Plug-ins Review Index
Most of the tools in this review work on the basis of extracting data from Microsoft SCCM to use in another system or to display additional windows within the SCCM console.
BDNA has a whole different approach – They simply use their system to enrich SCCM itself. SCCM data is extracted, clarified, nourished with additional information and then reinserted back into Configuration Manager in the form of new WMI classes, which can be accessed via the main SCCM console.
In comparison to other tools in this review, this approach empowers the SCCM Administrator with additional information rather than purely piggybacking on his infrastructure.
For example the SCCM Administrator can run a query on all Microsoft software installed, and using the additional data classes provided by BDNA, run a report on which titles are licensable or part of a suite without leaving Configuration Manager. For most organizations I speak to, this single feature alone would justify the investment.
3-Minute Video Overview of BDNA Normalize for ConfigMgr
BDNA have focused Normalize for ConfigMgr around several specific high value initiatives that organizations might deliver to make better use of their SCCM data. These include:
- Application Licensable Status, Software Rationalisation, Suite vs Stand-alone software identification, Software Usage and other SAM, Audit or ITAM Projects
- Windows 7 Application Compatibility
- Ongoing Support Availability
- Consolidation, CMDB or other IT Architecture Projects looking for an automated way to assign standard taxonomies to their asset data.
Normalize for ConfigMgr is an on-premise product that is backed by a web-based reference catalog that is updated daily and tracks over 200,000 hardware models and over 170,000 software releases. Because the aim of the product is to enrich SCCM rather than taking the data elsewhere – the actual console for Normalize CM is very straight forward and consists of two main features:
- Perform the Normalize process of clarifying and enriching SCCM data and schedule future normalization
- And Update the catalog from BDNA with the latest updates and uploads any unrecognized products for future classification
Once this initial configuration has been performed all future work is carried out within SCCM itself. As I mentioned in the previous Inventory and Discovery Tools Group test – BDNA provides an additional layer of business context on top of your existing data like augmented reality for IT Assets.
Two new classes are created within the SCCM database for software and hardware, which can be reported on via the main SCCM console via queries, collections or reports.
The bottom line here is time saved and increased productivity for the Desktop Management team. Time saved in query writing, trying to interpret what SCCM has discovered and researching what it means for current projects.
From the brochure:
BDNA Normalize for ConfigMgr™ (Normalize CM™) boosts productivity for Microsoft System Administrators, saving them hundreds of hours of scripting and query development time. It does this through the delivery of detailed, actionable information about the hardware and software environment directly into your ConfigMgr database and console. Normalized information provides the clarity, accuracy and context required for enabling effective operational and strategic decision making.
The normalization process filters SCCM inventory data, clarifies the current manufacturer and product names in addition to identifying software suites. Finally, normalization enriches the discovered product information with additional attributes including non-discoverable market data such as Windows 7 compatibility, licensability and support end-of-life dates.
Normalize CM is powered by BDNA Technopedia™, the world’s largest IT reference catalog, containing more than 10,000 manufacturers, 170,000 hardware models, over 150,000 software products and 14 million market data points. Because Technopedia is updated daily it keeps pace with your evolving hardware and software environment..