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In the Spotlight:

Configuration Management

TOPdesk software is mainly comprised of Incident Management (or Call Management) and Configuration Management (or Asset management), which enables you to manage countless objects and company assets. But which options does the module offer and how can its full potential be reached? To answer these questions we will examine this multifaceted module and provide tips and tricks on getting the most out of your Configuration management. Some of the following options are only available in TOPdesk 4 Enterprise, but most are applicable to TOPdesk 3 lite and TOPdesk 3 and 4 Professional.

How do I fill my CMDB efficiently?

Maintaining the Configuration Management DataBase (CMDB) can save your service desk a lot of time and money. For example, the Incident Management module can help you spot company asset problem areas. As filling your CMDB might be timeconsuming, we offer two easy tools to import your company asset data into TOPdesk: TOPsis and the barcode scanner solution.

information is saved directly to the card. More information on TOPsis is available in the TOPdesk management manual.

will find some considerations for the structure of your own CMDB.

What is the purpose of a Configuration card?

Configuration cards are mainly used for grouping related objects that undergo the same transactions. You can achieve this by linking objects to a configuration which is in turn linked to a person or location. A server rack with multiple servers can be registered by linking multiple Object cards (servers) to one Configuration card (the server rack). In case of a pantry, multiple objects (for example, a printer, coffee machine and refrigerator) are linked to the Pantry configuration. Previously, Configuration cards were also used as pc-monitor combinations, but linking objects to one another has been proven easier.

Barcode scanner
The Barcode scanner is another useful tool which allows you to scan various objects, locations and assets in your organization. The data can then be entered into TOPdesk. TOPdesk is compatible with most scanner models and the required barcode stickers can be printed from the database.

TOPsis is TOPdesks automatic inventory program. It scans one or more PCs on the network for existing hardware and software and saves the data on the concerning cards. One option for obtaining the most recent information from all running PCs is to perform the network scan at a fixed time. Another option is to scan the PCs during start-up (in TOPdesk 3 this is called scanning through central storage) while TOPsis retrieves the last saved information. In TOPdesk 4 the

How do I structure my CMDB practically?

Questions will inevitably arise while filling your CMDB with data. Should we link objects directly to a person, via a configuration, or to a location? Should we transfer SIM card data to the mobile phone card or should we create a separate card? The CMDB structure that works best for your organization is strongly dependent on what your aim is for the gathered data. Our consultants can help you create your ideal structure. Below you

Is it really necessary to register each object?

Registering is always a means and never a goal in itself, so only do this if it is helpful to you. Some


organizations merely choose to register the amount of objects instead of registering each one seperately. This can be useful for objects that do not require individual registration, such as types of office chairs and tables for facilities management purposes. Object cards contain additional fields for registering these amounts, but if you experience a large turnover of objects, the Stock and Order management module can further assist you.

More tips
When the information in your CMDB is accurate, TOPdesk can provide reports with valuable information. You can generate these reports in the menu option Reports > Report Wizard. Take a look at the System settings for Configurations and Objects. You may find extra options that could be of use to you, such as lease information, automatic numbering and additional maintenance information. The value in the Model field in an Object card can either be entered manually or chosen from a drop-down list. The manually added values are then automatically added to the drop-down list. This option saves the manager a great deal of work as the diversity of

products which come and go do not have to be added one by one in Searchlist management. However, when you choose to activate the option Choose only from predefined list only the fixed list from Searchlist management will be available to users. This means less flexibility but increases uniformity and reduces spelling mistakes. Customize the Configuration Management module to your liking. The Optional Fields option enables you to add extra fields to an Object card, which can usually be reported on. TOPdesk Enterprise and Professional offer you the additional option of adding extra object groups, so-called free objects. This allows you to define objects such as keys, installations and plants in addition to hardware, software and telephone systems.

Should an objectperson link be used?

Linking objects to people is useful when employees take objects with them during workstation moves (e.g. a mobile phone or Blackberry). For some objects, such as PCs, it is more efficient to link them to a location, as moving them with an employee entails too many transactions.

How do I keep my CMDB up to date?

Filling the CMDB is the first step, but keeping it up to date is also important. This often proves to be difficult and demands a great deal of discipline; new PCs should be registered straight away and written-off PCs should be immediately noted in the CMDB. The copy button is a practical tool if multiple similar objects are involved. Appointing a maximum of two dedicated people for maintaining the CMDB is advisable, as more than two people can be counterproductive. It is also important that they see the benefit of the work. They can keep check on the CMDB and even fill it from scratch in the case of a large backlog.