FRAMINGHAM (03/10/2000) - Desktop inventory software maker Tally Systems Inc. has announced it will buy all assets of decision-support software vendor NetBalance Inc. and has licensed a software distribution tool from Swan International Inc. in Paris.
The purchases will allow Lebanon, N.H.-based Tally to release by July a new repository-based suite of tools. The suite will tie information technology assets to accounting, help desk and software distribution functions and offer remote management via Web browsers, said Michael Gray, Tally's director of asset management products.
Tally claims up to 7.5 million PC licenses for its flagship product, NetCensus.
CIT Group Inc. in Livingston, N.J., used the inventory tool as part of the financial services company's Y2k efforts, said Ann Hodges, CIT vice president of information control and support services.
Tally's suite will let companies leverage their inventories to take advantage of them, Gray said.
At the suite's core will be IT Ledger, decision-support software from NetBalance in Gaithersburg, Md. IT Ledger uses Java agents to capture data from financial and technical sources and collect it in a central Microsoft SQL repository. Configurable business rules govern scrubbing and normalizing of incoming data.
A help desk interface will link service-call activity to asset costs to let managers track and compare performance of PCs from different vendors, for example. Integration of NetCensus and IT Ledger, already in place, will be tightened in the new suite, Gray said.
Dominion Resources in Richmond, Va., uses IT Ledger to track purchased and leased equipment, said Wyman Smith, LAN administrator at the gas and electric utility.
"We lease all of our PCs," said Smith. As each PC comes in, it's scanned, creating a repository entry. Throughout the PC's life cycle, its record grows, accumulating data such as added memory, a move to another site, help desk calls and lease terms, he said. Notifications go out 90, 60 and 30 days before leases end. "The most costly way to run a system is to keep leased assets beyond their lease date," Smith said. "You're keeping old technology at higher cost."
As staffing shrinks at one office and grows at another, the utility uses IT Ledger reports to make business decisions on how to redeploy assets, he said.
Software distribution tool Vision64, licensed from Swan, is available as a stand-alone now, in a NetCensus upgrade due in July and in the new suite.
At Media Station Inc. in Detroit, the Integrity Control Manager in Vision64 is critical, said Jim Maslin, president and CEO of the multimedia content provider. Media Station uses Vision64 to deliver and update content via multicasting to cable companies. "We needed to be able to monitor what we deliver and ensure it was [automatically] fixed if it became corrupted," he said.
All products will continue to be sold and supported as stand-alones, Gray said.
Pricing isn't yet available.