Avocent has launched new versions of its LANDesk management suite in an attempt to improve enterprise's business efficiency and help with their compliance demands.

LANDesk Management 9 offers new features in several areas including software asset management, Windows 7 migration and endpoint security.

The company said that it went further than pure software asset management and that the reality was normally more complicated. "We talk about software asset management but the first step is usually software licence management. In other words, what you need to understand first is exactly what you have. We determine what these files actually and what versions they're associated it, we go beyond the inventory. We do the backend work and apply that," said Steve Workman, Avocent LANDesk's vice president of product management.

Workman said that what was important for customers was to ensure that they met all their compliance obligations. He said that tendency was for them to better safe than sorry. "From recent experience of our customers, I'd say they overbuy as they just want to make sure that they're compliant," but he added enterprises could be hit in many different ways depending on the software that was used. "We had one customer that was going through an audit a month," he said.

Avocent has overhauled LANDesk to improve the accuracy of its reporting said Workman. "We found in our older versions of the product that we could do discovery but it was only marginally accurate - with only about 15 percent accuracy on the software identified . We improved that accuracy and we're now running about 90 percent accuracy.

Workman said that this turnaround had come through a new alliance. "We've teamed up with NMap -and instead of performing a ping sweep as we did before, we now use ARP requests to open up the packets and then use NMAP for identification - we no longer rely on just a MAC address."

The Windows 7 facility within the new product was another feature requested by users, said Workman. "We've added a lot of capability - customers can check which machines can support the new operating system. This helps them do the cost calculation of what hardware upgrades they need to do"

The new product, which will be released before the end of the years, got the thumbs-up from one analyst. "LANDesk 9 provides a very broad range of capabilities in a single integrated solution," said Andi Mann, VP of Research with leading IT analyst firm, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), "and the new features are smartly focused on delivering real business goals - like ROI, security and compliance, productivity, asset flexibility, and executive insight. This is a major new release with plenty of very positive business and financial value."