One of the most daunting tasks asked of me from time to time is providing management a true-up report. Configuration Manager AI was supposed to have made this an easier task but quite frankly it didn’t live up to its original expectations. In this blog I will show you how I’m using BDNA Normalize CM to create my true-up reports. For me this product has filled that void that AI didn’t.
Admittedly, the first time you do this it’s going to take you a little more than 5 minutes but once you’ve done it that first time you can setup subscription to the reports and forget about it.
Once you have Normalize CM installed and completed a normalization run, you should upload these reports to SSRS.
The first report you should run is “Export Licensable Software” This report is going to list for you every piece of software in SCCM inventory which is licensable. This information is being provided by the normalization process. Export this report to a csv file.
The resulting .csv file can be opened in Excel, however be sure to save it as .csv after editing it.
In the .csv file you should, at a minimum, enter into the effective quantity column the number of licenses you own for each piece of software on which you’d like to report license compliance. In this example report I am going to report on Microsoft operating system and Office software because this is the most commonly requested report from my management. I’ve entered the number of licenses owned for each version of Windows and Office in my environment and saved the csv file to a valid UNC path.
One of the neat things about normalized data is that it’s all stored in one view in the database. This means you can easily report on OS and application info together without joining multiple views. Reporting writing is very simple; this can be important for an SCCM novice as well as handy for a seasoned SCCM admin.
This process is going to use the built-in AI functions in SCCM which means everything we are about to do is fully supported by Microsoft. Open the SCCM console, navigate to the Asset Intelligence node, right click Asset Intelligence and select Import Software Licenses. On the import page of the Import Software License wizard click browse, be sure to select Third Part License Files as the file type, then select the csv file previously created and complete the wizard. One thing to note here is that each time that you import a csv file any previously imported data is overwritten rather than merged. Personally, after editing this original exported csv file I save it somewhere for future use in case I need to change anything.
Now you have the info you need in your database and you have the example reports in SSRS. Now you simply run the Executive Summery – Microsoft report. You will notice that this report has been provided by EnhanSoft. Some of you may recall that I won a free SSRS report from them prior to MMS. This is the report I chose to have built. I’m sharing it with their permission, if you find it useful be sure to tell Garth “thanks”. Also if you’d like this report edited to include more titles contact Garth Jones, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind doing that for you for a small fee.
The resulting report will look like this. (Garth loves red). Obviously I’ve scrubbed the numbers from this report before posting it because this is running in my production environment. I also fudged some of the numbers in the csv before importing it just so you could see what a report looks like when you are out of compliance.
You can now drill in to this report for more details about each product. One this I think you will find especially useful in the details reports is the Is Used and Last Used values. If you are out of compliance you can utilize this information to reclaim unused licenses rather than purchasing additional licenses. This is where BDNA Normalize CM data really started showing ROI for me personally. Look for an upcoming blog detailing how I am using this information to automatically reclaim those unused licenses.
You can now add subscription to the Executive Summary report, have it automatically emailed to management at specified intervals so that they never have to ask you for this data again.