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Software Asset Management (SAM) with System Center Configuration Manager – Asset Intelligence (Part III)

05/18/2016

In this third article about using SCCM to talk about SAM (Software Asset Management) Let’s talk about Asset Intelligence (AI) or Intelligent Assets.

The difference between inventory and control/asset management is intelligence about the collected data, which is made by Asset Intelligence in System Center Configuration Manager.

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/

Activating the Role (Feature)

To activate the AI is necessary to activate the role on a Site System Server, in this case I use my primary server:

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Setting the role THERE is very simple, only enables and defines the schedule:

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Configuring the Feature

Setting the scroll is as simple as it was in practice activation simply use the button "Enable or Disable Asset Intelligence Point Groove folder Syncronization".

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This synchronization is required to assemble the table of products, categories and product requirements. As can be seen in the menu above, the AI works with this information to mount Smart inventories data indicating the computers with appropriate software and even to assemble the list of licensing of Microsoft products.

The result of the synchronization is shown in the table below:

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See that 31 of the software installed on my environment inventoried have been identified, other 51 are not on the register from Microsoft, and can be viewed by clicking the number 51:

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It may be noted that in this case most software are Microsoft, but are not identified because, as can be seen on the first screen of AI, he’s not synchronized in the last 6 months Smiley piscando

We can manually identify items by clicking on properties and entering the data as categories and families of software. This data is not essential for licensing or inventory, but essential for asset management since categorize and divide into families is part of synthetic reports presented.

Note also that we have the possibility to use Label 1-3 to customize desired reports with products or other information that is important in your organization.

Finally we have the menu option Hardware Requirements which obviously identifies the requirements that a software needs. It is also useful when we wish to run reports for hardware asset management, prioritizing computers whose software need it installed:

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Finally, in the Catalog menu can include classes, families, and custom labels. It is important to keep this table aligned with your needs, but it is not essential to the operation or the asset management practice:

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Importing Licenses

The importation of licenses is done to create the management reports and licensing. To do this click on the button Import Software Licenses:

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Where this file can be found or created?

For corporate customers can use the VLSC site that lists all software purchases made, and have the option of importing to XML. Just grab the generated file and import into the SCCM.

If mount this file manually, you can use the template available in https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh427341.aspx. Basically we created a spreadsheet in Excel and export to CSV.

The difficulty in this case is to create the file with the exact names, software manufacturers and version and Edition information. But once created the file, maintenance is very simple.

Hardware reports

THERE are reports in the category itself and can be viewed by the Filter as shown in the list of reports below:

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The first reports are the Hardware where the AI uses data collected to generate reports with significant differences from the normal inventory reports.

Featured for some reports:

  • 03a Primary computer users – AI identifies what the main computer of each user, this is based on who uses the computer for more than 66% of the time
  • 04a Computers with multiple users – where there are no computers a user who is logged in for more than 66%, that is indicative of a shared computer for multiple users
  • 10A Computers in … have changed memory – list of computers had changes of memory, which is the comparison between different hardware inventory and identifies the change
  • 10B Changes on a specified computer. – List what was changed in a given period of time in a selected computer, which is useful for identifying changes in a reference computer or strategic

Important: to operate the reports 03A and 04A it is important that the Windows Security Log is enabled: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg712322.aspx # BKMK_EnableSuccessLogonEvents

Software reports

The second part of reports are the software:

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Some reports are more important, although all are especially needed:

  • 04a/B/C Autorun-Are reports that allow the administrator to view the software that are in auto on computers, which is important in a great environment
  • 07A/B/C executable Recently used by Computers – Are interesting reports for the management of assets, but normally use Software Metering reports, which is a requirement to work
  • 08a/B/C executable Recently used by Users – Are reports like the 07 series, but based on the number of users
  • 09a/B Infrequently used software-This report is the most important of this category, because it is decided where to uninstall a software with insufficient licenses or decide to purchase software. For example Viso, Project and mainly Visual Studio has high cost and know where are not used is a significant savings

Important: For the AI software reports work is needed that is enabled the Software Metering https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg712306.aspx

Licensing reports

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These are the reports that matter in this series.

We can highlight the most important:

  • 01a/B/C/D Microsoft VL ledger – Are reporting that allows us to view the summary of licensing that was imported, mainly when the file was imported from VLSC these report give us the vision of total licensing
  • 02a/B/C Nearing expiration – Are useful reports when the software has expiration date, what can happen with Office 365 and other products bought at EAS contract that must be renewed annually
  • 06A/B Per licensed Processes-these reports are essential for the licensing of SQL Server and Windows Server that have per-processor licensing (Windows) or Core (SQL Server). In the case of SQL licensing can also be Server + CAL model and it can only be controlled manually
  • 14B-List of MS SW … not found – Useful to validate products that are not in use and can be other substitutes that are blown, for example licensing change the version of Office Professional by Standard
  • 14A and 15A Reconciliation – are the most important, that summarize the licensing

Below are the most important. The first identifying the purchases and the canal (the caption is on the last page), list of inventoried products that require license that is useful to create the manual license file along with the third where we see the products that have not been found in the license file:

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Finally, the most important of these is the conciliation report. As can be seen, a good deal of manual work is already done by CONFIGURATION MANAGER:

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