Computerworld

Marimba upgrades tool to track app use

FRAMINGHAM (10/06/2003) - Marimba Inc. Monday will announce an upgraded application-tracking tool that can measure how often end users run the programs installed on their systems. Like similar products from rival vendors, the beefed-up tool is designed to help IT managers reduce corporate licensing costs.

The Software Usage Solution 6.0 release will extend the tool's capabilities for tracking application inventories to include the automated collection of usage details, such as the last time an application was opened and how frequently it is used, said Kelly Wagman, a senior product marketing manager at Marimba in Mountain View, Calif. IT managers can use the data to decide whether to buy more software licenses, harvest unused applications for other end users or cancel unneeded licenses, she said.

Scotia Miller, regional manager of desktop architecture at Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco, said the investment management firm urged Marimba to develop the ability to track application use after using the vendor's software distribution tools.

Miller has been using a prerelease version of the product for about six months to track the use of 40 applications. She said Marimba's software detected about 1,100 unused licenses in a three-month period. About half of the end users who weren't using programs said they didn't need them.

"The cost of software is the driver behind this initiative," Miller said. "With license monitoring on the increase by outside groups, our CIO also doesn't want to pay the fines for unauthorized use."

Barclays has configured the tool to detect applications that haven't been used for 35 days and to automatically send e-mail messages to end users asking if they want to give up their licenses. The 35-day limit was chosen to give workers on long vacations or business trips a reasonable amount of time in which to use applications, Miller said.