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Matters of Time

With so many hardware, software, and contract components to juggle, asset management can sometimes seem overwhelming. But Matters of Time has found a better way.

One of the trickiest parts of administration to master for any IT department is asset management. With so many hardware, software, and contract components to juggle, the task can sometimes seem overwhelming. But Edina-based Matters of Time >< has found a better way. Operations manager Jay Hill chats about applications, ownership, and keeping afloat in a tough economy.

How did Matters of Time get started?

The founders of Matters of Time, with support from family and friends, rallied their minimal resources in support of ServTrax, an asset management application with a primary goal of making maintenance information available anytime, anywhere, and associating it with its physical asset. We saw that companies are purchasing and maintaining large volumes of expensive IT equipment and associated maintenance contracts. It was clear that even the most sophisticated asset management applications were unable to properly account for maintenance contracts.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

Service Asset Management (SAM) is not an isolated problem but rather one that most companies struggle with on an ongoing basis. Ours is a comprehensive strategy that allow customers to capture all of the asset information when it is introduced into their environment, manage asset information and service levels throughout its lifecycle and, in the end, assist in the disposal of assets by maximizing the residual value and minimizing the total cost of ownership.

What does ServTrax provide that other management solutions might not?

We tightly associate physical assets to the intangible maintenance contracts that companies invest in, to insure their systems are operational. When a system fails, and we all know they fail, our application can be accessed by administrators to gather service contract details and initiate a service call within 10 minutes anytime, anywhere, via Web browser. The ability for IT departments to respond to system failures by engaging their service provider in a timely manner minimizes costly downtime due to hardware failure. Operations departments are able to gather comprehensive reports that detail their environment from a hardware and services perspective, allowing them to more effectively devise and implement a services strategy, while financial departments are able to monitor and manage the services cost associated with their environments.

What kinds of challenges do you find in developing and providing your products and services?

We run into the same problems as most startups–there is only so much time in a day, and only so much money in our checking account. For example, budget limitations currently require us to develop our own marketing material. The problem is that my 10 year old son can write better copy and has more artistic ability than all of us combined–unfortunately, we can’t afford him. Our website is currently on its third revision and finally people are not laughing as much.

IT budgets are growing, but it seems that IT management is still strappedfor resources. How might your products fit into an IT strategy? If the internally managed application is not properly deployed to account for tangible and intangible assets, it can often be the root to ongoing problems at substantial associated cost. Our model allows customers to offset much of the asset entry information to their business partners to acquire assets, therefore reducing the cost associated with application administration. Better management of organizational assets will quickly identify poorly managed or stranded tangible and intangible assets, correcting these discrepancies generates immediate return on investment, and often frees capital resources that had previously been earmarked to support existing infrastructure. By better aligning services through SAM, we feel customers will regain a significant portion of their capital budget to support new initiatives.

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