Oklahoma University's Athletics IS Changes to Asset Navigator, Saves Time and Reduces Costs
15 November 2003
The business world is hardly the exclusive domain of the Fortune 500. Collegiate sports have long been big business on campuses all across the country, and the University of Oklahoma (OU) is no exception. OU may be a doctoral degree-granting university enrolling about 29,000 students with 1,900 full-time faculty members and 19 colleges, but its Athletics Department has a respectable track record of its own.
Over the years, the OU Sooners have combined for 22 team national championships. OU is part of the Big 12 Conference, a league of 12 regional schools covering 7 states for 4,500-plus student-athletes in 21 sports.
Any business organization of this size must have a solid IT infrastructure, and OU Athletics Information Systems is clearly a major player. Athletics Information Systems comprises a full time director, two full time technical staff, and at any given time, 3 to 4 part time support personnel. Together, this team manages the formidable task of supporting a total of 475 student-athletes and 37-plus departments.
With Asset Navigator's PC auditing feature, the overall cost savings is absolute.
Not a job that the team can afford to take lightly.
Athletics Information Systems runs an enterprise network on 13 servers with about 500 computers installed campus-wide - 200 of them exclusively for student-athletes and the rest for the athletics staff. This makes the department the largest athletics IS group in the entire Big 12.
From a centralized location, Athletic Information Systems handles the entire administrative responsibility of managing all of these technical assets as well as providing round-the-clock technical support to more than 1,000 athletics-related users on a dedicated web-enabled Help Desk.
Assessing the Business Need
To help manage this infrastructure even more effectively, Director of Athletic Information Systems' Terrie Taylor recently made a crucial business decision to switch from Intuit's Track-It to Alloy Software' Asset Navigator Enterprise Business Pack.
"The Track-It database really wasn't populating all that well," says Taylor. "When a friend showed me Asset Navigator's Enterprise version, I immediately saw the potential it had to give us what we needed. I decided that we should implement it right away. The fact that Asset Navigator costs several thousand dollars less than Track-It also makes a huge difference. I'd much rather use that money to buy newer PCs, or use it for other expenses."
Summarizing the Solution
Taylor purchased Alloy Software's Asset Navigator Enterprise Business Pack (EBP) with audit licenses for 500 nodes and 10 technician licenses. EBP is Alloy's SQL-based solution for asset management, inventory tracking, and integrated User and Technician Web Help Desk. Taylor reports that the team had Asset Navigator up and running in a single day.
Delivering the Benefits
Asset Navigator's software licensing compliance and PC auditing features offer Taylor the most valuable benefits in terms of meeting her business needs. "Maintaining the legal status of all of our software licenses is key," says Taylor.
Asset Navigator is the tool that IT uses to know where we are and where we are going. We can lower the costs at the Help Desk, and lower the cost of the overall technology.
Another benefit is the instant availability of information detected from each PC's BIOS. Because OU contracts with the Dell Corporation to lease all of its PCs, the ability to quickly see lease data has resulted in a significant cost savings. Taylor says, "No more making phone calls to check on the leases; no more going someplace completely different to locate the paperwork. The overall cost savings is absolute."
A third major benefit comes from Asset Navigator's User and Technician Help Desk modules, including the Knowledge Base. Taylor says, "I do feel that time spent on each Help Desk call is being reduced."
And when talking about the training costs typically associated with the hiring of new support staff, Taylor adds,
In IT today, people are trying to create slimmer departments yet they want higher skills and increased overall productivity. It's not cost-effective for an administrator to train new staff. The Knowledge Base is a self-training tool. It will help the existing staff bring the new staff up to speed.
In the few short weeks since deploying Asset Navigator, Taylor and her team at Athetics Information Systems have already realized the following benefits:
- Saving time and money with an automated PC audit
- Verifying software licensing compliance
- Facilitating faster resolutions to hardware and software problems
- Increasing overall productivity
- Reducing the time of Help Desk calls
- Reducing the cost of the Help Desk
- Lowering the overall cost of technology
- Planning for the Future
Taylor is quick to point out that as technology continues to advance in the future, she expects to see plenty of pressure.
In the IT field, Taylor says,
time can cost you a fortune. However, she adds,
Asset Navigator is the tool that IT uses to know where we are now, and where we are going.
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