This is part two in a series of blog articles on providing asset management from a Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager basis. In this series, we have already introduced the asset management capabilities of Configuration Manager, the limitations of those native capabilities, and then discussed how Cireson’s Asset Management products can provide a fully capable asset management solution that your company can use and rely on. Cireson Asset Management can take the great basis that Configuration Manager provides, expand upon it to give you a more functional set of assets that you can truly manage. This blog correspond to the webinars that are being presented in a series of webinars that began in June. Each webinar is recorded and available on the Vimeo site if you happen to miss them or want to watch again.

Part 1 webinar recording (https://vimeo.com/130468107).

Part 2 webinar recording (https://vimeo.com/132363640).

Given that part 1 in the blog series, as well as in the webinar series covers the Configuration Manager basics, I’ll jump directly into the Cireson Asset Management app in this blog.

Overview of Cireson Asset Management

Cireson’s Asset Management stream of products consists of the following apps that can assist you in your asset management processes:

You can find more information about the Asset Management stream, as part of the Cireson Platform, at https://cireson.com/cireson-platform.

Installation of Cireson Asset Management

Once you have acquired the license for Cireson’s Asset Management app, and have downloaded it, the installation process is pretty simple. It involves the importing of a handful of management packs into Service Manager, and the copying of a file. This process only takes a couple of minutes to complete. To install, within the Service Manager Console from the Administration workspace’s Management Packs node, import these management packs:

Note that the last management pack is only required if you want to use software metering data from Configuration Manager to associate users and computers that have used specific software assets within your asset management processes.

Once you have imported these management packs, you also need to copy the Cireson.AssetManagement.Workflows.dll file from your download folder to the Service Manager installation folder. This would default to ProgramFilesMicrosoft System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager, however you should use your own installation folder.

After you’ve installed the Cireson Asset Management app, you would want to license it immediately. You can do that by importing the appropriate license key into the Cireson – Asset Management Settings (in the Administration workspace, Settings node). The license key is the first attribute you would configured in the Miscellaneous section of settings.

For more detailed reference on installation of the Cireson Asset Management app, refer to the following knowledge base article: https://support.cireson.wpengine.com/KnowledgeBase/View/75/?selectedtab=enduser

Installation of Cireson Asset Import

The next app you will want to install is the Cireson Asset Import app. The installation process is also very simple and quick. It involves the importing of one management pack into Service Manager, and the copying of three files. Prior to importing the Asset Import app management pack, you need to copy two files from the Service Manager Authoring installation to your Service Manager installation folder. The two files to be copied are:

The default installation path of the Service Manager Authoring feature is: Program Files (x86)Microsoft System Center 2012 R2Service Manager AuthoringPackagesToLoad. And as already mentioned above, use the appropriate location for the Service Manager installation folder as the destination of the two files.

To install the Asset Import app, within the Service Manager Console from the Administration workspace’s Management Packs node, import the Cireson.AssetManagement.Import.mpb management pack. Finally, you would copy the Cireson.AssetManagement.Import.Workflows.dll file from your downloaded location to the Service Manager installation folder.

And just like the Cireson Asset Management app, after installation, you will need to provide your license key to the Cireson – Asset Management Import Settings to finish the installation and licensing process.

For more detailed reference on installation of the Cireson Asset Management app, refer to the following knowledge base article: https://support.cireson.wpengine.com/KnowledgeBase/View/53/?selectedtab=enduser

 Configuration of Cireson Asset Management Settings

Both the Cireson Asset Management app as well as the Cireson Asset Import app have settings that can be used to control the behavior of the respective apps. This section will provide a brief introduction to the common settings that are often implemented. Each of the respective knowledge base articles referenced earlier for installation of the apps includes a section on the settings that cover in more detail the settings values. This section will just provide an overview of recommended configuration for some of the high priority items. As the Asset Import app has many fewer settings to discuss, we’ll start there, then move onto the longer discussion of the Asset Management app settings. You will configure the appropriate settings using the same process you did to license the respective apps – the Service Manager Console’s Administration workspace, and the Settings node.

For Cireson – Asset Management Import Settings, the commonly implemented settings are:

Asset Import Settings

Of course, you’d have your License Key value in the top attribute.  Other settings of note are:

For Cireson – Asset Management Settings, there are seven unique sections of settings that can be configured. This next section will discuss the commonly implemented settings for each of those seven sections. This blog will not cover all the settings available, only those commonly implemented.

Miscellaneous settings:

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous 2

Hardware Asset Sync Workflow settings:

Hardware Asset

Hardware Asset 2

Hardware Asset 3

Software Asset Sync Workflow settings:

Software Asset

Hardware Asset Catalog Item Workflow:

Catalog Item

Catalog Item 2

License Status Update Workflow:

License

Contract Status Update Workflow:

Contract

 Notice Event Workflow:

Notice Event

There you have it, all the commonly implemented settings for Cireson Asset Management. In the next blog in this series, we’ll look at the process of building out more of our asset management solution by importing custom data that can then be associated with our hardware and software assets. This association can be done manually, as we’ll see next time, or automatically by the appropriate workflows that we just reviewed and configured above.