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Snow is celebrating this Black Friday by revealing our latest online training innovation.

 

We are delighted to announce that our core product training class, Snow License Manager User, has been released on Snow Academy. Effective from November 29th until December 24th 2019, we are offering a 20% discount on list price when you to sign up for the online Snow License Manager User class. When you book online your Snow Account Manager will be alerted and will be in touch to confirm discounted pricing.  

 

Snow Academy now provides a single point of access for all classroom and online enablement and training. It also allows you to track your progress and view your certification status for both classroom and online training. Snow Academy provides insight into all scheduled training events, giving you the opportunity to pick any suitable course from our global offerings. Once a suitable course has been selected, you can enroll directly from the Snow Academy.

 

Want to know more? Visit https://academy.snowsoftware.com or reach out to globaltraining@snowsoftware.com

In case you missed the latest customer-focused news from Snow, take a look at the September edition of Insights. This edition covers topics such as:

  • Update from our Chief Customer Officer
  • Snow’s expanding capabilities and what that means for you
  • Help and advice to maximize your technology intelligence
  • The opportunity to receive an executive report on your organization’s current SAM strengths, risks and recommendations
  • Our new and improved customer advocacy program

 

To find out more, click the link below!

 

https://go.snowsoftware.com/rs/377-PWR-208/images/September2019CustomerNewsletter.htm

 

Charting a course to the future

A note from our Chief Customer Officer Richard Anderson

 

Here at Snow, we are continuing to release new capabilities into the market to help you address your traditional software asset management challenges. But we’ve also broadened our focus to help our customers and partners solve the complexities of an increasingly cloud-based world.  And as we continue to expand our product portfolio, we want you to help us define that future.

 

Our mission is to provide complete insight and manageability across all technology. To achieve this we must continue to push beyond software and extend the reach and capabilities of our platform overall. We call this vision technology intelligence, and our most recent launches support our journey to providing a single integrated platform.

 

An important step in this process – many would argue the most important – is to gather feedback from customers and partners to help us understand where our focus and efforts should be targeted to achieve this mission. We will be launching a survey to expressly gather your direct feedback on these initiatives so we can serve you in the best possible way.

 

Currently we are focused on expanding in four areas:

 

Software Asset Management (SAM): We will continue to develop capabilities within this space. It is clear SAM isn’t going anywhere – this market continues to grow by 10-15% per year as software spend continues to dominate anywhere from 45-60% of the overall IT spend within an organization.

 

Cloud Applications (SaaS): This year we have already launched increased capabilities for the most popular SaaS applications such as Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. We will continue to add more cloud applications to our market-leading recognition service, boosting the capabilities of the enhanced connectors as well as developing new connectors and capabilities based on market and customer demand.

 

Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS): This is one of the biggest focus areas for us in the market today as we look at capabilities in three main areas: cloud migration, cloud economics and cloud management. This market is predicted to grow at over 300% over the coming years, and we are expanding our functionality to support these use cases.

 

Hardware Asset Management (HAM): We have been gathering hardware data for years as a core component of SAM. With extended platform capabilities we will be able to maximize this captured data, making it available for analytics and reporting. This will help support HAM use cases within the business, particularly those linked to overall insight and manageability.

 

Key questions we have been asking on this journey include:

 

  1. As we bring this vision to life, how do we ensure it is easy for customers to support, adopt and run in their environments?
  2. What capabilities do we need to provide to help the customers on their journey?
  3. How do we make this accessible for very complex infrastructures with a myriad of configuration possibilities and maintains a high standard of quality?
  4. What is the process for customers who want to adopt this new technology and how do we enable that adoption?

 

To answers these questions, we have formed a task force focused on outlining requirements and delivering against them with cross-functional teams. The key initiatives forming the backbone of this working group are as follows:

 

Roadmap & Product Value: Communicating our new roadmap and its supporting plan to help inform and seek feedback in a clear and concise manner. Developing action plans and capabilities, where they don’t exist, to help our customers and partners adopt these new capabilities. 

 

Release Process & Upgrade Path: Creating a clearly managed and communicated release plan and path incorporating the new capabilities we plan to deliver. Ensuring we understand and map our release plans in line with customers’ abilities to adopt them. Guaranteeing we keep the quality of our documentation and release communications high and embracing continuous improvement.

 

Programs (Beta): Improving upon the effectiveness of the beta programs we run today.  We want to focus in on two key aspects: fully understanding the benefits to you, the customer and efficiently running the program over a shorter period with improved feedback.

 

Best Practice: Defining Snow best practices regarding adoption, setup, configuration and leveraging our solutions. Documenting what good looks like for customers, then helping them evangelize their needs to make their technology visibility and insight goals more achievable. 

 

Documentation: Developing valuable documentation with a constant view to improving it further. Utilizing all the channels we have (in-product, community, support portal) to best deliver this documentation taking into consideration customer views on what we have today.

 

Enablement: Creating the most effective methods to deliver training and guidance to customers and partners when we launch new capabilities into the market. These methods should facilitate the most appropriate ways to self-serve and receive guided training. They should include online, classroom and documentation-based enablement. 

 

Communication: Enhancing our planning and delivery to ensure we effectively communicate on key roadmap and capability decisions. Managing key aspects such as End of Life, End of Support and End of Maintenance information along with specific updates and upgrades to prepare our customers and partners to best adopt the new capabilities.

 

The workstreams detailed above are important aspects of our plans, but we know that you are likely to be thinking, “What will this look like for me?” That is why we specifically want to understand your opinions and thoughts on how we are performing today with a view to helping us in the future. We already gather customer sentiment in different ways from across multiple teams, but to further support our improvement plans, we will be seeking more direct feedback via the coming survey in early autumn. The results of the survey will help us work together to deliver against our vision and roadmap as well as to identify areas of improvement across all our working aspects and collaboration with you.

 

In the meantime, if you have any specific thoughts either generally or in relation to the above-mentioned workstreams, please feel free to share them now by emailing Richard Anderson, our Chief Customer Officer,   at cco@Snowsoftware.com.  He would very much welcome your thoughts and thank you for your feedback.

Hello All,

 

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as your new Snow Globe Admin!

 

My name is Caitlin and I am very excited to get to know this community. I am here to help in any way that I can. Please message me if you have any questions. You can also contact me directly at, caitlin.clifford@snowsoftware.com 

 

Best,

 

Caitlin Clifford

 

To ensure customer satisfaction, Snow Software's development and maintenance teams at R&D strive to keep the number of pending product issues to a minimum. Our 2018 reorganization efforts, aiming to enable the teams to focus on corrections, are starting to pay off: the known-issues backlog has dropped by almost 40% over the past few months.

 

If our release notes help you to understand what issues we resolve in a release, how do users stay up-to-date on the progress of items that don’t make it into the latest maintenance run? And is it possible to see if other users are experiencing similar issues?

 

Until now, looking for an answer to these questions required opening a support case. To improve this experience, and based on the number of requests for an Open/Known Problem Database on our Ideas Board, Support have now developed a known issues update service in the Knowledge Base/Customer Support Portal.

 

As of now, Support will publish known issues articles in the Knowledge Base, providing descriptions of reported issues, how to reproduce them, possible workarounds, and a release target [1] (if the issue has been scoped to a maintenance release). To receive automatic notifications about known issues, users can now subscribe to the relevant article in the Knowledge Base. When an article changes, for example, if a new workaround has been added, a fix has been made available, or if the status of the issue changes, subscribed users will receive an email detailing the change.

 

This solution ensures that users no longer need to open a support case to understand if progress is being made.

 

How does the service work?

Before creating a new issue, a Subject Matter Expert or Sustaining Engineer verifies the support case to ensure that the issue doesn’t already exist and that the problem is a legitimate product issue (not related to environment/hardware architecture, configurations, and/or settings)

Once the known issue is published in the Knowledge Base, users can subscribe to it. When a known issue is updated, these subscribers will receive a notification about the change.

 

How we prioritize fixing of known issues

Known issues can affect some, all, or just a few users, and we tend to prioritize problems with a wide impact area. The more users subscribed to an issue, the higher up on the prioritization list it will come, so it is important to subscribe to the issues that affect your environments, but it is equally important not to subscribe to issues that are irrelevant.

 

Finding known issues

Searching reported known issues is a key first step to determine whether or not an issue needs to be reported. Our ways of working focus on making it easy for users to find a match, but when in doubt, you can always open a Support Case. If verified as a product issue Support experts will either link such a query to an existing known issue, or create a new one, which users can then subscribe to.

Our Knowledge Base is a goldmine of information about our products, including technical documentation, release notes, deep technical descriptions, how-to guides, as well as installation and upgrade instructions. We strongly recommend all users to familiarize themselves with how the Knowledge Base works and its contents to get the most out of their investments in Snow technology.

 

Provide feedback on known issues

Finally, Support wants customer feedback. Use the comments section at the bottom of a Knowledge Base article to let us know if the information is useful, or whether additional clarification is needed.

 

How to use the Known Issues update service

  1. Go to the Customer Support Portal.
  2. Find an article about the issue you are interested in.
    - Searching for these articles will provide the best overview because not only will you find Known Issues but related documentation and also issues that have been fixed.
    - From the Knowledge base you can also find all Known Issues by filtering by Article Type - Known Issues.
  3. To receive updates subscribe to the article that describes the issue that is effecting you.

Subscribing and unsubscribing from a Knowledge base article

 

[1]Given the complexities that can arise during the development of a solution, testing, and regression, release targets are always subject to change.

ana.marquez

Enhanced search

Posted by ana.marquez Employee Apr 29, 2019

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

Over the last 6 months our SAM development team has been putting additional focus into trying to improve the quality of life for our users, culminating in two key initiatives - enhancing our existing reports to add key data points users need over and over again, and consolidating how users can quickly find and navigate to a computer, application, agreement, etc.

 

This posts focuses on the second initiative - code named enhanced search.

 

When interviewing users on how they use the Snow platform day to day, it became very clear that we had a lot of overlap in the uses of our search and list pages. These pages contain about 90% of the same data points and functionality for each category (e.g applications, computers, etc), with some small but important differences in capabilities (I am looking at you “ Also include not installed/used“ in the application search).

We also discovered a related challenge - our list pages can become very slow for large datasets, in some cases rendering the page unusable.

 

By engaging with a number of users both internally and externally, we came up with a new concept that merges the best parts of both pages into one:

 

New search page - search pane expanded

New search page - saved search

New search page - saving a new search

New search page - saving a new search

New search page - saving a new search

Now there is a single place where you can come and quickly filter to find an application, or set up and save searches with complex criteria that you use over and over again. Using our new web technology, we also progressively load the data shown in the grid - this means that irrespective of the size of the total dataset, we will only load what you see on screen.

 

In SLM 9.2.0, you will see this new page replacing the Computer and Application search pages (with the other pages coming in future releases) - as well as some information on their respective list pages that they will be removed in a future release.

 

 

As always, comment on this post or reach out if you have any questions and let us know what you think when you get your hands on this new feature!

ana.marquez

Windows Server licensing

Posted by ana.marquez Employee Apr 29, 2019

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

 

 

Microsoft remains one of the top software manufacturers SAM managers are struggling to remain in control of. The Microsoft products used in the datacenter are often still in the top 3 spend on software within organisations, especially Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Windows Server.

 

Given their importance to managing software spend in the organisation, the SAM development team is putting a renewed focus on ensuring that SAM managers have all the tools they need to stay in the driver seat during their next true-up, renewal or audit.

 

Our first set of features focuses on Windows Server, targeting the compliance calculation, common risk and cost optimisation scenarios and providing all of the reporting needed for your next true-up or order. Before we dive in to the changes, here is a brief overview of how Windows Server licensing works for those unfamiliar.

The Windows Server world

Being an operating system, Windows Server licensing is focused on the resources available to either standalone servers running Windows Server, or servers that are hosting virtual machines running Windows Server. This is very different conceptually to desktop or user based licensing (where you count the number of computers or users), and even different to business application software like SQL server that can be licensed per Virtual Machine. Adding to this complexity, over time Microsoft has changed the way the number of licenses required is calculated, and introduced additional rules and minimum requirements. For a quick summary of the changes see the table below:

VersionLicense metricAdditional rules
2008 StandardPer installation (expect for datacenter edition)
  • 1 VM per license
2008 EnterprisePer installation
  • 4 VMs per license
2008 DatacenterPer processor
  • Unlimited VMs
2012/2012 R2 StandardPer processor
  • Minimum 2 processors per server

  • 2 VMs per license

2012/2012 R2 DatacenterPer processor
  • Minimum 2 processor per server

  • Unlimited VMs if server is fully licensed

2016/2019 StandardPer processor core
  • Minimum 8 cores per processor

  • Minimum 16 cores per server

  • 2 VMs each time the server is fully licensed

2016/2019 DatacenterPer processor core
  • Minimum 8 cores per processor

  • Minimum 16 cores per server

  • Unlimited VMs if server is fully licensed

 

As you can see from the rules, one of the most important differences between the Standard and Datacenter edition is the virtualisation rights. For all customers there will be a break even point, where the number of standard licenses required to cover a server become more expensive than using a datacenter license, based on the number of VMs that could run on the server.

 

All of the above makes understanding how to license your Windows Server estate optimally complicated - especially in a large organisation. So, what can we do to help?

Cutting through the complication

To help SAM managers address this space we took a three pronged approach:

  • Add dedicated calculations to our compliance engine to compare which edition to license each server with, based on comparing the cost of licensing with Standard edition and Datacenter edition

  • Provide reporting that can be used when preparing for a true-up, order or renewal

  • Provide reporting for the most common cost optimisations and risks of overspend within the Windows Server estate

 

1. Cost optimal compliance

The compliance engine will now perform the following calculation for each standalone server, or server hosting Windows Server Virtual Machines.

  1. Assess the number of Windows Server Virtual Machines that could run on the server (we call this peak potential VMs in the reports discussed below) - this means also taking into account which Virtual Machines can move in a clustered environment and using the peak for each host in the cluster.

  2. Identify the highest version and edition of Windows Server that could run on the server (this is the lowest version that you are allowed to license)

  3. Calculate the number of licenses we would need to license for datacenter and standard edition of this version (if datacenter edition is already running then we use that, as if you have deployed datacenter you must license it regardless of how many VMs are running)

  4. Multiply the licenses needed with the application cost entered for the two editions (this makes it super important to ensure that you have entered in the cost of licensing these applications as the application cost)

  5. Set the license requirement to the least expensive edition

It is worth noting that this is a new paradigm for our compliance engine, where we will use cost information to help decide what the license requirement should be.

This means is that in our application details page, license compliance summary and tracking reports you will only see a license requirement for the standalone servers and servers hosting VMs, drastically simplifying what you need to manage and giving you automatic insight into how to license them.

If we look at an example environment with these changes, we can see that the license tracking for Windows Server Datacenter 2016 now only shows requirements for the physical servers:

And the application family page can give an overall picture of our compliance position for Windows Server:

 

What about the VMs?

Whilst each Virtual Machine does not require a Windows Server license, they do have a significant impact on the licenses needed for the hosts they are running on, or could run on.

To help maintain visibility into these VMs, we have left them in our license tracking with two new entitlement states:

Licensed by host - this means that we know which host this VM was running on, and denotes that the licensing is calculated on the host, not the VM itself:

Unknown physical host - this means that we do not know which host this virtual machine is running on, it could be a host that is already licensed, an unlicensed host with 200 cores or even a host with only 16 cores. This is a risk that should be addressed by identifying why the host is not being found, however there is no reasonable way to reflect a license requirement for it:

2. Windows Server Assessment reports

Another key challenge with managing Windows Server is understanding what the cost of your next true-up or renewal will be:

Typically, when organisations are purchasing new licenses they are doing so for the latest version of Windows Server. This means that they need to be able to see the number of licenses and cost not for the version of Windows Server that is deployed (e.g Windows Server 2012 R2), but the version they will be purchasing (generally either 2016 or 2019 at the time of writing). It also means that they need to calculate this using the licensing rules of the later versions as well.

To help SAM managers solve this, we introduced a number of Windows Server Assessment reports that will calculate the licenses required for each version of Windows Server from 2012 - 2019. This allows users to select the report relevant to them (e.g 2019 or 2016 for most organisations) and see the servers, their resources, the virtual machines running on them or that could run on them and the recommended edition, licenses and cost for that version. Again, just like compliance we rely on the application cost of the version and two editions relevant to each assessment report (e.g the application cost Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter):

You can even filter out servers that are already licensed and save the relevant report for your organisation to keep track of your next true-up:

When planning for a renewal, you can also use this report in combination with the “License tracking per computer” report to compare the suggested way of licensing each server with how you are currently licensing them.

 

3. Common cost optimizations and risks

When working on these features and engaging with users and SAM specialists, we also discovered a number of common scenarios where the cost of Windows Server licensing can be reduced.

To help SAM managers identify this, we created a dedicated report highlighting which servers running or hosting Windows Server can be investigated.

In the example below, we are highlighting that an old Windows Server host that has a number of risks related to overspend on Windows Server licensing:

SAM managers can use this report dive in and explore what optimisation possibilities exist within their estate.

Wrapping up

The team is very excited to get these new features into the hands of SAM managers around the globe. Once you have tried it out for yourself, make sure to reach out to us to provide any feedback. As always, if you have any questions now feel free to post in the comments section or reach out to me directly.

This is one of four blog posts related to features in SLM 9.2.0 release.

 

Over the last 6 months our SAM development team has been putting additional focus into trying to improve the quality of life for our users, culminating in two key initiatives - enhancing our existing reports to add key data points users need over and over again, and consolidating how users can quickly find and navigate to a computer, application, agreement, etc.

 

This post focuses on the quality of life changes coming to many of our existing reports, and a sneak peek of three new reports driven by community demand.

 

Being able to filter, export and schedule actionable data is a key need for all of the SAM teams that we have spoken to. Love it or hate it, the reporting engine in the Snow platform is a key enabler for most of our customers, not only for the SAM function but also to drive insight for other areas of the business.

Given how crucial reporting is to our users, there is nothing more frustrating that have a few key data points missing from a report, requiring you to export and then combine multiple reports to get the dataset that you need. Even more frustrating is missing IDs that you need to drive one of our imports when updating things like assignments for a large set of licenses.

 

We often see requests on the Idea’s board for the addition of a single column that would help simplify a workflow and save time for our users.

 

As a result, the SAM development team embarked on an endeavor to give our reports some TLC. There were three key objectives:

  1. Find and add the most commonly requested data points for our most used reports

  2. Ensure that we consistently summed numeric and financial columns across all reports

  3. Add three of the most frequently requested new reports

 

So, which of the reports have been reviewed for SLM 9.2.0 I hear you ask? Here is the list:

  • All agreements

  • All applications

  • All computers

  • All licenses

  • All objects

  • All Oracle agreements

  • Applications per computer

  • Applications per user

  • Archived computers

  • Blacklisted applications per computer

  • Blacklisted applications per user

  • Bundles with unused applications per computer

  • Discovered Assets without Inventory (Computers that are not inventoried)

  • License compliance summary

  • License purchase records per agreement

  • License tracking per computer

  • Maintenance and Support Overview

  • Potential software cost savings

  • Yearly statistics per application

 

And as for those new reports…

The much requested Devices per user report is here - allowing you to see each computer, mobile device and remote device a user has accessed:

 

Another key reporting need was being able to see each application a user could access on each computer they had logged into - welcome to the Applications per computer and user report:

 

And finally a report called Files per computer showing all of the files related to each application that we apply our Software Recognition Service to for each computer, for those that need to dig deeper into application data:

 

benjamin.van.dam

DIS: Zoom Meetings

Posted by benjamin.van.dam Employee Apr 24, 2019

Cisco Webex has been the superior product in the Video Conferencing space for quite some years, and was the dominant product we saw in data being sent to the DIS team. With the rise of Webex’s popularity, came some fairly expensive Enterprise pricing plans, The most expensive being Cisco Webex Premium 100 which is $49/user per month when purchased annually, or $69/user per (individual) month. With other much cheaper options on the market, some organisations have begun looking for alternatives for Video Conferencing. One of these alternatives is Zoom Meetings.


With the rise of Zoom Meetings popularity, we received some feedback that customers that had no purchase history of Zoom Meetings, were reporting as having the software installed and requiring a license. To address this, we made some changes to Zoom Meetings by Zoom Video Communications Inc, which involved changing the license requirements from Zoom Meetings from being “License Required”, to “No License Required”.


Zoom Meetings is a Web Based application, that also has a desktop client (local install). When a non-licensed user joins a Zoom Meeting, a desktop client is downloaded and run to attend the meeting. This means that the recognition we have for Zoom Meetings shows usage for both Licensed users, and non-licensed users, causing some confusion for users in SLM.


We still have the recognition for Zoom Meetings as it was previously, so the recognition of the applications doesn’t change, but we have added Zoom Meetings (License) which is now the license holder for Zoom Meetings licenses as per your Enterprise Agreements. Your Account name holder can retrieve user usage information from 3 sources.

 

  1. From Zoom itself, under the Accounts page. Reports are also available.
  2. From the traditional metering on the applications for total users (licensed and non-licensed)
  3. From the Cloud Application, Zoom (Cloud) which recognises logins, through both the traditional SaaS login, as well as SSO methods.

The new look to Snow Support - as we continuously work to improve our customer experience, we are launching a new design along with new functionality to our Support Portal.

 

Last April we welcomed our customers to a Better, Faster, Personalized: New Face of Support. Our goal, to help customers to find fixes to issues and get responses to questions quickly and easily. To achieve this we built one place to access knowledge content and manage cases with Support. Through this we saw customer use of knowledge quadruple when compared with 2017. With an average article rating of 4.5/5.0 and 85% of articles marked as helpful by you our customers. Allowing you to get the answers you needed in an instant. 1300 customers are using the portal each month and almost 50% of support cases are created through the portal.

 

Now we come with a new design and further functionality for our Customer Support Portal.

Time to level up

We've been working closely with our UX team at Snow to deliver a clean and clear design. mansooreh.shahtalab3, Digital Designer, says:

It's all about the user experience, we removed the unnecessary information to make it easier to find what you're looking for at the first time of looking.

Highlights of improvements

Community search

With our drive to deliver more applicable knowledge on your issues we have added the Community as a search source through the home page search bar. You now have one place to search against the cases in your organization, Snow's diverse documentation and release notes, Support's KCS® articles, and the knowledge and strength of our Community.

Adding the Community allows you to see the benefits of having over 2000 registered customers using the products just like you are, asking and answering issues along with open interaction with Snow employees.

Larger, more relevant knowledge base

We believe the most important knowledge is the knowledge that is relevant now which is why over half of our content has been updated, refined and added to in the last six months, pushing the number of knowledge articles closer to 1000. In Support we continue with our KCS methodology to address the issues when we first find them and endeavour to solve and publish the solution as quickly as possible.

Knowledge feedback

We want to hear more about how relevant the knowledge is to you. At the bottom of each article you can add a comment, rate an article or mark it as helpful/unhelpful. Tom.Boyle, Knowledge Lead, says:

Your feedback is crucial to ensure that we provide the information and support you need. Your comments, ratings, and ideas help us to do that.

Access to cases and knowledge

There are users out there without full access to the portal. This restricts your ability to view knowledge and work on cases with the rest of your colleagues. With the new release you have the ability to control who belongs to your company's Account and what they can see.

Take a tour

Try out a tour to see what else is new by selecting Tours on any page with a black dot.

 

Changes to the portal come from your feedback, please continue to use the Feedback button on the homepage to let us know what we can do to improve your experience.

With the release of the Snow O365 connector, the DIS team saw a more insightful way to manage Microsoft subscriptions. With gradual adoption of this product over time, the initial reporting of Subscription String ID’s, was slow. Due to this slow reporting, maintaining new, incoming Subscriptions was a relatively smooth, and fast process.

 

With more and more customers adopting this technology, the DIS team are seeing a steady increase in the Subscription String ID’s being reported to us globally, and have dedicated Analysts checking, analysing, and mapping these String ID’s to Subscription plans on a daily basis, to ensure the Subscription Plans are present in your environments as fast as possible.

 

One thing to note, is that there may be a day or two between the reporting of Subscription String ID’s to the global database and showing as a mapped subscription plan in your environments. This is due to synchronisation times of the DUJ and scheduled SRS sync times running once per day. In most cases, the subscription plan should be visible the next working day after being reported.

 

We do experience some challenges with mapping these String ID’s to a Subscription Plan, as the String ID itself is not always clear as to which plan it relates to, and which Microsoft applications are covered within these Subscription Plans.

The most accurate source for these String ID’s is listed on Microsoft’s website: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/users-groups-roles/licensing-service-plan-reference

 

The majority of Subscriptions are mapped according to this data, including Subscription Plan naming conventions, and the Service Plans included in each Subscription. However, it is not always clear which String ID relates to a Subscription Plan.

 

For example:

The following String ID – STANDARDPACK is the ID for OFFICE 365 ENTERPRISE E1

 

String IDs

 

There is no clear correlation to the ID and the Subscription which makes it difficult (without the documentation) to make sure we are accurately mapping the right Subscription

  

These unclear String ID’s may lead to some reported ID’s not being mapped to a Subscription plan. We also go through these unmapped ID’s on a regular basis to see if any new data is published from the vendor or alternative 3rd party sources, so that we may add these Plans, but it is not always possible.

 

If you have a Subscription which is not mapped, please see the following KB article on how to submit these Service-Now requests here: https://snowprod.service-now.com/support?id=kb_article_view&sys_kb_id=94c256cbdb4b270056cb2de74b961989

On 2018-Sep-24, Microsoft began their 2019 release schedule. The DIS team received “preview” data for the Microsoft Office products and these "editions" were added to the global database ahead of the release, to ensure all customer upgrades to the latest version of Microsoft’s products, transition as seamlessly as possible.

 

Some major challenges the DIS team faced with Microsoft’s major version releases, is that, in many cases, we do not know how the data will be reported before we receive the data to the global database. We may be able to predict how the data will be reported, based on patterns in the previous data we have collected, but it’s not always guaranteed to stay the same between releases. There may be different naming standards, version standards or other differences.

 

Some may be aware, that there are applications included in the 2019 release, that have a “Preview” edition available for selected Microsoft customers. Previously, in the 2013 release, this edition was available in the data reported to us, which allowed us to differentiate this edition from the actual full release of the Microsoft products, whereas in the 2016 and 2019 release, this piece of the information puzzle was excluded, making it difficult to not only differentiate the editions, but correctly target the version.

 

In the past, version data has been presented in the following ways:

2010           =                    Version 14.x
2013           =                    Version 15.x
2016           =                    Version 16.x

 

Following this trend, we were expecting to see 2019 applications to have a version of 17.x, This was not the case. We did not see any global data reported with this version, only reported as 16.x. We researched into this a lot further and saw that the 2019 release was not a “Major” release of the Microsoft Office products, but rather a “Minor” build update, which meant that the Major versions used for rule detection was no longer suitable.

 

With dedicated resources and some powerful Snow minds on the task, we got to work in developing a much better way of detecting individual instances of whether Office 2016 / 2019 / O365 applications are installed on devices. This allows for a much more accurate reporting of how Microsoft Office applications have been purchased, and which method is used for deployment. So now whether you have an O365 subscription, or a perpetual 2019 license, SLM will be able to give you more detailed insights into your estate. And for Visio and Project users, we haven’t forgotten you! You will also be able to see your Visio Professional or Project Professional applications to be viewed through an O365 deployment or regular 2019 Perpetual purchases.

 

For Snow customers looking for a deeper technical description of how to maximise your license management of Microsoft Office products, please visit the Snow Software Knowledge Base: 
KB0020083FAQ: Microsoft Office 365 / 2019 / 2016


Snow’s product catalogue for Microsoft (Applications and Bundles) currently stands at 5000+ applications. While this is a large number, quantity is not our focus as a DIS team. Our main focus for the DIS global database, will always be quality. Quality involves ensuring the Application Family structure allows Upgrades/Downgrades, that the correct life-cycle dates are set, the right UNSPSC/Snow Types have been assigned for reporting, the bundles are configured with the correct components, that we assign the relevant 3rd Party Connector data to these applications, and many more attributes.

 

For an updated list of all Microsoft 2019 applications officially released, please visit the website below: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/lifecycle/search?alpha=2019

Release information

Product:                Snow Inventory Server
New version:         6.0.1
Release date:        Oct 17th, 2018
Distribution:          SUS package

Current status:     Released

 

Enhancements in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.0

  • The level of detail of the CPU name has been improved by using the field ProcessorNameString intead of Name from the Windows agent. This will improve the core-factor mappings in Snow License Manager.

  • Additional details from SIM connectors regarding virtual machines and datacenters are now stored in the Inventory database.

Corrections in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.0

  • Snow Inventory Server now considers all characters of the inventoried software information when generating a unique identifier (softwarehash), instead of only using the first 100 characters.
  • Merging information about swidtags and cloud metering no longer causes the inventory file to be ignored with the error message “Cannot insert the value NULL into column 'HashValue'”.
  • Windows machines that are not servers or VDIs no longer generate TS-metering.

Known limitations in Snow Inventory Server 6.0.0

  • Disk-space information about the APFS file system (introduced in macOS High Sierra) and gathered by the Snow Inventory agent for macOS versions 6.0.0 and higher, is not yet fully supported by Snow Inventory Server. Full support will be provided in an upcoming release of Snow Inventory Server.

Release information

Product:                Snow Inventory Agent for macOS
New version:         6.0.1
Release date:        October 15, 2018
Distribution:          SUS and MSI Package
Current status:     Released

 

Enhancements

The following enhancements have been implemented in Snow Inventory Agent for macOS version 6.0.1:

  • A new agent configuration setting has been added, timeout. This setting defines the timeout value, in seconds, for requests to the server endpoint. The default value is 15 seconds.

Corrections

The following corrections have been implemented in Snow Inventory Agent for macOS version 6.0.1:

  • Corrected a bug that caused the agent to not be able to create inventory files, if the script-output folder is missing.

Known Limitations

  • This version is compatible with Inventory Server 6.0.0 and later.
  • Version 10.7 and earlier versions of OSX are not supported.

PRESS RELEASE

Snow Appoints Chief Revenue Officer

Ken Schock to focus on all global revenue functions

 

Austin, Texas. October 4, 2018. Snow Software (Snow), the global leader in Software Asset Management and Cloud Spend Management solutions today announced the appointment of Ken Schock to its executive leadership team as Chief Revenue Officer. In this capacity, Schock will focus on all revenue functions, including Sales, Presales, Partners, Sales Operations & Enablement, and Renewals.  

 

Schock brings to Snow a thirty-year career that spans senior sales and sales leadership positions at industry-leading firms like HP, BMC, and VMware. Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales for North America Strategic and Public Sector at Cloudera, and prior to that was a senior sales leader at Splunk. During his tenure the businesses achieved and exceeded significant revenue milestones. In both roles he led teams that built and managed relationships with multinational customers.

 

Announcing Schock’s appointment, Vishal Rao, President & COO, Snow Software said, “I’m thrilled to have Ken join the Snow team. His experience and passion for building high performing and customer-oriented sales teams will be key ingredients to help us win the enterprise and lead in cloud.”

 

Schock commented, “It’s an incredible opportunity to join a company that has tremendous momentum, with proven market-leading products and a passionate partner and customer community. I’m looking forward to contributing to the team as we take the business through the next phase of growth.”