Calculate the Value of Used Computer Equipment

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 16, 2014 2:27:53 PM

Perhaps the most common question people ask IT Asset Management Group is how do we figure out what surplus IT equipment is worth? In order for ITAMG to provide our clients with bids, proposals, and projections for surplus and end of life computer equipment, we research the most current sales pricing and values available on the secondary markets. We analyze the inventory of equipment our clients wish to dispose of and use recent sales and current offers on equipment in order to gauge what a fair market value is.

 

IT asset disposal ny

 

The value of used IT equipment is no different than any other product or commodity and is governed by the laws of supply and demand. New software platforms, product releases, regulations, canceling of product lines or support and technology trends will change consumer demands for refurbished computer equipment and in turn effect the value of equipment on the secondary markets and what an IT asset disposal vendor will be able to pay out during a liquidation.

For instance, the value of useful equipment can be drastically reduced when a large organization disposes of a high volume of equipment in a small period of time. If a company decides they are no longer using a specific blade server, and disposes of thousands of a specific type of blade, the market will become flooded with this item.  In this situation, regardless of the equipment’s technological viability, the price will plummet on the secondary markets.

These factors are why ITAMG relies on the most current market information in order to develop our pricing and sales strategies. We work with enterprise clients to develop programs and processes to increase the returns during computer liquidation.

We understand our clients' and community may benefit from a tool that would provide quick estimates on what surplus computer equipment may be worth. That is why we developed the ITAMG Depreciation Calculator that enables our clients to plug in the original purchase price of equipment and determine the deprecation cycle stage as well as an estimate on what the fair market value of the equipment might be.

Download the Depreciation Calculator

ITAMG does not use this calculator to determine value propositions or bids for used computer equipment, but it is a handy tool to develop a refresh strategy and estimate how much returns a future disposal could generate.

Get The Depreciation Calculator

 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, computer hardware, Computer Liquidation

ITAM: The most boring thing….

Posted by Steve Bossert

Sep 18, 2013 4:36:24 PM

ITAM stands for IT Asset Management, but there is often a lot of confusion when talking to  vendors that name solutions after industry terms, let alone a a certain company that just so happens to be named IT Asset Management Group.

All too often acronyms confuse people. According the International Association for IT Asset Management, ITAM breaks down to covering:

  • SAM (Software Asset Management)
  • HAM (Hardware Asset Management)
  • APM (Asset Portfolio Management)

From ITAMG’s perspective on ITAM, we see hardware having three broad categories. Owned Assets (OA) are the contracts, and hardware and software entitlements covered under SAM or APM and these are areas ITAMG does not currently focus on.

The others are Discovered Assets (DA) and Fixed IT Assets (FITA). This is where IT Asset Management Group can provide your organization with assistance as part of your ITAM, ITAD and EOL processes.

IT assets are very different that most fixed assets, like your chair or a mouse pad since they do not require specific software to run or are discoverable on your network. This is a major reason why ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software is not the best solution for tracking IT assets. Instead, IT assets often go through an Installed Moved Added Changed or IMAC process for short.

It is hard to inventory an IT asset until software has been installed, configured and then deployed. Your organization wont often be able to collect this information into a hardware asset repository until it is connected to your network. Too many organization rely on solutions like this and they should still take the time just prior to deployment to document these assets through physical or technology assisted means. Our paper on IT asset tracking methods goes into more detail about this.

Discoverable assets are by far some of the most important IT assets in an organization since they most likely contain a CPU. This is a major reason why many organization have stopped tracking things like keyboards, mice and even monitors. These are then often considered a fixed asset. Another way, while not always thought of as discoverable, is to think about all IT assets that are capable of storing information, like on a traditional hard drive (HDD) or a solid state disk (SSD).

The thinking is not cost driven, but because a device with a CPU or HDD/SDD must have software or information to make it useable and therefore can be exploited. A Dell 19 inch LCD monitor is not often thought of as hacking target for today’s cyber security bad guys.

ITAM Success

The goals of ITAM are simple enough. Focus on compliance, improve accountability and control your inventory. Following these goals should in most cases allow your organization to save money by preventing redundant purchases over time or better time new IT purchases based on asset devaluation. It may also even allow you to better negotiate with a certain software company based in Redmond, Washington should they decide to audit your discoverable assets for proper licensing.

As hardware assets near End of Life (EOL), you will have a leg up in the decommissioning process too. Having an accurate inventory list will not only help you check off desktops, switches, servers and laptops from active to retired status, it help help your disposition partner maximize value back to your organization and minimize risk associated with any device that was discoverable at some point and/or have information stored on it.

Most importantly, the finance and security compliance people will love you. It will make what they do easier since now more than ever they are often found at the intersection of technology created issues and business issues and could use your help.

Bored

This is why many consider ITAM boring. As an IT professional, you may rather spend your time talking with a technical account manager about the latest Cisco UCS server and Nexus switches or perhaps demo an IBM FlashSystem 820 with its low latency read and write times. This is all fine and good, but if you are thinking about how you can get a promotion if the path to CIO does not look promising, here is a great chance to start thinking about how IT impacts the overall business continuity of your organization.

Be the hero

Over time, inventory management systems have evolved into separate silos. There is one tool for managing and tracking routers. Another for desktops and laptops. None of these systems communicate. It is often not a simple task to generate a list of all discoverable assets in case your CFO demands an actual list when he realizes how much more new equipment that was just recently ordered and wants to know why. Should your CFO lead the charge in finding a solve all end all inventory and asset management solution? How will you handle end of life strategy or associate hard drives by serial number to the device they came from? Does your organization require on site disk destruction? What is the legal procedure for the release of certain equipment? Focus instead on being the hero by thinking about business issues and align yourself with the resources that can help you reach that goal.

Homework or “workwork”?

Reach out to your network of IT friends and find out who they use to help them with decommissioning, data destruction and all other ITAM, ITAD and EOL projects.Do some research on organizations that may be a good fit to service your organization, especially if HIPAA or SoX are often referred to in daily activities at your company.

The world has changed. Cyber security is the hot topic and within that realm, its not just about firewall management and locking down TCP/UDP IP ports.

ITAM may be boring at times, but it is the new imperative. And, in case you were wondering, there are 27 acronyms mentioned in this article.

List of Acronyms

  • APM – Asset Portfolio Management
  • CFO – Chief Financial Officer
  • CIO – Chief Information Officer
  • CPU – Central Processing Unit
  • DA – Discovered Assets
  • EOL – End of Life
  • ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning
  • FITA – Fixed IT Asset
  • HAM - Hardware Asset Management
  • HDD- Hard Disk Drive
  • HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • IAITAM -International Association for IT Asset Management
  • IBM – International Business Machines
  • IMAC – Installed Moved Added Changed
  • IP – Internet Protocol
  • IT – Information Technology
  • ITAD – IT Asset Destruction
  • ITAM – IT Asset Management
  • ITAMG – IT Asset Management Group
  • LCD – Liquid Crystal Display
  • OA – Owned Assets
  • SAM - Software Asset Management
  • SoX  – Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • SSD – Solid State Disk
  • TCP – Transmission Control Protocol
  • UCS – Unified Computing System
  • UDP – User Datagram Protocol
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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT services, ITAD, data breach, education & tips, computer hardware

The Repercussions of the Poor Electronic Recycling Decisions of our Past

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 18, 2013 4:35:39 PM

The government, corporations, and citizens in the United States have a higher awareness than ever before for the necessity to properly recycle electronic waste. Although there have been positive results from educating and regulating the electronic waste producers, collectors, and recyclers a great threat still remains.

In a recent New York Times article by Ian Urbina “Unwanted Electronic Gear Rising in Toxic Piles” the increased concern that electronic waste is being improperly handled is well documented. The article exposes a practice by electronics recyclers that promote their brand by deceiving clients with false claims of legal and ethical recycling procedures. In reality, these recyclers separate out valuable material and then stockpile, carelessly discard, or illegally export the remaining toxic waste

13737975_xl_electronic_waste

Cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors and televisions are currently the largest threat to our environment from electronic waste. CRT products have a high cost of collecting, processing, separation, and of down-stream disposal of the toxic lead glass. Because of the high costs associated with properly dismantling and recycling electronic waste, the U.S. government has developed programs and incentives for recycling companies to collect and process the material. Many states also require manufacturers to provide “take-back” programs, which are typically contracted out to recycling companies.

Some recycling companies have taken advantage of these incentives and OEM contracts and are now stuck with product they cannot afford to process and in turn are abandoning warehouses full of electronic waste, land-filling the material, or exporting it illegally and then shutting down the business to restart under a new brand.

Ian Urbina claims that the federal government alone is disposing of 10,000 computers a week, and even many of their own disposal practices have been taken advantage of by parties who undertake fraudulent or illegal actions handling the waste. The burden of solving this problem is on the generators of the waste, all of us, to take the time to seriously investigate how our electronic waste is being handled.

There are some practices leading IT business decision makers can utilize in order to avoid contributing to criminally reckless recycling vendors.   Every IT department should have a written disposal policy that includes data security, environmental and social policy, a list of approved and qualified vendors, and methods for tracking the disposal of regulated electronic waste.

A qualified disposal vendor should be one that can provide verifiable data and tracking of the receiving, processing, and downstream recycling of material. Vendor selection should be made not only according to third party certifications (R2, ISO 14001, BAN etc.) but from evaluation of a vendor’s software reporting tools and transparent access to the recycling vendors’ processes, procedures, and physical facilities. Demand the same level of sophistication from an IT asset disposal vendor that you would from any other technology partner.

The past choice that some have made to utilize fly by night recycling outfits or select vendors without performing due diligence is one that will negatively affect our environment for years to come. The abandoned stockpiles of CRT monitors will be monuments to our collective poor oversight.

Today is a day to reflect on our past decisions and to pledge that we will do everything we can to ensure our electronic waste is processed in an ethical, secure, and environmentally sound manner.

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT services, data destruction, ITAD, data breach, technology vendors, education & tips, computer hardware

Winding Down and Virtualization Study

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 18, 2013 4:35:22 PM

Written By Peter Fleming of Soundview IT Solutions

In the middle of 2011 a Connecticut based hedge fund announced their founder was retiring and the fund would subsequently be closing its doors. Among the myriad of issues the hedge fund faced, one was definitively solved when they chose SoundView IT Solutions (SVITS) for guidance during this process. SVITS was chosen to manage the information services role of the firm’s turn down because of their depth of experience servicing alternative investment firms as an IT solutions provider. Additionally, having been a spin out of Pequot Capital, a multi-billion dollar fund which closed years earlier, the IT team had proven experience in un-winding a sophisticated IT infrastructure.

First step in tackling this project was for Gary Logvin, a founding partner of SVITS, to interview the remaining business units at this hedge fund. Gary learned which systems and services were critical during the wind down process. Specialist teams within SVITS were then able to determine how to consolidate the hardware into a more efficient platform. By identifying the critical components of the remaining infrastructure, SVITS was able to consolidate their server environment, thus reducing redundancies and ultimately creating a more efficient platform. The team took newer servers and created a VMware environment, migrating 20 physical servers to 1 virtual server. After porting several phone lines they decommissioned the system that was in use and replaced it with simple multiple 4 line phones.

The next phase of the project required IT Asset Management’s (ITAMG) expertise as they were instrumental in identifying essential and nonessential hardware. SVITS provided ITAMG a list of the physical inventory on site. ITAMG advised on which inventory was deemed to have value and subsequently would provide liquidation prices and other inventory that had no value which SVITS could dispose of properly. Aside from this guidance by ITAMG, a monetary “bonus” was paid to the hedge fund for the hardware liquidation that helped offset the costs of closing, IT consulting, data destruction, logistics, and recycling services.

In addition to ITAMG’s guidance on disposing of the hedge fund’s hardware, SVITS utilized their services to extract hard drives from work stations and servers as well as legacy tapes outside of the retention policy and have them destroyed in strict accordance with legal and security requirements.

As a result of the teamwork provided by SVITS and ITAMG, the hedge fund not only received expert service but was able to save money in the process.

SVITS and Peter Fleming Background:

SoundView IT Solutions, LLC is an outsourced IT Solutions provider based in Fairfield, CT. Peter Fleming heads up SVITS’ business development initiative. Like the rest of the SVITS team, Peter is a Pequot Capital alumni, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund that closed in mid-2009. Peter has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, prior to joining SVITS he was in terminal sales at Bloomberg, LP.

Peter can be contacted at 203-955-1226 or at pfleming@soundviewit.com

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT services, technology vendors, computer hardware

   

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