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Comment In recent years Novell has quietly built up its ZENworks systems management capabilities. Last week, the company made public another significant advance in ZENworks when it announced that a definitive agreement to acquire Tally Systems Corp. The significance of this moVe should not be underestimated.

Tally Systems is one of those relatively small companies that has managed to achieve remarkable visibility in its chosen field of operations, in this case the discovery and inventory of PC and server systems. when asset tracking and software inventory discovery were in their formative stages of development, Tally NetCensus was a yardstick against which other inventory tools were measured.

In recent times, Tally Systems has built a number of asset tracking products to supply accurate data to asset management repositories and systems management solutions. The current range includes TS.Census Asset Inventory, TS.Deploy (software delivery for TS.Census Asset Inventory), WebCensus (a hosted PC inventory and reporting offering) and PowerCensus (to provide enhanced inventory for Microsoft SMS environments). The company has also developed Cenergy Patch Manger, a tool to provide, reliably, the delivery and installation of software patches.

Beyond these point products, Tally has also created solutions to help organisations better manage their expensive IT infrastructures. Among these, the TS.Census License Compliance Suite combines Tally products to provide businesses with the ability to identify installed applications and to establish the actual usage of installed applications. In this way it becomes straightforward to identify under- and over-licensed software assets, enabling remedial actions to be instigated.

As Novell has steadily strengthened its systems management portfolio, it should come as little surprise to see the company acquiring asset discovery and inventory solutions such as those furnished by Tally Systems. As Jack Messman, Novell chairman and CEO, said last week at BrainShare 200, the regulatory compliance necessary in today's business environment "demands accurate tracking and reporting of IT assets. Bringing together Tally Systems' asset management with Novell's change and configuration management gives companies a powerful method of ensuring compliance, reducing software costs, and preparing for software audits."

It is essential for every organisation to undertake IT Asset Management. Compliance is one driver that is hard to ignore, but in essence every facet of IT management, including cost control and risk minimisation, can benefit when asset management is handled effectively. As ITIL has it, an accurate knowledge of what you have, where it is, how it is configured and who is using it, should form the foundation on which all systems management is built, and on top of which Service Management can take shape.

It will be fascinating to see how Novell takes its newly expanded ZENworks portfolio to market when it has integrated the Tally solutions into its stack. It will be even more interesting to watch how the company develops its capabilities further. Novell now looks ready to say something interesting in the Systems Management space.

© IT-Analysis.com

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