Seven Practices To Improve IT Asset Logistics

Do you know where all your company’s IT assets are? If not, you’re not alone – many businesses find it difficult to track down every phone, computer, or software license. IT asset tracking is an essential process for any organization looking to manage its technology resources efficiently. By establishing and following standardized procedures, your team can ensure that all devices and software are accounted for, and that important data is protected. In this blog post, we will outline some of the best practices in IT asset logistics so that you can create a system that works best for your organization. 

IT asset logistics is the process of tracking, monitoring, updating, and securing assets throughout their lifecycle. This includes locating and identifying assets, recording and tracking changes to asset data, and maintaining security and control over assets.  

The main goal of IT asset logistics is to ensure that organizations have a clear understanding of where all their assets are always. This helps to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize the risk of lost or stolen assets.  

For an organization to implement an effective IT asset logistics solution, there are several key requirements that must be met: 

1. IT Asset Tracking Software: First and foremost, an organization needs appropriate IT asset tracking software. This software should be able to track every asset in the organization’s inventory, from laptops and smartphones to software licenses and cloud service subscriptions.

2. IT Asset Database: The IT asset tracking software should maintain a central database of all assets in the organization. This database should include detailed information about each asset, such as its make, model, serial number, and location. Not only does it provide a centralized repository for all data, but that data can also then be used to generate reports, conduct analysis, and track change over time. The asset database should be updated regularly to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. Additionally, the database should be accessible to authorized users only. This will help to ensure that sensitive information about assets is not compromised.

3. Device Tracking: The tracking software should be able to track the location of each physical device in real-time. This information can then be used to generate alerts if a device is moved without authorization, or if it goes missing. Additionally, the software should allow users to set up geo-fences so that they can be notified if a device enters or leaves a specified area. In some cases, it may also be necessary to attach tags to the IT device. These tags may use GPS or other technology to provide real-time locations for the IT devices, which can be useful for keeping track of high-value items or for monitoring device movements in real-time. Another common method is to use barcodes or RFID tags that can be affixed to devices and read using a handheld scanner. This data can be used to track the location of devices and keep inventory records up to date.

4. Reporting and Analytics: The reporting and analytics features of IT asset tracking software are key for understanding how assets are being used, where they are located, and other data points. These reports can be used to improve operational efficiency and optimize the utilization of assets. 

For example, a report on IT asset usage can help to identify which assets are being used most frequently and which ones are sitting idle. This information can then be used to make decisions about how to best allocate resources. Additionally, reports on asset location can help to ensure that assets are being used in the most efficient way possible. If an asset is constantly being moved from one location to another, it may be time to consider investing in additional units so that the asset can be used more efficiently.

5. Integration: Finally, IT asset logistics software should be able to integrate with other business systems. This includes ERP, CRM, accounting systems, monitoring and security systems, and shipping and procurement services. Integration allows organizations to automatically share data between different business processes and improve overall visibility into their operations. Integration is key when it comes to effective IT asset logistics. All too often, organizations silo their information, making it difficult to get a holistic view of their technology resources. By integrating your IT asset tracking system with other tools and processes, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that important data is not lost in the shuffle.

6. Automation: There are two ways to use automation to improve the accuracy and efficiency of IT asset logistics. The first is to automate the data collection process. This can be done in several ways, such as with barcodes or RFID tags, which are scanned by a handheld device. This data can then be used to track the location of devices and keep inventory records up to date. Secondly, you can use automated alerts to notify the appropriate personnel if a device is moved without authorization, goes missing so that your employees can take corrective action immediately.

7. Standardization: The last and most important aspects of IT asset logistics is to establish standardized procedures. This will ensure that all devices and software are accounted for, and that important data is protected. By following a set of standardized procedures, your team can improve communication and collaboration, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Additionally, standardized procedures will help to ensure that your tracking system is able to scale as your organization grows. 

IT asset logistics is a critical process for any organization that relies on physical assets. By implementing an effective asset tracking solution, businesses can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize the risk of lost or stolen assets. For more information on asset tracking, please contact us at! 


Device RMA Process Infographic

Journey to a Great RMA Process

When making and selling computers, phones, tablets, IoT, or other devices, you know that eventually some of your devices will get returned. Handling the returns in a systematic manner will help your company to keep your business running smoothly. Click to download our Device Return Materials Authorization Process Infographic for our view of what puts your company on a road to a better device RMA process

12 Cyber Readiness Strategies #3 and #4

3. Keep Updates – Up to Date

While software updates often introduce new or enhanced features into your apps, programs, and systems, they also install security and performance fixes known as patches. Undiscovered defects or flaws can leave your systems exposed. Cybercriminals will exploit any vulnerability or security gap they find. Keeping your systems updated is vital for keeping your business cyber-ready. 

Failure to Patch systems results in a breach. Of the companies who reported that their business experienced one or more data breaches in the past year, 57% confirmed that these breaches probably occurred because a patch was available for a known vulnerability but not applied. 

Why are Security Patches Important? Security patches address known vulnerabilities within software systems. Once these flaws or weaknesses become known, cybercriminals begin looking for ways to exploit them. The sooner a security patch is installed, the faster your business can restore protection and security against threats associated with vulnerabilities. Below are the five effective elements for applying security patches: 

1. Automate. With an automated system, analyzing and deploying patches can be as easy and provide significant time savings. 

2. Plan your approach. Group systems by department, location, etc. to better handle your environment and more productively manage patches. 

3. Test patches. Don’t just push out patches before testing them. All patches should be thoroughly lab-tested.

4. Know the configurations. Make sure you synchronize and validate your development, test, and development patch configuration settings. 

5. Maintain patch levels. Be proactive and schedule scans on a daily or weekly basis to analyze the environment and deploy all critical patches.  

Learn more about system updates and patches with our infographic, or contact Montra to see how we can automate and optimize your system patching process. 

4. Enforce Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Threat of cyberattack has never been greater. According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, nearly 80% percent of all data breaches are due to lost, weak, or stolen passwords. And a recent study by Omdia/Ovum, 76% of employees report experiencing regular password problems. Verifying user identity and managing access to your business data has never been more important. 

One-level security or single-factor authentication is no longer enough. Even the strongest passwords are vulnerable to theft or exposure. Requiring more than one method to authenticate user identity or access permissions can reduce or eliminate the risk of stolen or unauthorized credentials being utilized. 

Using Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) makes gaining access to resources more secure and less vulnerable to credential theft. MFA provides enhanced security to identity management by requiring two or more forms of authentication. Mobile devices which support push notifications or texts, can be used for one-time passcodes, or third-party authenticator applications such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator can be used to generate one-time passcodes also. 

MFA must be implemented to meet the security requirements to achieve and prove compliance for most regulatory bodies such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, NAIC, NIST CSF, CMMC, ISO 27001, CCPA, NY SHIELD Act, GBLA, SOX and more. 

Get cyber-ready by setting up all your accounts with MFA today. Download our infographic for more information on MFA and password hygiene. If you want to understand how Montra can help you set up all your accounts, contact us at 

7 Hidden Features of Microsoft 365 You Are Lucky to Find

Microsoft 365 is the largest SaaS platform for mid-market and SMB companies. Microsoft 365 now has over 50 million subscribers. Over 1 million companies now use Microsoft 365 to power their core productivity functions. 

Companies usually sign up for Microsoft 365 to get email and desktop applications. And increasingly now with hybrid work, Microsoft Teams is becoming a big feature of M365. There are, however, most users don’t realize that beyond the most popular features of Microsoft 365 lie some not-so-obvious capabilities and tricks that are severely underused. These “hidden” features are designed to make using Microsoft 365 simpler and more effective. 

Whenever there’s a way to use technology to make our work more efficient, we’re all for it! With that in mind, we’ve put together seven hidden features of Microsoft 365 that, when used correctly, can make the way that you spend time on your computer more efficient and streamlined. 

1. Teams Voice 

Another little-known feature in Microsoft Teams is Teams Voice, which allows users to make and receive voice calls via the Teams app. You can take or make calls both from within Teams and externally via Cloud Phone, giving you a single number and a single app for voice and video calls on all your devices – in fact, you’ll never need to give out your mobile number again. 

Choose from an array of full calling solutions with VoIP—including custom on-hold music, advanced call routing and queues, auto attendants, and call parking. 

2. Teams Live Events 

Microsoft is lowering the barrier for companies to host and run webinars and other live events with Teams live events. Companies can use the Teams platform to set up basic events within Teams or more highly produced ones using Microsoft Stream or similar tools. It is a great tool to get most companies started in doing live events. Teams features that help enhance Live events include breakout rooms, word cloud polling, and standout mode in which the presenter appears to stand in front of their presentation to create richer experiences for the audience. Teams also supports real-time captioning and translation services to help you reach a broader audience. 

3. Content Sharing in Teams 

Teams has some great ways to make it easier to share content from whiteboards and notebooks. Within the Teams application (on Mac or Windows), you can use the share content button to specifically focus on a real-world whiteboard or document visible in the camera You can also use the digital whiteboard feature to allow everyone to engage. 

4. Shortcuts in Teams 

Similar to Slack, Teams has slash commands that calls features directly from the Search box. You can change your status, make a call, or send a message with these simple commands. Here are some useful examples: 

/call – Make a call 

/chat – Send a message 

/org – See the org structure of a person 

/files – See your recent files 

/available – Set your status to available 

/busy – Set your status to busy 

/mentions – Set your status to do not disturb 

/activity – See someone’s activity 

5. Task tracking and project management: Microsoft Lists and Microsoft To Do 

Microsoft includes several task management tools within Microsoft 365 including Planner, Lists, and To-Do. 

As the name implies, Microsoft Lists is a way to manage lists. Lists works within the whole Microsoft 365 suite to help people manage and track projects. It can have a bit of a learning curve, so Microsoft has provided pre-built templates to help you get started. A few interesting features include issue tracking for help desks, event itineraries, asset tracking, project planners, and social media calendars. 

Microsoft Planner is a project management tool – think Trello from Microsoft. It uses Kanban boards to track and provide information about each task in the project and integrates with To-Do and Tasks in Teams making it simple to see whole projects briefly, and for users to see their own tasks from the different projects they are a part of. Microsoft Planner provides set fields to create your plans and tasks, making it easy to use and easy to understand. 

Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Lists have a lot of overlap. It is easier to get started with Planner and is a good tool for most users. Lists provides a lot more flexibility and is likely better for full-time project managers or task automators. 

Microsoft To-Do is intended more for personal task tracking. You can still use To-Do to collaborate with colleagues, manage their tasks, and many users love its task scheduler and prioritization tools. Tasks from Planner and Lists that are assigned to you will show up in To Do, so it is another place. 

6. Real-Time Office Apps Collaboration 

With so many people working from working remotely, it is always great to have new ways to collaborate. Microsoft has added a real-time editing feature to PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. 

Like Google Docs, Microsoft 365 gives your team online collaboration to see edits made to documents and files in real-time. You can save your file to a shared drive and have multiple users making changes that update simultaneously, which is gratifyingly convenient for remote workers. 

7. Workflow Automation 

For the power users out there, Microsoft Power Automate enables workflow automation across all Microsoft 365 services. Flow is the tool used to take advantage of Power Automate and connects to IM alerts, email, files, SharePoint, and other triggers. Microsoft maintains a gallery of examples of flows you can automate to help get you started. 

Montra successfully manages thousands of Microsoft 365 users across all our customer instances. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you get the most from 365, please email us at

12 Cyber Readiness Strategies #1 and #2

Is your business ready to handle a targeted cyber-attack? Maybe you have been attacked and don’t even know it. According to the the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report, 49% of US companies have already experienced a data breach. To help you become more proactive and effective at defending against cyber threats, we are discussing 12 Cyber Readiness Strategies over the next few blogs.

1. Have a Cyber Readiness Plan

It may seem obvious, but to properly address all of the cyber-security threats to your organization, you first need to have a plan – specifically a Cyber Readiness Plan. Your ability to quickly and cost-effectively overcome security threats or breaches determines your business’s success and survival. How you handle and protect your data is central to your business’s security and customers, employees, and partners’ privacy expectations. You need a cyber readiness plan that includes prevention, continuity, and recovery strategies. The Federal Communications Commission provides an excellent planning guide that identifies six critical areas of cybersecurity for companies to address:

1. Privacy and Data Security

2. Scams and Fraud

3. Network Security

4. Email

5. Website Security

6. Mobile Devices

Download the associated cheat sheet as an easy outline to understand each of these areas to help you quickly navigate these best practices and assess your readiness.

2. Establish Strict Policies and Procedures

Cybersecurity policies and procedures help guide secure business operations and are essential for defining the standards of business conduct, system controls, employee awareness, and workplace definitions and expectations. While establishing strict, security-focused protocols is crucial, a system of validation and enforcement is equally important. In fact, all major cybersecurity and privacy frameworks, such as NIST CSF, ISO 27001, HIPAA, and PCI DSS, all require periodic auditing or continuous monitoring to make certain that policies are properly put into operation.

To help you start building your cybersecurity policy and procedure library, we have provided a few policy templates to start. Click to download 12 IT policy templates that are critical to any IT operation.