Our Service Solutions
Unified Logic is an innovative global Software Asset Management (SAM) consulting company that inventories software within any size enterprise to help document deployments while optimizing current licensing in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance
What is it?
Unified Logic offers a comprehensive Microsoft license compliance solution that has been engineered to take the pain out of managing your Microsoft software assets. The Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance provides an accurate picture of your Microsoft deployment footprint through reliable discovery and inventory techniques and also leverages integration to your existing SAM tool(s). Reconciliation of the software deployment data against your Microsoft licenses to measure compliance across all Microsoft products is fully automated by the Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance.
What are the benefits?
The Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance offers unparalleled reporting capabilities which can be delivered on a schedule that is aligned with your Microsoft Volume License Agreement; e.g. monthly for Select agreements, annually for Enterprise Agreements, or on-demand as your business requires. The Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance provides license compliance reports for all your deployed Microsoft products based on current product use rights and also addresses complex licensing factors such as; virtualization rights, mobility, secondary use rights, MSDN devices, desktop refresh cycles, CoreCAL vs eCAL plus many more.
The reporting capabilities can also be used when evaluating software and hardware consumption for internal billing purposes, before entering M&A activities or simply to answer the question: Are we compliant?
How does it work?
We offer our appliance in both OVF (Open Virtualization Format) supported by VMware’s ESX platform and as a V2V template which can be easily imported into Microsoft’s Hyper-V platform through Virtual Machine Manager.
Once added to your datacenter, the Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance is configured by our expert staff to collect the data you need from your existing sources. There’s no need to install additional software, deploy any additional agents or re-configure settings. The Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance makes agentless connections to your LDAP (e.g. Active Directory), SAM tool(s) and any other relevant systems quickly and efficiently. The UL appliance can also be configured to only run during off-peak hours, to minimize the impact on your infrastructure. The data collected by the appliance is stored locally in your data-center and never leaves your premises, thus ensuring protection of your confidential data.
With the Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance benefits are quickly realized. Once a discovery cycle has completed (typically within 1 week), you can begin to access license compliance reports from the Appliance. Refresh cycles take even less time since the required credentials, access routes and data dependencies are already stored in the Appliance.
How do I get it?
We offer the Unified Logic Virtual Data Appliance as a managed solution to all customers. For detailed pricing, please contact us for a quote.
Office 365 is an Internet based solution leveraging both desktop and browser based functionality to communicate and collaborate with others in real time.
In order to maximize the experience in a business setting, two key factors need to be assessed:
1. Active Directory: User Identity and Account Provisioning: and
2. Client and End User Experience: Office, Operating System and Browser.
Unified Logic's Office 365 services include an assessment of each of the required Active Directory elements (e.g. forests, domains and trust mappings, schema levels, cleanup and synchronization considerations), and/or the corresponding client elements including the operating system version and service pack installed, Office version and service pack (if applicable) and preferred browser.
Unified Logic has the ability to capture this data from a range of existing SAM tools (e.g. SCCM, LANDesk and Altiris), but can also gathered this data in the absence of an existing tools without modification to the environment using our agentless solution.
Microsoft has incorporated Core based licensing and expanded the SQL offering to include a brand new edition, Business Intelligence. As with any change, this adds to the complexity of managing the existing SQL infrastructure and planning for the future. To address this complexity, Unified Logic offers three SQL specific services.
Capturing the existing SQL Server footprint by version, edition, hardware and role is a challenging endeavor on its own. In addition to multiple versions and editions, there are also runtime copies, management tools, ISV implementations, and product use rights specific to each version. All of these items complicate the identification and mapping of a SQL Server footprint. Unified Logic captures not only these, but other helpful SQL Server specific items, including: database / instance names, servers configured for log shipping and database mirroring, identification of each nodes role in a SQL cluster and service state / configuration. All of these data points can be captured without modification to the environment. SQL usage statistics can also be collected and used to determine the optimal licensing model (Per Core vs. Server/CAL) for each SQL Server instance. Whether deployed across the entire enterprise or on a subset of your SQL estate, our SQL Census process brings additional insight to an area where licensing requirements have typically been estimated or assumed.
Automation levels, guest movements, cluster re-configurations, host level licensing, license mobility; all of these items complicate the licensing of SQL Server in virtualized environments or private/public clouds. With the transition to a licensing model that incorporates a core based metric, license mobility rights granted to both Standard and Enterprise edition with software assurance and unlimited virtualization returning to the Enterprise edition when licensed at the host level, having Unified Logic map your virtual SQL footprint can be invaluable.
While knowing what's installed can be a challenge all by itself, mapping it against your existing license entitlements to optimize your use rights can be just as tricky. Our goal is to maximize the customer's existing investment in SQL licenses by applying the most relevant Product Use Rights to each deployment. This is achievable once a baseline, a usage profile and an understanding of the virtual environment have been completed, all while keeping a close watch over the available pool of licenses.
Enterprise Agreement True-Ups
Accurately calculating the number of Enterprise Agreement Qualified Desktops can be both challenging and time consuming. Coupled with the trend toward user based licensing for server access and the adoption of cloud based computing, it's likely that this level of complexity will continue to grow at least in the short term.
Many organizations attempt to address this complexity by leveraging SAM tools that may incorrectly assume a device is active based upon a stale record inactive Directory, while other organizations may use assumptions based upon an employee headcount or the number of active email accounts. Each of these techniques can produce dramatically different results even within the same organization and result in either over or under licensing.
Using several techniques, Unified Logic helps customers identify active devices and users. This service also provides organizations with a range of improvement opportunities including directory cleanup to reduce replication traffic and improve the accuracy of the data the SAM tool reports, simplified administration by not having to continually filter out inactive entries, and retirement opportunities where devices which are no longer being used and left on the network.
While the identification of a particular a product on a Windows device doesn’t typically present much of a change for an IT administrator, capturing its use can be. Many administrators are asked to identify and remove software that is no longer being used without metering, scanning executables or upsetting the end user. In many cases the collection of this type of data is turned off either due to capacity constraints or to minimize system overhead.
To address this, Unified Logic has devised a method that collects application usage data without having to perform a full file system scan. Our method is proven to deliver more accurate results because it relies on the same architecture that packaged applications like Office, Project and Visio use to store usage frequency related information. This data can be used to determine component usage (e.g. Access or for license reallocation purposes -- 90 day reassignment).
Virtualization allows companies to run multiple virtual devices (e.g. servers and workstations) on one or more physical hosts, all while keeping physical resources, and changes in configuration transparent to users, and sometimes even IT staff. While each of the benefits attributable to virtualization adds significant value to any organizations IT operations, they also introduce licensing complexities.
Unified Logic helps customers address these complexities by looking deep under the hood of the virtual engine. We can track everything from guest-to-host relations, physical and virtual resource allocations, DRS, HA and DPM related migration events, or manual failover. Our Virtualization Optimization involves taking into account the licenses a customer already owns and mapping them to the current high-watermark of usage. In all cases, customers will have a much higher level of confidence in their virtual licensing strategy by proactively managing these environments.
Some view the linking of a device to an employee as nothing more than a trivial administrative task requiring little in the way of formal policies and procedures. For small organizations, this may not present much of an issue, but even as the device population grows to only a few hundred assets, including tablets and cellphones, linking each object to a specific user can be challenging -- especially when time is limited. In many situations the need to link a device to a user is driven by everyday events such a lease expiration, warranty claim, or component replacement (e.g. battery recall). When these events occur the device needs to be recovered, which means identifying its owner.
Many of the IT asset management tools on the market today collect this data, but even if there is no asset management tool in place, this data can still be collected from the Windows platform without modification.
Once this data has been obtained, in addition to device recovery, it can be used to pursue more advanced SAM initiatives -- including accounting for secondary use rights, monitoring development (e.g. MSDN benefits that permit unlimited use across multiple machines, or user access rights to server product granted based upon a licensed application on that device).
Once this data has been collected it still needs to be cleansed to remove stale accounts, former employees, Admin entries etc. By linking each user account to an actual person based on our AD-to-HR/ERP reconciliation techniques, we ensure not only that all users are active, but also that users with multiple accounts are not double-counted.
System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) can be used to perform a myriad of tasks, from hardware discovery to software inventory, patch management to application deployment, workstation and server management and mobile device administration. For each and every managed device, SCCM has an agent ready to send and receive data to and from. However simple or complex the environment, SCCM often proves challenging to deploy, maintain and extend because of the large number of configuration variables that are unique to each environment.
Through many years of experience and by working with all major releases of SMS (2003) and SCCM (2007 R1-R3, 2012), Unified Logic has amassed a great deal of knowledge on what works and what does not work as part of a full or partial roll-out of SCCM. We also educate customers how to maintain a "clean" SCCM data repository, where only active devices are used for reporting, software counts are not artificially inflated and where obsolete items are flagged.
We help customers deploy SCCM in the most practical way and can advise you on what's right for your business needs.
Often times we find customers do not realize the full potential of SCCM due to the limited number of features that are turned on by default. SCCM is an agent-based management tool that can be configured to parse almost any data point stored on the Windows platform e.g. Registry, CIM or on a disk drive. We provide assistance with customizing the data points collected via MOF edits. Such edits can turn SCCM into a powerful reporting tool, since all the data required can be obtained during a simple hardware or software inventory cycle.
Unified Logic can help you extend SCCM to collect and report:
• SQL Server Version and Edition
• SQL Server Clustering
• BizTalk Version and Edition
• SharePoint Version and Edition
• Microsoft Application Metering (separate from Asset Intelligence)
• And more
Driving a return on investment in software is dependent upon its deployment. Many organizations have licensing agreements, or have purchased licenses at a version that permit access to a newer version of the product than is currently deployed.
One of the primary issues customers face is identifying the actual devices that are running a prior version, then being able to determine if these machines meet the minimum hardware requirements necessary to perform an upgrade. This information also helps pinpoint the deployment of non-approved products that represent a break down in policies and procedures. These breakdowns can then be investigated to identify and address their cause.
On many occasions, when working with multi-national companies, this information is also used to identify regional purchases outside of the main corporate volume agreement, which has several value adds including lower pricing, license management, satisfying volume purchasing requirements and configuration standardization.
Identification of devices with multiple versions of the same product
In many cases, there will be devices with multiple versions of the same product (e.g. Microsoft Office Professional 2010 and Access 2007 installed). A deployment report capturing the total number of installations by product title, would capture each version, which would result in the customer incorrectly assigning multiple licenses for the same product to a single device. As part of the SAM program, we highlight for customers devices with multiple versions of the same product and teach them how to automate their removal going forward. For companies who have gone through 2 or even 3 upgrades of products, such as Microsoft Office, without performing a reimage, this task can be a very time consuming, error prone and manual process.
Merger and acquisition activities affect many organizations. When a licensing compliance assessment takes weeks or even months to complete, there often isn't enough time to complete all of the necessary procedures. Quickly and efficiently mapping a Windows footprint as part of an acquisition or divesture event minimizes the risk of unforeseen compliance issues that weren't addressed up front and could have been factored into the acquisition itself.
Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) typically have a high adoption rate which means users tend to "consume" features at a galloping rate right from Day 1 (e.g. create blogs, work on Excel spreadsheets together or simply share files).
Unified Logic specializes in SharePoint role mapping and feature use identification. Many customers take their first SharePoint steps using SharePoint Foundation. Frequently, Unified Logic finds several standalone Foundation implementations that Administrators are charged with finding, then consolidating into a single SharePoint Portal. As part of each engagement, we not only map the front end servers in each MOSS farm, we also capture information that allows us to determine if the database is delivering only Foundation functionality or the full MOSS feature set. This information not only provides customers with the information they need to start consolidating SharePoint sites, it also provides them with a list of all sites, the features being delivered, the members of each site, access membership inheritance and last usage. The farm mapping we perform also highlights for the customer which SQL Server each MOSS front end is linked to and whether the front end server has been deployed using Standard or Enterprise edition features.