Industry | Higher EducationWake Forest University is a top-ranked private university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Founded in 1834, the university has roughly 8,000 students and features a vibrant and diverse academic community.
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In late 2019, the Wake Forest University (WFU) Physical Security Technology and Deacon One Card (PSTDOC) office were faced with a problem. The company providing their service management platform surprised them with an unexpected issue. In addition to their monthly contract, the provider wanted to start charging an additional $30,000 year for new servers. The director of the PSTDOC office decided that perhaps now was a good time to find a new solution for their current service management system and he asked David Cowan to head up the search. As the Physical Security Technology Administrator in charge of Scheduling and Database Administration, he was familiar with facing all kinds of challenges including database issues, systems integrations, broken security doors and even handling lost ID cards.
He immediately went searching for other options while agreeing to a one-year grace period with the current solution provider which would end on Dec 1, 2020. Shortly after starting his research, the pandemic started, which of course, delayed exploring his options. While working from home, the team’s efforts were mainly focused on campus access and security, but David was still able to research different vendors and demo several possibilities. The idea was to replicate Wake Forest’s system as quickly as possible with a look towards future expansion including a massive inventory asset project without incurring a massive price tag.
He needed a provider that could save Wake Forest money, integrate easily with their existing system, and implement quickly once approved.
Upon seeing the highly configurable and flexible aspects of the platform, the PSTDOC office made the choice to go with Vivantio. David was especially impressed with their helpful product specialists and engineers.
“Vivantio’s team would walk me through steps and offer multiple solutions to where I was comfortable knowing we can make it work,” David explained, “I’d say one of the key reasons we went with Vivantio was because of their people.”
With his old system going away at the end of November, David now had less than a month to get the new system up and running. With help from Vivantio, David was empowered to get the self-service portal and basic functionality online in just 2 weeks!
With the basics working, he was now able to add additional bells and whistles and take advantage of Vivantio’s faster cloud-based platform capabilities as well as create an even more intuitive self-service portal.
After getting the platform launched, David now had time to put in place an inventory project that would eventually save countless hours and help drive efficiency throughout the university. As an Access System Administrator, he is responsible for knowing how many electronic building assets are in each university building including cameras, door contacts, card readers, and more.
When asked about upgrading areas or replacing devices in the past, David’s team typically had to physically walk to the building and do an on-site assessment which could take up to half a day. His team also needed to know the replacement cost for each part, link them together and determine the active life of each asset.
What started as an estimated 5,000-piece inventory quickly ballooned to over 25,000 pieces. The PSTDOC office had been looking to put an asset management tool in place for years but never found a system that could integrate easily and without a hefty additional expense.
"Vivantio’s team helped us create a report that would total up the cost of the assets on a room-by-room basis and by university building. That report is going to help us immensely if we ever need to change rooms out or upgrade a facility.”
With Vivantio’s full lifecycle asset configuration management database (CMDB) included with his platform, Wake Forest could now track all the items and map their relationships, reducing a half-day trip to merely seconds. Having this information digitized and searchable will save David and his team countless hours.
David’s team continues to map out rooms and facilities across their campus and hopes to finish this sizable project by mid-2022
In the meantime, they enjoy receiving kudos from faculty, staff and students for a faster service management system, an easy-to-use self-service portal and an ongoing asset management tool that will enable David and his department to manage better relationships, boost productivity, and deliver an elevated customer experience.