Novell Pushes Zenworks into IT Asset Management

After completing the acquisition of Tally Systems Corp. on Monday, Novell said it plans to ship its Zenworks Asset Management suite next week.

Novell acquired Tally Systems in order to expand its Zenworks systems management offering. The result is a set of integrated tools with discovery and inventory, license management, and software usage and trend analysis capabilities.

“The combination of Novell Zenworks and the asset management expertise from Tally Systems provides a deeper level of lifecycle management for a company’s diverse IT resources,” said David Litwack, Novell senior vice president and general manager for Identity-Driven Products.

Zen Abilities

The new software is designed to allow organizations to track systems information and assets across the enterprise to control software spending and ensure compliance with software license agreements and government regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The software compliance component provides a comparison of inventory with purchase and license records. Software usage capabilities report trends and details that can prevent the overbuying of software licenses and monitor the use of unauthorized applications.

Gartner Research Director Patricia Adams said non-compliance with software usage rights can be extremely costly, with penalties exceeding US$100,000, and also can result in negative publicity for a company.

“Products that offer inventory, usage and software distribution enable customers to monitor usage trends that can track the use of unauthorized applications and more accurately use software distribution to set and enforce corporate standards,” Adams said.

Logical Extension

Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff told TechNewsWorld that Zenworks Asset Management is a logical extension of Novell’s systems management software that allows the company to tell a more complete story to its customers.

“If there were standardized ways of describing assets and resources, you could potentially have tools from different vendors that would all plug together very nicely, but that’s not the reality,” Haff said. “Zenworks Asset Management essentially lets Novell start managing IT assets earlier in the process.”

Novell’s new tool is going to become even more important, he said, if licensing shifts toward a more usage-based model via server virtualization.

“It’s nice to have these kinds of tools in one place because it’s all part of managing resources,” Haff said. “If you have separate tools that handle different parts of the resource life cycle, the handoff between them are probably not going to be very clean and things are going ot get kind of lost in the transition. Frankly, there’s just a lot of duplicated work.”

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