It's 10 O'clock. Do You Know Where Your Computers Are?

Ask a chief information officer at a big corporation how many personal computers are installed, and you're bound to get an answer like "2,000 to 3,000," or "10,000 or 15,000." The truth is that almost nobody knows, and such ignorance can be costly. It takes $10,000 to $15,000 a year to provide an office worker with hardware, applications programs, and network services plus training and support, says Bruno Paulet, president of Apsylog Corp., based in Palo Alto, Calif. That kind of investment needs to be tracked, especially now that more and more companies are installing networks of PCs, all of which must be compatible.

Apsylog's computer asset-management software, called PC Galaxy, runs on a network and reports exactly what type of hardware and software is installed in each office. Using a bar-code labeling system, the company can also track when equipment is moved or repaired. That helps management determine if it's getting its money's worth out of annual maintenance contracts. The program ranges in price from $995 to $19,500, and Apsylog says it's being used by Union Pacific Resources and U S West.