Asset Inventory Service (AIS) is one of the core components of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) and, as the name suggests, is aimed at helping customers to manage their assets.
Why Manage Assets?
Software Asset Management (SAM) should be a key part of a businesses processes these days, as ensuring software compliancy is a big thing. In a nutshell, SAM is making sure you have the right number of licences for the number of users you have and making sure they were purchased correctly. Licence Compliancy is a big thing for Microsoft and they, as well as most other major software vendors, have a dedicated SAM team to help customer (and partners) with this process.
Even with the best will in the world it can be hard for customers to remain compliant, if they don’t have a SAM system in place. I recently visited a customer who, through one person deploying an incorrect system image a number of years ago, have found themselves under-licensed by a substantial amount, which must now be corrected-and that has a not-insignificant cost attached to it.
Microsoft AIS is a SAM system that can help customers keep track of their assets:
Ensure compliance to reduce risk:
By getting the most complete view of the software installed on enterprise PCs, you can determine whether licenses have been deployed. You can also tell whether all software is compliant with license agreements, key industry standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, and corporate policies. By identifying applications that are out of date or that don’t comply with corporate policy, Microsoft Asset Inventory Service can help IT staff find unapproved applications that may be causing conflicts.
Improve forecasting and budgeting:
Data can be gathered on all software assets in a single query without consuming the IT Dept’s time or interrupting users.. AIS captures a comprehensive list of all the applications installed on each machine which is then reconciled against the AIS Application Knowledgebase. This contains hundreds of thousands of software titles, to create a detailed inventory of the software that is in use in your organization. This information can be transformed into browser-based reports that help your IT staff manage software assets and forecast future needs. The service also analyzes how Microsoft Volume License agreements are deployed to help you more easily manage true-ups, renewals, and license reallocation.
As well as under-licensing, enterprises can also determine if they’re over-licensed; this can happen if a number of people leave and so you have Office licences in reserve for example…many companies automatically purchase a new licence for each new starter-AIS can help stop them over-spending.
Software Asset Management-Not this SAM 😉