on the sample discovery health check recommendations, we have areas of discovery scans, when they’re occurring, how they’re occurring. What needs to be involved in with that? Increasing your data integrity with the assets in your CIs in the CMDP to increase your data accuracy.
All of these things that can actually bring up and speed up or help your environment to be running at its optimized and peak health and efficiency. In terms of Snow, on the left side, here’s what’s involved with the Snow implementation or Snow health check. We can actually check all your installed product and required agents’ keys.
We can look at system versions. We can look at your solution design. We can assess any of the following errors of anything that’s going on with your inventory server, with your services, with your SMACC, and your agents. We go through and we can actually check and give any recommendations on what we can what can be done to bring your environment up to its potential.
On the right side, you can see this is what would be done in a FNMS 2018 R1 system health check. We’ve since adjusted have the latest and greatest versions, but this is what I wanted to use it as an example. We can actually go through and check all your discovery and inventory settings. We want to validate that each of your beacons is running at its peak and optimum potential.
That your agents are running. We can give you a health dashboard and see what’s going on with that. We can actually go through your entire inventory. What’s going on with your virtual environment. Manage your unrecognized evidence. We can then go through and check the application status or unlicensed Installations verify any entitlements and go through any of your publishing purchase process Publishers purchases process to see what’s going on with your FNMS to make sure that everything is running at its peak and optimum potential So these are things that we would recommend being done on a periodic basis at least semiannually.
With the changes that occur with Snow, Flexera, and ServiceNow, things are changing at a high rate. And it only is to your benefit of your organization to make sure that on that same semiannual basis at least, that you’re having a check of where we stand, how have things changed from our initial installation.
Or from our last health check. What are the things that we can do to enhance our environment? What are the things that we now have available to our environment that we didn’t have before that we can bring up to even bring our environment up to a higher standard? And where does that adjust? How does that adjust our standing within the various publishers that we have?
As I said, a lot of these tools and deciding on the tools. You’ll have, it depends on which publishers you have, and if you have ILMT, you may have found that an adjustment to your ILMT and that going through an API into your ServiceNow environment has significantly adjusted the amount of data that’s coming in.
Or maybe you’re finding that an adjustment to your ServiceNow discovery is going to then tie into your Flexera or FlexNet management suite and bring data in there that before you didn’t have, or you didn’t have in a more reasonable way that you could adjust. And you could tweak that data to make sure that it fits with your organization in the best way possible.
These are the different things that come into play when talking about the actual keys to the SAM tool implementation success. Like we said, first thing you have to do is decide what is the best tool for our environment, and that’s not a simple process. In fact, Anglepoint has found a way and actually has completed a number of workshops with organizations to evaluate what is their status, what is it that they need, what can, what would be the best fit for them.
We’ve gone through and done evaluations with various vendors. And allowed the specific individuals at the organization to ask questions that we can then help and help you come to terms with what is the best tool that will help your organization. What is the best fit tool to get you to your optimized SAM environment?
Once you’ve decided on which tool you want to have, then you have to go through and do your actual implementation. The implementation is not a small process by any means. And it requires the input of various tools and various teams within the organization. Once that tool has been implemented, then you get your baseline, and this brings in the licensing side.
This is where the tools and the individuals involved can get that data, bring that data in, and assimilate that in a format that will get you to your optimized license position. And finally, keeping that optimized position throughout the process. You may find that you want to adjust your tool later on.
And you may want to tweak or add a different tool to bolster and show That this tool is up to where all the others have been We found that we’ve had a few different clients that will have one tool and will want to install just to show that they’re both At a peak optimum level and showing that each one is not missing any place with the others Now as I said the big important the most important thing for any organization And for their success in SAM is the people the technology and the process.
This is something that the angle point feels we are Key into and have that can be to a benefit to your organization. We have the right people we have a number of implementers that have experience that are certified that have Significant experience in implementing the tools We know what to look for in terms of pitfalls where we find our issues what we need to do to work through those issues for the client and what we can do to make that process of Implementing the tool as seamless as possible.
We have those same people that have the experience with Not only the tool but the licensing side so that we can gather and help organizations to understand what it is that they really need based on your organization your infrastructure and your publishers We can help you decide and help you Decide which tool is best tool the best tool for your SAM implementation.
We have the various technologies as I said, we recommend those five technologies of Flexera Flexnet management suite ServiceNow, Snow, Aspera, and ILMT Big Fix. Those we found are some of our biggest tools and best tools to bring in and get your organization to a better managed SAM standpoint.
And then lastly, there’s the process. We have individuals that have done it in the past, that have worked with other organizations, with a number of big five firms, with big five organizations, and big 100, our top 100 companies. We can help you to bring in the processes. The organization, the actual strategic plan to be able to get your organization, not only to the point that it can actually sustain itself, but it’s scalable, it’s consistent, and it maintains it can, it’s consistency throughout the process of building up your SAM environment.
Now, this is something that we feel we have a benefit of and that we can help organizations to, to maintain. Not only to build up but to maintain and to stay at that point We’re happy to help with any of the processes that you have and any needs that you have In this process of trying to get into a successful SAM implementation But we need you to be able to also have your people Your technology and your processes in the appropriate manner to be able to get into this point.
We found that When we have our workshops a number of times we have individuals that may not be able to attend and therefore we’re missing one view of part of the organization We find that if we don’t have security information that we can bring in information and we may find that may cause A gap of an endpoint talking to a beacon server going out to our SAM tool.
But it’s having Not only Anglepoint’s people, technologies, and processes, but the organization’s people, technologies, and processes, so that we can make sure that the SAM implementation, SAM tool implementation, is done at the most successful manner possible. Now, I think I’d like to go ahead and open it up to some questions.
It looks as though there have been a few questions. The main question that first came up was having to do with mainframe and ILMT not discovering the mainframe software. That’s very true that initially the ILMT doesn’t bring up your mainframe. And in our discussion in two weeks, we’ll be discussing some of the various tools that will and whether they do include mainframe, whether they don’t.
We can actually go through and discuss what are the various options that you have. When mainframe is something that you need but not being just currently discovered in your SAM tool. Let’s see. It looks as though we have a few other questions. One of the questions that came up from before is what’s one of the most common issues with each SAM tool implementation?
And so, I’ll go through the various SAM tools and what we found have been some of the more problematic or what have been some of the pitfalls that we found depending on the various tools. If we begin with ILMT. I would say that one of the most, one of the most common issues that we have that comes up with an ILMT implementation is a connection with the VM manager.
We have a number of areas where the VM manager will lose connection and will then not be reporting the ILMT information. There are a number of ways that we can work through that. In fact, one of our ILMT implementation consultants. Matthew Hamilton actually created specific documentation on what we can do the specific steps that you can walk through for VMware management suite Disconnection or connection issues with the IoMT software.
Most recently I would say that from a Flexera or FlexNet management suite perspective the most common issues that we’ve had have to do with security and requirements We have a number of implementations where due to either firewall constraints Or requirements of the user that are running the various jobs Those are the issues that have most commonly come up from our FlexNet management suite implementations So there’s a definite need for the organization to have a good understanding of What is it that our organization has?
What are our firewall rules? What rules do we have with communicating from one domain or from one area to another? And especially in the current environment, based on a number of employees possibly working from home, what are the implications that we may run into with that? If we have a, an endpoint that is a person working from home and we need to bring that data from their endpoint to our organization for FNMS implementation or for FNMS.
What do we run into in terms of ramifications of our firewall, the VPN a, whatever connection status we have for that, as well as are there any implications of that user’s home environment and their security requirements that may be conflicting with that? I would say that would be the majority of the issues that we found with FlexNet management suite is more of security.
Administrative rights of what an individual does or does not have or can do depending on the jobs and how they’re run when we go into our ServiceNow environment a lot of that actually has to do with the actual setup of the discovery the SAM Pro module of ServiceNow is dependent on upon the discovery and the CMDB of the regular ServiceNow environment. And if that is not pulling data and reporting data at its optimum level, then the SAM Pro module will be limited in terms of what it can report.
It then does require that we do import and put in all of the entitlements for that organization. Where a number of organizations initially discover data and use that initially as you’re discovered as your basis of data. ServiceNow is a little bit different. It will have its discovery and it can bring that up and it can bring the discovered data in, but without the actual entitlement data and that information entered in of all the various entitlements based on the publishers.
The SAM Pro module of ServiceNow will not bring up your data in the appropriate fashion. So, it requires both sides on the SAM Pro module. And that’s where it does require a lot of manual input, whether that be based on the user or something that we do for the user as part of our managed service. So those are some of the most, the main issues that we have.
I would say that Snow falls into the same category because it is more of A hosted and browser-based piece. A lot of our issues that we’ve run into with our snow implementations have to do with the requirements of getting the data or being able to transact that data from our endpoint to the snow server, we run into a number of issues of user requirements and or firewalls that prevent the data from getting through appropriately from the main endpoints to the midpoint servers and out to our ser, our snow environment.
To be able to report appropriately. We’ve also found that there are a number of flex net management suite implementations where the data comes in. It is reporting that data appropriately. However, that data cannot be assimilated and or reported appropriately. And so, we’ve had a number of instances where we’ve adjusted the data layer and re and reporting layers for FNMS so that it can actually be suited and be a best fit for the organization rather than the standard reporting output that FlexNet Management Suite has used in the past.
That is one of the things that has been a benefit to the FlexNet Management Suite. However, that is only available on the on-premises version of the FlexStep Management Suite and a lot of the customizations and things that you would want to do with the FlexStep Management Suite are not available with the new hosted availability of FlexStep Management Suite and its various peripherals and add on to that.
So those are some of the things that have been coming in most recently from there. Now, we’ve also had a recent uptick with Flexera, adjusting from an on prem to a host environment. This is something that can alleviate a lot of stress of the organization. The server, because it’s hosted, will maintain all of, or will receive patches and updates as necessary.
And that can alleviate things from the environment as a whole. But Organizations that have previously done an implementation of FlexNet Management Suite as an on prem will find that they have completed enough customizations and done a number of customizations that then when moving to a hosted setup will run into issues with those customizations no longer being applicable, no longer working for their environment because the hosted piece does not allow those to come into play.
Those are some of the major pitfalls that we found in terms of an actual on prem to hosted implementation. Of the FlexNet management suite. Other than that, it’s a relatively smooth transition because it does allow for a certain amount of overhead to be taken off of the client, whereas the server will be updated.
But you do have to keep in mind that there are certain limitations. There are requirements that are taken out. The access to the actual database from an administrative standpoint is taken away. And so there are not only are things made easier, but then there are some limitations of access by the user.
From going from an on prem to a hosted environment. Another question that we have is what is the appropriate time frame or timeline for a SAM tool implementation? And that really varies depending on the organization it depends on the organization’s willingness to work through things whether you’re going to be doing a test or a proof of concept first before doing a production implementation, and it depends on which tools you’re going to be implementing for the organization as a whole.
We found that for ILMT, those can run relatively quick, and we can do those without any issues. We found that we have a number of ILMT implementations. without problems that we can actually stand up an ILMT Implementation we can then start to roll out agents to be able to talk to ILMT in a matter of a few weeks we and that really depends on the organization what they’re needing as well as What’s their time frame for their license position what it is that they’re working on and when they have to have their data to that publisher for Audit requirements and things of that nature.
So, we have had some that based on a rush We’re able to get things we’re able to get them to a standing from their license position based on that tool implementation on a rush where it can still function at a very high rate of speed. Normally, we do recommend that an organization do try to do a test or a proof of concept first, and then do a, and that gives them some ideas of what things they may have overlooked.
What are some of the firewall issues? What are some of the security issues that we may have overlooked and not brought into consideration that we now want to keep in consideration and take into consideration for our production implementation? That normally helps the production implementation be a lot smoother in terms of the transition and knowing of what pitfalls are going to come up with that.
It really varies depending on the tool and depending on the organization, as well as the publisher’s need for when you need to get some information on there. It looks as though we do have someone that has raised their hand and asked a question. I’ll go ahead and ask them to unmute. Let’s see.
So, we have an Alberta. Did you have a question regarding SAM tool implementation? It looks as though you’re still on mute. It looks like we don’t need to worry about that.
Okay. Are there any other questions, or any other questions that have come up from individuals that have joined on the webinar and have some questions about the SAM tool implementation? It looks as though within the notes, Raiden has added the actual link to the discussion of the SAM tool selection process given by Chris Johnson.
This was earlier this year. Like I said, it is SAM tool selection for the modern age. It goes through the actual process, the RFP process. Chris was actually involved in a number of workshops where he sat down with clients, went through their needs, went through their publishers to see what it was that they needed.
And then went through a selection process with the various vendors coming in physically coming in and doing a different a number of approaches of pitching and showing what they have and asking questions allowing the client to ask questions and allowing the client to know what questions to ask To see what would be a best fit for their environment.
Sometimes the selection process And in a number of times, the amount of time that’s put into the selection process is the biggest benefit to the implementation as a whole by having an understanding of what are the expectations, what is it that this organization is going to give us, what can we expect in terms of support, how does that organization run, and a lot of that can come into play based on the workshop that’s given and or the work that’s done with the specific client and the perspective SAM tool of choice.
Looks like that’s the extent of the questions. And so if there aren’t any other questions if you do have questions that you didn’t want to post to the group as a whole, please use this information that’s down on the page here. You’ll notice that it has my email address and even my phone.
Please feel free to contact me. Any questions that you have, any requests for specifics about any various tool, if you have a question about common problems for ILMT, things of that nature. Like I said, we have a number of individuals that do the implementations. I would consider the Anglepoint SAM tool implementation team to be at the top of what’s available out there.
We have individuals that are well versed and well experienced in snow, Flexera. ServiceNow, Aspera, as well as ILMT, BigFix, and Tad4Z. So, we have a number of individuals that can help your organization to not only see what’s currently going on. If you’ve already done an implementation, we can give information on what to expect in terms of the implementation, in terms of timelines, based on your organization size and needs, as well as what we can do to help you.
At any point in the process to make sure that your SAM tool implementation can be as successful as possible.
And with that, I’ll go ahead and pass it back to Braden.
Braden Stringer: Excellent. Thank you, Jeremy. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. And thanks to everyone who joined. Just a quick reminder one more time, we will be sending out an email with the recording within the next couple of days. That email is going to include links to our next webinars as well, or you can find those in the chat here.
But again, thank you, Jeremy. Thanks everyone for attending. We hope you have a great rest of your day.