Magazine article Technology & Learning

Cover Your Assets

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Cover Your Assets

Article excerpt

Quick, tell us: How many laptops are in your middle schools? Which ones are about to come off warranty? Did your tech department finish updating all the software licensing? If you can't answer these questions, it is probably time to look into asset-management software. These programs let you view, at a glance, the products on your network. Some even allow you to remotely control PCs, communicate with users, and stop students from visiting inappropriate Web sites. To find the right solution for your district, read on.

READS COLLABORATIVE & R.E.A.D.S., INC. MIDDLEBORO, MA

250 STUDENTS

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

WHAT DO YOU USE?

CROSSTEC EMS

www.crosstecsoftware.com; pricing starts at $2,551 but varies based on quantity and functionality

WHY DID YOUR DISTRICT DECIDE TO GET THIS?

"We didn't want to have to keep running to the school down the street or next door to see which machines needed more memory or software updating," says Christine Pavao, technology coordinator. "It makes my life a whole lot easier because I can see it all on my own desktop."

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE PACKAGE YOU HAVE?

Pavao researched the available products online, and EHS had all she wanted, along with some extras that "made me happy"; it was the package that best suited her needs.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT IT?

"From my PC, I can see all our computers on campus, reach out to PCs from it, and help fix any problems. That is an enormous help."

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE, IF POSSIBLE?

"I know I'm not using it to its full capability, but that's not the software's fault," says Pavao, laughing. "I don't have any complaints."

WAS IT EASY TO LEARN TO USE?

Yes, she says, and the help desk is "phenomenal. They call back, follow up, and make sure everything is working."

HAVE YOU SAVED HONEY OR TIME?

"I get up to 100 calls a day: 'I'm having a problem,' 'I can't do this.' I no longer have to drive to another building. I can just look at my desk and talk them through it. That saves me more time than I could ever compute." In addition, she doesn't have to do inventory by hand. "I love this!" Pavao says.

SCHOOL DISTRICT OF SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP ORELAND, PA

A 2,000-STUDENT DISTRICT

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

WHAT DO YOU USE?

SCHOOLDUDE'S ITAMDIRECT

www.schooldude.com; pricing based on district size; includes unlimited users and support

WHY DID YOUR DISTRICT DECIDE TO GET THIS?

"I'm in charge of software licensing," says Ginny Wexler, network manager, "and I feared being audited." Knowing she was out of compliance in terms of licensing propelled Wexler to find a way to better keep track of her equipment and software. She didn't know where anything was, some laptops were lost, and each building had individual inventory lists.

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE PACKAGE YOU HAVE?

Wexler saw one product that cost $40,000, plus hardware, which was prohibitive. She went to a SchoolDude demo and found ITAMDirect, which provided everything she needed at an "unbelievable" price point and did not require her to own a server.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT IT?

Customer support, says Wexler. "When you pick up the phone and call, you get a person. They call and check on me, ask if we need training, and more. It's incredible." Wexler also likes knowing which software is installed on each machine. "I didn't have a clue before; now it's concrete." And it helps her to be aware of her system's deficits, such as switches that were flopped out and never renamed.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE, IF POSSIBLE?

"The teachers are definitely not loving me, but I'm not here to make friends," says Wexler. "I'm here to keep the network running." Also, the search features are not always where she would like them to be. …

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