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How many printers do we have? And how many are Inkjet?

By Robert Hall, Support Analyst at Marval Software


The last decade has brought several organisational and operational changes in many enterprises, and newly introduced technologies were responsible for a good number of them. From new work models, like employee mobility and distance learning, to the manufacturing and distribution of goods, organisations were forced to explore new technologies, install new hardware and software, and adopt new processes, in order to keep up with the emerging demands and trends.

So it’s very likely that your organisation has a number of peripheral devices already, printers included, which may be spread over different buildings and offices or even countries, and one day someone asks: how many are there?

With an ITSM solution like Marval MSM you can search for these, and any other configuration items (CIs) or assets, quickly and easily. But what if the search didn’t match the Finance Department’s Asset Register? What if it appeared that one of these items had gone missing?

Well, firstly we would check to see if the last recorded details on MSM were still correct: do we have such an item in the location recorded, is it still used by the same person or team? It may be sitting unused in a dusty corner of a room!

Then, if we are satisfied the item is still there, we can perform an Audit on the CI; even if it is not there, the information should be up-to-date. A best practice would be to perform an audit for all the CIs, or at least a representative sample, on a regular basis. Regular audits ensure the information is accurate.

Most organisations will make a decision to value CIs to a certain level, say £100, on the Asset Register. All expensive items can be recorded and depreciated over time, e.g. a Forklift Truck or a Pallet Handler which may cost several thousand pounds will stay on the books for a few years and will also be recorded as a CI in Marval MSM; whereas a desktop printer will still be a CI but probably not kept individually on the Asset Register, since it had a much lower purchase price.

Within Marval MSM we can record up to 30 standard fields, such as Owner, Used By, Make, Model and Serial Number per CI. We can classify the CIs by using standard (or custom) Types and Subtypes, e.g. Hardware/Display/Monitor to group them together and make the searches meaningful and easy. It is possible to add more Attributes, like Initial Cost or Disk Size. Therefore, when a new CI is added, we capture all relevant information.

Of course, the data held for the CIs depends on the care and diligence of the User(s) responsible for entering these details. However, that’s what we do on the Service Desk, and therefore we can answer that question at the top of this article… and any others that may come our way.



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