Shopping for an endpoint management tool? Three things to keep in mind.
Endpoint management is becoming an increasingly important part of the system administrator’s daily job. That’s a good reason to make sure you choose the right tool. When you do so, keep these three essentials in mind.
We could probably list a dozen things that are important to look out for when choosing an endpoint management tool. But, in our opinion, these are the most essential options that will give you flexibility and keep you growing for years to come.
1. Cloud and local
More and more applications will move to the cloud in the coming years, both through software as a service—think Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace—and through virtual machines. Of course, you don’t want such software and tools to move beyond your reach, and you don’t want to lose control of them. Fortunately, your endpoint management tool can handle both local and virtual applications: not just .EXE and .MSI, but also App-V, ThinApp, shortcuts, and scripts.
The right tool can also help you deploy software through the cloud. Your users probably haven’t been working all together in one place for a while. It could even be months before one of them logs back into the physical location of the network, and you don’t want it to take that long for someone to install an important update. That’s why you should choose an endpoint management tool that supports installation from the cloud and can do so seamlessly alongside local installation. That means that no matter where someone logs in, updates are always available.
One of the trickiest things about deploying software via an endpoint management tool is packaging: creating an installation package that has your settings and preferences baked in. A standard installation file is usually not recommended, because it means that users still have to fill in far too many variables themselves during installation. In addition, it’s often impossible to do a ‘silent’ installation. Make sure you choose a tool that minimizes the need to create a package each time as much as possible. A good tool will allow you to enter your settings and variables once, after which the package will be automatically created and prepared for deployment.
It’s even handier if standard software like Office, Acrobat Reader, or a zip application are already available to you in a database, also known as a package store. With a few clicks, you can roll them out to the entire organization, your settings included.
License management is still an overlooked issue in many organizations. And yet, it is absolutely essential. If you have too few licenses, you run the risk of a problem with the software vendor, or a user might no longer have access to the program. On the other hand, paying for unused licenses is just as irritating. A good endpoint management tool can monitor your systems and users for application usage and compare this with the number of licenses. This enables you to keep track and avoid paying too much (or too little!).
It’s vital that this be done in real time using a strong method. One good method is to read the executable of the software to be monitored and generate a MD5 file hash that is unique to that executable. This is loaded by the endpoint management tool and monitored for usage in runtime—thus, in real time.
It is not necessarily required that you purchase a separate license for each user if you know in advance that they will never all use an application at the same time. It’s a bit like overbooking a flight. Of course, that’s quite a challenging task. You can’t afford to have someone unable to work because you didn’t purchase quite enough licenses. A good endpoint management tool will help you avoid that. Smart software management can save you quite a bit of money.
Easy Software Deployment
In our opinion, the above are the three most essential options that an endpoint management tool should possess. That’s why our Easy Software Deployment solution combines all these points. Do you want to know how to install applications both in the cloud and locally within your organization? Or how to create an installation package that has your settings and preferences baked in? And how to monitor real-time usage? Schedule a demo with one of our experts! In just 30 minutes, the demo will cover the basics of Easy Software Deployment.