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What is IT Asset Management (ITAM)?

The International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM), answers the question, “What is IT Asset Management?” by defining ITAM as, “a set of business practices that incorporates IT assets across the business units within the organization.”

ITAM includes a review of current software and hardware used, ensures licensing compliance, and tracks how IT assets are being used and where changes may be needed. An ITAM audit may save you money by identifying software for which you are over licensed or an IT asset you are spending money on, but no longer using.

Is ITAM new?

No. ITAM has been around as long as IT has. The tools back in the day were just a lot simpler, for example back in the HEAT for Windows days in the mid 1990s, I developed Asset Tracking Systems for many clients such as Purolator Courier Services in Canada. Those Tracking Systems basically evolved over time, ITIL in the 1990s introduced the Configuration Management Database (CMDB), and in the last couple years we have seen some great enhancements again, and with that moved away from the term CMDB and started using ITAM.

Ivanti Asset Manager

IAM includes Hardware Asset Management, Software Asset Management, License Reconciliation, and Barcode Scanning and complements Ivanti Service Manager or runs stand-alone.

Where to next?

Simply put, Ivanti IT Asset Management (ITAM) goes beyond the old CMDB (Configuration Management Data Base) and offers an inventory of “What we think we have” versus “What we know we have“, that is “What was discovered”, and tools to make informed decisions, audit, reconcile and redistribute hardware and software assets.

Fast-forward to Ivanti Neurons and Edge Computing and you will see more shift-left solutions, features and functionalities.

Word of caution, out of the box, Ivanti Service and Asset Manager do offer you some basic configurations, however you will want to contact a seasoned Ivanti Consultant to implement the latest solutions that fit your company’s overall strategy, business processes, and roadmap.

Be sure to contact me for a FREE no obligation discovery session to take your ITAM Implementation to the next level!

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9 out of 10 Consultants make this Ivanti HEAT ITSM Reporting MISTAKE!

Over the last 25 years I have seen a lot of changes for Ivanti HEAT ITSM. One change is Reporting.

Back in the HEAT for Windows and early HEAT ITSM days, Crystal Reports was king. In 2014, HEAT switched to Microsoft SSRS Reports with its ITSM platform. That was 7 years ago and SSRS hasn’t changed much. Back in 2014, SSRS was a great tool, but the downside has been and continues to be that it is third-party (Microsoft) product with the designer tool desktop-based requiring hours and days of software development (translation: you need a SRRS Developer).

But before I digress further (Edit: see my PS Note!!)

The Biggest Reporting Mistake that Ivanti HEAT Consultants, business partners, and Customers make is…

Using Reports! Dashboard Reporting is far superior and optimal for every-day on-demand analytics & reporting. Especially in today’s fast-paced high-tech environments. Traditional old school (SSRS) Reports are a thing of the past. Who really shows up to a meeting nowadays with a hardcopy report, or a softcopy for that matter! If you know a HEAT customer that does, then please contact me!!

The world has changed, and so has Reporting!

Software is intuitive and users want less and less clicks. The industry is shifting left and so is Reporting. A shift-left towards Interactive On-Demand Dashboard Reporting that you can bring up in a Team, Managerial, or Executive Meeting to slice-and-dice the data, and drill right down to the ticket level, not days after submitting a development change request but live in the meeting!

Traditional (SSRS) Reports
An eyesore!!!

Why Dashboards? Dashboards can be configured easily and quickly, for various user-roles (Executive, Manager, Analyst, etc.), based on Saved Searches, with Filters, Drill-Downs, and best of all with an Agile Approach and Shift-Left Methodology in mind. Enabling the customer (analyst, manager) to report against the KPIs that are top-of-mind now and best of all without the need for a developer, additional software, or long development cycles.

Ivanti HEAT Neurons ITSM Dashboard Reporting

Dashboards are quick and simple configurations that take from just a few minutes to a couple hours for a complex dashboard part. Best of all dashboards are native to Ivanti!

But wait there is more…

Rapid Reports entered the stage in 2017 and is a hybrid of reports and dashboards in that Rapid Reports are native to Ivanti, no additional software is required, are somewhat easy to configure, based on Saved Searches, and ideal for traditional detailed reporting needs & ticket details (List & Form View).

What about Xtraction?

If anyone recommends Xtraction to you. RUN!!! Analytic Metrics are far better and mature compared to the buggy and costly Xtraction add-on, a LANDesk product, that just like (SSRS) Reporting will cost you time, money, and effort, and leave you disappointed.

In Summary, as much as I like billable consulting time, I would NEVER recommend report development over dashboards.

Not convinced? Here is a comparison. Before you waste another cent on HEAT Reporting that is guaranteed to disappoint, be sure to contact me!

Ivanti HEAT Neurons ITSM Reporting Matrix Rapid Reports Dashboards
Ivanti HEAT Reporting 101

PS: Some history for Crystal Reports (CRW) was originally developed for the Accounting Software package Accpac. Sound familiar? Accpac was acquired from Computer Associates in 2004 by Sage and as of 2012 Accpac is better known as Sage 300 ERP. In any event, the reporting tool became so popular that it was launched as a separate product. Personally I miss the CRW with HEAT.

PPS: Rapid Reports was introduced to Ivanti Service Manager in 2017, adding native reporting capabilities, just around that time the discussion of phasing out SSRS Reports started. No verdict on roadmap yet but that’s okay, there are much better solutions than (SSRS) Reports!

Also with the Cherwell acquisition there is a high likelihood that Cherwell’s Report Writer will be considered as a future replacement.

With Ivanti’s new momentum and roadmap commitment to making searches more “google-like” for 2022, and Cherwell’s Acquisition in early 2021 we are bound to see some exciting dashboard reporting improvements! And hopefully finally SSRS Reports will be replaced!!

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Self Service Portal

One of the most under-utilized features of Ivanti Service Manager (HEAT Call Logging System) is the Self Service Portal.

Some organizations are hesitant to roll out Self Service, other companies simply don’t know where to start, and then there is the huge price tag from Ivanti Business Partners that lack consultative approach and are prone to utilize scope of work templates and cookie cutter ivanti implementation project plans that under-utilize Self Service.

What are the benefits of Self Service?

The self-service portal is more than the name implies. From experience and past Ivanti Implementations I can tell you that my customers have experienced a 50% drop of service desk calls and emails (shift left methodology), on average, with IT service desk resources freed up, and intangibles like increased customer satisfaction, plus well streamlined Service Request workflows.

Shift-Left Methodology is where it’s at. Enabling the customer to self-resolve incidents, request services, and monitor the progress of incidents and service requests. And that’s not all, HR Onboarding, Off Boarding, and Change Requests can be automated as well.

Self Service not only replaces online forms, intranet sites with pdf forms, and the underlying administrative burden, or worse yet, paper forms. but better yet, Self Services improves data capture and underlying workflows significantly, improving Service Delivery timeframes.

Beyond the typical Service Desk implementation of self service, there are advanced implementations for self-service kiosks and online booking & reservation systems.

One of my clients, the City of Brampton implemented self-service kiosks and an online booking system for their parking authority and had this to say:

Gregor was able to implement what everyone else said couldn’t be done! A booking and reservation system for our parking authority. Now citizens of the City are able to reserve daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly parking passes. Gregor delivered what other consultants said was impossible.”

Shelley, City of Brampton, Municipal Services Manager

Where to start with Self Service?

First and foremost you want to do an intake of your top obstacles and challenges, see my Ivanti Implementation Poll for ideas, and then contact a seasoned consultant. Why? You are not getting the most out of your Ivanti Implementation until you talk to me. Guaranteed.