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1E

Plug-ins Review Index

Introduction

You might know 1E for its NightWatchman brand, the utility that turns off PCs at night to save energy.

1E also offers two smart applications for management of software, AppClarity and Shopping:

  • AppClarity – identifies unused software and allows removal via Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) SCCM
  • Shopping – is an enterprise App Store which integrates with ConfigMgr and enables self-service product selection, authorization and deployment.

These two applications combined provide an automated mechanism for the full lifecycle of software:

  • Request Software [Shopping]
  • Approval [Shopping]
  • License [AppClarity]
  • Provision [ConfigMgr]
  • Monitor [AppClarity]
  • Reclaim [AppClarity]

The result is less workload for the help desk and more efficient spend.

Review

For organizations who have already invested in a ConfigMgr infrastructure and have a locked-down environment, this is a no brainer for automating routine software management tasks, especially for high-volume desktop applications.

For example, as a software asset manager, you can set a policy to automatically remove any copies of Microsoft Project that are not being used. Not only will this be acted upon automatically within ConfigMgr but it also includes all the necessary communication with, and a positive user experience for, the end user.

This won’t guarantee compliance or be a silver bullet to resolve all your license management problems but it builds efficiency in at the front end. But when it comes to true-up time or negotiation of large enterprise contracts you won’t need to take lots of corrective action. The bare minimum of software will be installed whilst also providing users with a clear automated channel to request apps if they need them in the future.

For the purposes of this review, I looked at AppClarity. I hope to look at Shopping over the coming months.

1E has squarely focused AppClarity on finding and eliminating unused software. The aim is to make savings from unused software, avoid costly vendor true-ups and claw back valuable software licenses. AppClarity includes detailed reporting to quantify cost savings.

As with most products in this review, one of the core deliverables when working with data from ConfigMgr is to quieten down the noise and filter out what is irrelevant. Identifying the most pertinent information related to software licensing and costs is key.

A key differentiator for AppClarity is the positive end-user experience. The reclaim process fully engages end users by sending a proactive message out to them. The message, which can be fully customized to appear as a message from the CIO, reminds them that applications cost money, so if the given applications are no longer needed, they can authorize AppClarity to remove them. The fact that AppClarity can then harness ConfigMgr to automatically act on this information is even better.

Reclaim policies can be defined by the administrator and AppClarity provides recommendations of the most wasteful apps in the environment so organizations can prioritize their efficiency drive.

Organizations will typically install AppClarity on the same server as ConfigMgr, environments of above 15,000 may need a dedicated server and the system has been tested up to 300K devices. AppClarity integrates with ConfigMgr and does not require an agent

I found the AppClarity console uncluttered and modern. It has six main sections:

  • Automation – (missing from most tools) – this is the AppClarity edge – applications can be removed automatically by stealth or via an automated dialogue with the user.
  • Data Capture – the ability to connect and synchronise with one or more ConfigMgr databases.
  • Products – where ConfigMgr data is normalised and filtered.
  • Licensing – purchase history.
  • Reporting – detailing savings and consumption
  • Configuration.

1E is a relative newcomer to the license management market and I like where they are taking the products.

From the brochure:

AppClarity enables you to make immediate reductions in software costs, analyzing all your applications and providing you with actionable results. AppClarity financially quantifies all software waste and initiates user centric software reclaims. It leverages Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager to help you reclaim, recycle and reuse your software assets. Compliance is achieved at a much lower cost.

AppClarity helps you:

  • Find Unused Software by leveraging Microsoft® Configuration Manager to instantly obtain an accurate picture of all deployed applications. Irrelevant records are filtered out and variances in publisher and product names are normalized. The remaining installations on each PC are classified according to their usage.
  • Financially Quantify Software Waste by providing reports with actionable results. All unused software is collated into one report financially outlining the total waste and potential savings. The Unused Software Report is a business case detailing the waste and the steps to take action.
  • Reclaim Unused Software Licenses by using our user centric software reclaim to automatically reclaim licenses from unused software in order to reallocate or reduce liability.
  • Report Savings with a built-in Software Reclaim Savings Report, which offers a breakdown of savings by publisher and product.

1E ShoppingTM and AppClarity work together to provide self-service software provisioning and complete license visibility and control. Users are more likely to return unused software licenses if they know they can easily regain the applications in the future through a corporate app store.

Links:

Customer References:

  • 3M
  • ERM
  • Aptar Group
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Arup