Altiris is assessing the assets

After several years of offering its products in separate pieces, Altiris Inc. has decided that the time has arrived to bundle them together and has launched the Asset Management Suite – a tool which enables enterprises to monitor assets, such as hardware and software.

While parts of the offering were already available to its customers for the past three years, the company has added three main new components: the Asset Control solution, Contract Management solution and the TCO Management solution, all of which take a Web-based approach.

Asset Control has the ability to monitor what is being run at the desktop level and can deny access to specific programs such as card games during business hours, while the Contact Management tracks hardware or fixed assets with actual system inventory. The company also said the offering can justify total cost of ownership (TCO).

“The TCO [module] leverages the data we collect in our inventory as far as what is installed on the machine and what is in the machine. The ability to report on the total cost – this aspect of the solution brings this together,” said Duane Newman, product manager at Altiris in Lindon, Utah.

And while one of the suite’s primary functions is the reporting aspect, it can also be used to alert customers in situations such as when a lease is about to expire on one of their PCs, he added.

With Altiris inventory and asset management solutions, users can automate the collection of Windows and Unix inventory, leased equipment, software licences, contracts, and enterprise asset tracking. The management suite also includes Altiris’ Web Report product, which allows data to be analyzed from a Web browser.

During a Windows 2000 re-architecture project, AGF Management Ltd. decided to search for a vendor that could provide a product designed to improve its asset management tools, and eventually settled on Altiris. Initially the firm opted for a two-month pilot program in-house before moving ahead with the complete installation this past February.

“We created a customized reports section that would take a wealth of information from the canned reports and pulled out the information that was useful to us,” said Zeljko Dojcinovic, vice-president of production services for AGF in Toronto. The company’s main reason for using the suite is to keep track of its assets, he said, adding that he has been impressed with the Web front end and the Active Directory integration. At press time, AGF had begun implementing the Contract Management module.

“One area where companies struggle with is keeping track of the maintenance agreements they have with all the different hardware and software vendors and (this) alerts you when it’s time for renewal or servicing,” he said.

The Asset Management Suite is now available and is priced at US$55 per node when 100 nodes are purchased. A free 30-day download is available at the company’s Web site at