Shopping + BigFix = Empowered, happy users

Paul Thomsen | January 31, 2018 |
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Are you an IBM BigFix user? What’s your process for users to request applications, process the approvals and deliver the software? Wouldn’t you want to make it automatic?

1E’s Shopping is the premier solution for enabling end-users to request software for their computers while providing you a lot of features to manage approvals, licensing, and similar needs. Recently a customer asked us to enable Shopping for their 21,000 BigFix users. Thanks to Shopping’s inherent extensibility, we’re pleased to announce that we now have a proven solution to do just that. If you use BigFix in your organization, you too can use Shopping to make your users happier while lessening the load on your helpdesk and related teams.

Our Shopping for BigFix solution comprises two components. The first component allows Shopping to add the user’s computer to a BigFix dynamic computer group that has the desired software targeted to it. BigFix then takes care of delivering the software to the relevant computer, installing it, and reporting status back to BigFix. The second component copies that status to Shopping and later cleans up the computer group. All of this is completely automatic but there are logs, and you can readily monitor the activities if you like.

One of the key considerations for the customer was that the system must be secure, which was certainly paramount for us as well. BigFix is a powerful system that must not be compromised. For this reason, the BigFix computer groups are created in a BigFix custom site that has no other objects. The only BigFix ‘write’ access the Shopping integration needs is to add computers to the computer groups, so the solution is only given write access to that custom site that has nothing else.

As you might know, BigFix does have a Self-Service Portal available but as our initial customer found, it is rather minimal and not sufficient for the needs of customers with more sophisticated needs. Similarly, the Self-Service Application and Support Center client-side interfaces can be used by end-users, but people that are used to sophisticated interfaces like Amazon find such options to be greatly lacking. We all expect a friendly attractive interface that provides substantial details about the software and even an indication of how satisfied others have been with the software. The lack of back-end features such as intrinsic approval management were also showstoppers for our initial customer. Fortunately, 1E has worked for years with many organizations, including some of the world’s largest and most secure, to ensure Shopping has everything you and your users expect.

If you use BigFix and one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make your users and IT department even happier, we’ll be pleased to show you our Shopping for BigFix solution.

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