Introduction

Did you know the results of a recent survey revealed 85% improvement in staff productivity, allowing the business to become more competitive as a direct result of an effective ITSM strategy. Is this your experience? Are you getting the most out of your Service Desk software? Probably not, because one of the valuable resources available to you is often hidden away.

The problem all starts with ITSM vendor selection. So you are in the market for a new Service Management solution and start a search on the internet, probably with Google and up pops a plethora of vendors with products ranging from open source freeware to mainstream companies offering solutions for 100’s of thousands of pounds and everything in between. Of course at this point you won’t be aware of the price tag yet alone the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) because salesmen know that if this information was public upfront you would run a mile. What on earth is the difference you might think? Well of course the devil is in the detail, there is a big difference between the solutions and approach which is why it is essential that you understand your ITSM working practices and adopt a system that underpins your processes out of the box with easy configuration options and no customisation. In this situation however, it is easy to be dazed by the variety and array of offerings available, lost in the features and functions on offer and overlook probably the most important feature; reporting. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”.

Your Hidden IT Resource

Data is your hidden IT resource. Your ITSM system is treasure trove of data but how do you access the raw data and convert it to knowledge? Most low end solutions have no reporting feature or a couple of standard reports, some mid-range systems have a simple wizard driven approach to creating reports and most top end systems have some kind of off-line function that facilitate reports but not in real time. Simplisys Service Desk offers a different approach… over 115 standard reports are available out of the box presenting data in real time with access to a Report Builder which enables users with the correct permissions to access standard reports for tweaking or generating brand new reports as required, all reports available to be exported in the common formats pdf, excel, csv etc.

First of all a successful ITSM strategy must include a helpdesk that provides a single point of access for the business. All issues are logged in the system which provides a consistent and speedy response for all unplanned events (incidents, service requests, complaints etc.). Moreover, accurate data analysis, the process of converting data into knowledge facilitates continuous improvement of the service and drives productivity in a number of ways as follows:

  1. Root Cause Analysis – essential to continuous improvement is Root Cause analysis. Understanding why issues are arising and spotting software or hardware faults or identify training needs is essential to drive down the volume of unplanned events.
  2. MI (Management Information) Reports – enable managers to more effectively manage staff performance by monitoring KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), highlighting individual training needs and reviewing overall performance of the individual within the context of the team by Gamification (Contact Simplisys for more information on Gamification).
  3. Work Load Management – understand when and where peaks and troughs occur during the working day and allocate resource hour by hour as required to manage workload. Also use this information to inform relevant departments that their utilisation of IT peaks at certain times which allows for inter departmental understanding of work load peaks.
  4. Trend Analysis – Plan ahead; spotting trends ahead of time enables efficient management of resources and an understanding of potential staffing level requirements in the future.

Enterprise Service Desk

There is a trend in progressive organisations to extend the IT service desk functionality to cover the whole enterprise. This approach extends all the benefits discussed above to the whole enterprise. A service centre is established which creates a single point of contact (first line) for all issues within an organisation. Issues are triaged by the first line staff and closed if possible, using dynamic knowledge (articles) generated for common issues by the relevant Departments, resulting in consistent responses to resolution. Issues that cannot be resolved by the first line are assigned to the relevant department.

This consistent approach extends the reach and benefits of accurate data analysis as follows:

  1. Reoccurring HR Issues – Identification and management of recurring HR issues, which left can lead to employee dissatisfaction.
  2. Customer complaints – What is the process for managing post sales customer interaction? Do you even have a process to ensure that customer satisfaction levels are maintained?
  3. Quality Assurance Issues – How do you spot recurring quality control issues? Do you know the true cost of recurring production failures?
  4. Finance Department Issues – Identify recurring financial department issues like Suspense Transactions which can save time and money.
  5. System Process Bottlenecks – Identify where your systems / processes cause bottlenecks in your organisation and do something about it e.g.
  • Identify manual processes / spreadsheets / access DB
  • Inefficient working practices, how do I copy data to/from etc.
  • Quick but frequent issues?
  1. Remote Workers – Understand the issues faced by remote workers whether they are travelling Salesman or different business divisions working at separate offices. Do they need specific Software or Service or will the standard offering suffice. 
  1. Identify Resource Utilisation – Can money be saved by identifying what is not being used or rarely being used? Do they need it? Identify points of failure and root cause.

In short the adoption of an Enterprise Service Desk like Simplisys Service Desk enables businesses to convert data into knowledge which is actionable. Plato said “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers”.

Simplisys Limited is the developer of Simplisys Service Desk. Peter Lench founding Director said “When we designed Simplisys Service Desk our objective was to quite simply create the ultimate service desk application for use in the real world – a rich feature list, configuration not customisation at its core, fast implementation out of the box, integration with workflows and business rules, following ITIL best practice and a price point that make it accessible to most organisations”.

Simplisys Service Desk is designed, developed and supported by a team of dedicated staff at Simplisys Ltd based in Portishead, Bristol. Simplisys Ltd is an ISO 9001 registered company and delivers solutions to industry best practice and quality standards. Peter Lench said “Our approach to implementation is to work closely with our customers, understanding requirements and reasons for change and ensuring that projects exceed expectations”.

For more information or a free ITSM review go to www.simplisys.co.uk/contact

Product Design

The service desk design brief was to develop a product that could underpin the working practices set out in ITIL but also be quickly and easily configured to support current or new working practices using existing terminology. Our approach to implementation is to work closely with our customers, understanding requirements and reasons for change and ensuring that projects exceed expectations.

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