IT Hardware Auditing

A Property Leasing Company

“We approached Capital to complete a full IT Hardware Audit of our entire estate. This included over 270 sites in the UK. We had a live CMDB, which was supported by Discovery Software but our concerns were that this data was out of date.”

Infrastructure Manager

The Problem

Capital were approached by the above client to complete a full Physical IT Hardware Audit of their entire estate. This included over 270 sites in the UK. The company had a live CMDB, which was supported by Discovery Software but their concerns were that this data was out of date. 

Following initial discussions, a complete Hardware Audit would have to be completed in a short timeframe to ensure the level of accuracy. Added to this, as part of the service, a bespoke report was included. This highlighted the condition of the comms environment and highlighted any potential defects that needed addressing.

A schedule was provided so all parties and sites were aware of the planned visits with each site being contacted using our real-time service system. This alerted them of the Date and Time of their Hardware Audit along with the details of the engineers who’d be attending.

Overview of Service

  • Plan/visit 270 identified WAN sites eligible for PAV Audit
  • Devices at site to be captured for PAV included the following Desktops/Laptops, Servers, Switches, Printers, Routers/Modems, MFD Printers/Plotters & IP Telephony, Polycom, Meeting Room AV Devices, Televisions & UPS and also Monitors
  • Prior appointment carried out on site SPOC availability
  • Remaining locations based around front office team

A prior appointment was based on the site SPOC availability with the rest of the locations being based around the front office team.

Measurement Criteria:

  • Collected data verified and concluded before CMDB upload
  • Collected data to be audited and measured with SCCM data

Top 20 Sites – by Device Totals

Device Type Captured

The Challenges – Initial Issues Identified

1. Upon the agreed sites within scope being uploaded into our schedule system, a number of sites were identified as being duplicated as they had 2 networks and 2 unique Site ID’s (29 in total)

2. SPOCS being out of date on the system.

3. Identified SPOCS not readying or acknowledging attendance emails or reading their internal Intranet systems.

4. Multiple Divisions on site but no communication between them (Catering & Engineering) 1 SPOC never passed onto other Depts.

5. Unknown quantities at each site, making scheduling and completion hard to plan.

Due to the size of the overall estate, ensuring a safe transfer of data back to the client was paramount. A secure client portal was used. This allowed each site to have its own folder within the client portal so upon completion of the Hardware Audit, the relevant documents were uploaded and a notification email was sent to all concerned. 

With multiple Heads of Department and companies involved, trying to achieve continuity at a top level was challenging due to the numerous reasons why this service was required. Gaining access to the users devices, whilst not being a disruption is always a challenge.

Added to this was the nature of the environment in which they work, therefore planned visits on specific days was the agreed approach. Additionally the unknown element of the Network Devices, their accessibility and location was potentially problematic.

Sites with Comms Rooms

Disconnected/Redundant Devices

The Solution

As the client was unable to provide any working extract for the agreed sites, a new Hardware Asset Capture form was designed and agreed. This allowed the effortless transfer of the data from site completion to office verification and finally onto the client through their secure portal. 

To make the service effective in both time and cost, the schedule had to be efficient, this allowed a level of flexibility should sites be completed earlier or later than expected. Following the completion of the pilot sites, every site contact was then emailed to notify them of the proposed dates.

Following the first full week, everyone had been contacted to allow sufficient notice of the upcoming visit. Any sites that were  identified as ‘High Risk’ due to the nature or location were treated separately with the individual attention they required.

 

It was agreed that there would be a few pilot sites. This was to ensure the data capture form was to the clients liking and the communications channels were working for all parties involved.

You can see from the data alongside, the amount of sites completed per week quickly grew and was able to be relaxed, once most of the sites had been completed.

Service Improvement & Recommendations

Following the completion of the service, the Audit Aid report was  provided to the leasing company and their support company. Within this report, we also supplied suggested Service Improvements and Recommendations based upon the estate which had been Audited. These included:

  • A new process to capture Mobile users
  • A reoccurring IT Hardware Audit service, this would allow for a small percentage of the estate to be audited on a monthly basis, allowing the estate to be maintained
  • A project to assist in the tidying up of the patch cables which were identified in specific comms rooms as being a potential hazard
  • A project to complete a full technical clean of their comms rooms to bring them up to an industry standard

Examples of Comms Room Conditions

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