Software Asset Management (SAM) with System Center Configuration Manager – Addition to the Default Inventory (Part II)
In this second article about using SCCM to talk about SAM (Software Asset Management) Let’s talk about how to go beyond the standard (default) in SCCM Software inventories.
To remind you of our agenda and the agenda of the items, use the link started: https://msincic.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/software-asset-management-sam-with-system-center-configuration-manager/
Rules of agents
In the CONFIGURATION MANAGER 2012 and later versions you can create rules to different computer groups. These differentiated rules are created with only the items that you want to change the default and then applies (Deploy) to the desired computer group:
Creating a rule to expand the inventory to the SAM
The rule to expand the inventory beyond the default is include in custom rule the piece of Software and Hardware Inventory.
In the SW Inventory is important to include the extensions that should be part of the inventory. In general we choose only what is "*.exe", but it is important for a SAM in addition to Microsoft products include whatever "*.com". The reason is that some software still rely on command and applications with the details of these executables can go beyond Windows applications.
Besides the inclusion of extensions for accuracy it is important to include details (Inventory reporting detail: Full details) that will allow to know the date of installation of software and some other data. For example, software not MSI (Microsoft Installer) the details need to be captured directly in binary, since it generates data in the add and remove programs control panel.
Now let’s talk about Hardware inventory, the main additional settings that involve the add and remove programs present in the control panel.
In the Hardware inventory we have settings that are not included in the pattern that can be accessed by the button Set Classes. To access them filter by word or category Software. It is important to not help noticing that are information handled by Asset Intelligence that we will treat in another article.
The first category is that of software installed that returns very important data involving the type of installation, the date, location and source. This information can help define the date when product needs to be paid in the event of a settlement which included reverse billing. In addition, software running on a particular source may have some type of licensing, for example software that are signed and executed from a dedicated server.
The second group of settings helps identify evaluation software and mainly OEM. In many customers find machines bought in OEM but using images and thus invalidate the keys. Collecting this data it is possible to raise more clearly what is OEM:
The third group of settings serves to identify volume key enabled software, called VL. In general we use the server KMS (Key Management System) to automatically activate Windows and Office automatically without the need for internet. As software licensing by contract need VL, it is important to identify this information.
Useful reports based on Inventories
Based on the inventory of files. EXE and. COM is possible using a series of reports listed in the screen below. However, always highlight the diff report of software between computers. For example, you can use a machine of a user to compare if it conforms to other people’s machines. This helps in cases where companies allow users to install software, but still want to control or have a template by Department or another variation:
In the list below we see the reports that are generated based on the Hardware inventory. Are simple reports and a list of software with details such as version and instances totaled. In general we use these reports to have the details of a particular product. For example, the non-server licensing product more expensive is the Visual Studio in any of its versions and know where it is installed is very important.
All reports can be signed, which allows you to receive them in your mailbox or in a shared folder on the network. It is interesting to follow certain software that need to be controlled, for example Visio, Project and Visual Studio that has high cost.
In this article we’re talking about reports for Microsoft SAM, but the signing of reports is available for all of them and is a resource that needs to be used for effective control of licenses.