OSA changes name and revamps software mgmt. suite

Open Software Associates Inc. changed its name Monday to ManageSoft and introduced its newest software management suite for the enterprise.

The company also is using the name ManageSoft for its flagship product, which was previously called netDeploy Global.

With the newest version of the product, called ManageSoft 6.0, the company is introducing the concept of a software warehouse, where IT executives can centrally store data about their software assets and also run reports and queries on that data.

“Our new software warehouse parallels the concept of a data warehouse, where you can collect data for better reporting and querying,” ManageSoft president Graeme Greenhill says. “Our emphasis is on the management of software assets and the management of information about the software.”

The company is trying to move beyond software management as a set of tools haphazardly filling an administrative toolbox and is focusing on creating more of a logistics system. The warehouse has a software library, as well as distribution, tracking, inventory, reporting and planning tools. Users can set up policies governing who gets what software and track the status of software updates. Policies can also be set up to report when hardware needs updating to support software upgrades, such as the move to Windows XP or 2000.

“The software warehouse is important from a lifecycle management point of view,” says a distributed systems manager for a large communications company in the Southeast. “We’ve put the warehouse at the core of our software management system and everything operates around it.”

The company also considered Marimba’s Castanet, but found it too costly.

The manager says his company has 15 ongoing software projects and is always being asked by management questions such as how many new or upgraded machines are needed to support the software included in a project. The company maintains some 25,000 desktops.

“Now, I can tell them how many new or upgraded machines we need and give them an accurate cost estimate,” he says.

The company also plans to use ManageSoft’s Executive Dashboard, which shows key performance indicators such as anti-virus readiness on desktops and the progress of software rollouts.

“Multiple executives will want that on their desktops,” the manager says.

ManageSoft 6.0 is a combination of two former versions of netDeploy Global – standard netDeploy Global and the Microsoft Corp. Systems Management Server version.

At installation, users can decide to load either one or both. The software also integrates with Active Directory and Microsoft Operations Manager. It ships with a version of SQL Server, but can hook into virtually any database.

ManageSoft runs on Windows 2000 and is expected to ship before year-end.