SOFTWARE USAGE MONITORING AND WORKS’      COUNCILS – IT CAN BE DONE!WORKPLACE POLITICS MAY NEED ADDRESSING BEFORE APPCLARI...
IntroductionMany systems management tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007have the ability to mo...
Part One: Working with the Works CouncilUnderstanding that the Works Council exists to defend against possible job reducti...
How 1E AppClarity adds valueAppClarity is a focussed solution from 1E that has been built to eliminate software waste with...
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Software usage monitoring and workers councils

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Workplace politics may need addressing before AppClarity can be deployed to find and reclaim unused software in a company.

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Software usage monitoring and workers councils

  1. 1. SOFTWARE USAGE MONITORING AND WORKS’ COUNCILS – IT CAN BE DONE!WORKPLACE POLITICS MAY NEED ADDRESSING BEFORE APPCLARITY CAN BE DEPLOYED TO FIND AND RECLAIM UNUSED SOFTWARE IN A COMPANY GEOFF COLLINS 1E
  2. 2. IntroductionMany systems management tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007have the ability to monitor application usage. When combined with AppClarity from 1E this can beused to find and reclaim unused software. This technology has enabled 1E customers to makesubstantial savings in their software spend, but sometimes the politics can be more complex thanthe technology.Works CouncilsWorks Councils are prevalent in Germany (Betriebsrat), and are also found in France (ComitédEntreprise), the Netherlands (Ondernemingsraad) and many other countries across Europe. Theyare primarily intended to protect and promote the rights of the employees in an organization andcan wield a great deal of power within an organization. These lobbying forces can often prevent ITchanges that have a perceived impact on end users. Understanding the motivations of the WorkersCouncils can be key when it comes to moving forward.Tracking User ActivityWorkers councils have traditionally been very strict about ensuring that any new monitoring toolcannot be used to prove that a worker was not using their PC. It is usually argued that thisinformation could be used to unfairly persecute workers and at the least make working conditionsunpleasant and at worst result in unfair dismissals. Unfortunately this has meant that many ITprojects that would be great for the business have stalled because of concerns raised by the WorkersCouncils.Application Usage MonitoringApplication usage monitoring such as Software Metering in Microsoft SCCM is a classic case ofsomething that could be used to monitor user activity on a PC and hence is often met with muchscepticism by the Workers Council. Many organizations believe that this is an impassable obstacle. Itdoesn’t have to be.A Two Part SolutionTo move forward two steps are recommended. One involves people and the other involvestechnology. The former involves working with the workers council to help them to understand thatthis will not result in worse conditions for workers – and could substantially improve them. Thelatter involves enabling Software Metering in such a way that user information is minimized, but itcan still be leveraged by a tool such as 1E AppClarity to eliminate software waste.© 1E Ltd. 2011 Page 2 of 4
  3. 3. Part One: Working with the Works CouncilUnderstanding that the Works Council exists to defend against possible job reductions or peoplebeing put under unreasonable pressure is key. It is important to help them understand the goals ofthe project, what data will be collected, what it will be used for and who will have access to it. 1. Stipulate that any information gathered will only be used for software waste analysis. Offer to put this in a written agreement between the works council and the IT department. 2. In tough times many organizations are forced to make cuts to jobs and employee benefits. Point out that this initiative is about getting rid of software that no one is using. Cost saving like this has almost no user impact. This is actually great for the employees – the sort of thing that a modern works council should be advocating. 3. Some works councils have agreed to automated unused software reclaim on the condition that software should not be removed without giving the user the opportunity to opt out. This is a technically achievable option which may be a key negotiation point. 4. Microsoft ConfigMgr allows restriction on who can view raw data. Using this in conjunction with 1E AppClarity means that a software manager could only see software centric reports and have no ability to trace this back to a user. 5. Metering in Microsoft ConfigMgr can be restricted to collect much less information than is commonly understood. It is possible to measure application usage without any user information being captured. The following section discusses how this can be achieved.Part Two: Enabling Metering… SafelyMicrosoft System Center Configuration Manager contains a central control file (calledSMS_DEF.MOF) which tells the system how much information to capture. An engineer can edit thisfile before activating the Software Metering Agent to instruct the system not to gather any userdata. The process is very simple; most administrators should be able to review the file and changeany user related lines from “TRUE” to “FALSE”.Once the software metering agent is enabled a review of the permissions should be done. It isrecommended that the objects containing metering data be secured so that only AppClarity canaccess them. This means that there is no possibility of any data being used by unauthorized admins.Finally, metering traditionally requires that rules be set up for each and every application that will bemonitored. This gives rich information about frequency and duration of usage – more than might beacceptable to Works Councils. AppClarity has a proprietary analytics algorithm that does not requirethese rules.© 1E Ltd. 2011 Page 3 of 4
  4. 4. How 1E AppClarity adds valueAppClarity is a focussed solution from 1E that has been built to eliminate software waste withinorganizations. It has the following capabilities that add value to Microsoft ConfigMgr:  Unused Software Analytics without any requirement for metering rules to be configured. No rules equal less sensitive data being captured.  Automated removal of unused software. The admin sets a policy and the user is notified and given an option to opt out.  Business centric reports. Managers can see the financial value of unused software reclaimed and what’s left out there.ConclusionWith a little persuasion and some technical expertise, 1E AppClarity and Microsoft ConfigMgr can beused to save significant amounts of unused software within organizations that have Works Councils.© 1E Ltd. 2011 Page 4 of 4

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