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FAQ

You might have a lot of questions about the upcoming migration, we’ve organized our FAQ, so you’ll be able to review the answers quickly. If you still have questions that were not answered below, please contact us

Technical

Most frequent questions and answers

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Yes, our agent can track usage of the Lotus Notes client by monitoring whether or not this executable is actively running on a machine. If the Lotus Notes client is detected as running, the agent will automatically track whether the Lotus Notes client is being looked at and whether the Lotus Notes client is being interacted with.

Yes, we do have a version of our agent that can run on iOS.
The Mac version will report back on the installed inventory and the running executables.
However, the way we analyze user segmentation on Mac is different than the the way we do it on Windows. For Windows users we provide segmentation to light and heavy users based on their applications actual usage while for Mac we provide actual usage simulation based on our worldwide benchmark (over 400,000 users) that enables you to get an accurate idea on  the Mac users  segmentation to light and heavy users.
At the moment, the Mac version will not be sent to you automatically when you resister via the website, so if you need a Mac agent please contact us and we will send it to you.

The agent sends out information to the cloud using the system account. You can configure it to work with a different account than the system account but we advise against that. Once you install the agent you need to make sure that the system account is able to POST to:

  1. US customers https://collectit.softwatch.com:443
  2. EU customers: https://cloudit-eu.softwatch.com:443

(You can identify the located server by the ending letters of your company identifier)

If your organization uses a proxy server please make sure that the system account can access through the proxy.

We understand that this is sometimes quite difficult to change proxy configurations so we suggest that you bypass the proxy for our address altogether. If you can – that would be the easiest option. Simply add either (US) https://collectit.softwatch.com or (EU) https://cloudit-eu.softwatch.com to the exclusion list and the connections to that address will not be proxied.

Our lightweight agent supports Internet Explorer(IE) and Google Chrome. IE don’t require anything but the agent, but Google Chrome analysis requires installing a simple Chrome extension. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a group policy that will enable you to gain control over several Chrome settings, including pushing out Extensions and making sure they stay enabled on the users’ browsers. If you are just testing the agent on several machines and would prefer to manually install this Chrome extension please do so from this link.

  • SoftWatch generates real usage analysis as opposed to a simple inventory, or open/close information on MS Office applications.

  • SoftWatch distinguishes between four categories of users:

    • Those who never ran the application

    • Those who ran the applications but used it for viewing purposes only

    • Those who use it only for very light editing

    • Those who are heavy users

  • SoftWatch is a standalone tool that doesn’t require, or rely on that Active Directory, such as SCCM and SMS

  • SoftWatch is deployed very straightforwardly and quickly

  • SoftWatch collects usage data through a non-intrusive software agent

The only way to track real software usage is with an agent. It is the only way to successfully track focus, keyboard and mouse activities.

On average, the thin client’s CPU’s usage is ~0.00001%.

The agent collects:

  • Inventory of installed software

  • Data running applications:

    • Application name and ID

    • CPU and memory values

    • Mouse activity

    • Keyboard movements (no key logging)

    • Window focus information

  • The agent does not scan the registry. It reads a set of specific keys. This dramatically reduces network load.

  • Running processes are constantly monitored and are reported on every eight minutes by default

  • Hardware and software inventory is reported every 24 hours and only if the agent detects changes

The agent has minimal interaction with the operating system. This ensures virtually no adverse effect on performance. The average report size is only 10KB once every 8 minutes. All the reports, analyses and calculations run on the server. Nothing is done on the agent side in order to keep the client as thin as possible.

Yes. The agent’s unique inner topology consists of two elements. One will run on a system level, once per machine, and will provide data on all the running processes. The other will run once per logged on user, and provide data on usage, such as mouse, keyboard and focus information. This means that no matter how many users are connected to a single machine every session is monitored separately. Once the information is parsed by the SoftWatch server, it will be broken down according to user for each individual process.

Yes. We use SSL encryption to secure the data in transit and we offer optional MD5 encryption for data at rest.

Here’s how the data encryption works:

To encrypt the data (username, machine name, domain name) we:

1) capitalize the data (so User and UsEr == USER)
2) MD5 the capitalized string and send that data to the system from the agent. The result is that instead of username / machine name / domain name we will have some encrypted string and the web UI will show that string as the username / machine name / domain. No one will be able to make sense of it.
Now all the data is encrypted even before it leaves the agent.
In order to make sense of the data the customer can create a spreadsheet with a list of usernames in column A and then another column with an MD5 on the capitalized data from column A. The customer can download the data from our web UI to a spreadsheet and run a vlookup to cross-match based on the MD5 strings that should be identical in both Spreadsheets.

Functional

Most frequent questions and answers

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Yes, Softwatch is compliant with GDPR rules as we do not track personalized data. With the agent and Chrome Extension installed, Softwatch does not track the contents of the files used with these apps. For more info see Softwatch Personal Data Protection Guidelines.

Yes. You can disable data collection for specific users and / or machines by using our Admin page.

We do not collect the Active Directory Organizational Units information, however,
groups can be imported via the admin page and used for results filtering purposes.

Yes. Organizational groups or any other groups can be imported by using a simple CSV file via the admin page. Sub groups (organization “tree”) can also be imported.

After the expiration date, we put the account into ‘sleep’ mode (inactive) – there is no need to uninstall the agents.Should you decide to reactivate our service in the future, we will reactivate the company on the server side and restart the data collection.
If you decide to uninstall the agent after all, you can do so using the uninstaller supplied with the installation package.

  • Active – The amount of time the application was running

  • Focus – The amount of time the application was the active, front screen

  • Interactive – The amount of time that the user interacted with the application using the keyboard and/or mouse

SoftWatch transforms every desktop, laptop or server – real or virtual – into a self-monitoring platform to deliver an aggregate view of actual software usage. SoftWatch maps software, monitors actual usage and analyzes end-user interactivity.

First it generates software inventory, usage and functionality reports by performing in-depth usage metering across internal and cloud environments. It identifies running applications and focused applications, and analyzes end-user interactivity to determine exactly how users are using software. SoftWatch is very easy to use and requires no ongoing maintenance to accurately map corporate software licenses and monitor users’ actual usage without adversely affecting productivity.

Yes.
You can disable data collection for specific users and / or machines by using our Admin page.

SoftWatch enables organizations to create plans that are based on actual usage levels and measure the success of new business applications by comparing usage levels and how they shift in real time. With SoftWatch, IT managers can make informed, educated and fact-based decisions regarding software purchases and decommissioning unutilized software.

SoftWatch services are a collection of SaaS solutions that help companies effectively move their business applications to the cloud by uncovering real business application usage patterns and effectively manage and optimize licensing. By analyzing real software usage data SoftWatch services provide unprecedented data to organizations and are the only SaaS-based solution that enable corporations to:

  • Assess the magnitude of moving business applications to the cloud

  • Examine real working patterns of groups and individuals

  • Track transition management

  • Optimize licensing

Yes. SoftWatch’s Assessment Modules automatically map applications and collect usage data. Based on this data, SoftWatch’s services identify group working patterns, classify users as either Heavy or Light, based on their individual working patterns. Heavy users are those who used a certain application more than X minutes per time period. You can configure value of X, and the time period is flexible, i.e. per day, per month, per quarter. Light users are those who did not use local applications at all; or only used viewing or editing functions for less than X minutes per time period.

The default threshold for becoming a heavy user on Word and Powerpoint is 12 minutes per day, while the default threshold for becoming a heavy user on Excel is 18 minutes per day.

No. The service uses the SaaS (Software as a Service) model. This means that Whatever solution you choose to use, the associated data will be hosted in the SoftWatch’s cloud.

Yes. Softwatch has the ability to detect users that have used macro’s within the network. The system automatically detects if Macros are being used if they are using an MS Office version 2007 or later. 

Softwatch has the ability to also detect macros within files themselves (shown in Collaboration Report).