The New York Observer reported last week that the Department of Education has lost track of 1,800 computers from just 10 city schools, according to an audit from city Comptroller Scott Stringer.  Could it happen here –  would your school be ready if the auditors called? How well do you keep track of your IT equipment?

Asset ManagerRead this interview with the IT Manager from Stongehenge School about Asset Manager if you’re interested in the answers to these questions, and keeping track of IT equipment is an issue for you. Asset Manager is a software programme developed by CSE, the makers of Magellan.

“The auditors are interested in anything over £150, it’s a legal requirement to keep a record of your assets. With Asset Manager it just means with one click I can go “bang, here it is, here’s your list!” It shows good management from the Ofsted point of view too, it shows you are running the show well.

“I’ve got nearly 600 PCs in the school, plus servers, printers, photocopiers, switches, infrastructure, it would take me an age to record them all. We’ve had various attempts to classify and manage our assets in the past, with bar codes, scanning and so on but they all seem half-baked. We used to go round with a book, walking round recording things and then trying to find them listed in the book. It was awful.

“I looked at all the asset software out there and CSE’s Asset Manager, the order and structure of the database approach with its reporting, really stood out for me. Under the previous system two people could probably gather the information if they both worked solidly for a week.”

“We’ve been using Asset Manager for two years now and it has saved me an incredible amount of time and angst since then.”

“Now, as soon as we buy a new piece of equipment it is added to Asset Manager. You just type in the serial number; number of units; type; who owns it by department, such as Geography or Science, and that’s it. If the location changes you make a note of it, that’s just good housekeeping.   It covers everything we want it to, telephones and so on. If something is thrown away it doesn’t get deleted, it just gets marked as redundant so that it is still there for audit purposes.”

“If it costs money it should be on the asset register.”

“I didn’t put Asset Manager in place for me, it’s for the whole school to use. It is much, much better than a spreadsheet; the reports are what make it special. The inputting can be done by anyone who I give access rights to. They can add a new piece of kit, fill in the details in the relevant boxes from templates you’re given; it is easy to understand and follow.

“The benefit to me of Asset Manager, from an IT Managers point of view, is that it is easy for the rest of the school to use. It’s a legal requirement to have a list of assets, with Asset Manager its easy to look up a piece of kit, you can put in a search, for example ‘printers’ and a list of printers comes up.”

“Is it value for money? The bursar looked at how much time it would save and just said yes, get it!”

“The finance office are the main beneficiaries, that’s where the reporting comes in, because they can search a subject, for example science equipment, and within five minutes of asking the right questions you can get a report out which shows you what you want.

“It does take a while to set it up at first, like most things you only get out what you put in, but once you are going it is very easy. We had a few niggles at the start as you do with every piece of software, but CSE are very responsive, they’re good.”

So, to answer the original question, “could it happen here, and would your school be ready if the auditors called?”  yes,  it could happen here. However if you used Asset Manager to keep track of your IT equipment then you would be prepared and ready.

To watch a video about Asset Manager please click here which will take you to the CSE Asset Manager website http://www.cseassetmanager.co.uk  or you could email sales@cse-net.co.uk or phone 01993 886688 and ask for the Asset Management sales team.