By Jessica Zaleski
In part two of our six-part series on inventory system integration trends, we will discuss ways your systems management and inventory management software can be valuable complements to each other by helping reduce manual data entry and increase information transparency of laptops, tablets, desktops, and smartphones.
Others systems we’ll be addressing in our series include purchasing, fixed asset, help desk, and cash management. Check back to our blog for future installments of the series.
What is Systems Management Software
Systems Management software comes in a variety of forms including SCCM from Microsoft, Absolute DDM, or Airwatch by VMWare, and while they may perform asset discovery using different methods, they all meet the growing need for districts to remotely manage devices that are on their network. Securing your IT assets, providing a safe school environment, and recovering stolen devices is a growing challenge and high priority for school districts across the country. Using systems management software, district network staff could set up security protocols, push software, and even locate and wipe a device in the event it is reported as stolen or missing. Below, we discuss some of the benefits of how systems management software can work with your inventory management system to provide full visibility and accountability of your assets.
How Inventory Management Software Helps
Having just systems management software alone won’t be enough to help you effectively manage the full life-cycle of all your critical assets.
Specialized K-12 Functionality
While most systems management consoles provide a wide array of device reporting capabilities for network administrators, they weren’t designed to offer system access or functionality for building-level staff who track the assignment of assets to students, staff, and rooms, allowing the district to have oversight of exactly how devices are intended to be utilized. Accountability procedures can be managed through your inventory management system to be sure that each student or staff member knows which devices they currently have, and that damages or loss are their responsibility.
Manage Any Asset Type
There are also many assets you need to inventory that aren’t discoverable. Assets funded by state and federal grants like Career and Technology Education purchases, Special Education assistive devices, capital assets, and classroom standards (projectors, interactive whiteboards, etc.) don’t have an automated method for inventory control through systems management software. However, inventory management software acts as a central hub for all asset records critical to the district to identify the purchase history, status of inventory as it transfers between buildings, and disposal documentation.
How the Two Systems Work Together
Systems management and inventory management software can be used in conjunction with each other for comprehensive inventory insight, one managing the internal aspects of the device, and the other managing the physical inventory procedures of asset management. A system interface can be deployed to transfer data fields automatically captured through the discovery process like the operating system, image date, software installed, last check-in date, or computer name to provide a greater level of overall asset transparency for reporting and oversight.
An inventory management system can work with the systems management software of your choice. Imagine relevant device information from the systems management system automatically loading into asset record fields within the inventory management application every night. This eliminates duplicate data entry and gives any department head, tech specialist, and principal access to all asset information from one convenient place.
Saving Time, Money, and Resources
Maintaining asset records between two disparate software systems can be difficult, if not impossible without a data interface. When you integrate a centralized inventory control solution with your systems management software, at risk inventory that hasn’t checked in to the network over an expected period of time can be researched in greater detail, and assets designated for upgrade or replacement can be accounted for with proper documentation. Staff will benefit by having efficient access to accurate reporting to support procedure development, planning, and budgeting.
Save your district countless staff hours performing unnecessary double work and investigating asset records between two systems with a custom inventory management and systems management software interface.