CA IT Asset Manager Review

Streamlines matching our entitlements with deployment data, visibility into our environment

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for it is to mitigate risk in relation to licensing management.

In our initial stages using it, we have already found some out-of-compliance situations that we're mitigating.

What is most valuable?

Being able to determine the licensing position for existing vendors and future vendors. Also, visibility into our environment, being able to match up our entitlements with deployment data, and then being able to produce compliance reports on those items, providing value to business users.

How has it helped my organization?

It introduces automation, which alleviates a lot of our manual processes, and provides a central repository for our data.

What needs improvement?

We're new enough to it that we haven't really gotten to the stage where we're using it day to day. We're still putting data into it. We're not really managing our licensing, day to day, in the tool right now. We're just getting off the ground.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's still early in the game, but at this point we haven't had any issues with anything.

How is customer service and technical support?

Our experience with tech support has been that they're very quick, very responsive. I think we're cheating a little bit because we have a consulting firm that's partnered with CA that has been our "mouthpiece" to the support desk. I think we're getting a lot of responses back quicker than maybe we would in a normal implementation, but we've been very impressed with their response time.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We had a major vendor come to us one day, and they brought an auditing firm with them because they were suspicious that we were out of compliance with our licensing. So, after legal mitigation, etc., etc. - although we came out on top - we saw that it was time for us to take a look. We were managing licensing by spreadsheet. So, it was time to move forward and get serious and get something out there that would help us manage our licensing positions going forward.

How was the initial setup?

It was much more complex than we were anticipating. But they warn you that it is not a plug and play type tool. It's very environment specific. Depending on your environment, there are a lot of configuration changes that have to be made; a lot of tweaking and twisting.

We hit some hiccups there, but a lot of those hiccups were due to some of the technical resources on our side, more so than what the tool's limits were. Definitely a complex and very resource-involved setup.

I think at least 70% of that was on our side. There were a lot of things that we had to prepare for that we weren't thinking about with this installation. I think from a CA standpoint, the software was good. But us preparing for that, we had a lot more work to do.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We brought in a couple different vendors to do demos. We went to both vendors and provided a list of our requirements as an organization, what some of our struggles were. We gave questions to CA and the other vendors we were looking at. Then, based on those responses, we were able to say which tool fit our needs the best.

Once we narrowed it down to the top two, then Deloitte helped us do a scorecard.

We had a multitude of needs and wants. Needs first, then wants. Our needs were to effectively manage licensing; to be able to re-harvest software that's out there that's just sitting around. Also, the ability to automate the process of software assets.

I think a big thing we were looking for was the software catalog. The catalog within the CA tool seems to be one of the better ones in the industry, so that was a big selling point: how many titles it included, and the ability to get new titles added, and those are things that we've already experienced in our short time using it. There is some software that, maybe, we have some one-offs of, and we've been able to go to CA and say, "We need you to add this to the catalog." That's where a lot of our service desk support stuff has come from, adding new titles to the catalog.

We were all over the place with licensing, from the business user side, and information services. So, to provide us a single source of information was a big deal as well. We made this list, put it together, and then we evaluated the top two that we'd chosen. And, of the top two, CA scored, something like 93 or 94%, being able to provide everything that we wanted; everything we needed and wanted.

What other advice do I have?

It's hard to really give a fair rating. I don't want to say it's a 10, because I don't think we've really had the usage. But, from an implementation standpoint, and what we've seen so far of what it can do, I'd say we're extremely satisfied.

I would give it an "early" eight out of 10. Again, we've only had the product for four or five months. And it's actually been installed for only two months.

In terms of advice to someone who is considering a similar solution, I would tell them to create their scorecard, like we did, and do that same evaluation.

Do you research and evaluate what you need. Depending on the size of your organization and the size of your environment, you can base what your needs and wants, and the highlights of what you're looking to do, off of that. 

Go through and do the upfront research to be able to provide CA the questions that say, "These are our struggles, these are our pain points." Identifying those and then say, "How can you meet those?" Then they can say, "Okay, we have this feature that does this or this feature that does that, that would meet that need, that would close that gap that you've identified." So, I think it's just knowing what you're looking for, identifying the gaps and struggles that you have, and then picking based off that.

Figure out what your goals and objectives are for the program. You have that down pat, then you know what you're looking for.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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