Centennial Offers Better Visibility In Frontrange

The Alpharetta, Ga.-based VAR, which sells products from both vendors, devised the preliminary steps toward the integration of Discovery and Heat when it was looking to offer better visibility of IT assets for customers processing trouble tickets through Heat. "BAI came up with the initial integration, and we followed through with full integration," said Trux Dole, channel marketing manager at Centennial, Portland, Ore. Final integration was unveiled Jan. 31.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based FrontRange's add-on product, dubbed Heat Asset Tracker, provides asset auditing and tracking, but Ballew said BAI could add more value through integration with Discovery.

"What Centennial helps is the first-level support people. It gives them a far better view of the IT assets of a user so they can troubleshoot the situation more efficiently," he said. "Now that they are completely integrated, Centennial and Heat give substantial visibility, like the serial number of the PC and more software and hardware information."

The Centennial LANProbe technology enables Discovery to see through the network shroud to discover and report on all IP-addressable hardware and software assets, including product versions, physical locations and usage volume, Dole said.

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The Discovery system operates across multiple connected platforms running Windows, Linux, Solaris or Unix. Operating system upgrades and software patching procedures also can be simplified with Discovery, which can assist with regulatory audits of the network as well, Dole said.

"With Discovery, you can see how many DIMM slots are open on a PC, or the status of a machine's resources. So if a trouble ticket is just, 'My machine is running slowly,' you can click on the Discovery console, check to see how much memory the user's PC has, and then see that if the PC is running something like Windows XP, which needs more memory than say 2000 or 98. You can [then] put [in] a change order to upgrade the system," Dole said.

Pricing for Discovery is based on a sliding volume scale that generally starts around $25 per user seat and can be as low as $7 per seat in large user environments, Dole said.

Ballew said he continues to sell Heat Asset Tracker to customers who prefer to deploy a single vendor solution for their help-desk needs.