Frequently Asked Questions

Here, you’ll find answers to the questions most people have about Centero Software Manager.

Is CSM Centero’s own product?

Yes, it is. Originally CSM was developed for Centero’s own needs, but it didn’t take us long to realize its commercial potential, and we quickly turned it into a Patch Management tool for different environments. Check out our blog to find out how CSM became what it is today – you’ll find the article here.

Is CSM a software distribution system?
That depends on what you mean by distribution system. CSM Cloud is a distribution system in that it works independently without a pre-existing distribution system.
What is the purpose of CSM?
CSM’s purpose is to enhance an environment’s cyber security and, at the same time, save IT support’s time and improve the end user experience.
Can you use CSM to install and update client-specific applications as well?
With CSM, you can install and update any Windows application. In addition to the standard CSM-supported applications, CSM can also be used to update client-specific business applications or other industry-specific applications. However, when you wish to use CSM to manage applications that CSM doesn’t support directly, the application needs to be handled through Centero’s application packaging process for an additional charge.
Can CSM take care of Windows updates as well?
Yes. CSM Cloud, the cloud-based version of the CSM products, can also take care of the updates for Microsoft’s products, including the updates for the Windows operating system. You can read more about our different versions here.
How do you prevent compatibility problems that applications can cause in the target environment?
Although each and every application version released in the CSM service goes through a rigorous testing process before its release, a conflict or error between a target environment’s software component and a CSM-supported application released in our service might occur. These compatibility problems can’t be traced from CSM’s background processes. This is why CSM allows for the creation of multi-step application distribution processes that can be used to create one or more testing stages to the distribution process. What this means in practice is that, in the testing stages, the application is first distributed to a test group (you decide the scope). The test group will have a predefined time to test the new or updated application, after which the distribution process moves on to the next stage.
How does CSM improve the end user experience?
According to a survey that we conducted, end users are confused by all of the security updates for applications and operating systems. The users also feel like they are wasting too much time on updates, which always come up at a bad time. The number of updates is also annoyingly high. With CSM, the updates get installed on workstations without the user even noticing. CSM also ensures that applications won’t close down on their own because of updates, nor will computers restart unexpectedly at the mercy of application updates.
Is CSM a ready product?
CSM service dates back to 2012, but the provider was already delivering application packaging and distribution services even before that. Today, CSM is used to update more than 100,000 PCs’ applications around the world and in a variety of industries.
How often are CSM-supported applications updated?
There are constantly new features to applications, and vulnerabilities are found in them. This is why software vendors release new versions, i.e. update the applications. Some applications can average an update a week. When it comes to the CSM-supported, so-called standard applications, the average update pace is once a month.
Why are application updates an important part of cyber security?
Cyber criminals and others can use applications’ vulnerabilities to hack a computer for their criminal intent.

New application versions, i.e. updates, are the software vendors’ fixes for these vulnerabilities. As long as a computer is running the latest version that the software vendor has released, the vulnerabilities are fixed and can’t be taken advantage of, meaning that cyber security is in this respect at a significantly better level. Cyber security, of course, has other areas as well, and these shouldn’t be neglected either. However, several studies show that non-updated applications are among the most important cyber security threats, or even the most important. CSM is an easy and cost-efficient tool for taking care of this.

What type of applications does CSM support?
The CSM-supported, so-called standard applications that are included in the standard price are applications that are free, widely used and often updated. Because they are so widely used, cyber criminals are interested in them and find their vulnerabilities, after which the app providers release fixed versions, or updates, which the end-user then needs to install.
How do you edit the CSM-supported applications’ installation packages?
The CSM-supported applications’ installation packages are edited according to the industry’s best practices. The essential modifications are as follows: disabling update notifications, blocking automatic updates, and uninstalling unnecessary components, shortcuts etc. During the packaging process, we make sure that the new version can update itself on top of the previous version.
Does CSM indicate that application is installed on one exact computer and has to be patched, or does it deploy an app to every device and then patch it based on collection membership?

CSM for Intune deploys the application on all devices that are members of the specified group(s). This way new application versions can be deployed on devices without an existing version of a software. There are, however, some limitations in Microsoft Intune when it comes to discovering existing Win32 applications on devices. There may be changes to this feature in the near future.

Where can I find the list for supported applications?

The supported 3rd party applications are also listed here in CSM Knowledge Base.

How about configuring the start and deadline time for application installation?

CSM for Intune uses the default Win32 software deployment. Application availability and application deadline are explained in detail here in Intune Docs.

Does CSM require an additional agent installed on endpoints?

CSM for Intune uses the same Win32 software deployment as native Intune does. There is no need for an additional client software or an agent.

How’s the pricing of the solution?

You can find CSM’s pricing information on this page.

What’s the pricing system in the service provider model?

In our partner model the only thing that counts is the number of workstations, and you can use several CSM products at the same time. With direct customers, the number of included applications also factors in on the price we charge. Look at our partner pricing for IT service providers here.

 

What about complicated and / or huge apps?

Microsoft Intune’s size limitation, max. 8 GB per app, is not a problem for us. We can distribute application installations to the customer in split chunks, and start installation after that with CSM.

Do you provide packaging services, and is it possible to use CSM for Line Of Business applications?

We do provide packaging services. You can order customer-specific application packaging, and the package can then be deployed via CSM like any supported application.

Is it possible to modify CSM packages, for example if I want to change some settings for Firefox?

Yes, it is possible. We provide customer-specific installation packages as an additional service. Application settings can be defined according to your organization’s needs. All you need to do is contact us and tell us what you need.

Is it possible to add your own applications on the list of updated applications?

Yes, as an additional service you can add your own applications on the list.

What happens if an endpoint has been switched off when the deadline arrives? And how about an organization where the devices are not usually online or switched on outside working hours, the time when you’d want to run the updates? And what's the solution for the software on Windows endpoints, demanding process shutdown during the update?

The admin can define the update windows and scheduling, and optimize them according to the organization’s needs. Update practices designed for corporate use hardly bother the end user, even if the updates are installed during the workday. New versions are installed, and if an existing application is running, the updates will wait for the next time the user launches the application.

Is CSM’s documentation publicly available?

Yes. Software Manager’s documentation is all available on our Centero Software Manager Knowledge Base -site here.

How is the update process shown on Intune’s management portal?

The automatic process runs in the background, and basically, you’ll see it on Intune’s portal only as an entry in the description field.

If a device is not managed by SCCM, WSUS, or the likes, can you run updates on it with CSM Intune?

If your device is not managed by SCCM or WSUS, you need to have Microsoft Intune running for us to manage your 3rd party applications. You can also manage the Microsoft Updates for Business with Intune. If you are not using any of the mentioned management systems, you can always choose the cloud-based CSM Cloud.

Does Intune require the device to belong to an AD? Or can Intune manage standalone devices as well?

Intune can’t manage a 100 % standalone device. For the application management to work, the device needs to belong either to Azure-AD or to Hybrid-Azure-AD. For standalone devices you can use our CSM Cloud product.

How about IT service providers? Have they been taken into account somehow?

Yes! IT service providers, our partners, is one of our most important customer segments. Service providers can manage all of their customers in our Management Portal. When speaking about CSM for Intune they can even add multiple customers’ tenants to deployment processes. We also have a separate pricing model for partners. You can learn more about our CSM for Partners bundle here »

How soon will new application versions be published on CSM after they are released by the software vendor?

Updates patching critical vulnerabilities are published in a day and all updates in a two days on the average.

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