MAP Toolkit Useful References


which log to use for log parsing:

Transforming SCCM Data into License Intelligence


Using Microsoft SCCM for SAM


Flexera Software’s Vincent Brasseur, Director of Product Management,
Microsoft’s SCCM is the market leader in desktop software deployment, configuration management and inventory collection. The raw software inventory data is used primarily for day to day software deployment operations but has limited value for software asset management and license optimization.
SCCM provides application recognition capability, which is necessary to get a usable understanding of what software is installed across the IT estate. SCCM’s inventory agent can also collect application usage data, which shows what software is not only installed but actually being used. All of these are important pieces of an overall software asset management (SAM) and license optimization program, but knowing what is installed is only the first step in the process.
For end-to-end software asset management and license optimization, additional features are needed that do not exist today in SCCM. They are delivered by other tools that integrate with SCCM and use it as an inventory and application usage data source. They provide more extensive license management and license optimization capabilities based on ITIL standards. These tools add some or all of the following capabilities:
  1. Collection of purchasing data from procurement or finance systems and reconciliation of purchased licenses versus installed software. A stock keeping unit (SKU) library is the only reliable way to automate this step by determining exactly what has been purchased according to the PO line item SKUs, and linking those purchases to the installations.
  2. Reconcile inventory and purchasing data with HR and enterprise data. This will add a needed business view to the reports. Licenses, purchase orders, installations and computers can be tied to enterprise groups (locations, cost center, business unit) or identified users.
  3. Provide advanced SAM capabilities. This potentially includes many features, such as reporting on license consumption per enterprise business unit, location, cost center or user, providing an audit trail and historical data on installations and licenses, being able to assign individual licenses to users or devices or allocate a license quantity to a department or a site, calculating the purchase versus installed compliance status of each license based on its metric.
  4. Automated management of license agreements and contracts. This can include such things as wizards to help create contract hierarchies and payment schedules. For Microsoft Enterprise Agreements, next generation software asset management tools can estimate upcoming true-up payments based on software utilization. For Microsoft Select and Select Plus Agreements, the tools can show point consumption over time, for each enrolment.
  5. Track application usage to enable license re-harvesting when there are unused or under-used applications in one area of the organization, and reallocate those licenses to another group. Usage data can also be used to reduce on-going maintenance payments when the software is not even installed, for example.
  6. Application of vendor Product Use Rights to optimize license consumption. By taking advantage of use rights, such as right of second use, multiple installations and downgrade rights, license optimization tools can reduce the number of new licenses that must be purchased at true-ups and renewals.
  7. Recycling of licenses allocated to hardware to be retired. 

Change and Configuration Management tracking software

Change and Configuration Management tracking software

Hi there,
I'd also like to know if there is any software can acheive this.Not sure if it'll help, but we currently do this by a manual process. Essentially, staff are trained that in order to change any configuration, they need to raise a Change Request (Word template), detailing all the details of the change. This is then passed onto the IT person responsible for actually making the change. It's assigned a unique "Change ID", and logged in an excel spreadsheet.
It's a long winded process, that relies on staff being trained to raise change requests, but the end result is that we can look back from histroy of a particular system to see all the changes that were made.
We also have a mechanism that allows for "Emergency Change Requests" that allow us to change first and raise the paperwork later. This is discouraged, but in a true emergency, allows changes to be made quickly.
Hope this helps.
Marked As Answer byKevin RemdeMicrosoft Employee, OwnerMonday, February 28, 2011 1:02 PM

Perhaps you could clarify further what you might expect from a system that "helps us track". If you have diligent engineers then you could track changes in a simple spreadsheet. I like to use a sharepoint discussion list for tracking changes because we can subscribe to the list and receive an email when a change occurs, while also discussing the change and maintaining that discussion in a single location. But then again, we could just setup a mailbox for change tracking and have people write an email to it when they change something.
If you don't have diligent engineers and want to find some software that actually recognizes changes, then you're faced with a very diverse set of options and there really isn't one that is good, inexpensive, and easy to use, that works across all platforms. Since this is a Microsoft Forum I'll say that Microsoft Operations Manager is pretty good. System Center Essentials is fairly inexpensive but their interface is still clunky. For "what happened" type tracking I like to use Splunk. I forward all event logs to it. If you enable auditing on registry keys then those changes land in the logs. If you're running a 2008r2 infrastructure then you can just use its built-in log forwarding for centralized log management. I'm ultimately looking towards something like Tripwire Enterprise for true automated change management.


How to Audit Your Microsoft Software Licenses

How to Audit Your Microsoft Software Licenses

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit

A Guide to Assessing Windows Server Licensing

Microsoft SAM (Software Asset Management) guide
What a Microsoft Licence Review means for you and your organisation
What’s involved?
Simply put, the SAM Team will ask you to supply information about your software estate, and then check that the software you have installed matches up with the licences you hold (Microsoft licence reviews only encompass Microsoft software and software licences). Microsoft will (or should) work in partnership with you in an open and transparent way, this is a consistent approach with every customer big or small. However, you should be aware that you will need to dedicate some time to completing the review. (Microsoft will ask for around 14 days as an initial benchmark)Your input is vital to ensure accuracy and to enable the Microsoft team working with you to complete the process together as swiftly as possible.

SAM step by step

Third party tools for software asset management

An Audit by Another Name: An Insiders Look at Microsoft’s SAM Engagement Program

How to Set Up an IT Helpdesk for Free