School technology staff should follow these best practices when working in your help desk ticketing system.
By Gena Blankenship
Help desk ticketing systems are a great tool to streamline the daily management of school help desk tickets from teachers, students, and school administrators. They also hold a goldmine of data that you can use to drive decisions to provide the best technology possible for staff and students.
To make use of this data, you need to establish clear, standardized procedures that your technology staff can execute. Creating consistencies in processes and ticket data will allow you to identify SLA compliance, product issues, technician efficiency, and much more. Continue reading “3 Best Practices to Manage School Help Desk Tickets”
Performing these 3 types of inventory audits throughout the year will improve your data accuracy and usability.
By Gena Blankenship
School districts need to know where their assets are at all times, and a reliable inventory tracking system is the first step to having great data at your fingertips. The next step…audits! One of the best ways to boost the accuracy of your inventory data is to complete these three types of inventory audits throughout the year.
An asset management system is a powerful tool with the exact data you need to plan your tech refresh.
By Morgane Le Marchand
The use of technology in K-12 education brings unique challenges to school districts who must protect their investments and ensure that technology remains operational. Due to the significant investment in technology and the long-term budgeting cycle, it’s crucial that school districts plan for future tech refresh cycles; your asset management system is a powerful tool to help you do so.
We’ve asked Jason Genovese, Director of IT Operations, Assets and Budget at Garland ISD, to share three key tactics he uses to plan for tech refreshes using the TIPWeb-IT asset management system. With 57,000 students across 72 campuses in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, Garland ISD is the 70th largest district in the US. Jason tracks over 140,000 assets and is constantly planning and budgeting for their life cycle and replacement.
To understand what IT Asset Management (ITAM) is, you need to understand what ITAM isn’t…
Many school districts think they have an asset management system in place because they have one or many of the following:
Fixed Asset Systems: Financial professionals within a school district will most likely prefer a fixed asset system as the system of record since it relates to accounting practices. Unfortunately, the system only records acquisitions and disposal costs, not any information pertinent to campus staff, like where the asset is located and whether it’s available for use.
A Discovery Tool: Many school districts have a system that can discover physical assets and therefore believe they have an asset management system. The truth is, asset discovery is only a small portion of what constitutes ITAM. It isn’t just discovery, but also the tracking of the physical, financial, and contractual information and its changes throughout the asset’s entire lifecycle.
Asset Spreadsheets: Asset spreadsheets are utilized by many school districts. They allow a district to track assets and get some transparency into budgeting, but because the spreadsheets are created and maintained by each individual campus, there is a lack of process and standardization in formatting and naming conventions for the fields being tracked. This makes it virtually impossible to get a holistic, district view of assets in a consistent format, resulting in increased audit response times and inaccurate inventory data.
You spent the year working toward tracking and managing your inventory more efficiently. You saw where changes in your policies and procedures have worked, audits were conducted on time, and loss rates are decreasing. But if you don’t pay attention to your inventory during the summer, all of the progress you made during the year could be lost.
Researchers have coined a term called the “summer slide” that describes the tendency for students to lose the achievement gains they made during the year if they don’t continue to stay engaged in stimulating educational activity. And it can happen to your inventory management program too if you don’t keep up your positive momentum throughout the season.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your homegrown inventory management system. You built it because your district didn’t find existing software that met your unique needs. However, while the advantages of a custom-designed system can be alluring at first, the risks and costs over time exceed the initial benefits.
Many districts today are replacing their homegrown inventory management systems in favor of a third party vendor developed and supported application. Delaying the implementation of a solution can be detrimental to your district’s operational efficiency, costing your staff time, and your district thousands of dollars every year.
Here are four reasons to evaluate the worth of your homegrown inventory management system.
With the influx of technology at your campuses each year, it’s crucial to measure how effective your processes are for managing these devices rather than just assuming your policies are working. Each decision you make should be informed by data, and the result of these efforts should be cataloged for future reference.
When managing an asset inventory program, districts have a litany of data points from which to make strategic decisions to optimize people and processes. All this information can sometimes cause paralysis at your district and stall your program.
How do you know which data to track to get the most out of your inventory management program?
Are you prepared if a major disaster hits your school district?
Your district is full of valuables within the walls of each building, millions of dollars’ worth of assets and materials. So if a disaster strikes, knowing exactly what you have could save your district a lot of money.
There are a lot of rules to remember when it comes to EDGAR (Education Department General Administrative Regulations), and you particularly care about how this impacts inventory and technology. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released new regulations in December of 2014 that affected EDGAR.
In short, EDGAR is a structure that is used to ensure federal funds are spent as intended. It’s coming up on the radar of many districts and staying compliant may add to the responsibilities of your technology team. With that in mind, we’ve put together some information to ensure your district is ahead of the game when it comes to EDGAR. For more complete information on EDGAR, visit this page on the Department of Education’s website. Continue reading “EDGAR: What You Need to Know”