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Best of ITSM from last week’s HP Discover

IMG_5048.JPGLast week was very lively in Frankfurt at HP Discover; I am  still catching up on my sleep five days later.

 

There was a lot of interest in Service Anywhere and some common ITSM topics/questions that I’ll discuss in the following blog post

HP Asset Manager: What Vehicle is Driving Your IT?

So much to do, so little budget with which to do it—this quandary is an all too familiar one for IT departments who are attempting to emphasize value and innovation while simultaneously justifying and reducing the cost of services. Combined with a lack of transparency and control over the physical, virtual, contractual and fiscal elements of complex business assets, meeting the challenge of successfully aligning IT services with business objectives becomes a difficult—if not virtually impossible—task. In order to solve this issue, IT departments must adopt more strategic financial management practices that will ultimately result in more foreseeable and higher valued services.

 

The question that remains is which ITAM product is best suited for the task?

HP Asset Manager, the solution for your Oracle Compliance (full white paper)

Oracle is one of the top 3 publishers where enterprise companies invest their money today. The official price list for one Oracle Enterprise Edition processor license is today $47 500 (http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/technology-price-list-070617.pdf)!

… and Oracle license compliance is one of the most challenging to maintain

An Oracle compliance audit can quickly turn into a very expensive exercise. HP Asset Manager, with the Oracle SAM Best Practice package, gives you the tools and best practices to help avoid cold sweat.

This white paper gives you a practical understanding of Oracle Licensing, as well as HP Asset Manager’s answers and ready to use solutions for being successful in Oracle compliance management.  The series will finish with an Oracle SAM tour in Asset Manager across the interface. With Asset Manager, you can achieve huge savings savings through license use optimization and decreased legal risk through crystal clear visibility on compliance.

HP Asset Manager, the solution for your Oracle Compliance (2)

Second post of the series of 3,  this article explains in details how Asset Manager provides quick and easy solution to the tricky challenges of managing Oracle database compliance.

Tired of an ever increasing deficit? Come to Washington DC and see how Asset Management can help you be more fiscally responsible!

 


HP Software Universe is in Washington DC this June!  Could there be a better venue to hear how you can reduce the cost of your IT assets and provide better services to your customer?  Maybe members of congress can join us and learn something too!  


 


This years Asset Management presentations are going to be impressive.  I can attest to that because I am the track manager for Asset Management and I just finished reviewing all the presentations. Four of the six discussions will be presented by a customer or partner, and two will be presented by HP software experts.   There’s a variety of topics including Software Asset Manager (SAM), Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM), managing assets in a virtualized IT environment and discovery teaching, just to mention a few.


 


I’ll give you a little more insight.  One of the presentations is about software asset management and will feature a large healthcare company that saved lots of money by implementing asset management to control software licenses   They had been audited by a large software vendor (you can guess who, I’m sure) and were surprised when they found out they needed to pay millions of dollars due to under licensing!!  Unfortunately many companies are experiencing the same dynamic because software vendors are now taking the opportunity to collect additional revenue from accounts especially when they see flags such as mergers and divestitures or any other business change.


 


Another customer, a large insurance company, will present their software integration strategy around Service Asset and Configuration Management.  They go into detail about the challenges they had and how they overcame them to create an ‘On Demand’ IT organization.   They are still evolving but they’ve done some remarkable things…


 


Check out the web site at   https://www.hpsoftwareuniverse2010.com/event/ .  If you’re thinking about implementing asset management and want some helpful information, register for SWU and come to Washington in June!

ISO 19770-2 SWID update

I know, I have been very tardy – sorry, but things like this happen and will continue to happen.  I am starting to like blogging, but there will be times when I will simply not be able to do this, when my “day job” will get in the way.  Some say that this is a part of my day job now – but I prefer to think about this as a way to “spread my wings”.  But enough about that…


Let’s get back to my thoughts about the Software Identification tags.  I have been waiting for some more news from Steve Klos from Tagvault.org.  Unfortunately for me (and you), Steve went on vacation and truly “unplugged” (I hope it wasn’t simply because cell phones don’t work under water J).


So, here is what I know now:


1.       GSA should have their policy established sometime in June (it would be nice if it was just before HP Software Universe).


2.       Tagvault.org held a contest to promote the use of tags.  Unfortunately, HP did not participate at this time, but believe me – not being the first out of the gate does not mean we are not interested (or else, why would I be writing to promote this topic).


If you go to the Tagvault.org website, you can watch a video of the contest results – if you are not familiar with the tags – it is a great way to get introduced to them.

IS ISO 19770 going far enough?

OK, I think everyone following my posts knows by now that I believe these tags are an important step in solving the challenges associated with Software Asset Management.  But, I really haven’t talked about whether this is enough or not.


Before I go further, let me review the different parts of this standard:


-1 – Established a set of best practices for implementing SAM


-2 – Created a first industry standard mechanism for identifying software installations


-3 – A proposed extension of the -2 standard focused on providing license model information


This is all I am aware of at the moment.  But, is this enough?  I don’t think so.  This is a series of great steps.  We are defining a set of best practices, which is great.  We are standardizing the collection of data, that’s awesome.  All of these are important in solving the SAM challenges.  But, we are not yet collecting enough data to make asset management truly simple.


The -2 and -3 standards will tell you items such as the name of the vendor, software title and version and type of licensing the application uses.  But, one very important piece is still missing.  We still don’t know how many licenses we are consuming.


I am not going to go into the details about some of the wild and crazy licensing schemes vendors have come up with.  All justified, at least in their minds.  Inventory Discovery tools, such as HP DDMI, do good job collecting all the data that is available – ISO 19770 standards will help, of course.  But, the existing standards will still not help the SAM professionals to reconcile licenses in use for many applications.  How do you get data for “per user” licenses?  That’s where I believe we will need a “-4” standard.  Only then we will have information about the software and manufacturer, type of licenses used and number of those licenses CONSUMED.

Are you in compliance with your software contracts?





Reducing cost seems to be on most people’s minds these days and software seems like a pretty obvious target. I’ve read that on average software constitutes 18 to 37 percent of the overall IT budget and Gartner in 2006 stated that 89 percent of executives believe license compliance is a corporate problem.  I’ve also read that Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) now offer large rewards for reports of license noncompliance or piracy.  And there are so many mandates that make software compliance important like Sarbanes-Oxley, copyright regulations, HIPPA…


 


Gartner also said that through 2008, 30 percent of large enterprises will experience at least one on-site software audit per year (0.7 probabilities). That’s pretty threading! You don’t want to have one of your software vendors audit you only to find that you are under-licensed or over-licensed and out of compliance with your software contract!  I know of a company that recently paid MILLONS of dollars to a major software vendor because they were under-licensed


 


It gets even more complicated when you consider virtualization!  Do you have any servers sitting around with software installed but they are unused?  Those are licenses you’re paying for that you aren’t even using.  Software vendors are now taking advantage of the ambiguity of software contracts relating to expanded license scope caused by technologies like virtualization.


 


There are a lot of challenges in managing software compliance and it’s difficult to address the challenges with manual processes.  The company I mentioned that spent millions of dollars in a software audit can’t afford to have that happen again.  They are implementing software asset management to automate software management processes.


 


What do you do to make sure your software is compliant or do you use a manual process?  How do you make sure your software is compliant when using Virtual Machines?  I want to hear from you!


 



 

CMS Use Cases On Parade At HP Software Universe

In my last few posts I talked about the need to focus on use cases.  Over many years I have learned that the number one thing people want to hear about is as follows:  "what is my peer down the street (or across the ocean) doing about similar problems".


Being the track manager for the Configuration Management System (CMS) track at HP Software Universe in Washington D.C. (June 2010), I just completed scheduling a number of great presentations that represent real world use cases and implementation outcomes.   The CMS track at Universe this year highlights a number of great case studies of what real customers - facing real challenges - at very  large and complex companies - are doing around CMS related initiatives.  What follows is a quick summary of customer centric use cases that will be on stage for the CMS track at Universe this summer.


Turkcell, one of the largest mobile phone companies in Europe, will be on stage addressing how they are creating an integrated IT environment capable of supporting a broad range of IT processes including Asset Management, Configuration Management, Change Management and Problem Management.  Elements being integrated include IBM Maximo, HP Business Service Management (BSM) solutions, the HP Universal CMDB and HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping.


An HP partner, Linium L.L.C., will be walking through the work they have done for a major retailer in the US.  The focus of this case study is around the implementation of a Change and Release Management solution that brought together HP Server Automation, HP Release Control, HP Service Manager and the HP Universal CMDB.  


Melillo Consulting is working with a large company to integrate several of our BSM solutions with our HP Client Automation Center to implement an Incident, Change, Problem and Request Management solution.


Elegasi, another partner, is working with a large Financial Services company to help them effectively manage the cost of licenses associated with virtualized infrastructure.   The session will highlight how Discovery and Dependency Mapping, the Universal CMDB, and HP Asset Manager can work together to help address license compliance and cost management for virtualized infrastructures.


Finally, our HP Professional Services team is implementing a Service Asset and Configuration Management solution for a major Telecom company.  They'll be addressing the work they have done to integrate UCMDB and Asset Manager and talking about where they are going next in terms of integrating Service Manager. 


When I consider all of the sessions being put together across other tracks as well - I know that there are many more customer or partner delivered sessions that focus on integrated solutions.  In many of these, the UCMDB is a central component of the solution that will be represented on stage.  If you are interested in going to Universe and have not yet registered, I invite  you to get $100 off the entry price by entering the promotion code INSIDER when you register.  Feel free to pass this promotion code on to others.  Hope to see you in Washington this summer.  Cheers!

Meet The Experts: A series of webinars on managing a virtualized IT environment

HP recently sponsored a series of virtualization roundtables, run by CIO magazine, titled "What your team's not telling you about virtualization". Over the course of these virtualization roundtables, we heard from more than 100 IT executives (C-Level, VP…) about what’s on their minds regarding the management challenges around virtualization. They were very interactive discussions between the HP speakers and the customers, and regardless of the industry or city they were in, a set of common needs were expressed by these IT executives, including the need to:


• Automate change across physical and virtual environments that make up the business service


 • Become more cost efficient


• Increase IT operations efficiency and delivering high-quality services


• Better enable business continuity and compliance


• Manage asset and software entitlements, contracts and deployments


• Learn from their peers and from HP about the best practices around virtualization


 As a result of this feedback, we scheduled an April web event series (six one-hour virtual discussions) that drills down to answer these common needs. They are called the ‘Meet the Experts’ presentations where virtualization experts discuss best practices. Some of the speakers are from HP, some are customers. The dates and topics are:


 • April 13 - Optimizing service modeling, discovery, and monitoring for VMware environments


 • April 14 - Protecting Virtualized Environments from Disaster with HP Data Protector •


 April 21 - Testing Smarter and Faster with Virtualization


• April 22 - Improve customer satisfaction and maintain service levels in virtualized environments


• April 27- BCBS of Florida builds a foundation for virtualization with HP Asset Manager


• April 29 - Virtualization: Compliance enforcement in a virtualized world


If you are interested in listening to any of these presentations you can attend by registering at: https://h30406.www3.hp.com/campaigns/2010/events/1-8K6H1/index.php?rtc=3-3ERQKL8&jumpid=ex_r11374_us/en/large/eb/adv3_virtualization_wave_sdr_ptr/rtc_3-3ERQKL8/20100310.  I think they will be interesting and insightful if you want to learn more about how to manage a virtualized environment!


 

Important week for Software Asset Management

You may have read my recent posts about Software Asset Management, where I have been promoting the ISO19770-2 software ID tags.


This is an important week for the future of Software Asset Management.  This week, US General Services Administration (GSA) is meeting with some of the people involved in passing the ISO 19770-2 standard and TagVault.org.  They will be discussing whether US Government will adopt ISO 19770-2 software tags as a requirement for all future software purchases.


I for one, hope the GSA adopts this requirement and forces software companies to include these tags with all software  I also hope the GSA will adopt an aggressive and realistic date for the requirement to be mandatory.  I also hope this is a “hard” requirement, because otherwise adoption rates may be low, or may take a long time for these tags to become common.  The tags are relatively easy to create and TagVault.org can provide assistance and, perhaps more importantly, is becoming a central tag certification and signing authority.


In other words, I hope the outcome of the meeting will be a statement like this “in order to sell software to US Government, your software must include ISO 19770-2 tag.  The requirement is effective January 1, 2011”, as opposed to “US Government will prefer to use software which includes ISO 19770-2 tags from today on”.


I will be waiting for the results of the meeting.  I hope the GSA decides to require these tags and soon.


If you are involved in Software Asset Management this could be like Christmas in March.  And if all goes really well, then maybe the requirement will come into effect in time for Christmas this year.

The complex world of Software Inventory

In my previous blog, I promoted the concept of ISO 19770-2 tags.  But, I did not get deep into the reasons why I think they are so important.  Let me fill in some of the blanks.


In my many conversations with IT professionals, I noticed that outside of Software Asset Managers, few people understand why Software Asset Management (SAM) is so difficult.  And I am not surprised.  And the reason is rather obvious – we know what software is on our own machines.  By extension, we think that IT should also be able to find out what is installed on all IT managed machines.


Here is why this is not so.


1.       There are no universal standards to enable a reliable and complete discovery of software.  Not all applications report themselves to the OS – even on Windows. The file header information, the registry, WMI and Add/Remove Programs information in Windows is not consistent and reliable, although still miles ahead of Linux and UNIX.  I do have to give some kudos to Microsoft for having the most effective standards.


2.       There is no universally standard way to install applications.  There are many installers, and there no universal way to extract information from the installer – again, the situation is the better on Windows than other OSs.


3.       There is no single approach that can discover all software.  Some applications can be identified using file-based recognition, others require scripts, etc.


I have seen various attempts at solving this challenge.  Just talk to different asset management vendors.  You will hear about thousands of recognition entries (or signatures, footprints, etc).  You will hear about pulling data from OS sources and custom modules for identification of individual applications, but I bet that not one company can say they can discover all applications (unless they mean to provide a list of all files on each file system, but that is not exactly what we are interested in, is it?).


And here is another thing – none of us want to spend any time or money in the trenches.  We want Software Asset Management; we want it now and at a minimal cost. But, how do you manage your assets without proper discovery?  It’s like trying to drive a car with no wheels.  It may feel great to sit in it, but it won’t get you far.  Software discovery or inventory is the foundation – without it, you cannot do SAM.  But if we don’t want to invest in it, means we must find a common way of collecting the information.  This has to be something that is OS independent, it has to be something that is vendor independent.  It also has to be something that is quick and easy to do, because everyone, customer and vendor, is watching their expenses these days.


And that, my friends is why I am so passionate about promoting the ISO 19770-2 standard.  It is vendor and OS independent.  It is quick and easy to adopt (relative terms of courseJ).  There is even an organization that can help create and sign these tags – TagVault.org. It is a standard that can be universally adopted.  And it is time we had an adopted standard.  Trust me, I would much rather think about how to create an innovative user experience, or look for ways to adopt some new wiz-bang technology, than spend my days creating file-based software recognition entries.


I recall a conversation I had with one of my customers about SAM.  This particular gentleman is a manager of a large IT shop that has in-sourced its asset management.  His customers don’t understand how difficult it is to collect software inventory information.  He knows there is no magic bullet to solve the problem.  But, until this standard, he did not see much hope.  He thought that the only way to get software vendors to provide a way to track their software was through courts.  I am not sure if you have noticed, but many software vendors are now investing resources in license compliance audits.  Reason is simple – they are not selling as much as they used to before the recession (everyone is tightening their budgets and software expenditures are finally being scrutinized).  So, how do you make up a revenue shortfall?  One word – Audits.


His wish may yet come true – I think that if ISO 19770-2 gets adopted, it will force all vendors to compliance – the legal system that is fully behind the license agreements today may suddenly wake up to the fact that in some cases software identification is incredibly difficult, almost as if the vendors were purposely making it difficult.  I am not saying that is so by any means, but our legal system may decide that it is unfair that a particular vendor is not adopting a common standard and therefore putting undue pressure on the customer to track their software installations.  And I have yet to meet a customer who is not bewildered by the challenges that software discovery/inventory presents in their daily lives.  Like a real life Sisyphean task (even though they cannot tell me what they are being punished forJ).


But anyway, let me get off my soap box – I am getting long winded (and I know those who know me aren’t surprised).


But, ISO 19770-2 is only a part of the Software Asset Management challenge – it’s a start.  But then, we will need to get behind ISO 19770-3.  But that is another topic, for another time.   Hope you enjoyed this post – I promise/threat to write more.


 

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About the Author(s)
  • HP IT Service Management Product Marketing team manager. I am also responsible for our end-to-end Change, Configuration, and Release Management (CCRM) solution. My background is engineering and computer science in the networking and telecom worlds. As they used to say in Telcom, "the network is the business" (hence huge focus on service management). I always enjoyed working with customers and on the business side of things, so here I am in ITSM marketing.
  • David has led a career in Enterprise Software for over 20 years and has brought to market numerous successful IT management products and innovations.
  • I am the PM of UCMDB and CM. I have a lot of background in configuration management, discovery, integrations, and delivery. I have been involved with the products for 12 years in R&D and product management.
  • Gil Tzadikevitch HP Software R&D Service Anywhere
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Jacques Conand is the Director of ITSM Product Line, having responsibility for the product roadmap of several products such as HP Service Manager, HP Asset Manager, HP Universal CMDB, HP Universal Discovery and the new HP Service Anywhere product. Jacques is also chairman of the ITSM Customer Advisory Board, ensuring the close linkage with HP's largest customers.
  • Jody Roberts is a researcher, author, and customer advocate in the Product Foundation Services (PFS) group in HP Software. Jody has worked with the UCMDB product line since 2004, and currently takes care of the top 100 HP Software customers, the CMS Best Practices library, and has hosted a weekly CMDB Practitioner's Forum since 2006.
  • Mary is a member of HP’s ITSM product marketing team and is responsible for HP Service Anywhere. She has 20+ years of product marketing, product management, and channel/alliances experience. Mary joined HP in 2010 from an early-stage SaaS company providing hosted messaging and mobility services. She also has product management experience in the ITSM industry. Mary has a BS in Computer Science and a MBA in Marketing. Follow: @MaryR_Colorado
  • Michael Pott is a Product Marketing Manager for HP ITSM Solutions. Responsibilities include out-bound marketing and sales enablement. Michael joined HP in 1989 and has held various positions in HP Software since 1996. In product marketing and product management Michael worked on different areas of the IT management software market, such as market analysis, sales content development and business planning for a broad range of products such as HP Operations Manager and HP Universal CMDB.
  • Ming is Product Manager for HP ITSM Solutions
  • Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model. The scope of these solutions spans across server, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery. Shelat has 21 years of experience in IT, 18 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a World-Wide Product Marketing Manager, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst. Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.
  • Oded is the Chief Functional Architect for the HP Service and Portfolio Management products, which include Service Manager, Service Anywhere, Universal CMDB & Discovery, Asset Manager, Project and Portfolio Manager.
  • Olivier is Product Line Manager for the HP Configuration Management System (CMS) which is comprised of UCMDB, UCMDB Configuration Manager, the UCMDB Browser, and Universal Discovery.
  • I am Senior Product Manager for Service Manager. I have been manning the post for 10 years and working in various technical roles with the product since 1996. I love SM, our ecosystem, and our customers and I am committed to do my best to keep you appraised of what is going on. I will even try to keep you entertained as I do so. Oh and BTW... I not only express my creativity in writing but I am a fairly accomplished oil painter.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
  • Vesna is the senior product marketing manager at HP Software. She has been with HP for 13 years in R&D, product management and product marketing. At HP she is responsible for go to market and enablement of the HP IT Performance Suite products.
  • A 25+ year veteran of HP, Yvonne is currently a Senior Product Manager of HP ITSM software including HP Service Anywhere and HP Service Manager. Over the years, Yvonne has had factory and field roles in several different HP businesses, including HP Software, HP Enterprise Services, HP Support, and HP Imaging and Printing Group. Yvonne has been masters certified in ITIL for over 10 years and was co-author of the original HP IT Service Management (ITSM) Reference Model and Primers.
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