If you do not know about it, how can you manage it?
The benefits of understanding what IT infrastructure you have across your estate and what software has been deployed where, extend beyond simply improving asset management and have a positive impact in several critical areas. For example:
- You may be about to engage in a contract for which clarity on hardware and software assets is important, such as a hardware maintenance agreement of some sort.
- You may be about to acquire a new business, or divest part of your existing business.
In both these examples, whilst spreadsheets have their place, it makes sense for all stakeholders to work from an up-to-date schedule of hardware and software assets covering the whole estate, across all platforms and all locations.
Discovery Is Not Inventory
The precursor to good inventory is discovery: you can only compile an inventory of what you discover. Coverage is king and solid discovery is a critical element of any process or tool. Deploying an agent-only inventory tool often misses the first crucial step of discovery, meaning whole areas of the estate are not captured.
Inventory Is Not Discovery
Only when you have good discovery data can you then move onto inventory to understand the hardware and software configuration of each discovered computer. It is important to ensure you have the most complete inventory possible and this can only come from reliable sources. It is easy to make the mistake of thinking you know where particular assets (e.g. Oracle application deployments) reside and only targeting this ‘known’ part of the estate for inventory purposes. Such an approach is risky. You do not know what you do not know and the challenge is to minimize the risk of surprises.
Discovery and Inventory services deliver quick and accurate data for all your IT assets, across your whole estate.
Our Discovery and Inventory services utilize Certero’s class-leading technology and encompasses a straightforward methodology that covers a complete range of operating systems across all platforms, from mobile to mainframe to cloud. Importantly, the Discovery and Inventory services have been designed to minimize the impact on your business operations, whilst efficiently and silently acquiring data about your IT estate. All of this information will be available to you for querying, reporting and exporting via a comprehensive business intelligence engine.
Certero’s platform comprises a comprehensive set of tools which are used to discover all devices on the network, utilizing a number of different techniques. Connectors are used to extract data directly from third party systems such as Active Directory, VMWare and XenServer. Other ITAM and SAM tool set providers struggle to offer as many connectors as Certero, which are class-leading from a scope perspective and come at zero cost. In addition, discovery is configured to scan across all networks and identify all active devices including printers, switches and routers – not just Windows devices. We can even learn the network structure if it is unknown.
- Initiation – a kick-off meeting to explain how the Discovery and Inventory Services will be delivered using the preferred method of solution delivery.
- Discovery and inventory execution – the required tools are deployed in the form agreed. The products are configured and discovery and inventory is executed over what normally would be a small number of days.
- Delivery of hardware and software inventory – this can take more than one form and will be pre-agreed before the engagement.
Following discovery, the next step is to gather a full inventory that details the IT hardware and software assets on all platforms, from mobile to mainframe to cloud.
Inventory is all managed directly within the Certero Management Platform and has no reliance on 3rd party tools to, for example, deploy an agent. It deploys out-of-the-box and is fully flexible, utilizing agent, agent-less or a combination of both depending on the particular requirement. Our proprietary software uses multiple methods to gather hardware data as accurately as possible, to the highest level of granularity, even including printer ink levels. Discovery and inventory is achievable across all platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, Unix, Linux, Android, iOS, and even mainframe (zLinux). Other SAM tool set providers struggle to offer the same access to real time, accurate information.
Certero’s Discovery and Inventory services can be considered ‘advanced’ as it includes as a default all elements essentially required to execute software asset management (SAM) correctly. For example, the circumstances of how and where software is installed or utilized can have a significant impact on licensing cost; hence information around virtualization, CPUs, cores, clusters etc., can be vital in ensuring correct licensing as well as assisting in the development of rules which can be used in order to provide automated SAM. You never know what licensing program changes may be coming down the line, so it is absolutely vital to prepare for any circumstance and establish the broadest and most granular level of data possible.
Straightforward service framework, that will be managed by Certero to deliver the service.
Access to a wealth of hardware and software inventory data, beyond a simple spreadsheet type list.
Speed of execution: typically days not weeks, depending on organizational complexity.
The service’s deliverables can be aligned to your objectives, whether they be a schedule of assets, due diligence or for some other purpose.