Opportunity Bank of Montana is a top-ranking chartered bank with thirty-two full-service branches across the state. Established in 1922, the bank has been in business for over a century and is known for its unwavering dedication to serving the people of Montana.
The bank has also experienced some exciting developments recently as they acquired a new bank, switched IT services to a better suited Managed Service Provider (MSP), and implemented their first IT asset management system.
Addressing IT asset management challenges with AssetSonar
In recent years, most of the organization’s IT asset management operations were either being outsourced to an MSP or were carried out manually through Excel Spreadsheets. The bank was struggling with both the inaccuracy of inventory information and the lack of strategic hardware asset management strategies. They were using sticky notes and spreadsheets to collect as much asset data as possible, and storing it in multiple devices.
This siloed information was rarely updated, making it both inaccurate and increasingly taxing on the IT resources who were reliant on this information. These challenges prompted the bank’s IT department to invest in a new MSP and to implement a robust IT asset management solution.
After a considerable search for a suitable IT asset management system, Opportunity Bank of Montana decided to move forward with AssetSonar. Tim Stern, Assistant Administrator at the bank, said that one of the key drivers for choosing AssetSonar was its network discovery agent and its integrations with SAML, Zendesk, and Intune. Support Specialist, Ed Brooks, affirmed that AssetSonar turned out to be his favorite among the ITAM tools he has used in the past.
“AssetSonar exceeded our expectations with its integrations with Intune and Zendesk. We were also looking for SAML authentication, so we were happy that it was there”, said Tim.
Since implementing AssetSonar, the IT department at the bank has been building their IT inventory database. They have populated their account with many of the company’s hardware devices along with peripherals and other network assets. Having this information on a modern cloud infrastructure allows them to track all their devices accurately and ensure that nothing goes missing.
End-to-end hardware lifecycle management
In the past, the team had no system to track the bank’s high-value items (monitors, for example), or check scanners, receipt printers, teller stations, and more. Lack of tracking puts these hardware devices at a risk of being stolen, lost, or misplaced. In addition, there was no regular inventory period for these items. Ed commented that in the past, it was highly likely that whenever a device was added to the system, its lifecycle stages were not monitored and the device simply stayed in the system until the end of its lifespan. This deprived the IT team of essential information regarding the usage, ownership, maintenance, and servicing of that device. Lack of standardized protocols and inability to get their machines the timely maintenance checks they needed also contributed to shortened life spans for these devices.
Now, the bank’s IT department has started taking proactive steps towards end-to-end hardware lifecycle management. They have put all their computers on a three-year schedule to minimize unplanned downtime and improve employee productivity. AssetSonar allows them to accurately track all lifecycle stages of their devices so they can calculate the hardware depreciation at any stage of its lifespan.
“Since we have put all our computers on a three year schedule and set it up in AssetSonar, we are able to calculate device depreciation accurately”, remarked Tim.
As the Opportunity Bank of Montana’s hardware lifecycle management plans are still in development, Tim and Ed detailed the activities they intend to carry out in the near future. To accurately track and build a replacement cycle for their devices, they plan on tagging every high-value device at all of the bank’s branches.
They also plan to import all these devices’ data into AssetSonar and segregate them by location to gain a clearer view of exactly what they have and the status of each asset across all branches. The team is also excited to leverage all of this device data to improve the procurement of IT devices going forward.
Faster ticket resolution with Zendesk
The Opportunity Bank of Montana’s IT department implemented Zendesk prior to launching their search for an IT asset management software – one that not only integrates seamlessly with Zendesk but also has its own network agent to help track peripherals. Since their switch to this modern infrastructure, they’ve experienced a boost in productivity and can resolve tickets quicker than ever before. As they now have all the relevant information available on a single platform, they no longer need to constantly switch between applications to crosscheck information, making decisions easier and more straightforward. Ed shares:
“I like the link between AssetSonar and Zendesk in the view of a snapshot.”
Another common scenario involved playing out whenever an employee would send in a helpdesk request about a machine malfunction. Previously, IT team members would need to search through numerous spreadsheets just to extract the asset’s information. Determining the exact machine type, how long it has been in use, and then assessing the problem was very time consuming. But now, since they have mapped every device and user in AssetSonar, they can begin working on the solution immediately, saving them a lot of time and unnecessary effort.
The AssetSonar and Zendesk integration has clearly boosted efficiency for the bank’s IT team – Tim and Ed noted that this integration has helped them save the cost of a full-time employee. Also, adopting a proactive approach toward ticket resolution helps them repair and replace devices on time, lowering the impact on employees, which in turn helps the bank provide a better customer experience.
Seamless integrations with SAML and Intune
The bank’s IT department was heavily reliant on Excel spreadsheets before implementing AssetSonar but now they have upgraded, using Intune to fetch and import information into AssetSonar. The timely syncs between two applications ensure that AssetSonar is always updated with the latest data regarding devices, their usage, location, and more. This integration also helps the IT department to enable the auto-checkout feature in AssetSonar so they can reduce redundant, manual efforts and time.
Another one of Tim’s favorite AssetSonar integrations is with SAML. He explained that SAML login makes it easier for him to create access rules and manage logins from a single application. Tim says,
“AssetSonar’s integration with SAML is quite beneficial for our identity and access management as it allows us to limit access to users. In addition, we don’t have to log in to multiple applications since everything is centralized.”
AssetSonar’s integration with SAML has helped the bank to centralize their identity and access management for devices while they are creating permissions for users. They can now easily set up conditional policies and decide on the level and type of access for each employee.
Being a financial institution means regular bank audits. AssetSonar both helps the bank to stay compliant regarding hardware usage policies, and it also helps ensure that the bank is always audit-ready. During an audit, the IT team can easily create and pull inventory reports, their utilization, compliance, value and more. Previously, it was necessary to contact their MSP to request these reports but since AssetSonar’s implementation, they can access these reports over any period of time, with just a few clicks.
The future with AssetSonar
The Opportunity Bank of Montana’s IT department has major plans for optimizing their inventory management over the next few years. Along with bringing in inventory from all other bank branches, they plan to utilize AssetSonar to set standards for Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR), to further enhance their help desk performance.
Their plans also include leveraging AssetSonar’s offboarding workflows and more accurately tracking the assets used by remote employees. They hope that using AssetSonar to its full potential will help them save more time, and cost, and further improve efficiency.