Analyse your application portfolio and save thousands

New analytical tool makes it easy to rationalise your application portfolio Data analytics are currently in the spotlight. Clever analysis of data sources enabled New York Times blogger Nate Silver to predict the results of the US election with stunning accuracy. Business leaders can barely move for blogs and conferences about harnessing big data to drive business success. The common thread is that data abounds all around us, but it takes some cleverness to gather it together and turn raw facts and figures into truly useful insight. Usage data is a cost savings goldmine That’s just as true of your organisation’s applications as it is of US electoral college votes. With the right data, you can find out how many applications you’ve got, which ones get used, which ones don’t, and – crucially – where you can prune the estate to reduce overall license costs. That data is already there; scattered across your servers, devices and workstations, or sitting under-utilized in disparate software packages. Now we’ve developed an app that gathers all the feeds it all into one place for you to integrate, view and analyse.  We call it Application Analytics, and it’s the easiest, fastest way to make the right decisions about your applications. If you’re running a large application portfolio, and particularly if you’re on the cusp of a large migration or virtualisation project, then this is the perfect tool. See your application usage at a glance Camwood Analytics is designed for IT decision-makers and financial decision-makers alike. It outlines (and fuses) application and financial data that enables teams to make (and justify) crucial decisions on the balance, impact and future of their application portfolios. It presents you with clear, easy to understand visualisations of key data points, such as:
  • Apps you’re paying for, but no one’s using – so you can ditch unused licenses and save thousands (or even millions, in some cases we’ve seen)
  • Who has full access when they only need view access – so you can downgrade paid licenses to a free ‘reader’ version (we think you can probably guess the prime candidate here)
  • Where you’ve got different apps doing the same job – so you can standardise on one and reap the cost benefits
  • Where you’re under-licensed or over-licensed – so you can ‘true up’ and ‘true down’ the estate (and avoid unwelcome visits from your vendors’ license management teams)
  • Which apps are the most popular – so you can understand user trends and preferences and make intelligent decisions about the tools your users need to do their jobs
Crucially, the answer to all these questions is rapid, accurate and found in one central place. It’s the data hub that powers every decision you make on your application. And it’s important to remember that rationalizing just one under-used application can deliver savings of millions of pounds. Our Camwood Analytics tool is available in the cloud or as an app to run in your own data centre. It combines real-time information about your users’ activity with other relevant datasets from your organisation, such as your hardware asset register and software license agreements you’ve signed. Contact us today to find out more.

Application Portfolio Management a pre-requisite to Cloud Migration

Here at Camwood we’ve been noticing an interesting development in the use of Application Portfolio Management (APM) for helping streamline the strategies organisations use to migrate their applications to the Cloud. Traditionally APM has been used to streamline the portfolio – removing unused and duplicate applications in readiness for a platform migration (usually from Windows XP to Windows 7). However, the growth in options to migrate applications to the Cloud (SaaS and PaaS), now bring a new aspect to APM – and it can be readily extended in this area to help an organisation understand where investment in migration of key applications to a Cloud platform can be made. APM is essential in understanding which applications are delivering what value, and at what cost, to which users and geographies – enabling decisions to be made about future platforms – be they physical, virtual, or Cloud.

The countdown starts today! With 500 days to go, businesses must prepare for the end of XP

  • Camwood today starts its official ‘end of XP’ countdown campaign
  • At this milestone date Camwood points out that “the end of XP support is a potential time bomb, and the clock is ticking.”
LONDON, 23rd November 2012 – Today marks 500 days until Microsoft officially switches off the lights for Windows XP, its longest-running and most-popular operating system. Yet businesses all over the world are still using XP, and hundreds of thousands of business-critical legacy apps are still dependant on this operating system. Unless these businesses have migrated within the next 500 days, their business-critical data will be left increasingly open to corruption, infection, theft or exploitation. April 8th 2014 is Microsoft’s official end date for support of XP. From this date Microsoft will no longer provide any form of support for XP, including crucial security updates. All companies currently running XP are being encouraged to move to Windows 7 or Windows 8. “A lot of companies are worried about the transition off XP and are fast running out of time to get there. But this needn’t be the case. Camwood has helped a huge number of companies complete their migration in good time,” said Kevin Gemmel, Head of Professional Services at Camwood, “” “Microsoft believes 50% of enterprise desktops are running Windows 7. Other assessments put the number much lower. Whatever the true number, there is still a huge number of companies that need to migrate. The end of XP support is a potential time bomb, and the clock is ticking. With all the potential compatibility and security issues looming from legacy systems, businesses need to understand migration is a necessary step to secure their valuable data.” With 500 days to go to this point, Camwood, the application rationalisation and migration specialists, now starts its official ‘Countdown to the End of XP’ campaign: Camwood intends to mark-off significant milestones over the next year-and-a-bit, issuing information to help businesses through the final days of XP. For more information, get in touch today!

The end (of XP) is nigh

Friday 23rd November marks 500 days until the end of XP support by Microsoft, but many businesses, especially large ones, are still running the older platform. Microsoft consistently provides top-class support for its OSes, usually for 10 years – 13 in the case of XP – but this cannot go on forever and older ones eventually have to be left behind. It means that Windows 7 will be a key product on which to focus over the next year. This also presents opportunities to offer new hardware to support the new software platform, in addition to the revenue streams from services such as application migration. However, the main factor that should mean every company is already starting to move to Windows 7 or even 8 is the risk of a security breach. Once support for XP is discontinued, enterprises running XP will probably become more susceptible to cyberattack or system meltdown. Furthermore, Windows 7 promises improved user account control. User accounts allow sysadmin to dictate exactly what each user can access and change on the network. On XP, without complicated configuration or add-in products, it was difficult to control access to every part of the system – potentially allowing users to make whatever changes they wanted. Then there is the 64-bit computing angle – it is faster and more powerful, and more software is taking advantage of this power. While 32-bit computing will not disappear, upgrading could boost a customer’s operational efficiency. Since 2009, programmes have been written for Windows Vista and 7, and now Windows 8 compatibility. So to keep up to date, Windows 7 is a must. Windows 7 is all about a faster, smarter user experience. Microsoft has reworked the OS to allow improved Wi-Fi capabilities and file sharing as well. If your customer is too comfortable with the look of XP or has business-critical apps that simply will not run on a new OS (for example, if a newer version is not available), Windows 7 Professional allows users to run XP in a virtualised environment. The first step is carrying out a full overview of your customer’s application portfolio. What applications do they need to carry over to the new OS? What licences do they need? Do they have any business-critical apps that cannot be easily transferred? A lot of larger organisations appear to be in a state of application chaos. They don’t know how many apps they have, who is using them, or what they cost. And many have more applications than they need. These are all issues that need to be addressed before a migration. Find the full article on CRN

Windows 7 Migration Resolve – Don’t let your migration fail

Migrating to Windows 7, before support for XP is cut off for good, is getting tougher by the day. The deadline won’t change and neither will the amount of work you’ve got to do: you just have fewer days to do it. In some of our clients’ app estates we are already seeing in excess of 60% of applications out of support – even on the XP platform. Just in case you’ve forgotten 8th April 2014 is D-Day. The workload, for many organisations, is going from daunting to overwhelming, particularly when unforeseen difficulties caused by faulty methodologies and complex apps (often with deep dependencies) become tough to migrate and remediate We’re seeing a growing number of projects grinding to a halt as the problems (and costs) start to mount. So how do you get yourself out of that rut you’ve found yourself in? Resolve with Intelligence The best way to escape from your dilemma is to use the tools and tricks that come from experience and know-how. Here’s a seven point list of how we deal with projects that are on the cusp of a nervous breakdown.
  1. Troubleshoot – Start with a top down view of the entire migration project. You need to work out the problems you’ve got and the order you need to solve them in, to get back on track.
  2. Establish programme governance and process optimisation – Identify the processes and best practices to ensure the outcome is re-established and, if necessary, re-aligned.
  3. Test for app compatibility – You might assume that all the Microsoft desktop apps, or third party controlled apps and cloud apps will migrate without a hitch. You might be right but you’re probably wrong.
  4. Understand app usage – Provide detailed usage stats for every app in your estate, so you can focus on migrating critical apps and retiring those you’re no longer using much.
  5. Engineer apps effectively – Speed up your packaging and sequencing services to get to your target platform in time.
  6. Gather application migration intelligence – Start gathering and maintaining all your apps in a single central place to keep this project, and all future projects, on track.
Resolve with Camwood So with the right plan and structure you can turn your migration around before concern turns into panic. And, of course, we can help you make the transition, if pulling the migration rabbit out of the hat still looks and sounds a bit daunting. Camwood Resolve is the product of our experience working on scores of high-profile migration projects for some of the most complex app estates in the world. Get the Camwood Windows 7 Migration Resolve datasheet for more information on how you can get to Windows 7 on time and with your critical apps intact.  We’ll get you to the finish line.