NetSupport ServiceDesk – v5.5 Out now!
Technology plays a vital part in any organisation’s success and at the heart of any reliable and effective IT environment is the help desk.
Easily integrated into your existing IT infrastructure, NetSupport ServiceDesk delivers the processes needed to help you effortlessly track, organise, manage and answer the toughest support challenges. Its fully customisable and intuitive browser-based interface supports both desktop and mobile platforms and delivers robust workflow processes. It supplies a wealth of management reports as well as providing a customer-friendly self-service portal – all the tools needed to help technicians deliver support effectively.
Whats new in v5.5
– Child categories
A new tick box has been added for Workflow rule conditions allowing child categories to be included or ignored. E.g. “Hardware” or “Hardware|PC”. This now helps ServiceDesk Operators to create a more filtered search while reducing the number of rules needed.
– Assignee conditions
A new assignee value has been added to Workflow conditions allowing the reallocation of tickets to other Operators. This includes “Not the logged on user” or “The logged on user”.
– Condition field – Item Type
A new condition field has been added allowing Operators to create conditions based on Item Type, for example; Incident, Problem, Change and Request. This enables actions to occur when a ticket is converted to another type or ticket is re-assigned to another operator.
A new option has also been added to allow workflow conditions to trigger/not to trigger when a ServiceDesk Operator is a contact of an Incident, Problem or Change Request.
– Enhanced multiple Workflow conditions
ServiceDesk Operators can now set “Condition Logic” on multiple Workflow conditions using ‘Use OR Statement’. Instead of creating individual workflow rules, Operators can now use “Condition Logic” to group them together as one rule.
– Updated summary screen
The ServiceDesk Operators ‘summary screen’ now shows a summary of all departments they are a manager of, allowing them to see at a glance all tickets in all departments they are responsible for.
This updated version of NetSupport ServiceDesk does require a new licence key. Please contact our team today for more information.
Users must be running one of the following browsers:
Internet Explorer : version 11 or later.
Firefox : version 50 or later.
Chrome : version 50 or later.
SQL server 2005 or SQL Express 2005 express and above.
Incident – Any event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which causes, or may cause, an interruption to, or a reduction in the quality of that service.
Although Incident Management by definition is a reactive task, the inbuilt workflow processes within NetSupport ServiceDesk make it a very proactive tool, making it easy for your customers and service desk operators to log, track and manage incidents in such a way that resolution times are kept to a minimum resulting in less downtime of critical systems.
The added advantage of NetSupport ServiceDesk is that it helps you quickly identify recurring issues or trends in the type of incident being logged. Multiple incidents can be linked and if needed assigned to one of the other ITIL processes such as Problem or Change Management, ensuring your first-line operators aren’t duplicating their efforts and enabling investigation of the underlying problem to be left to the appropriate specialist.
Assessing and agreeing the impact, urgency and priority are key to the successful management of incidents. Without this understanding, managing customer expectations and in turn meeting Service Level Agreements becomes difficult. NetSupport ServiceDesk provides both the end user and service team with instantly visible records identifying the operator assigned to deal with the incident, the priority and progress to date. If issues can’t be resolved within the agreed time, NetSupport ServiceDesk makes it easy for the incident to be escalated, either by re-assigning it to a more specialist operator or to a higher authority.
A range of real-time corporate status reports ensure you have accurate, up-to-the-minute stats helping you gauge the effectiveness of your support while you can also help reduce the frequency of reported incidents by educating customers to use NetSupport ServiceDesk’s Solutions Search facility.
NetSupport ServiceDesk helps the Incident Management process by providing:
- Customers can log incidents on-line and review current status in real time.
- Automated Incoming/Outgoing email processing.
- Automatic assignment of incidents to operators based on pre-defined customer rules for either Problem Type or User Type.
- Automatic escalation of incidents based on customer specific rules.
- Structured notes history for an incident with source identifiers (telephone, email and more) for each additional entry within the items lifecycle.
- Full Hardware and Software Inventory information for each user’s system.
- Attach, store and associate files to an incident.
- Avoid duplicating effort by connecting multiple related incidents.
- Automatic priority assignment for new incidents.
- Accurate recording of time spent dealing with incidents.
- Prioritised Help Requests for users and incident types together with easy operator allocation.
- Help Request Logging with customisable categories for easy input.
- Solutions database enables customers to search for an answer before they log an incident.
Problem – An undesirable situation, indicating the unknown root cause of one or more existing or potential incidents.
In an ideal world, your first line service desk operators would resolve the majority of reported incidents straight away. After all, deferring investigation and allowing a malfunctioning system to continue during business critical periods is not ideal – but this outcome is not always possible and weaknesses in your IT infrastructure may persist or reoccur.
Problem Management aims to provide long term value to the business by identifying the root cause of issues and deciding how to limit their impact. Effective Problem Management will significantly reduce the number of incidents being reported and the impact of these on your business. The process can be both reactive and proactive:
Reactive Problem Management – responds to incidents that have already occurred and seeks to cure the underlying symptoms.
Proactive Problem Management – identifies potential problems before they emerge. Problem managers focus on trend analysis, looking for weaknesses in your IT infrastructure.
Identification is key and NetSupport ServiceDesk provides the necessary mechanisms to enable problem managers to gather all related background information by interrogating the Incident Database to find related items. The workflow processing within NetSupport ServiceDesk then comes into play to ensure the problem is tracked, managed and communicated through to the point where the root cause is identified.
The next phase of Problem Management is to deal with the ‘known error’. This could involve the problem manager providing a workaround that enables the affected user to continue working while investigations to find a permanent resolution take place.
Responsibility for continuing the process will usually fall on Change Management.
NetSupport ServiceDesk helps the Problem Management process by providing:
- Real-time trend and risk analysis of incidents to help with proactive Problem Management.
- Seamless integration with the Incident Management database to facilitate quick conversion of incidents to problems.
- Instant visibility of progress and current status.
- Automated Incoming/Outgoing email processing.
- The ability to attach external files and supporting information to a problem.
- A wide range of customisable and print optimised real-time management reports.
- Automatic closure of all related Incidents when a Problem has been resolved.
- A searchable Knowledge Base providing lessons learned from previous experiences.
Change – The process responsible for controlling and managing requests to effect changes (RFCs) to the IT Infrastructure team (or any aspect of IT services) to promote business benefit while minimising the risk of disruption to services.
Change Management controls the processes involved in introducing changes to your IT environment. A Request for Change (RFC) could be initiated as a result of issues identified during the Incident and Problem Management process or as a direct request to implement new systems or functionality.
The ultimate aim is to limit the introduction of errors into your business and therefore the number of incidents being reported to your service desk. However, it is possible that incidents are often related to changes. Contributing factors could be poor impact analysis, lack of thorough testing, resource issues or simply teething problems.
A primary barrier to successful Change Management is that organisations often have a disjointed or informal approach, leaving individual areas to their own devices rather than providing a centralised and coordinated process. However, with NetSupport ServiceDesk’s ability to gather and share information, you will quickly see the benefits of introducing a structured Change Management system, with clearly defined reporting lines established.
There are two authorities in Change Management:
The Change Manager: In the first instance, a clearly identified Change Manager should be responsible for filtering, accepting and classifying incoming change requests and obtaining the appropriate sign-off by management. The Change Manager would then plan and coordinate the implementation of the changes.
The Change Advisory Board (CAB): Establishing a CAB ensures each change request has the required visibility across all affected areas of the business. The CAB should meet regularly to assess, prioritise and plan changes. The Board’s membership is flexible but would typically include the Change Manager (Chair), representatives from IT Support and Problem Management team, business managers and user group reps, systems managers and possible suppliers.
Within NetSupport ServiceDesk, the members of each CAB can be pre-defined for each category of change request. Each member can also be assigned an appropriate ‘weighting’ to accommodate scenarios where only certain members need to approve the request.
Service Level Management
Service Level – A point of reference by which the success (or otherwise) of delivered services is measured in accordance with agreed customer and vendor guidelines.
Service Level Management (SLM) is one of the core and probably most important components of the ITIL Service Delivery framework. If a healthy relationship between the customer and IT team is to be maintained, it very much relies on the ability of the ServiceDesk to deliver efficient and cost-effective services within agreed timescales.
SLM formalises the approach by which services are defined and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) developed between customer and vendor.
Executing Service Level Management enables IT staff to more accurately and cost-effectively provision identified levels of service to the business, ensuring business units and IT teams understand their roles and responsibilities.
How NetSupport ServiceDesk supports Service Level Management:
NetSupport ServiceDesk’s in-built automated workflow processes are at the core of the product’s ability to help IT teams manage support desk efficiency. These processes also come to the fore when tracking performance against formal SLAs that have been agreed between the customer and service provider.
NetSupport ServiceDesk integrates seamlessly with other NetSupport and third-party network management solutions to provide you with the range of complementary tools you need to provide a complete support offering:
- Direct integration with NetSupport DNA Asset Management Suite.
- Direct integration with NetSupport Manager Remote Control.
For example, knowing what hardware and software is installed on your user’s PC will help to reduce call escalation whilst increasing problem resolution. By integrating a third party inventory solution – such as NetSupport DNA – you can use NetSupport ServiceDesk to obtain a full inventory for each of your users’ systems, together with an ongoing history by user for all previous support requests. NetSupport ServiceDesk empowers your help desk operators, giving them the information needed to deal with more requests in less time.
Information is key if you are to gauge the effectiveness of how support requests are being managed and maintained. NetSupport ServiceDesk offers the means to capture comprehensive statistics, and create a wealth of real-time status reports as well as a custom report designer, ensuring you are fully informed in order to make effective decisions.
The reports dashboard enables you to manipulate data to suit your specific needs. On-screen results are provided in a tabular and/or bar and pie chart format. Multiple reports can be presented side by side for easy comparison. This option is backed by a set of common status reports provided as standard with the product. You can even create your own reports (containing HTML, text and supporting graphs) using the intuitive “drag & drop” custom report designer.
As every organisation is unique, possessing different requirements, NetSupport ServiceDesk allows for the customisation of many key features within the solution. From operator functionality to the creation of specific data entry fields, NetSupport ServiceDesk can be tailored to fit seamlessly into your organisation.
- Custom Data Designer allowing for customised data fields.
- Profiled Operator access and customised functionality.
- Streamlined creation of a solutions database to aid future help requests.
- Use the intuitive design tool available to administrators to add custom data items to records.
- Custom report designer.
- Personalised “Home” page based on each operator’s individual requirements.
- Personalised “Exit” pages.
- Multi-lingual user interface.
Escalations & Notifications
- Send email notifications using fully customisable email templates.
- Automatic escalation of incident based on customer-specific rules.
Encouraging the improved productivity of the help desk is only half the challenge. Educating your users to reduce the frequency of future support requests is equally important. With NetSupport ServiceDesk’s customer-friendly self-service portal, users are able to search for answers before logging a support request and can check and review on-line the status of their incident.