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Figured this may be a good place to ask this one, as I'm guessing most of you folk are admins and run across this issue.

I'm currently in the process of defining scope for an overall system lifecycle project and having done some heavy research and interviews with key staff throughout our IT operations team, one of the key points which cause many of our headaches is the lack of reliable asset to user tracking information.

We currently have BMC's implementation of CMDB tracking physical desktop asset information across the organisation. This information is initially entered manually by the asset receiving team - essentially they enter a list of serial numbers, asset tag numbers and model information. Once the asset is deployed, SMS receives hardware information from either its own agent or one of the Quest agent for Mac and Linux desktops. It's possibly worth noting here that we're probably 50/50 on Linux to Windows desktops, with about 1500 of each. There's probably around 300 Apple desktops out there as well, distributed across the continental US and Asia.

Today, the desktop technician who deploys the asset to a user is responsible for assigning the asset to the user via an interface within Remedy - they can't close the ticket until they perform the update, although there are workarounds such as just reassigning their own asset to themselves. This is not often done, but it does occur and it skews our data.

Ultimately, we're looking at streamlining the whole process. We do run exception reports based on SMS's top console user vs. assigned asset in CMDB, which we use to true up the data that we have. We hit issues here with shared machines, conference rooms and Linux systems where our 'top user' isn't always accurate.

At the end of the day, the lack of reliable 'asset to user' linking prevents us from performing accurate reporting, automated software distribution based on user or department, automated business workflows and the likes.

I think my question may be more of a wiki question, so feel free to move it there if you feel that's more appropriate, but the big question here is...

What is generally considered the most accurate and effective method of managing the link between asset and user? Is it a process thing where desktop tech's just have to make sure they do it accurately or are there semi/mostly automated processes out there that I'm not aware of?

Thanks in advance...

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