This is a follow up to my last post: http://serverfault.com/questions/34609/sysadmin-where-to-start on a more specific point.
As I stated I was recently hired at a company to lead software development and as a smaller portion of that role handle the IT side of my company. Currently software is rather randomly situated around machines as the majority of it was just all purchased as installed software on our Dell machines.
Beyond that the only type of cataloging of it includes an excel file with machine service tags / windows keys and maybe office keys. Install disks / licensing information may have a users first name written on it but that's the most on the physical disks.
What type of better solutions for managing this are there available? Obviously the most basic start would be to truly ID the machines, disks and users to atleast have a much stronger tracking catalog which I will most likely write up as a small intranet web app.
One of things I'd really like to have available to me soon would be a ready made system image of the work stations that I can roll it out quickly instead of having to manually reinstall everything if a machine becomes corrupted however I have no idea how I would deal with licensing since if the keys were embedded into the image every machine would share the same key and fail activation I assume?
Currently the main software I have available to me is Windows Server 2003 Standard setup with Active Directory / Domain account usage.