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Browse Prior Art Database

Asset Tracking System for Networked or Networkable Assets

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015865D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Apr-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In recent years, it has become common for individuals within an organization to have assigned to them one or more personal computers or other assets (printers, scanners, etc.) which may be connected to a network that are small, relatively portable (very portable in the case of notebook computers), but often quite valuable. These assets must be tracked for any number of reasons, including tax purposes, and for the organization to keep tabs on its assets. Often, the information on the asset may be much more valuable than the asset itself. However, these assets often have a limited lifespan, or are useful for certain individuals within an organization for only a period of a year or two, at which time it is advantageous to transfer the asset to another person within the organization with a less critical need. Sloppy book keeping or inefficient or difficult to use tracking systems often results in assets being lost. The recent FBI situation where over a hundred critical laptop computers disappeared highlights this problem. The present invention proposes an entirely new tracking system. Inventories are set up based on a number of criteria, which may include:

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Asset Tracking System for Networked or Networkable Assets

    In recent years, it has become common for individuals within an organization to have assigned to them one or more personal computers or other assets (printers, scanners, etc.) which may be connected to a network that are small, relatively portable (very portable in the case of notebook computers), but often quite valuable. These assets must be tracked for any number of reasons, including tax purposes, and for the organization to keep tabs on its assets. Often, the information on the asset may be much more valuable than the asset itself.

However, these assets often have a limited lifespan, or are useful for certain individuals within an organization for only a period of a year or two, at which time it is advantageous to transfer the asset to another person within the organization with a less critical need.

Sloppy book keeping or inefficient or difficult to use tracking systems often results in assets being lost. The recent FBI situation where over a hundred critical laptop computers disappeared highlights this problem.

The present invention proposes an entirely new tracking system. Inventories are set up based on a number of criteria, which may include:

Company Code Asset Class Division within company Machine Type RCC - Responsible Cost Center (Dept Using) CC - Cost Center (Dept Charged) Work Location, IP address of machine Building
Tax Jurisdiction Employee name, Employee Serial Number, email address Minimum GAV
Maximum GAV
Combination of above criteria

In essence, whenever a machine is added to the organization, all or appropriate portion of the above information is entered into the system relative to the machine. Some of this information is specific to the user, and some is generic for an entire type of machine. For example, if a company adds 100 new identical laptop computers, much of the data relative to each computer will be identical, but beyond the knowledge of the employee using the asset. Individual users are uniquely identified on each organization's network, for email, database access, etc. Also, individual machines may be identified by characteristics of the machine, such as an IP address if using the internet, or in some cases the serial number of the cpu. Individuals may also be assigned a certain port through which to connect to the organization's network. Some or all of this data may be used to help track the asset.

So the system may be designed such that when a new asset is recognized by the network, the system is invoked to get the user to enter the appropriate data (or subset of data) from the list of items above prior to entering the network. Alternatively, this may be entered by hand by accessing the system website based on a prompt from the system, such as an email (as described in more detail below relative to taking of inventory).

In addition to setting up and initiating the inventories, the system also allows the operations team to produce reports deta...