Having delivered many projects with the full range of offerings from the Snow for Engineering toolset, this article aims to articulate the best practises used and items to watch out for during implementations to ensure success for the Customer, Partner and Snow.
Snow for Engineering Suite of IT asset management tools meter and report on usage of applications, servers, storage, databases and services across an entire organization, from a total enterprise view down to each individual user. It is built on a client/server infrastructure and includes reporting tool mechanisms.
Initiation and Design
During the project design phase, it is typical for an onsite workshop to take place, ensuring the customers requirements are understood as well as the hardware prerequisites that are placed on the customer to ensure that the customer is providing the correct specification of servers.
During the workshop, the following items must be agreed:
- The customers requirements and the success criteria that will prove the project was a success post implementation.
- Architecture provision requirements which the customer must provide to ensure there is sturdy infrastructure throughout the lifespan of the project and the BAU phase.
- Confirm the bundle levels that will be implemented by the customer
- Agree a timeline taking into consideration the governance and change board processes within the customers organisation.
When planning with the customer, the project team must get a deep understanding of the customers estate, its processes and plan communications with the customer in an agreed format. These above items will ensure the project starts in the best possible way.
Project plans are key to delivery, the majority of Project Managers use Microsoft Project, and this is a standard within Snow Software. However, customers may wish to view project plans in excel or even a word document. The key is not the tool you use but the timings and dependencies are mapped, and all risks called out to the project timeline at initiation, planning and execution phase.
Once a project plan has been agreed and baselined with the relevant organisations the next step is to get going.
Snow would suggest that projects are spilt into 3 delivery phases:
- Implementation of Snow for Engineering Solutions (e.g. LicenseAnalyzer, LicenseOptimizer).
- Imbedding of Solution.
- Knowledge Transfer, Training and Onboarding.
With the standard Implementation being split by Solution below:
- Base enterprise Installation (BE) Implementation.
- LicenseAnalyzer (LA) implementation.
- LicenseOptimizer (LO) Implementation.
- ApplicationTracker (AT) Implementation.
Once the server side has been set up and configured correctly and is reporting in, the attention will turn to Agent rollout.
Customers will have numerous techniques for rolling out agents, the blue chip and enterprise customers tend to focus on using SCCM. In these cases, the agent will require packaging from a 3rd party supplier, generally the systems integrator that is providing the IT Services to the Customer organisation. The Agent will be provided and the packaging and roll-out activities, especially in large estates needs to be factored in when looking at a final Go-Live date.
The roll-out approach is key, no customer wants the agent to cause any issues on their end users’ devices, the recommendation for the roll-out approach is to batch test the agent on a sub-set of each type of machine. i.e. Laptops, workstations etc.
The testing phase should ensure due diligence and Snow fully endorse spending a little more time and effort during this phase. The confidence and rigor in testing should be planned as the agent will be rolled out to tens of thousands of devices.
Throughout the project phase, the project team will be working with the relevant parties at the customer site and their systems integrators to ensure knowledge transfer and training is imparted. For end user use and for the support teams. The project can often focus on delivery but life after the project closes is also a key part of delivering brilliance and success for the Customer.