F5 Networks is a technology company that specializes in application delivery, services, and security across data centers and both public and private cloud environments. F5 uses its ADC technology for the delivery of web applications as well as to enhance the security, performance, and availability of servers, data storage devices, and other network and cloud resources.
F5 Networks, which employs more than 4,500 workers across the globe, must track and manage a massive amount of IT assets and associated infrastructure. The company’s IT department manages more than 13,000 end-user assets along with 20,000 infrastructure assets that are used in data centers — servers, routers, switches and the like.
In the past, the company used a homegrown, legacy database to keep track of IT assets. The system was cumbersome and didn’t integrate in any way with the company’s help desk system.
“There’s been a range of asset management solutions at F5, and they were all essentially manual processes managed via spreadsheets,” said Skye Chacón, ITAM program owner at F5. “There was no visibility for where any one asset was at any one time. There was no way to know what assets the company owned.”
MAKING IT ASSET MANAGEMENT EASIER
In order to effectively track and manage all IT assets distributed around the world — from Seattle to Tokyo to Tel Aviv to London — F5 needed to standardize on one system of record, eliminate manual processes and make field technicians more productive and accountable.
“In the past, IT was using a legacy back-end system and spreadsheets so there was no centralized data management,” Chacón said. “There were hidden costs involved in managing disparate spreadsheets and reconciling conflicts between the tracking systems. We also didn’t know who had which assets as there was no easy way to look that information up.”
“We wanted to get a mobile scanning app out to the field techs to make their jobs easier, so we turned to Mobile Reach.”
Due to her positive experience with using Mobile Reach apps for IT asset management at a previous company, Chacón chose to deploy Mobile Reach at F5 as well.
This allows field techs to scan barcoded asset tags, access IT asset records, and make changes in the back-end database in real-time. It also allows F5 to track assets across the entire lifecycle adding visibility, improving compliance and increasing asset uptime.
“The cost of the initial app easily paid for itself in terms of efficiencies gained, so it was an easy decision,” Chacón said. “We worked so well with Mobile Reach in the past, and we knew how good a job they did. So it was a simple decision to go with MobileReachagain.It’seasytobuildtheappsyouneedbasedonstraightforward pricing. You only pay for what you need and nothing else.”
STREAMLINED PROCESS, ACCURATE REPORTING
According to Chacón, the Mobile Reach solution has provided numerous benefits. These include:
“Mobile Reach was a game-changer,” said Patty Kirkland, F5 desktop support specialist. “All F5 locations around the world are using the same process to manage IT assets, and Mobile Reach helped make that happen.”
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F5 Networks has more than 33,000 IT assets in 10-plus locations around the world. The company was using a legacy database for IT asset management, but it was siloed, cumbersome and wrought with manual processes. F5 needed a single system of record for tracking and managing all infrastructure and end-user IT assets. It also needed to enable field techs to collect more accurate and complete asset data.
Using process-driven mobile apps from Mobile Reach, field techs can easily scan assets and update information in the back-end systemon the fly. Compliance, reporting, data accuracy and field tech productivity have greatly improved. The company can now track all IT assets across their lifecycles with full visibility.