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Benefits of software normalization

When creating discovery models with normalized software publisher names, product names, and versions, drive benefits in two key areas:

  • Normalization creates a   definitive list of the discovered software in the organizationWhether for software audit readiness, M&A activity, or IT operations, the organization needs a comprehensive inventory of its installed software. Without normalization, it will be challenged with multiple names for the same publisher, which requires a substantial effort to rationalize and dilutes the accuracy and value of the reports you run.

  • Normalization improves the accuracy and efficiency of reconciliation for your software entitlementsWhile using the normalized values in the discovery models to map against the software entitlements it have acquired, driving more accurate reconciliation results. This lets to prepare for and complete software audits with more confidence that the counts are accurate and that they match the entitlement records.

  • The SAM normalization process allows standardizing this installation data from multiple discovery tools.

Software Asset Management Content Service

Refer:

    1. Software Asset Management Content Service
    2. Opt into Content Service
    3. Enable the Software Asset Management content service

SAM Normalization Process 

SAM normalization processes match software installation data— aggregated into discovery models—to a central content library of recognized software. In the process, SAM adds normalized Publisher, Product, and Version values to the discovery model. SAM then uses these normalized discovery models to reconcile installed software to the entitlements related to your software models, below is the Normalization from the Discovery/SCCM.

“Normalize software installation data” appears as the last activity in the “discovery” segment of the SAM process

Step 1: Discover software installations

 SAM creates raw software installation data through integration with discovery tools such as ServiceNow Discovery or Microsoft SCCM. This generates the Software Installation table in the database [cmdb_sam_sw_ install] and      associates the records with the appropriate hardware configuration item (CI) record in the CMDB.

Step 2: Create a software discovery model

  SAM aggregates software installation records into discovery models by the discovered publisher, discovered product, and discovered version.

Step 3: Normalize software discovery data

 You normalize discovered publisher, discovered product, and discovered version in the discovery model to gain a clear view of the installed software. This includes both the automated normalization of raw discovery data against  the Central Software Library and the manual normalization of partially normalized discovery models where SAM can’t normalize the publisher and/or product.


SAM normalization matches the discovered publisher, discovered product, and discovered version values to those in the central ServiceNow content library. When it finds a match, SAM updates the discovery model record with normalized Publisher, Product, and Version values, if available. The normalization process may also update the discovery model with additional information, such as:

  • Product type, like licensable, patch, driver, or child
  • Platform of discovered software
  • Language of discovered software
  • Edition of discovered software
  • Full version number

Discovery model normalization status

When the software installations that create new discovery models or manually update an unnormalized discovery model,

SAM updates the normalization status of the discovery model. The normalization status also dictates what, if any, fields you can update manually on the discovery model record., The Normalization Status are as below

  1. Normalized
  2. Partially Normalized
  3. Publisher Normalized
  4. Match Not Found
  5. Manually Normalized
  6. New

More Information on the above status Refer: Software discovery and normalization

Prioritize what to normalize manually

When reviewing less-than-fully normalized discovery models, start by working with the publishers that represent your largest software spend. Focus initially on vendors that make up 80% of the total software expenditures. After that, work with software titles that have a high unit entitlement cost.

Identify unnormalized discovery models

 First, select the discovery models to target less-than-fully normalized publishers. Start with the Discovery Models module in SAM, then apply filters to generate your punch list. Make sure you have the following columns

  • Display name
  • Normalization status
  • Publisher
  • Product
  • Version
  • Edition
  • Product type

The normalization status of the discovery model determines the next steps, need to perform one or more of the activities below, resulting in multiple tasks occurring in parallel.

Let’s look at four specific scenarios and how to address them. Note that the blue and green text in the scenarios correspond to the normalization activities  

 

SCENARIO 1: NORMALIZATION STATUS = NORMALIZED, BUT EDITION CANNOT BE AUTOMATICALLY DISCOVERED

Condition

Sometimes, your discovery tool can’t automatically discover the edition of installed software, such as professional or standard, and this leads to potential errors when reconciling installations with entitlements.

Reconciliation impact

You may have inaccurate installation counts, resulting in an inaccurate license position.

Input needed

Software installation: Manually enter the correct edition value for the affected software installation records. This is the only attribute that you can update manually on this record.

Output generated

Discovery model: With the edition updated on the software installation record, SAM maps the updated record to a new discovery model, which you can then normalize through the automated process.

Reconciliation: Calculations include software installations associated with the discovery model.



 

SCENARIO 2: NORMALIZATION STATUS = PARTIALLY NORMALIZED OR PUBLISHER NORMALIZED

 

 

Condition

If SAM can’t fully normalize the discovery model with the publisher, product, and version values, it attempts to partially normalize the discovery model using the discovered publisher and discovered product values. If it finds a match, it sets the publisher and product values and sets Normalization status to Partially  Normalized. The rest of the discovery model (version and additional information, such      as platform and edition) requires

manual update.

 

If SAM can’t normalize the discovery model using the discovered publisher and discovered product values, it validates the discovered publisher in the normalization engine. If it finds a match, it sets the publisher value and sets the Normalization status to Publisher Normalized. The rest of the discovery model (discovered product/version and additional information) requires a manual update.

Reconciliation impact

You have understated installation counts, resulting in an inaccurate license position.


Input needed

Content Service: If you opted in to the Software Asset Management Content Service, submit the discovery model for research by the content team. Allow the content team to research the software and update the Central Software Library.

Discovery model: Manually update the remaining attributes, such as product, version, platform, and edition.


Output generated

Discovery model: If you submitted this to the Content Service, SAM will update the Normalization status after normalization processes run with the new content included. If not, SAM will update the Normalization status to Manually Normalized upon the creation of the software product and pattern normalization rules.

Reconciliation: Calculations include software installations associated with the discovery model.


 

SCENARIO 3: NORMALIZATION STATUS = MATCH NOT FOUND FOR HOMEGROWN SOFTWARE

Condition

The attributes of the discovery model led to no matches in the content library since the software is homegrown.

Reconciliation impact

Since reconciliation is based on normalized values, SAM can’t include these software installations in reconciliation calculations, leading to an inaccurate license position.

Input needed

Software product: Establish publisher, product, and product type (e.g., licensable) and create a custom software product.

Discovery model: Manually update the remaining attributes, such as product, version, platform, and edition.

Output generated

After you complete the discovery model attributes, SAM updates the discovery model Normalization status to Manually Normalized.

 



SCENARIO 4: NORMALIZATION STATUS = MATCH NOT FOUND FOR NON-HOMEGROWN SOFTWARE

Condition

The attributes of the discovery model led to no matches in the content library. This can be the case with obscure software.

Reconciliation impact

Since reconciliation is based on normalized values, SAM can’t include these software installations in reconciliation calculations, leading to an inaccurate license position.



Input needed

Content service: If you opted into the Software Asset Management Content Service, submit the discovery model for research by the content team and inclusion in the library.

If you do not wish to submit the discovery model to the Content Service, you can manually normalize using the information below:

 

Software product: Establish publisher, product, and product type (e.g., licensable) and create a custom software product.

Software entitlement: For licensable software products, create a software entitlement record with the appropriate attributes that reflect the accurate licensing of the software.

Discovery model: Manually update the remaining attributes, such as product, version, platform edition.

Pattern normalization rules: Create and apply pattern normalization rules to apply to custom software products. Specify text for discovery to search for in the software publisher/product fields.

Specify the normalized attributes (product type, platform, language, version, etc.) that you want normalized when discovered.


Output generated

Discovery model: If you submitted this to the Content Service, SAM will update the Normalization status after normalization processes run with the new content included.

After you complete the discovery model attributes and pattern normalization rules, SAM updates the discovery model Normalization

status to Manually Normalized.



Article Information

Last Updated:2020-09-29 20:40:08
Published:2020-09-24
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