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"Absolute Software Corporation (TSX: ABT) is the leader in Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking&8482; solutions. Absolute Software provides individuals and organizations of all types and sizes with solutions to manage regulatory compliance, data protection and theft recovery."
Source : Absolute Software
Guaranteed Life Cycle Management - How Grant Thornton Achieves
99.7% accuracy tracking its IT Assets using Secure Asset
Life Cycle Management is also known as :
Life Cycle Management,
Product life cycle management,
Life Cycle Management Manual,
Overview Life Cycle Management,
Contract Life Cycle Management,
Full Life Cycle Process,
Life Cycle Process,
Life Cycle Management Tools,
Life Cycle Management Solutions,
Life Cycle Assessment,
Life-cycle Management Planning,
IT Life Cycle Management,
Information Lifecycle Management Solution,
Information Lifecycle Management Software.
Founded in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP is the fifth largest accounting firm in the US and is
the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, which operates 585 offices in 110
With the fall of Andersen in 2002, Grant Thornton LLP was presented with a unique
opportunity. They were offered the chance to grow rapidly, acquire eight Andersen offices,
and add skilled Andersen professionals.
The IT challenge fell to Dave Johnson, Director of Infrastructure Technology, who was faced
with the daunting task of creating a standardized IT model for a quickly evolving organization.
Through a combination of the right people, products and process, Johnson"s team was able
to streamline the IT conversion process for the newly acquired offices to only 15 business
days. They did this without any contracted help ' no small accomplishment given the nature
of the challenge that confronted them.
Johnson knew that from an IT perspective he would have to build a model that was based
on standards that could easily be replicated and deployed on a global scale. The first step
was to implement effective IT asset management to understand the bigger picture. Despite
some commonly held misconceptions, asset management is not a piece of software that
can be purchased off the shelf and deployed on a server to account for all the subtleties of a
distributed network. It is a combination of tools, people and processes. It was not until they
began to deploy software that the organization, and in particular the IT department, began to
understand that accurately accounting for a widely distributed network of leased computers
posed some specific and complex challenges. They realized that the difference between the
"managed experience" and "what was actually on hand" were two different things.
To add to the challenge, the IT role was much broader with responsibility for overall security
strategies, lease expenses, software license compliance and regulatory governance. On
a daily basis the IT team would have to efficiently transfer computing assets between
thousands of employees within the organization"s 49 locations, minimize spares and control
a growing budget. Grant Thornton needed a strategy to help drive down costs, reduce loss
rates and accurately calculate total cost of ownership.
Solution: ComputraceComplete from Absolute Software
Grant Thornton knew that based on an 80/20 rule if they were going to continue with their
leasing strategy they would need to improve their IT asset management. To this end, Johnson
strategically formed a relationship with the company"s hardware provider, who in turn made
a commitment to educate Grant Thornton on best practices in building a zero defect asset
tracking solution. Johnson then set to work creating a plan to recover all the organizations"
computer assets on an ongoing basis at each of its 49 sites. This meant dealing with the often
disparate items of software asset management tools, contract management, compliance
issues, negotiation strategies, and vendor management.
Prior to implementing Computrace®Complete, Grant Thornton was able to account for
most of its equipment; however, with the commitment to move to 99.7% accuracy in their
asset tracking, Johnson knew he would need to manage his IT assets beyond just their
physical control, particularly when it came to leased machines. Ensuring that machines were
returned at the end of a lease term was a concern for two reasons; the first issue was strictly
contractual ' to avoid penalties the PC manufacturer required the return of machines despite
their condition. Although damaged machines were covered under a no fault warranty, they
nevertheless maintained residual value since spare parts can be recycled and reused. It was
also necessary to ensure that machines were cleanly wiped of data prior to being retired. It
soon became evident that effective asset management required more than simply reporting
what was on a given PC ' it was necessary to know where the asset was and who was using
it. The solution also required the ability to easily audit and track remote and mobile machines.
Auditing and reporting were key requirements for Grant Thornton. Up-to-date reports that
indicated where a machine was located, who was using it and what software was installed
on it were needed as a critical component of their lifecycle management process. The ability
to access reports online at any time with detailed asset information was a key requirement as
was the ability to set reminders at 90, 60 and 30 days. These reminders would allow users to
proactively plan for the end-of-lease switch-over and give the IT department time for their end
of lease process. The end of lease process includes negotiating upcoming lease conditions
and certifying that all old machines are repaired and returned. Since Grant Thornton has a
"no fault" warranty on its leases, charges are only levied on machines that are not returned,
making it even more crucial to locate all leased inventory at the end of term.
Dave Johnson knew he needed to track and locate, lost and stolen machines as part of
his life cycle management process. By using Secure Asset Tracking&8482; he could realize the
added benefits of complying with government legislation. By knowing exactly where his
computer assets were and who was using them, he found Grant Thornton could comply
with legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the HIPPA Act
and California Senate Bill 1386.
Internal loss was never a primary concern at Grant Thornton, but the thought of external
theft was a bit more alarming. Tracking IT assets to 99.7% accuracy meant that critical
data was also secure. Hardware may be fairly limited in terms of replacement value, but
lost data could be much more costly. At least one case of external theft occurred before
computing assets were even delivered to the Grant Thornton facilities - resulting in a box
arriving from a manufacturer with nothing in it. A subsequent investigation revealed that
the PC assets had been stolen from the box before they had even left the manufacturers
shipping bay. These unfortunate events further highlighted the need to track assets from
the date they left the manufacturer"s facility to the date they were retired.
With ComputraceComplete Grant Thornton is now able to audit, track and control all
network end-points whether they are desktops, remotes or mobiles. Prior to the
implementation of ComputraceComplete Grant Thornton was able to account for less
than 80% of their devices. According to Gartner, most organizations can only account for
roughly 60% of their computing assets at any given time. Following the implementation of
ComputraceComplete Grant Thornton is now willing to commit to a level of 99.7% accuracy
- an impressive figure by any standard.
"IT asset management is a top priority for Grant Thornton". Said Dave Johnson, Director
of Infrastructure Technology, "We are achieving asset management accuracy of 99.7%...
resulting in considerable cost savings".
Johnson believes that with ComputraceComplete"s increased persistence his organization
will continue to realize greater returns on their initial investment. Grant Thornton is
now working towards a longer term goal of zero percent loss with a three phased
implementation that involves configuration auditing, life cycle leasing and changes to their
As Dave Johnson learned from this process, Secure Asset Tracking&8482; is more than just
knowing what computing assets you have in your inventory; it also implies knowledge of
who is using those assets, how they are being used and how easily they can be retrieved.
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