The Silicon Review
The foundations of Eracent can be traced back to 1996, at the newly formed Lucent Technologies in Holmdel, NJ. The founders of Eracent developed an innovative discovery process that was used to perform the world’s first fully automated IT network inventory. This accomplishment was particularly notable at the time due to the worldwide scope of the network, the fact that it contained over 300,000 computers, and that multiple UNIX, Windows and other data center platforms were included from the start.
Eracent was launched as an independent entity in 2000, with a refined version of the discovery technology – and associated expertise – as its commercial offering. The Eracent discovery and inventory process – now known as ITMC Discovery™ – was quickly adopted by a number of organizations with very large IT networks consisting of hundreds of thousands of computers, including the British Ministry of Defence, Glaxo SmithKline and the U.S. Army. Early on, Eracent customers began using the tools and resulting data for diverse purposes, from configuration management to asset management to network security.
In early 2004, a pioneering software license reconciliation tool was launched to significantly minimize the time required to calculate a license position based on comparing purchased licenses and entitlements against actual software installations. From the earliest releases, sophisticated algorithms were applied, taking product use rights such as upgrade and downgrade rights and secondary use rights into account to ensure an accurate result. The following year, a comprehensive lifecycle management repository was introduced, allowing independent, proactive tracking of assets of all types from planning through retirement and refresh. ITMC Lifecycle™ is also where ownership management, including contractual and financial tracking, can be conducted.
Increasingly sophisticated process workflow was added to the repository over the years, resulting in the AppStore Plus Portal™, which supports employee self-service and other automated processes. The license reconciliation solution, now called CLR (Continuous License Reconciliation)™, was expanded to include coverage for more complex license models introduced by IBM, Oracle, SAP and other major publishers. Coverage for cloud-based platforms and applications was added as well. The introduction of license optimization algorithms and modeling enabled customers to “right size” their licensing prior to purchasing and to adjust existing licensing configurations to minimize their software spend.
Most recently, Eracent added to its family of data source solutions by offering the IT-Pedia™, a product library with non-discoverable attributes about more than 5 million IT products. The enrichment data from this library minimizes the time and effort required to build, update and normalize CMDBs, repositories, procurement systems and catalogs, SAM tools, and more. Its end-of-life (EOL) and end-of-support (EOS) data helps companies avoid security risks posed by the use of obsolete applications that cannot be patched.
Motivation behind foundation
Founder and current Chairman Walter Szablowski realized that there were no automated network discovery and inventory tools that could handle very large environments that included computers with multiple different platforms. Some Windows-centric tools were beginning to emerge in the marketplace, but nothing as industrial-strength as what was developed for Lucent. Walt also recognized that there was a need for a tool of this type since the manual inventory methods that were prevalent at the time were inefficient and difficult.
“Complete network visibility is often hard to capture due to many physical and virtual computing platforms, broad geographic dispersement and organizational politics and silos”, states Eracent President William Choppa. “Unused and underutilized software, as well as unnecessary duplicate purchases, represents a significant expense for many organizations, so licensing optimization and cost reduction is the key.”
A Simple Value Proposition: Save Money – Reduce Audit Risk – Automate Processes
Wikipedia considers asset management to be: “optimal management of the physical assets of an organization to maximize value … By managing assets across the facility, organizations can improve utilization and performance, reduce capital costs, reduce asset-related operating costs, extend asset life and subsequently improve ROA (return on assets)”.
Eracent helps its customers meet the challenges of managing software licenses and computing assets in today’s complex and evolving IT environments. Its enterprise clients save significantly on their annual software spend, reduce their audit and security risks, and establish more efficient asset management processes. Eracent’s client base includes some of the world’s largest corporate and government networks and IT environments.
Quality data is the foundation of any effective SAM or ITAM program. Eracent’s cross-platform discovery, application recognition, and software utilization analytics provide detailed insight. Flexible integration enables data from other sources to be shared and normalized for a complete ownership and operational view. Eracent’s clients reduce the risk and resource strain of publisher audits since they are able to quickly establish effective license position reports. They can also optimize their license usage by ensuring that they are leveraging the most cost effective configurations. IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM) processes – from requisitions to provisioning and reclamation – are automated.
Eracent’s SOAR™ process summarizes this data, enabling clients to set, track and achieve their SAM program goals and realize tangible business value.
The product suite that supports these processes is Eracent’s IT Management Center™ (ITMC™), which includes:
The company currently employs approximately 75 employees globally, with a focus on R&D, development and customer support. A large percentage of staff members have been with the company for ten or more years. Eracent also leverages a network of trusted partners to supplement its internal expertise and ensure top-notch customer service.
A Growing Market Creates Competition
Eracent’s customer base is smaller than that of some competitors, but its average customer size measured in the number of managed devices is much larger. Eracent’s client base is largely North American with a number of customers in the EMEA market. From a functional perspective, Eracent holds its own very well against its primary competitors in industry analyst evaluations (e.g., the Gartner SAM Tool Market Guide, The ITAM Review’s SAM Tools Universe, Info-Tech Research Group’s ITAM Vendor Landscape, etc.). Eracent maintains a strong position since it offers full SAM and ITAM functionality including discovery, software utilization, automated process management, lifeycle management, license reconciliation and optimization, data normalization, integration with ITSM tools and other applications, and much more. Organizations that need comprehensive management for all IT hardware and software assets in their estate will find a strong solution in the IT Management Center (ITMC) product family.
Eracent stands tall
Solution breadth: The breadth of Eracent’s product offerings sets it apart from many other SAM and ITAM tools. In Gartner’s SAM Tool Market Guide, Eracent is one of just a handful of vendors who provide all six functional areas that they consider to be critical for a SAM Tool.
Meet the Master Duo
Walter Szablowski, Founder & Executive Chairman: Walt is the founder of Eracent, and was the first CEO of Eracent and its preceding organization. Walt is currently Eracent’s Executive Chairman and also serves as President of Eracent’s European subsidiary (Eracent SP ZOO, Warsaw, Poland). He focuses on ensuring that Eracent retains its leading position and its products remain the relevant choice for those companies needing to understand, plan and control their IT infrastructure and assets.
William Choppa, President: As President of Eracent and a member of the Board of Directors, William leads the organization, recruiting and developing strong leaders in various functional roles, and communicating Eracent’s vision to co-workers, current and future customers, and the larger ITAM community. For the past twelve years, he has been passionate about the evolution and refinement of Eracent’s solutions, based on lessons learned from working with customers and partners.
Prior to joining Eracent, William was President of MCSI, a management consulting practice offering deployment and customization services. He has held positions with IBM and a number of technology companies as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. William holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.