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Client Management

10 Posts authored by: Criss Scruggs Employee
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BMC isn't the only thing to get a new logo around here lately.  If you haven't noticed yet, FootPrints Asset Core has been rebranded BMC Client Management. blog logos.png

For some of you, this may fall into the "finally" realm and to others this may fall into "what changed?".  Here's everything you need to know about BMC Client Management 12 - why the name change, what it means for you and of course, what's new.


The name change has been a long time coming and for some started roughly a year ago as FootPrints Asset Core technology was integrated into solutions across the BMC IT Service Management portfolio (Remedyforce and Atrium CMDB).  The new name lends itself to all of the BMC solution brands and we are looking forward to continuing to innovate and integrate with FootPrints Service Core, Remedyforce and Remedy moving forward.


The best part for you - it's the same great technology you are familiar with today.  While the name has changed, it is not an overhaul, rewrite, forklift upgrade.  BMC Client Management, "BCM" for short, will be a seamless upgrade from version 11.  The menus have remained the same.  The concept of Operational Rules is still intact.  The quick integration links, instant expert, and wizard technology is all still at your fingertips.


You can still purchase and deploy on a module by module basis (Inventory, Deployment, Compliance, Patch, Remote) and mix and match to suit your needs or you can reduce the paperwork and purchase as a Suite.  And while we still find many customers are looking for their asset and client management in an on-premises solution, BMC also offers BMC Client Management OnDemand.  If SaaS is your preference, BMC can help!


So what else is new in this release?  Really, the "what's in it for me" meat question...

 

SCAP Compliance - BCM is certified solution!

For starters, BCM now supports SCAP Compliance - SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) may be most interesting to organizations that are bound by high security requirements.  SCAP is a specification established by the National Institution of Standards and Technology (NIST) and standardizes the format and nomenclature by which security software communicates information about software flaws and security configurations. SCAP with new BMC logo.pngFor you, it's an opportunity to easily validate your system and application security by checking against a standardized SCAP compliance template.  Who better to drive the best in security than the governments that look to maintain the most secure systems in the world? For most it is ensuring against a breach and could result in financial savings if the vulnerabilities are identified and remediated sooner rather than later.  But my favorite part of this is the certification - BMC Client Management is the only asset solution certified by NIST for SCAP v1.2.

 

Usability

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Much of the rest of the release has been dedicated to helping

make your job easier - technically classified as "usability".  You talked, we listened - whether it was a face-to-face visit, an idea on the community site or a phone call with the product team.  Where verifications previously took multiple steps and different screens we have put them all into a step-by-step tabbed wizard and then went further adding in Go-To logic so that is if one step doesn't complete as planned, you can automate what happens next, and then next...

 

And we updated the schedulers - not just one but all of them.  The language is clear.  It's intuitive and repeatable.  Nothing better for automation that scheduling something to happen this way at this time and then just sitting back and reaping the rewards of your few minutes of hard work over the months to come.  That's the idea anyway.

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We also updated the Security Profile wizard.  It has never been so easy to set up role-based security for an individual administrator or a group of administrators. Simply default to full access or name your group and check what capabilities they have rights to manage or just view.

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

And there is much more:

  • IPv6 support
  • Merging devices
  • MSI imports (really great for those of you moving from Bladelogic Client Automation to BMC Client Management)
  • MyApps improvements
  • Custom fields for assets
  • Direct Access permisions
  • Additional web services
  • and of course several of your ideas from right here on the community site!


The goal of this release continues to be maintaining the ease of use, flexibility and integrations that you have come to expect with FootPrints Asset Core - now BMC Client Management - while continuing to improve your experience and drive innovative approaches to solving your most pressing issues when it comes to managing your IT assets.

 

We are already underway with the next release and look forward to hearing from you what you would like to see.  Leverage this post, the discussions and of course the ideas section.  Let us know what you are thinking and if these updates will help you frankly do your job easier (and get you more family time, beach time, football/futbol watching time...or whatever else you want to be doing).

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Robin Purohit, President for the Service Support Business at BMC, recently posted a blog around the upcoming BMC user conference, Engage.  Check out what Robin had to say and find out more about why this week in Orlando is without a doubt well worth your time.

 

You can read the blog here: bmc.co/1C4ZhQc

 

Let us know if you plan to be there.  I am happy to help make sure you get the most out of your visit including connecting you with the product managers for 1:1 meetings and of course the engineers during the Evening with the Experts.  It's also a great way for you to network and find out what's coming next as you plan your next year - yes, only 97 days left this year (and for those of you with holiday shopping...only 90 days left for that.)  It may seem like a long time, but annual planning and shopping together?  Best to get started soon!

 

I'll look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you ever wanted to be famous? Revered by all for your knowledge, skill...and of course good looks?  Okay, okay...stop daydreaming, come back to the blog post and keep reading.

 

While this may not win you an Oscar or a Grammy, presenting at the upcoming BMC Engage conference this fall in Orlando is a great way to share the great work you do day-in and day-out with your peers and colleagues.

 

Think about it:

  • How did your migration of Windows 7 go?  Are you done yet and if not, how are you working to ensure systems and networks are protected? There are many out there in need of your guidance on just that.
  • Maybe you were tasked with automating your software license management to avoid another failed audit or head one off at the pass - what tips and tricks did you take away from that?
  • Maybe it is your story for how you got management on board with an automated asset inventory solution to begin with - and better yet, how you keep "the project" going (realizing that this is a forever sort of thing and not just a we did it and move on sort of thing).
  • Have you worked on a project that called for coordinating multiple functions and technologies that runs like clockwork now? - Tell your story and how you and your team achieved success.

 

Whatever you've been up to there are many in our industry who will be in Orlando and want to hear about it.  Share your knowledge, expertise, experience (and yes, fabulous good looks).  Submit for a speaking session at BMC Engage this fall!

 

To submit go to - BMC Engage 2014 - Call For Papers Home Engage logo.png

Simply create an account (creating the account doesn't mean you're in hook, line and sinker, but it gets you to more information and the quick form to submit your session details) and you're a quarter of the way there!  Don't wait too long....the call for papers closes on June 19th!

 

For more information on the conference check out this latest release.

 

I hope to see several submissions from our Asset Core customers - I have had the pleasure during the last year to meet many of you and no question you are a phenomenal group!  I can't wait to meet many more of you in Orlando!

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Happy New Year!  Just seems right to say that first.  I hope everyone had a great holiday and is enjoying the start of 2014. 
product listing 2.pngI know that I am!

 

And, it wouldn't be the same if I didn't introduce something new - this year it's our faster, easier way to get to what you always wanted to know about BMC FootPrints.  Some of you focus on service management and some on asset management and some on both, but generally if you are using our community forum you are thinking about something specific to Service Core or something specific to Asset Core.

 

To that end, we will be removing the "family" page for FootPrints and adding FootPrints Service Core and Asset Core (Client Mgmt) to the Product listing in the community site. 

BMC FootPrints Service Core

Nothing changes for you - same great SC page 2.png

sites...same great info...same awesome support!  Just a faster way to get there.

 

Another change you will notice is the

title for FootPrints Asset Core.  In July 2013, BMC introduced BMC Client Management - a suite approach to FootPrints Asset Core that includes Inventory Manager, Deployment Manager, Compliance Manager, Patch Manager and Remote Manager - but it is still the same great asset management solution you leverage today. As some of our users may recognize the BMC Client Management name we want to ensure they are finding the same great information and support that many of you find within this online community.

AC page 2.png

The more of you using the solution - the more of you to share your knowledge and insights, read my "fabulous" blog posts, and the more of you to post your latest ideas that help our product teams develop and deliver first class solutions that I can honestly then say are in large part driven and designed by our brilliant customers!

BMC FootPrints Service Core

Keep the ideas coming - and let us know if you like this change...hopefully it will be one more new things that makes 2014 another great year! 

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The other day I was sitting in the most comfortable chair in our house blissfully ignoring the world while I watched one of my guilty pleasure TV shows (The Voice, if you must know) when my husband walked in from the master bedroom atorn jeans.jpgnd dropped a pair of faded blue jeans in my lap.  I grabbed the remote off the side table next to the chair, paused the show – I love TiVo! – and looked up at him.  “There’s a hole in my jeans.  Can you patch it for me?” He turned around and walked right back into the bedroom.


To some of you this behavior may seem a bit forward or even rude.  How dare he just drop the jeans and expect me to fix whatever was wrong with them.  But the reality is that I have been married for some years now, so I can only guess three are also some of you reading this who are nodding your head thinking this is exactly how it would go down in my house too – whether you are the one dropping the jeans or the one left to repair the offending abnormality. Notice I made no mention of where the tear in the jeans happens to be located before now, but the description of “offending” might just lead you in the right direction.


I took a look at the hole and quickly determined that an iron on patch wasn’t the right way deal with the issue.  Grateful that the hole was really more of a tear along the seam line, I headed to the laundry room, grabbed the sewing basket from the cabinet above the dryer and went back to the den. I set the basket down on the side tabIe and promptly plopped down in the comfy chair, picked up the remote and pressed play. As I sat listening and couch critiquing the next performance and judges’ comments, I selected the proper color thread, successfully threaded the needle on my third attempt and started to repair my husband’s jeans. Sewing up the jeans didn’t take long at all.  After all, seams are pretty easy to repair.  It did get me thinking about patching though – hazard of my day job.

 

Since this is posted to an Asset Management blog site and you know I work with this technology for a living nothing about this train of thought should come as a shock.  Patching software has been around as long as software has been around – happily longer than I have been around (normally when I reference my age it makes me seem older – now I am younger than something I am talking about – yea!).

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I only had one minor rip to repair with the jeans.  IT teams aren’t quite so lucky.  Think about the number of software titles that you have in your organization and those are just the ones that you know about or maybe just the ones you care about.  Every piece of software requires updating or patching at some point during its useful life.  Even your mobile apps need updates and if you read the fine print about what’s included – the reason a patch or update was published – more often than not it’s nothing more than a bunch of things that fix stuff that’s wrong with the application.  On your mobile device, every time you go to press “deploy” or “update,” you gamble, or trust, that the patch will work like it is supposed to and not mess up anything else. Unlike what we all do with our mobile devices, corporate IT teams usually test to make sure that nothing else will get messed up, but this is software and another thing I have learned is that interesting things happen with software and everything doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to no matter how much you test to make sure it will.


As a commercial came on, instead of grabbing for the remote to fast forward through the commercials, I found myself thinking about the patching stories I have heard this year from a couple of our customers.  Mostly it’s the driver for automated patching of some kind that intrigues me. Patching has been around for a long time.  But automation is generally what a company turns to when they haven’t done much to prioritize patching.  I don’t blame them – what an overwhelming job that could be on any given day or any given “pawe accept credit cards.pngtch Tuesday.” Nevertheless, the time came for one company to “pay the piper” if they didn’t roll out the missing patches – all 5.5 million of them. Yes, you read that right.  More than 5 million.  They are a retail organization interested in continuing to accept credit cards.  I don’t think I need to explain why that might be important to their core business.


Then I started thinking about the company who recently was acquired by a private equity firm – no I am not talking about BMC – that rolled out their automated patching in about two months and have been able to seamlessly test and deploy in a scheduled and methodical fashion all software patches that touch critical systems or are the highest candidates for auditing topped off with regular status reports to the business. They are a smaller shop than the retail guy with fewer devices, but it’s still a job to do.  However the person in the room most concerned with patching wasn’t driven by a need to collect money as much as a need to ensure device and network security.


Remember, this is just a commercial break, so I ended up thinking what drives a business to decide it’s time to start paying attention to the patches they apply to what they own. When does it become a conscious decision to find a tool to automate patch distribution? Is it good stewardship of a company’s investment (thinking of a school district that wants to know the location, status and security of devices that a grant paid for)? Or is it when an event occurs that makes patching frankly a necessity to remain in business? Is it all based on limiting exposure? You know, kind of like the hole in my husband’s jeans which he really couldn’t, or at least in my opinion shouldn’t, wear without me sewing them up first.

the Voice.png
With the promo for the news coming on I know that my show is about to start again and based on the “coming up next” preview I know that I want to hear the next song so I straightened and folded the jeans and set them on the arm of the chair. I put the needle, thread and scissors back in the sewing basket, closed the lid, leaned back and pulled a blanket over my lap.  Knowing that I had successfully patched the jeans I sat back and mindlessly enjoyed the rest of the show.  My husband wore the jeans the next day and everything worked perfectly. I guess that’s the same satisfaction IT gets when the patch report comes back with a lot of green.


What’s your patch practice?  What drives you to keep up and when are you satisfied that it is a job well done?  Until the next pair of jeans is dropped in my lap, or shirt with a missing button, or pants that need the hem repaired….

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BMC recently released the latest version of FootPrints Asset Core for general availability this week.


The latest version of FootPrints Asset Core 11.7 delivers additional pre-built integrations, support for the latest OS’s and applications, enhanced agent diagnostics and more.


Release highlights:

  • Migrate, discover and manage the latest Mac and Microsoft releases including Windows 8.1, Office 2013 and OSX 10.9
  • Extend integrations with additional web services and out-of-the-box BMC Atrium 7.6.x support
  • Enhance asset administration with agent auto-recovery, cloud-based Active Directory imports, faster OS deployments and more

 

New Key Capabilities include:

  • Scale deployments up to 125,000 nodes per master
  • Support up to 5,000 agents per relay (requires Linux)
  • OS deployments support an expanded set of supported hardware
  • Troubleshooting your Asset Core agents is easier than ever with enhanced agent diagnostics and centralized logging
  • Leverage web services to do more with Asset Core to create your own operational rules and better manage file transfers
  • Migrations to Windows 7, Windows 8 or PC Refresh made easy with personality injection/extraction saving downtime and reducing calls to the service desk
  • Out-of-the-box integration with the BMC Atrium CMDB now supports the widely deployed version 7.6.x, extending end-to-end client lifecycle management to our enterprise customers
  • Customers posted their ideas to the community site and we delivered including location data in a quick device search,  set the countdown time to more than 999 minutes, and find scanning devices easily by with new sort capabilities
  • And there’s more…over 100 other fixes including the addition of a “Select All” check box for the patch job wizard, option to add usernames to the assigned devices/groups views, inclusion of the latest SQL Express version with the full installer and improved automatic rollouts with retry for failed targets

 

For more information on what’s new or to upgrade to BMC FootPrints Asset Core 11.7 log in to your BMC Software Support Profile. Simply select the “FP Asset Core” tab, and you’re on your way!

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This week I have had the pleasure of working with the product management and development teams for BMC FootPrints Asset Core.  As the solutions marketing manager, two of my main objectives are to influence priorities based on my interactions with customers, partners and sales teams, and to take the technical user stories sent to development and turn them into the problem-benefit statements so that you can recognize when we have a solution to your problems.

 

After four days, I am over-the-top excited about the future of Asset Core...it's absolutely an exciting time to be a part of this ongoing adventure.  And as time rolls by I am so looking forward to sharing more and more.  Of course, I can't tell you everything yet - roadmaps and NDAs and all that stuff - but I can tell all of you that the teams are most definitely listening and all of these groups are being heard - customers, partners and sales.

 

light bulb.pngOne of the best new sources of feedback in figuring out what users are looking for with Asset Core has been the Ideas section on the Asset Core Community site.  Keep 'em coming and be sure to look at what others post.  They may just have hit on something that is one of your top five pains or maybe posted an idea that speaks to you - "Wow!  If only I had this my life would be so much easier!"  If you see it - Vote for it too.

 

If you haven't had a chance to take a look lately, here are just a few of the 67 ideas - and counting - that are leading the vote count in the ideas section on the Asset Core community site:

 

What a great way to make sure that your request is heard just as you want it to be heard (no more "telephone game" that delivers some variation of what you really wanted but not quite exactly what solves your true pains.  I suppose in a way you are all now part of the development team and prioritization process as we look towards the future for Asset Core.  Congratulations and welcome aboard! We are really happy to have you here!

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While we are always working to better and further Asset Core for all of our stakeholders, your feedback as a user is one of the more important pieces we can take into account as part of the process of bringing a new version to market.

 

That said...I am pleased to let you know that the BMC FootPrints Asset Core product and development teams have just kicked off the latest beta program.

 

If you are interested please visit the beta site: https://communities.bmc.com/groups/bmc-footprints-asset-core-v-12-beta-program and request to join the beta program.

 

I will be notified that you have opted in and contact you in the event we still need a signed beta agreement on file.  Once the paperwork - and yes, the first time you participate in an on-premise beta program with BMC there is some paperwork - you will be added to the site and go from there!  (If you have previously participated in FootPrints beta programs under the Numara company name we'll need an updated agreement signed.)

 

This beta program is currently open and set to run through October 10th.

 

If you have any questions or comments please let me know.  Otherwise I'll be looking for you on the FootPrints Asset Core beta site!

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Every day (ok, business day), I find myself reading articles on any number of topics from asset management (of course) to the latest tablet review to users managing the transition to Windows 8 and dealing with angst over Office 2013.  And while I read all of these different articles, most of them related to the technology industry, I find myself trying to get a grip on all of the different changes that occur each year and how fast you have to move to keep up with everything. 

 

Of course, not everything is for everyone, so no one really has to keep up with all of it. But nonetheless it left me wondering if there's any consistency left.  Take Windows 8 for example - the look and feel and use seems to be geared more towards what you would find on a smartphone or tablet - making me think consumer, not business.  Yet so many prior releases of Windows have been geared to support the workforce.  With the "consumerization of IT", will that change with many more things going forward?  Even BMC is participating in the game with the announcement of MyIT- a service portal for the user (not IT) right on your iPad. 

 

So what about asset management?  Not the management of mobile devices - consumerization was just an example of the rapid changes we are seeing with technology today - but about how you go about managing your IT assets.  One thing's for sure, the technology supporting asset management will continue to evolve and I would expect it to.  But I have found, in what by many standards may be a short time formally working with asset management (approaching two years now), is that it is more about the process than anything else. The process doesn't change all that much whether you are manually tracking assets or leveraging an automated solution.  Of course with automation you can save resources, time and money - a proven point over and over again.  Oh and don't forget accuracy - as much as I like to think human's are perfect, we often unintentionally err more than machines.   

 

But back to process - one thing I have always found in process is consistency.  When the end of my days come (hopefully many, many years from now), I am pretty sure that one of the things that will be said about me is that I was organized.  I equate organization with process.  Everything has its time, place and order. Yes, order. Without order there would be nothing but a big jumbled mess.  It applies equally to me whether it's the kids playroom, planning the next family gathering, or getting ready for the next webinar at work. There are steps to follow in each case to ensure that no detail is overlooked. For each event or space there is a way to do things - yes, even how I organize the grocery list to match exactly how I walk around the store to ensure nothing is forgotten and to expedite even the mundane task of grocery shopping each week.  My friends marvel at the fact I only go once a week - I plan the menu, the grocery list, order everything properly and plan my trip for after the shelves have been stocked but before the crowds arrive.  It's not crazy either - give it a try and see if it doesn't make for a relaxed week of no longer wondering each day what you are going to serve the family for dinner. 

 

IT asset management to me is a series of events and spaces that need to be properly managed according to a plan.  Deployment, patching, reporting - each has their own series of steps that more than likely are repeatable for the individuals executing them.  From identifying the details of each specific event:

  • the device including details
  • the user including responsibilities
  • the necessary actions to ensure proper productivity, and
  • my favorite, the checklist, aka reporting, to ensure all steps were executed properly and nothing was left off or failed to go as planned. 

 

What do you do though when the tools you use to ensure your processes are running smoothly change? I don't mean enhancements that are designed to help you improve your process.  I am thinking more about when someone new gets a hold of your tool and changes it - what are you going to do then?  Do you start over with new processes?  Who do you have to consult and convince to do it a different way than before?  It's something to think about.  I would have to re-evaluate the steps to grocery shopping if the store were to be laid out in a different way (don't laugh - it's happened and it changes everything!).

 

What's consistency mean to you when it comes to managing your technology assets and how are you going to manage the inevitability of change and adapt?

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While many of you have enjoyed the BMC FootPrints Community site – thank you for your participation – we figured it was time to get a bit more focused on what you want to talk about. So we are introducing the BMC FootPrints Asset Core and the BMC FootPrints Service Core community sites. 

 

With the BMC FootPrints Asset Core site you’ll find all things “AC” including focused discussions with solutions experts, opportunities to share your expertise and learn from others deploying AC in ways that quickly solve their issues, useful documents, and how to videos just to name a few. Whether your are looking for more data on discovery and inventory, best practices for patching, or navigating the tricky waters of software license management, you can find help on this community site. 

 

I will look forward to blogging on a regular basis and hearing from you what’s on your mind.  Let me know what areas of client management are causing you the biggest headaches.  And definitely let me know about your wins and how AC is helping to make your job – and life – easier. 

 

And with that – let me officially welcome you to the BMC FootPrints Asset Core community site.  Enjoy! 

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