With just six days left before the ZOL Startup Challenge finals, this short series will profile each finalist in the challenge, exploring what they hope to achieve and how they intend to do so.
Product: Software Inventory
Individual: Matthew Hood
Sector: Enterprise/Network Administration
Product Summary: An all in one application for organisations to monitor, optimise and secure their computer networks and hardware
Product Status: Live
Hardware Inventory is a proprietary Windows based application developed by Softwarehouse, a local startup that began on the back of their Quickstem Suite – a floriculture management software that has been used by farmers in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands among others. Quickstem was beginning to gain traction until the global recession resulted in less demand for the product, combined with local challenges the flower growing sector has faced locally.
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Out of such a gloomy outlook Matthew Hood and his partner have developed Hardware Inventory as a fully local and functional prototype for network administrators and IT Managers in the education, banking, industrial and other sectors. The application gives its users access to comprehensive information concerning bandwidth usage, serial numbers of every single hardware component on computers and networks (including hard drives and memory), internet health and removable disk usage. The application’s central dashboard, detailed graphical charts and analytics make it a very compelling and pragmatic solution.
According to Matthew Hood, they developed the application s a response to general complaints about excessive internet charges and hardware theft from their clients. Research failed to find a single product that effectively dealt both with these issues on a localized level, leading to Hardware Inventory. The information age not only arrived with a promise of increased productivity and convenience, but an equally high risk to security, productivity and internal data. Hardware Inventory is seeking to become the first point of defense for Zimbabwean companies.
The software has just emerged from a beta phase and is operating at a local school on a test basis. Softwarehouse believes that while there are numerous products with similar functions for both individual users and teams, their strength lies in not only having full control and ownership of the source code (for customisation purposes) but in a reseller distribution model they are developing. This will avail opportunities for various ICT support services providers to sell the software to their customers.
In a nutshell the product is able to provide the following benefits:
- Hardware Monitoring: Each client PC reports a list of hardware to the server, in the event hardware is removed or added the system immediately sends out alerts by email or SMS. The system can also monitor variables such as hard drive space and warn when they are running low.
- Removable Disk Usage: Report on all file changes on removable media.
- Internet Health: By performing regular checks, to custom destinations, the system can report and graph on an internet connection’s health.
- Bandwidth Usage: Report and graph on each client PC bandwidth usage. Usage can be grouped to easily differentiate internal, from local Zimbabwe traffic, from international.
More information can be found at www.softwarehouse.co.zw/HardwareInventory.pdf