FrontRange has come to the rescue of techies for whom asset management is a chore too far. The company had teamed up with Computercenter to offer asset management using software as a service (SaaS) delivery.

The Software Asset Discovery service combines Computacenter's Software Asset Management expertise with FrontRange's Centennial Discovery product from FrontRange. This combination will provide Computacenter customers a way to monitor their software infrastructure through a web based interface. The product will also give authorised users detailed reports on the usage of all products on their organisations' network in order to reduce cost, mitigate compliance risk and manage change programmes, claimed FrontRange.

Matthew Fisher, Centennial product director at FrontRange said that the company had introduced the service as there was growing interest in SaaS as a delivery mechanism. "Gartner tells us that 25 percent of applications are going to be delivered by SaaS within the next few years. That's in line with what we've found: many organisations are dipping their toes into the water of SaaS. We haven't found any organisations that have moved to SaaS totally but many are moving piecemeal."

Fisher said that asset management was a good way for companies to test out the viability of SaaS. "Because asset management is not a pure technology play, it's a good introduction to SaaS." He said that this was because it's something that doesn't necessarily go to IT staff. "People often tasked with managing compliance, for example, don't really care where the software is hosted," he added.

Fisher said there were parallels with other software offerings. "In many ways it's similar to CRM; we can see that Salesforce has been very successful in selling its services."

For some IT staff, asset management is seen as an unwieldy task, and were often reluctant to keep tabs on assets . Fisher said that this was a misguided notion. "They're reluctant initially," he said," as a lot of them don't like being burdened with asset management but they often come round when they see some of the costs they could be saving."

The Software Asset Discovery service will be offered alongside Computacenter's Software Asset Appraisal service as a total package. Fisher said that Computercenter had considerable expertise in software licensing to help users although FrontRange was selling through other resellers including Byte.