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The Way It Companies Can Effectively Manage Client Hardware

May 10th, 2016 | by Benny Sanderson
The Way It Companies Can Effectively Manage Client Hardware
Hardware
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Regardless of the emergence of “The Cloud”, local hardware will be needed. The most fundamental small company client includes a router, a network switch, your personal computer and a number of printers. Other clients might have Firewalls, Servers, Plotters, Multi-Function Models and then any variety of other hardware – the majority of it IP-enabled.

Multiply that by multiple clients, plus you’ve got a great deal of hardware that becomes quite simple down the sink considerable time and energy attempting to manage – if you are not organized.

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From Chaos to buy

The initial step in getting to the chaos is to find a Label Printer. The most popular may be the P-Touch Handheld vary from Brother. Anything that you could easily carry along with you, plug in to the mains (battery powered is okay – but batteries go out, and also you then begin to forget to label things) and print labels is going to do the task. For those who have several engineer, purchase them all label printers and encourage them to label all of them with their very own names – they will be very likely to take care of them.

Next, organize a period to have an engineer to go to client sites together with his labeler prepared – grabbing and labeling everything having a power plug around the finish and creating a written note of every to consider back to work.

(Speaking of power plugs, get the engineers in to the practice of labeling these too, especially servers. Clearly knowing which plug goes to some PC and which to some monitor is indeed a benefit when you are moving within dark desk on the dirty floor determining things to unplug and just what to not.)

Why Labels?

Why bother labeling things?

First of all, you are acknowledging the presence of a tool. Whether it’s labeled, you understand it and may document it for future reference.

Next, when new hardware “inexplicably” seems in a client site along with a client calls you for support onto it (most likely outdoors your support contract) it can save you your heap of your time determining why Home windows 7 Home Edition is a component of it as opposed to a Business O/S.

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Thirdly, labeling hardware accelerates the support process. If your user telephones the Helpdesk to state they cannot print to “That printer on workInch, you’ll be able to keep these things browse the label and rapidly identify which printer it’s that they are attempting to print to.

Things to label?

Exactly what the label states is dependent around the hardware, however the label will help you easily find out the hardware under consideration. Some good examples:-

  • PCs – Workstation name, Fixed Ip (if relevant)
  • Servers – Server name, Fixed Ip, Website name
  • Routers/Firewalls – Exterior Ip, Internal Ip
  • Network Switches – Internal Ip, Management Ip
  • Local Printers – In your area attached Workstation name
  • Network Printers – Fixed Ip, Queue Name (//Server/Queue)

We are not going to bother with Workstation and Server naming schemes, Ip ranges or other standards at this time. At this time we are concentrating on recording what’s already available.

In some instances the engineer will not have the ability to identify network equipment. Instead of disregard the hardware, they ought to label it as being “unknown” and lift an assistance ticket or create a written note to research how you can identify it later.

This takes a while, particularly if you have lots of clients – but it is time wisely spent. You need to make this kind of ‘discovery work’ an element of the on-boarding procedure for every new client, because the time spent finding hardware now pays dividends when you are supporting that very same hardware later – possibly currently-sensitive situation.

Document your findings

Going forwards, turn it into a policy that in the future, each piece of hardware you deploy to some client site must have a label onto it.

Document your findings. For those who have an RMM tool for example GFI Max, then you will already have the ability to scan systems for products. Supplement this automated information with your personal findings.

Soon you will have a good summary of the hardware whatsoever the consumer sites. Every time they visit supporting the customer, both remotely as well as on-site, a *lot* simpler.

Using the labeler like a pressure of excellent does not hold on there.

Hardware within the Workshop

Whenever an engineer brings a bit of hardware to the Workshop for troubleshooting, it must be labeled. You may label it using the client’s name, a short summary of the problem, and when you are utilizing a ticket system, check in number.

This may seem apparent, but the number of occasions do engineers walk into the office, fall off some faulty hardware after which get depressed by another thing? Within this scenario, a friend might be left itching his mind over who the hardware goes to and why it’s here, or worse, think the hardware is “spare” and go and re-apply it another job they’re focusing on…

Speaking of spare hardware – it’s worth developing a process to cope with that as well. I love to create a part of the workshop that’s particularly for Hardware under Repair, Hardware under testing, and Hardware for disposal. Then, as hardware is available in…

Whether it’s hardware that will be delivered back to some manufacturer under RMA, it’s called such and put into the “Under Repair” part of the workshop.

Whether it’s hardware which may be faulty and needed testing, a ticket is elevated with this and it is called “For Testing” and labeled using the appropriate ticket number. The hardware will be put into the “For Testing” area, and you may with confidence provide your recently employed Junior Specialist something productive to complete on his first day at work.

Whether it’s hardware for disposal, it’s labeled using the fault and marked as “For Disposal”. It’s put into the “For Disposal” part of the workshop and when every couple of days you request a professional IT disposal company to gather the pile and dump it within an ethical and eco-friendly fashion.

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