Curtin University is a public university located in Perth, Australia. The main campus and eight remote campuses across Western Australia and Southeast Asia are host to 40,000 students and 3,500 academics and staff.
Historically supported by IT groups specific to each location, the nine separate campuses are now managed by a single, consolidated IT organization. With centralization came its associated challenges, such as collectively managing the University’s 11,000 laptops and desktops. Given Curtin’s lease ownership preference, and many different lease return dates, the IT organization was fighting on-going issues meeting the lease return commitments.
Curtin University selected the joint Microsoft—Provance solution comprised of Microsoft® System Center, the Provance® IT Asset Management Pack, Provance Data Management Pack and Provance Bar Code to reduce its inflated annual leasing costs.
In summary, the phase one assessment identified a functional gap in the University’s existing basic IT asset management and procurement processes, which consisted of manual tasks and the use of HP open View and HP Service Desk.
With HP Service Desk nearing endof-life status, Curtin University decided to adopt Microsoft System Center as its IT service management solution. The University was subsequently introduced to Provance IT Asset Management software by Xello, a leading Australian Systems Integrator specializing in Management and Virtualization Technologies on the Microsoft platform. It was at this time that Jess Wittwer joined Curtin University. Jess had previously implemented a joint Provance-Microsoft project at a large UK-based insurance market.
With phase one of the auditor’s recommendation completed, the University moved on to phase two of the project. As part of the second phase, Curtin University deployed the Provance IT Asset Management Pack, Provance Data Management Pack and Provance Bar Code in September of 2013. In addition to software, Provance provided Curtin with a best practice framework, which assisted the University in launching its new combined IT Service Management and IT Asset Management solution.
“The ultimate goal was smarter and simpler management of IT assets through the life cycle,” said Wittwer. “We had a very immature level of asset management processes in place. Having a Provance consultant come in and bring a level of knowledge with respect to the ITAM discipline to show us how things should be approached and how they should be done was extremely valuable. The Provance consultant helped us establish best practices in an intensive one week engagement. The results were phenomenal and the quality of the work even more so. Pictures alone though don’t make an IT Asset Management program. Having those workflows embedded in the product was and is the difference maker.” Using the Provance software in conjunction with process guidance and services, Curtin University was able to quickly develop and implement an effective lease management program. It begins with shipping notices from Dell containing Configuration Item (CI) information, which allows IT staff to know what to expect. Using the Provance Data Management Pack with PowerShell scripts they were able to easily automate the import of this data into Microsoft System Center and the Provance IT Asset Management Pack. Once received, the asset was scanned using the Provance Bar Code, assigned to users with a location and delivered to them.
The result was the ability to track an asset from birth to end-of-lease, while eliminating human error and increasing service management efficiency. The University had achieved and conquered the most challenging part of phase two. Curtin University further benefited from the Provance solution to assist with the implementation of other recommended “pillars.”
Information from the Provance IT Asset Management Pack allows the University to take more informed IT decisions and make “better use of technology.” For example, the University was able to better understand the life cycle of its monitors and revise their leasing policy from three years to 5 years for these devices, resulting in even further cost savings.