I read the other day that Frontrange’s Licence Manager will be End of Life, in 2016. This got me thinking about something that is common for all software products – the need for them to be current to be useful.
This isn’t a criticism of Licence Manager (or any other product for that matter), but the fact is every software product has a shelf life. They are developed using technologies and methods current at the time to meet issues that were pressing then. But, things move on and new technologies and methods coupled with evolving business challenges mean that yesterday’s solution can quickly become not fit for purpose today.
Fast maturing market
This is particularly so in the software asset management (SAM) arena. The disruption and evolution of this market in the last few years has been quite striking. From being born initially as a subset of ITAM (IT Asset Management), through ensuring license compliance with SAM, to the situation now focused on software licence optimization (SLO), the changes have been dramatic.
This means that software written only a few years ago can be simply not fit for purpose. While this is important if you are already using the software (more so if End of Life is announced), it also needs to be taken into account when you are purchasing the product in the first place – something many organisations overlook.
Developing software from scratch is time-consuming and expensive. So, many vendors have faced up to these challenges with what can best be described as a ‘sticking plaster’ approach. Contriving feeds between existing products and generally bolting older products together to present a ‘unified’ solution to their customers that is barely adequate. This creates a solution which is clunky and fails to fully integrate often limiting the user.
Designed specifically to meet today’s needs
At Certero we recognized that the rapid changes in the SAM market were making it harder for our products to meet customer’s needs. So, we took a step back and took the decision a few years ago to ‘bite the bullet’ and completely redesign and re-engineer our existing AssetStudio products from the ground up into a complete suite of new products. We have also created a platform that allows customers to adopt one product individually or several products collectively. They all work together seamlessly with the same UI and data source to provide a better experience. It also enables integration with existing investment in 3rd party products like those in the ITSM field. This modular approach has been designed with the customer in mind allowing them to activate new product as and when their business grows.
This was a significant investment that cost many millions of pounds and took years to complete but we believe that this was a good investment. You would think that other vendors would follow the same route to ensure their products can meet today’s demands. But, most have taken a different approach and gone out and purchased companies to get the products to fill their gaps (similar to the strategy adopted by Computer Associates (CA) years back). Bolting these diverse products together and presenting them to their customers as an integrated end-to-end solution. But, with different UIs and data sources, we know from feedback that their customers are not happy with such a strategy and are beginning to demand more than this ‘sticking plaster’ approach for something as important as SAM and SLO. Although a customer may be able to buy multiple solutions from one vendors these solutions are just not able to work together.
This exists now with the Certero platform. We believe that its AssetStudio SAM suite products offer the most up-to-date and integrated SAM & SLO solutionson the market, capable of meeting today’s and tomorrow’s sophisticated needs for SAM and SLO. Our aim is to get closer to the utopia of policy-based SAM and we believe with the latest version of the AssetStudio SAM suite products we have taken a significant step towards this!