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Anyone using Barcode Solution Effectively?

Created: 22 Oct 2013 • Updated: 28 Oct 2013 | 4 comments

I would like to pick the brain of anyone who has Barcode Solution set up and running smoothly. More specific to my needs, we don't really use the procurement portion of Asset Management; however, we still need to tie the hardware back to the original purchase order and to the project number (a custom association we've made).

It is pretty cumbersome to go back after the fact and add in cost items using the bulk edit feature. Ultimately, I would like to pre-stage the "quick incident" (or similar template) with cost information and be able to submit this to the system all at once, instead of editing each new asset individually.

Feel free to contact me on my personal email or telephone.

We are using ITSM 7.1 SP2

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dfrancis's picture

We're using barcode more from an ownership assignment functionality in conjunction with the Barcode Essentials iOS app (separate license) on an iPod Touch with decent success.  Like you, we're not using the procurement piece of Altiris (we have a separate PO system outside of Altiris) but have a custom data class for a PO number reference, and when we initially bring in assets I wind up dumping all of that information into a spreadsheet and using Connector Solution to do the initial import of assets.  That way, going forward the only thing we really need to leverage Barcode for is status, ownership, and location.

--Dave

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jpellet2's picture

We're using it for ownership, location, cost info, etc. as well. We have external POs as well so we also created a cusom PO number data class. We have used a couple of Motorola Windows Mobile devices until recently when we switched to Barcode Essentials for our iPhones/iPods and iPads. We actually do a full cycle with barcode so when new assets arrive we will on-board the devices, assign them and set their location. If they are moved then we scan and move them and then when they're retired/disposed we will again use Barcode. It all works quite well. 

We only have a couple of issues overall. 1) The speed of Barcode Solution seems to be a lot slower than the rest of the console but once we have sync profiles created we rarely have to go back in there.

2) The custom data class for PO that we created aren't syncing over to the devices but this could very well have something to do with the dataclass itself. We just haven't had time to go back and look at it.

The key we've found is to make sure that the your sync collections are small in order to be efficient at scanning and syncing. With wireless it is easy enough to change from one to another if you manage your profiles well. Trying to sync anything too large or with too many resource associations causes a lot of timeouts that we can't seem to get around.

Update: Was able to get the custom data classes to show up on the devices now so we're in good shape there.

kevinradler's picture

We are still adjusting to a new barcode process and still having difficulty giving up our Excel spreadsheets. Timeouts and sync issues have plagued us; however, I am confident this is a result of our own doing. Our barcode profiles are huge, and this is more a result of inefficient processes that don't necessarily ensure assets are created with all the necessary information.

Is it possible for anyone to share how they've set up their barcode profiles? And briefly describe the process around them (i.e., what justifies switching between them and how your asset management team feels about the process)? From my standpoint, how do you ensure your system is performing its delta resource updates to guarantee the assets will be included in the profile for future syncs? In fact, any policies you've defined that you don't mind sharing would be extremely helpful here, as we have been struggling with timing in general (e.g., when to sync throughout the day).

On a separate note, we don't use the out-of-box purchasing process either. We do, however, have to ensure newly created assets are linked to a purchase order number in the system (for auditing purposes). From the sounds of the other comments, is it safe to assume each of you have created your own PO reference number data class, associated it with assets, and then brought it into your barcode templates? We are making this association by adding cost items, but this is not convenient because there is no way to pre-stage them like other attributes in the barcode application.

kevinradler's picture

I didn't even think to create a custom PO data class to capture the PO reference number--thanks for the idea. Instead, I've been struggling to get cost items added to the initial barcode template. So far I have been unsuccessful.