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Software Asset Management Enhancements

We're improving the Software module to allow teams to manually maintain software that cannot be discovered and also add more capabilities to track users who use software. Here are some of the changes you'll see in Software Asset Management over the next few months.

  • Create, Update and Delete any software that cannot be discovered (including SaaS Applications)
  • Add/Remove installs of a software
  • Introducing a way to manage the users using a software. This will enable you to track the software that do not have any installs (SaaS Products) more effectively.
  • Add/remove users using a software
  • Link users to a contract to track approved users vs unapproved users
  • Export Software, Installs and User lists
  • Group related software. Eg. Group different versions of the same software or group all the individual components of a software suite
  • APIs for all of the above operations

We are also looking at how we can enable IT teams to track, manage and optimize SaaS products better. If this is of interest to you, do check out this topic and share your thoughts. 



25 people like this idea

Hi Michael, some of the enhancements from the list is are already available and more changes will be available in the next 2 weeks. Can you share some details on what you are trying to achieve and where you are facing difficulties? 




Folks, here are the enhancements that are now available as part of this feature. 


Create Software

Some software such as SaaS Applications cannot be discovered through traditional means of discovery. However, IT Teams want to track these applications, the users using them and the contract details in one place.


Introducing the option to create software manually. Agents can also add additional information such as a Managed By for the software (an employee who is the admin for the software), category and notes when creating the software.


Track & assign licenses to users using the software 

Most modern software support user based licensing models and SaaS Software are primarily user based. Admins normally maintain a list of users using applications in excel sheets and these are notoriously difficult to maintain in the long run. 


We have now introduced the option to add users using/assigned to an application in Freshservice. Agents can also assign licenses to these users to keep a track of the available licenses



View & manage all software used by an employee

When an employee is leaving an organization, the IT Team is responsible for ensuring that access to all software used by the employee is removed. In the case of applications installed in the device, its straightforward. But for SaaS software and software where a user might have an account on the cloud, the IT agent has to know the list of software that is used by the employee and remove the user from them.


We now list all the Software that the employee has been provided access to on the user profile page. 

  • Agents can use this list to easily process user exits. 
  • Agents can also assign software to employees and remove them from the user profile page.



Other enhancements/changes

  • The software list page now defaults to the Managed Software view.
  • We have temporarily removed the software summary displayed for Managed Software. With the introduction of users and license assignment, this summary had incorrect data. The summary will be back with relevant data over the next few weeks
  • Agents can now delete the software that are not required to be tracked



What's Coming up in the next 2 weeks

  • Updated Software list views with more information about each software
  • Ability to Add/Remove Installations
  • Export Software, Software Installs and Software users 
  • Updated Properties tab with all details about the software


I'll drop a note once these updates are out. As always, please let us know if you have any feedback on the changes made.


4 people like this

There needs to be a way to assign users to a license in bulk.  Having to add users one at a time is super painful and a waste of time.   Please add the ability to perform bulk assignments (and removals) of licenses.   The ability to add all users at once would be great as well as the ability to add whole departments or groups.

Rather then having a single search field available it would be better if we were presented with a full list of our users (Requesters+Agents) and then have the ability to check each applicable user or select-all to then assign the given license.   If that list had the ability to filter by department (and location), that would be even better.   And if it would add up the number of checked/selected users and compare that in real-time to the number of available licenses, that would also be great.   If more users were selected than can actually be assigned due to running out of licenses, it should display an error and prevent assignment from happening until the issue is corrected.   

It should however take into account existing assignments...  So for instance, if the user "Joe Smith" was already assigned a license, then perhaps the check box next to his name would have a grey check in it indicating that he already has that license assigned.   We should then be able to uncheck that user to effectively remove that license all in one place.    I think something like that would be ideal.


2 people like this

This is a great step forward and is much appreciated.  However, in order to make it truly useful it has to be streamlined as the process of assigning licenses to users one person at a time is terribly inefficient.


What would be great is if instead of the current single user search field, we were presented with a full list of all users (requesters + agents) in which we could check the appropriate users to assign licenses in bulk.  Having a select-all option on that list would be really helpful and if the list could be filtered by department, job title and/or location that would also greatly help.  In addition to this, it would be awesome if that list would show users that already have the licenses assigned (perhaps with a grey check) which could then allow us to easily uncheck that to effectively remove a license from users.

And then the icing on the cake would be to have a real-time check in place so that if we selected more users than there were available licenses, it would present a notification alerting to that fact and preventing the assignment until that was corrected.  This would make the license assignment (and removal) much, much easier.


Another potential issue is that when using the discovery agent, the same software is often seen as being two separate instances, for example if the version numbers are different or if it's installed on different operating systems.  There needs to be a way to consolidate or link multiple software instances to a single software package or contract to help with license tracking.  Sometimes we need to be able to track all the versions of a software package against a total license count and not being able to do this makes it more difficult to understand what's out in the environment.

Really appreciate all the work that's being put into these additions.  Keep it up!


2 people like this

Looking good so far, definitely going to help a lot.

Would it also be possible to create some way to "merge" software on the display page.

For example: I have the following software currently. And i would like to merge it all into Adobe Acrobat XI Standard


Adobe Acrobat XI Standard
Managed
-
7
Adobe Systems
Adobe Reader XI (11.0.02)
Managed
-
1
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe Reader XI (11.0.03)
Managed
-
0
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe Reader XI (11.0.10)
Managed
-
14
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe Reader XI (11.0.23)
Managed
-
44
Adobe Systems Incorporated




2 people like this

Managing the software category, the status and the type is a must. There are many other types and status aside from the 3 depicted in the default values. Also, the software category lets you add new categories but not manage them, creating duplicities and potential issues.


Also a must would be a simple license counter for the software. If I manually assign 3 licenses, the software count is still 0. If I assign an additional one, the remaining contract licenses shows correctly, so I guess it's a matter of showing, on the software itself, a counter of assigned licenses (all contracts) and remaining licenses. 


On the contract side you should also be able to see / report on remaining licenses.


Additionally, you should be able to assign a non-agent user as software manager. A department chief might not be an agent but might be accountable/responsible for internal application management. 


Nissy

Hi nvergin, 


Thanks for the feedback. We are looking at a few ways to enable you to add multiple users in one go, including a way to integrate to tools that have this user information already (Identity tools such as Okta, Gsuite or Azure). I'll make sure we keep your suggestions in mind as we build out the bulk add capabilities.


Are you looking to perform bulk add users as a one time activity as you build the software and user records in Freshservice or do you think this would be helpful even in day to day operations? A lot of our customers we spoke to have sheets with software and user information stored and want to quickly import this data to Freshservice. Once the initial list is maintained, I am assuming you will mostly be adding/removing users one at a time as you provision/deprovision software to users or when a user joins or leaves the company. 


@nvergin, bryant,  Grouping different versions of software into one is on our to-do list. :) I'll let you know once this is picked up.


@facturas, We want to enable you to add more software types/statuses and also manage the categories. However we may not get to adding these capabilities in the short term. 


You are right about the software license counters and it's just a matter of displaying them. We are shipping these changes in parts and you'll see the counters show up over the next few weeks. 


On assigning non-agents as software managers, you can do this already. The managed by field in the software can take any requester or agent. Please let me know if this is not working for you.


Thanks for your feedback and please keep them coming! :D 



1 person likes this

We are still looking for ability to Track software licensing by department.  There is no easy way to do this. For example we have 22 departments. We need to create 22 contracts, one for each department. Than we can track. But now we have 22 contract for every piece of software. We have 9000 apps, times 22 departments. We are now tracking 198,000 contract. The software/contract modules does not scale. To make matters worse the contracts module there is no sorting of columns or folder structure.  I would like to see sub-contracts. 


Also,

 in reviewing the software update it looks like it went backward to track if we are in compliance.  Before it would show lets say 45 license under contract with 47 install, and a graph to show you are 2 over license. Now you need to add the licenses up yourself to see if you are in compliance.   


Assigning the software to a user is nice, but there is no reporting to go with it.  You know what department the user belongs to why is there no reporting by department to go with this in the reporting module or analytics module. 

Folks, we've shipped a few more updates last week. Here's what's new:

  • You can now export the following data from the software module. You'll find the link to trigger the export near each of these tables (on the top right)
    • Export a list of all the software in the current view (Managed, Ignored, Blacklisted, All Software)
    • Export a list of all the devices where a software is installed on
    • Export a list of all the users who have been added to a software
    • Export a list of all the software that is installed in a device. 
  • You can now manually add devices where a software is installed in. You'll find the Add device option in the Installations tab in the software view page
  • The software lists have been updated to help you quickly get additional details about every software including the user count and the name of the user managing a software. 


More updates coming soon. Please do keep the feedback coming!


2 people like this

@jeff,  Thanks for your feedback!


We are starting work on a few changes to contracts which includes sorting and filtering contracts, among other changes (I'll share details in a new post shortly). I already have sub-contracts on my backlog to solve for the requirements you have mentioned. However, this is not scheduled for dev at the moment. Will revisit this decision next month. 


On your feedback on the license compliance positions, with the simple purchased vs installed comparison that we had earlier, there were situations where devices running trial/free licenses and even old decommissioned devices would show up as a valid license. We also see that the licensing for software is becoming predominantly 'user' based than based on the number of devices where a software is installed. We'll be introducing simpler ways of associating users to licenses. I'll keep you updated as we bring out those options. 


Reporting is another area that we will be focussing on over the next few months . As an interim step, we have introduced the exports. I'll share more details once we start work on reporting for software & contracts




Hi, i know you replied to me 6 months ago but actually our issue isnt really taken care of when it comes to the software side of things.  For example:


Software we have has 50 individual license keys.  Each Key is assigned to a device.  Currently to support that and track outside of a spreadsheet we would need to create 50 contracts as a contract can only handle a single key.  There is no way to assign a single device with a single contract (key) to a single piece of software so we would need to then add 50 items of the same software, add both device and contract to that single piece of software.


We cant be the only ones who have per device licenses like this?


1 person likes this
Any update on this?
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