Can anyone have the comparison between Snow and IBM BigFix?
Please help me understand exactly what you want to compare.
I would not advise trying to compare these products as this is not really possible. It is not a case of Snow or ILMT. LEt me explain.
ILMT is the only source of IBM PVU compliance data that IBM approves and recognises. It is in fact a pre-requisite for any IBM customer using PVU licensing in sub-capacity. If you look at the latest IBM Passport advantage license terms you will see it is quite clearly stated as being required. However, ILMT does not help with Compliance and does not have the ability to reconcile your licenses.
Snow License Manager collects the IBM PVU data from ILMT automatically and uses this data to provide the PVU figures for the IBM licenses, and then through our contract and license management functions Snow will provide a compliance position for your licenses.
In reality it s not a Either/Or question, it requires both to get you to a license compliance position.
If your thinking about ILMT can I suggest you speak to you local Sales team who will be able to provide more information about the two products and they can also arrange to expand on this further with a technical call.
IBM Bigfix is the IBM discovery tool which don't have ability to calculate the compliance however Snow does the Discovery as well as calculate the compliance & audit reporting.
Bigfix/ILMT are the Mandatory tools for IBM sub capacity IBM ILMT & Bigfix helps in calculating the Full Capacity & subcapacity licensing.
Snow have the connector to get the your ILMT/Bigfix data to calculate the accurate compliance.
I hope, this short summary will be helpful for you.
It's a good question.
Currently IBM BigFix Inventory can manage licenses for all software products, not only IBM and have a good application recognition library.
So why Snow is better then IBM is an open question.
Please don't get IBM Inventory using BigFix mixed up with the free version of ILMT/BigFix. They are completely different.
IBM Inventory is a additional paid for solution and it is relatively expensive, not only do you have to buy Inventory but you do need to buy the BigFix solution as well. If you want to be able to measure the usage you also have to purchase the Software Use Analysis.
As a inventory tool it works and as you say has a reconciliation library, which is best for IBM products. If your using BigFix for endpoint management, patch management etc, and as part of the deal, IBM give you inventory free then of course you can use the IBM inventory data instead of Snow but beware of some of the limitations. We an easily feed the data from IBM inventory into Snow, and we do this for some quite large organisations. However, after time we find they tend to move away from BigFix for Inventory as the overhead locally to run BigFix against the simplicity of the Snow Agent, helps save time in the long run, and with the Snow agent installed the data is presented better in Snow.
If your thinking about buying it to deliver your compliance position I would say have a chat with your local Snow person who will be able to talk you through the connection and or the Snow agents on those devices. As well as demonstrate the system to you.
Having a reliable Inventory is the start of your SAM journey, but to be able to measure your compliance you need more than that, unless you want to do a lot of the calculations manually. What you need to be able to do is match the discovered software back to the terms and conditions of your licenses, which is where a dedicated Software Asset Management tool is needed.
Other key aspects to look at are simplicity of use, and the reporting. Which I would say for most people is why they would not use BigFix, The BigFix interface is not the best and sometimes reporting is a bit lacking. Within Snow you can easily configure reports to be automatically distributed for example. The Interface is simple, and you can filter quickly.
I use both BigFix and SLM regularily, and I know the functions of both quite well, and I have to say Snow is quicker to get to the data than BigFix and the reporting is much clearer, and more effective than BigFix. BigFix is not the best reporting tool and I would in many cases have to manipulate a report to present it to a Senior level meeting. With Snow Data I don't have to. Plus, I can see instantly on the application if I am complaint, my upgrades and downgrades I know are correctly set, and if I have secondary usage rights these are covered as well. BigFix needs you to map those manually in some cases, which is possibly acceptable for a server estate but on desktops or laptops it makes it a bit of a task, and what about Mobile use right?.
The key point with IBM BigFix is that you cannot use the Free version of BigFix/ILMT for anything other than IBM products, and to get more than that, you have to pay for the functionality, and then you would need to pay for every endpoint to have a IBM agent, excluding any additional resource you may need locally to manage BigFix.
I hope that helps, this is not meant to be a detailed description of why Snow is better than BigFix, but I hope it highlights the bigger issues. As with all things its up to you as the end user to decide, but having worked with many of our customers using BigFix/ILMT I have yet to find one who would buy the BigFix solution over Snow, ease of use, the effort involved to keep it running and cost are always mentioned as negatives if you talk about BigFix.
I would suggest having a chat with your Snow Sales team to help resolve any questions you have about BigFix, ILMT or how Snow can take feeds from these tools, and to show how Snow could replace Inventory and SUA altogether.
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