News, Reviews and Resources for ITAM, SAM and Software Licensing Professionals.

Snow Software

Plug-ins Review Index

Introduction

Snow Software are the company I am most likely to be quizzed about by other software companies and partners – they are quietly disrupting the market and winning deals in Europe and have begun to penetrate US and Asian markets.

Having been fortunate enough to work at Centennial Software during its prime and now watching Snow during it’s ascension – I know this success to be made of three components – good software, a good team and a good route to market.

Snow offer a heavily partner driven model with a service provider option, resulting in approximately 60% of new customers being supported via the web and 40% on premise. For customers opting for the ongoing service option – Snow provide the customer with a unique MSI package which they use SCCM or other method to install.

The partner leading the engagement then assists with the heavy lifting. Whilst not a silver bullet – it’s a great way for organizations, especially small and medium business, to get up and running on progressing their SAM journey.  Snow Software claim 80% of their new business stems from organizations wanting to harness SCCM data.

Recognizing SCCM Data

In terms of connecting with SCCM, Snow offers a connector that exports inventory data on a regular basis into Snow License Manager. When imported into License Manager the raw inventory information is rationalized, normalized and cleaned for licensing purposes.

Any applications that are not immediately recognized are sent automatically to Snow Software headquarters for further analysis. Once recognized – the new software recognition intelligence is filtered down to all Snow clients globally, much like an antivirus vendor might update clients with the latest signatures.

Snow offers this service against a Service Level Agreement, which offers the client a level of assurance that the job is going to get done. This is much more proactive than most vendors and uses the collective intelligence of all Snow customers. Many recognition updates from vendors are based on the whim and priorities of the vendor rather than it’s clients.

Interaction with SCCM

Software Asset Managers can make uninstall requests from within License Manager. This is a smart way for non-SCCM staff to kick off tasks in the SAM lifecycle. The uninstall feature has two intelligent parts which I particularly liked:

  1. When right clicking on an application to uninstall it the selected application turns another colour to let you know the request has been acknowledged (sending a request to the pending queue in SCCM) but only disappears once the application has actually been uninstalled.
  2.  Uninstall is suite savvy. It recognizes that uninstalling a component part of a suite will make no change to the entitlement.

Snow claim to be able to uninstall via a policy (for example if the manufacturer is Adobe, it costs more than $500 and is not used for 60 days uninstall it) – although this is more of a custom configuration and not a out of the box feature, other tools in this group test such as 1E were a bit slicker at uninstall in this respect. It is also dependent on either SCCM usage information being enabled for this application or the Snow agent being installed.

From the Brochure:

Take control of your licenses and software costs with Snow License Manager 2011.

Snow License Manager is an advanced and user-friendly SAM solution which provides you with the ability to significantly reduce licensing expenditure whilst mitigating compliance risk. The solution provides true software metering across all applications within the estate, allowing you to view what software is actually used and make more informed licensing decisions based on the most trustworthy data.

Snow License Manager automatically reconciles software licenses and agreements against deployments across the organisation, providing you with the ability to optimise the infrastructure depending on business requirements. License Manager provides you with the ability to manage the complete life-cycle of both your hardware and software assets from purchase, to registration, to installation and usage analysis right the way through to retirement. Snow will automatically re-harvest unused licenses and allow you to license your environment in the most cost-effective way.

Improve your internal SAM-processes and create local incentives for cost savings by decentralising the license registration and administration without losing central control.

Links:

Customer References:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Parker Hannifin
  • Raytheon
  • Ipsos Mori
  • Kingfisher PLC
  • Bank of Ireland
  • Salesforce.com