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5 min read

The Best Customer Service Management Software Improves Customer Experience

By Staff Writer on 7/8/22 12:37 PM

Customer service management (CSM) software can provide an exceptional customer experience, eliminate manual processes, give you a competitive edge, and increase growth through renewals and retention

But choosing the right solution for your business can be challenging as most providers offer very similar features. Below, we explore the benefits of Customer Service Management software to help you choose the best CSM solution that fits your business needs.

Benefits of Customer Service Management Software

With a customer service management platform, your business will be able to offer a better customer experience which helps drive customer loyalty. Industry-leading CSM (Customer Service Management) software offers the following benefits:

  • More responsive and consistent support. Your team can spend more time helping customers and less time fighting their tools with dedicated support software features like automated workflows, tagging, knowledge base integration, and more
  • More effective collaboration. You can reduce duplicate work, keep track of customer inquiries, coordinate responses across multiple teams, and provide up-to-date information to your employees.
  • Better understanding of your customers. You can collect, organize, and use feedback, feature requests, bug reports, and use cases to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Analytics and Reportings. Using the software's built-in reporting tools, you can see changes in support volume, productivity, size, and type of customers.
  • Service scaling. Using organizational features, automation, and third-party integrations, you can manage multiple teams of agents to support an expanding customer base while maintaining high-quality service.
  • Self-service capabilities. Self-service portals collect relevant information and resources in one place and empower users to troubleshoot existing issues proactively. Self-service portals also offer ticketing capabilities and could serve as a knowledge management tool giving users access to relevant resources and self-help articles.

How to Choose the Best CSM Software

Selecting a software solution isn't like shopping at a convenience store. You have to be patient and dedicated. The same goes for picking the right customer service management software. If it doesn't work, you don't just return it for a refund or get a new one. Take your time and study carefully

An important thing to consider is whether a provider offers integration of their solution with your existing infrastructure. A cloud-based software-as-a-service CSM system offers you many more integration options via open application programming interfaces (APIs) compared to an on-premise version that is less agile.

To help you with this process, here are eight steps to choosing the best CSM software to boost your customer experience.

1. Understand your business requirements

Ask your customer service team what they like or dislike about their current tools. For example, teams using feature-heavy multi-channel tools for managing support must deal with complex interfaces, advanced features, and additional training. Most teams want software with a simple interface that helps them easily assign requests. Look at your goals; whether it’s improving customer NPS scores, reducing wait times, improving service levels or retention, it’s key to find out how to drive positive change from an operational perspective when looking for the best CSM software.

2. Research the tools that best suit your customers’ needs

Each business is unique and requires a different combination of tools to provide support and resolve issues. Evaluate how your customers want to interact with your service team. Determine how you can add more value to the process and speed response times. Ask yourself if you have the information and tools you need to resolve many customer queries immediately. The tools available include phone, email, live chat, social media, FAQs, and community forums.

3. Get to know the different types of software

It's essential to think about the kind of solution your business needs. Pick an all in one vs. best of breed. You need a solution that lets you integrate different channels into one place. Best-of-breed solutions are cheaper if you only need a couple of service channels. Also, they're easier to use, and you don't have to pay for tools and services you don't need. For larger teams where there are other business units that have their own comprehensive solutions, integration with those systems is key to success.

4. Review software features

You should focus only on the features you need, not the ones most companies advertise. Factors you should consider include the software’s limit on the number of users, ease of use, scalability, customizability, and third-party integration options. Then, develop a plan that includes the set of features that best fits your needs.

5. Consider return on investment

After narrowing down the customer service software you want, it's time to determine which one has the best return on investment (ROI). You shouldn't skimp on customer service software. You should spend the money to get the solution that will give you the most value for your company. For example, suppose you can improve customer retention by 10% and that’s worth $1 million to your business. In that case, spending $50,000 on a solution is probably a good investment compared to other solutions, such as hiring more customer success managers.

6. Read the reviews

You should read online software reviews before signing up. By looking at recent reviews, you can get a good feel for the customer service software's strengths and weaknesses and hear first hand from users of their products.

7. Take a software test drive

You can get free trials or demos from most software providers. Try out the software for free for a few days to see how it works and what features it has. Also, demos give you a glimpse into a software’s features and show you how to use them. The best vendors may provide a proof of concept that would allow you to configure the tool for specific needs and run it internally to determine fit.

8. Make a decision

After your test drive, you should consider what kind of support the vendor provides. If you are looking for best of breed, you should focus on an all-in-one solution that includes consulting services to help you with setup so you can get the best ROI. To ensure you are getting the right solution, you should ask the vendor if they can develop a proof of concept so you can decide if the solution meets your needs. Investigate if the vendor offers on-going support, so you don’t get stuck with a suboptimal solution. Once you are confident you have the right solution and vendor, it’s time to decide.

Try Vivantio

Now that you have gone through these steps, consider using Vivantio as your customer service management software platform. Vivantio's powerful platform can offer both internal and external customer service and support. We enable effortless operations through our service management solutions, empowering your teams to focus on elevating the customer experience for a future-ready business.

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you with the best CSM software for your company, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

Topics: Customer Service Management Customer Experience
4 min read

How Customer Service Management Benefits Boost Your Business

By Staff Writer on 7/1/22 7:45 PM

In a world where customer service has become increasingly important, it's more vital than ever to have a customer service management strategy in place.

Because of the weight customer service holds for your company, it’s important that you have the right tools for the job. This is true in either B2B or B2C operations; however, both require solutions that allow you to keep necessary information at your fingertips while presenting an image that evokes a strong corporate brand and trust in your customers. Finally, these solutions need to be scalable to adjust with your company as it grows. 

Understanding how these concepts apply to a concrete interface can be challenging. This article discusses the most significant customer service management benefits provided by a cloud-based optimization platform, including:

  • Improving Satisfaction
  • Increasing Efficiency
  • Reducing Costs
  • Adding Value for Both You and Your Customers

Creating an Efficient User-Driven Experience

The central challenge to any customer service solution is ensuring that users are satisfied with the end product. In a B2B environment, this means providing them with the tools they need to perform their duties more efficiently than what would have been possible without it. It also requires ease of use and learning that speaks to the skill sets of experienced veterans and newcomers alike.

Some advanced methods to improve employee and customer satisfaction include:

  • Service-Level Management: Many companies prefer to handle service requests in their own way, so your customer service platform should meet them where they are. The ideal platform should include the ability to create custom portals and assign custom roles and positions for those portals you create. Plus, allow easy configuration of multiple SLAs, even customer-specific SLAs, to track and make sure issues are dealt with in the appropriate order and within time.

  • Simple and Intuitive Interfaces: Self-help portals need to be simple and intuitive for customers to be able to find what they need to troubleshoot and solve any issues they can handle themselves. Additionally, consider an interface with roles and permissions that limit the service team’s view to only the most vital information and processes they need to help customers who might have some challenging issues.
  • CMBD & Asset Management: Your platform should have the ability to store and house any assets used for your business. Not just physical assets, but things like contracts, licenses, and more - anything that helps attach critical information to customer records that could be essential for your service team. This keeps important information close at hand and easily accessible for when your teams need them.
  • Service Catalog Creation: When presenting your products and services to your customers, having an online platform that allows you to customize categorization and presentation goes a long way toward offering a tailored customer service experience.

Having tools like these at your disposal ensures that your company can present the best possible image to clients while keeping team members on the same page. In addition, having these essential features ensures that the user (and, by extension, the client) are kept happy.

Reducing Customer Costs and Optimizing Your Service With Customer Service Management

Software solutions that add to the capabilities of administrative teams are common, however the other side of the coin is to look for solutions that reduce costs across the board. These features keep your company light and mobile, with heightened overheads that prepare your department for any business challenges that come down the road. 

Customer Service Management benefits include freeing up resources to further enhance and build on your customer service experience. This allows you to add more value to your end users and yourselves as a business. The co-creation of value between vendor and customer is vital to overall success in both growth and retention.

Cost reduction comes in many forms, but the most helpful one available through a technology-based service would include:

  • Performance Management: Generating quality reporting often requires hiring an in-house specialist or outsourcing the job to an external agency. Either way, having a technology-based solution that delivers accurate reporting allows you to cut that cost.
  • Reducing Call Volume: Having a customer service solution that provides clients with self-help capabilities and online ticket updates reduces the need to have them call in. These tools allow administrators to optimize their existing customer service teams.
  • Automation: Using workflows to automate certain tasks reduces the burden on the team allowing them to focus on service delivery.
  • Configuration: Having a system that can be self administered means not relying on consultants to make simple changes to configuration.

Truthfully, any feature boasted by an online customer service management system is a tool towards cutting costs. And any job performed by that platform is a responsibility that no longer needs to fall on human effort alone. The question to ask is whether or not your platform meets your needs and the needs of your department in particular.

Experience Customer Service Management Benefits with Vivantio

Finding the right platform for your customer service management benefits multiple aspects of your company. While it is tempting for companies to find in-house solutions to these problems themselves, the process of doing so often consumes money, time, and energy at a rate that small businesses cannot adequately handle. For this reason, many choose to outsource the job to an experienced partner like Vivantio.

Vivantio's powerful platform offers both internal and external customer service and support. We enable effortless operations via our customer service management solutions. Let us empower your teams so they can focus on elevating the customer experience.

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you with your customer service management benefits, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Service service optimization Customer Service Management
4 min read

Best Customer Service Management Examples: Improving the Customer Experience

By Staff Writer on 6/28/22 1:31 PM

In a world where customer service has become increasingly important. It's more vital than ever to have a customer service management strategy in place.

Using a customer service management platform makes the difference in how customers can connect to your brand. In fact, 95% of customers said that quality customer service makes them feel more connected to a company.

If you're on the fence about using a customer service management platform, look at these customer service management examples to see how  technology is improving the customer experience.

Examples of How Technology is Improving Customer Service Management

Various software and tools can be leveraged within your customer service management strategy to improve the customer experience. Here are a few examples of how technology is improving the ways businesses can manage the customer service experience.

Self-Service Portals

Not all customers want to wait on the phone for answers to their most important questions. This is where a self-service portal comes into play. Self-service portals make it easier for customers to find the answers to the questions they need easily. 

Self-service portals are websites that offer up both information and resources which empower users to find answers they need to resolve their issues. By collecting relevant information and resources in one place, users can troubleshoot existing issues before needing to reach out. On top of that, they can create tickets and review self-help articles to reduce call volume and optimize customer experience. 

If they can’t find what they are looking for in the self-help articles, they can then continue to log a ticket or make a service request to get dedicated support. The self-service portal can capture specific information based on a type of request to pass along to your customer service team to help them route the ticket and expedite resolution.

Third-Party CRM Software and Sales Tools

Another example of how technology is improving the customer experience is its ability to integrate customer service management platforms with other existing customer relationship management (CRM) softwares and sales tools, such as:

  • SalesForce
  • Zoho
  • Monday
  • HubSpot

When customer service integrates with CRM software, businesses can completely view the customer journey. From start to finish, customer service representatives can see every touchpoint a customer has had with your company. This makes achieving a 360-degree view of your customers and providing them with the best customer service possible.

Case Management Capability

Case management allows customer service representatives to see every customer interaction in one place. This way, they can provide a more cohesive customer experience by having all the information they need in one spot.

What's more, case management gives businesses the ability to create workflows and processes that are tailored to their specific needs. This means customer service representatives can work more efficiently and resolve complex and simple customer issues faster.

For example, if you're a customer service representative who regularly deals with service delivery, you can create a workflow that includes all the steps necessary to handle the process. This allows you to ensure that each service delivery is handled consistently and efficiently, saving you time and money.

Data Collection Tools

Data collection tools allow businesses to get insights into what customers like and don't like about their experience.

Data collection tools, such as surveys, social media, analytics, registration and subscriptions, can help businesses identify areas where they need to improve. For example, if you notice that many customers are unhappy with your service delivery or the sales process, you can use this information to make changes to your process. Being able to pinpoint where and when issues arise in your existing processes can help you tailor and build a better way to work.

With data collection, you can be sure that you're making the changes that will have the biggest impact on your business. Predictive analysis becomes possible in that once you have collected enough data, you can predict and learn behavior. When a certain kind of request comes in, you’ll know how to jump in to answer. By asking questions in your self-service portal, you can even use existing interactions to provide possible solutions to customers.

Improved Contract Management Systems 

One of the most frustrating and outdated aspects of customer service is the contract process. Customer service management platforms have made this process obsolete by offering better contract management systems.

With a contract management system, businesses can create and manage customer contracts in one place. Additionally, modern customer service management platforms allow users to create unique ticket types and categories which can assist in organizing and optimizing their processes. All of this adds up to customer service representatives being able to quickly find the information they need without having to search through multiple tickets.

Implement These Customer Service Management Examples with Vivantio

Technology is making customer service management more efficient and convenient through self-service, third-party CRM and sales tool integration, case management, data collection, and improved contract management . As a result, more businesses can take advantage of and improve their customer experiences.

If you're ready to get on board, Vivantio, a customer service management platform, offers a wide variety of customer service management features that were explained before, such as:

  • Case management
  • Automatic customer surveys
  • Consolidated customer views
  • Countless third-party integrations


For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you put these customer service management examples into practice, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Service service optimization Customer Service Management
3 min read

Vivantio Recognized as High Performer by G2, Summer 2022

By Staff Writer on 6/24/22 4:37 PM

Vivantio Continues to Earn Top Performance Awards in ITSM, Help Desk, and Service Desk Categories from G2 

 

The G2 Summer 2022 performance awards are out and Vivantio has yet again been recognized as a High Performer in the ITSM, Help Desk and Service Desk categories across the US, UK and European markets.

G2 awards are amongst the most coveted in the software industry since they are based on the real user reviews and are backed up by a robust scoring framework across multiple KPIs.

With the total of 7 award badges earned for Summer 2022, Vivantio's continued performance success can be attributed to our ongoing efforts to deliver best value to our ITSM and CSM customers. Vivantio’s highly configurable service optimization platform is feature-rich and offers a perfect fit for mid-market organizations scaling for growth and expect white glove service from their service optimization partner.

2022HighPerformerSummerG2

Within the IT Service Management (ITSM) category, Vivantio has scored higher than the industry average on the customer satisfaction scale across all geographies, outranking such large industry competitors as Ivanti, BMC and Jira.

The G2 product qualification criteria for the ITSM category include the following:

  • Ability of the ITSM software to formalize IT processes and practices in line with the ITSM framework
  • Ability to handle internal service requests and have an incident ticketing system
  • Ability to track incidents and internal service requests on micro and macro scale
  • Organization and management of IT assets
  • IT service knowledge centralization capabilities

9 out of 10 Vivantio customers stated that the Vivantio ITSM product met their business requirements perfectly. Vivantio’s Active Directory, Ticket Routing Automation and Ticket Prioritization are some of the product features that our customers rank higher than the category average.

Many reviewers appreciated the ease of use of the Vivantio platform and raved about the quality of our white glove service support. Furthermore, an impressive 96% of the Vivantio customers expressed their confidence in our product roadmap with 8 out of 10 customers being extremely likely to recommend our product to others. 


"I would recommend Vivantio. Good product and service. "

– G2 Reviewer, Evette A, IS Manager


Within the Help Desk category, Vivantio’s satisfaction scores are equally impressive - outranking Jira Service Management, Help Scout, and a few other larger competitors.

The G2 Help Desk category product qualification criteria include the following requirements:

  • The ability of the Help Desk software to organize external customer inquiries into tickets for routing to support agents
  • Ability to aggregate inquiries from emails and online customer portals
  • Ability of the Help Desk software to promote quick service via efficient ticket assignments to the support agents.

9 out of 10 users of the Vivantio’s Help Desk software are delighted with the quality of support that they have been continuously receiving from our service and support teams: several reviewers stated that “the support team are fantastic” appreciating the help to create “a personalized experience for any business that purchase their service.”

When it comes to the Service Desk category, Vivantio continues its winning streak as a high performer. The G2 Service Desk category includes products that align with the following requirements:

  • Offer an internal ticketing systems for IT department inquiries
  • Have an employee portal for questions, issues or any other requests
  • Allow self-service knowledge base for employee empowerment
  • Offer IT asset management functionality

As with the previous two categories, 9 out 10 Service Desk category reviewers praised the quality of Vivantio support and the excellent product fit that matches their business needs.

To read more Vivantio reviews, visit our page on G2.

If you are ready to explore how Vivantio could help your organization solve service optimization challenges, we invite you to take our self-guided tour available 24/7 on our site.

Self-Guided Tour

Topics: Service Desk Software SaaS review help desk
4 min read

What Is Customer Service Management and Why Your Business Needs It

By Staff Writer on 6/24/22 8:00 AM

The results are in. Customer service is a major driver of a company’s sales and revenue potential. About 70% of a customer’s journey is based on how well they’re being treated. If you're running a growing company, you can't afford to continue utilizing only manual customer relations like speaking on the phone or through a chat portal.

With customer service management, you can invigorate the growth of your company by improving the way your customers interact with you. This can result in higher retention rates and help your brand become a household name in your industry. 

So, what is customer service management and why exactly is it important for companies to implement. Below, we’ll provide you with all the answers.

What Is Customer Service Management?

At its core, customer service is the act of taking care of a customer's needs. This could be handling service requests, addressing their concerns, or providing a solution to their pain points.

Customer service management is the process of handling customer service requests and inquiries in an automated way. This can be done through various means such as customer support software, live chat, phone support, or email.

Quality customer service management systems will automate most of the manual tasks associated with customer service so that your team can focus on more important tasks.

For example, a typical customer service management system will allow you to:

  • Facilitate customer self-help, reducing the burden on the service team for simple tasks
  • Optimize service delivery through workflow, business rules and automation
  • Create a knowledge base of FAQs that customers can reference
  • Assign and route tickets to the appropriate team member
  • Monitor performance metrics to identify areas for improvement

Why Your Business Needs Customer Service Management

Customer service management is a critical component of any organization's growth. If you're new to the concept, here is why you should use a customer service management platform for your company.

Are You Customer-Centric or Internally Centric?

Using a customer service management platform promotes correlates into running a customer-centric organization. A customer-centric organization is one that focused on the best interest of the customer. This includes continuously listening to customers and adapting to their demands instead of chasing profits.

On the other hand, internally centric organizations are more interesting in improving their bottom lines than servicing their customers. Let’s use an example. Let’s say you are in a clothing store and approach the rgister with your items.

Instead of greeting you or asking how they could help, the sales associate asks if you would like to opt into one of their upcoming promotions. This is a clear example of a company that bases their customer service model on maximizing profits instead of customer satisfaction. 

habits of customer centric organizations

An ideal customer service management system will help you keep track of every customer interaction and ensure that they're all positive, allowing you to focus on making your current customers happy. 

The Importance of Customer Service to B2B Organizations

Customer service provided by a CSM platform provides a variety of lucrative benefits for B2B organizations. The first benefit is customer retention. 

It costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. If you're not focusing on improving your company's customer service, you're missing out on a major opportunity to create continuity in your sales pipeline.

Next, quality customer service undoubtedly improves customer satisfaction. This leads to customers being more likely to recommend your products or services to others, which can help you acquire new customers through word-of-mouth marketing.

Happy customers tend to spend more money with the companies to which they're loyal. In fact, 93% of customers are willing to make repeat purchases with companies that offer exceptional customer service.

Customer service can also impact the lifetime value of incoming customers. The lifetime value is the total amount of money that a customer spends with your company over the course of their relationship with you.

Using a customer service management platform can help your business leverage continued service improvement to keep your customers satisfied and coming back for more. Finally, customer service has reputational consequences.

Just one bad customer service experience can lead to the loss of a customer. But that's not all—it can also damage your company's reputation, making it harder to acquire new customers.  Providing quality customer service can help you build a positive reputation that will make it easier to attract new business. 

Learn How Customer Service Management Can Impact Your Business

The importance of customer service management can’t be overstated. If you don’t optimize your company’s customer service, your competitors will take advantage. Using a customer service management platform will ultimately allow you to streamline your customer service operations, boost satisfaction and improve your customer experience. This will have a massive positive impact on your bottom line. 

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you understand what is customer service management is, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Service service optimization Customer Service Management
6 min read

How Customer Service Management Platforms Are Leading the B2B Customer Experience

By Staff Writer on 6/23/22 8:00 AM

The value of exceptional customer service is undeniable. People will stay loyal to companies that provide incredible customer service. If you’re running a growing organization, the first thing that needs to be evaluated is your customer service model. 

This is where customer service management (CSM) platforms come into play. These helpful solutions allow companies to use workflows to streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction, and boost brand loyalty. In the B2B space, customer service management platforms can make the greatest difference. 

Why is Customer Service Management Important?

The importance of customer service management comes down to customer-centricity. There are two types of companies: customer centric and internally centric. 

Customer centric companies value their customers and offer solutions that will benefit them, even if it's not in their best interest. Internally centric companies are more focused on making sales rather than meeting demands.

Customer service management platforms help companies embrace internal customer centricity. By streamlining critical customer service operations, organizations can better assist customers and improve satisfaction. Customer service management is also key for the following reasons:

Customer Service Management Heightens Customer Retention

Canceling a service is easy these days. With the click of a button, customers can end their subscription to your product or service unless there is a long term contract involved. To prevent this, you need to give customers a reason to stick around.

Utilizing a customer service management platform makes it easier for customers to get in touch with you and have their complex issues or requests resolved more quickly. As a result, they'll be more likely to continue using your product or service.

Customer Service Management Decreases Costs

The goal of any business is to increase profits while minimizing overhead costs. In the customer service department, this means reducing the time spent on each support case.

A customer service management platform allows agents to find answers to common customer questions quickly. This way, they can resolve support cases rapidly and move on to the next one.

Customer Service Management Platforms Can Improve Company Reputations

People are quick to share their experiences with a company, whether they’re good or bad. Approximately 67% of people will consider leaving an online review based on a positive experience. 

However, 40% of them will leave a bad review after an unsatisfactory experience. If you’re affected, new prospects won’t give your brand a second look. Since consumers perform a lot of research before settling on a business, strong customer testimonials and reputations are essential to continual business success. 

Regardless of the customer experience you provide, your customer base will have something to say about it online. Using a Customer Service Management platform will go a long way in building a positive company public reputation. 

By efficiently handing customer cases and automating accurate responses, companies can use CSMs to elevate their reputation and draw more of their target audience. 

Don’t Leave Room for Competitors

There’s no room for complacency in any industry. If you don’t continuously strive to improve your company, your competitors will quickly take advantage. It is said 89% of companies believe they compete with each other to deliver the best customer experience.

The same is true for customer service. If you don’t optimize your customer service department, your competitors will. They’ll attract your customers with promises of better support and quicker issue resolution. Optimizing your customer service department can be done by:

  • Using live chat support to quickly address customer needs
  • Providing self-help through customer service portals to allow customers to find answers to their problems without the need to contact the customer service team
  • Proactively requesting customer feedback to improve customer service
  • Personalizing each customer experience using CSM data
  • Exceeding customer expectations with prompt and friendly service

Don't ignore the need to implement a customer service management platform. Your entire business may depend on it.

How CSM Technology Can Help Your Customer Service Team

A customer service management platform is a worthwhile investment for your customer service team. By streamlining important customer service operations,, CSM technology can also provide:

A 360 Holistic View of Every Customer

Keeping tabs on a customer throughout every customer service touchpoint is critical in meeting their needs and ultimately retaining them. This is only possible with a customer service management platform.

With a CSM system, you have all the information you need about a customer in one place. This information includes vital insights from your CRM, sales automation process, DevOps, and relevant financial information. 

Has their contract expired? Is a vital system down? Have they constantly complained about the same service?

With a customer service management platform, you can provide them with the best possible experience by addressing their individual needs, directing them to the right department, and eliminating customer service department silos in the process.

Fully Integrated Knowledge Base

Your customer service team can’t be expected to know the answer to every single customer question. However, they can be expected to know where to find the answer.

With a CSM system, you can provide your team with the knowledge they need to resolve support cases quickly. In addition, by automating common customer questions, you can free up your team's time so they can focus on more complex issues.

Omnichannel Interactions

Your customers should be able to reach you through their preferred channels, whether that’s via a self-help portal, email, phone, social media, or live chat.

A customer service management platform makes it possible for your team to interact with customers through multiple channels. This also includes using a self-help portal. Self-help portals allow customers to interact with your brand to find the answers to important questions. If they can’t find the answer, they can raise a ticket and get the help they need. 

As a result, they can provide the best possible experience, no matter how they choose to get in touch.

Predictive Analysis

A good customer service team is always looking for ways to improve. With a CSM system, you can use predictive analysis to find potential areas of improvement.

By analyzing customer interactions, you can identify patterns and trends. This way, you can prevent issues before they happen and keep every customer interaction positive.

Customer Service Centralization

A customer service management platform provides a centralized hub for all your departments that intersect with customer service, such as DevOps, IT, Finance, and HR. 

By placing tabs on all these interactions. , you can keep track of every customer interaction and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

In addition, centralization makes it easier for your team to find the information they need. They can quickly resolve support cases and provide the best possible experience with everything in one place.

Insights and Analytics

A CSM system can provide valuable insights and analytics that you can use to improve your customer service. By tracking key performance indicators, such as first contact resolution rate and average handle time, you can identify areas of improvement.

In addition, you can use customer surveys to collect feedback and get a pulse on customer sentiment. This way, you can proactively address any issues and make sure your customers are happy.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Manually, dealing with SLAs can be challenging, especially if each agreement is complex and unique. Using a customer service management solution can help organizations manage complex SLAs, get to customer responses faster, and fix unnecessary issues that can slow down the entire process. 

Learn More About Customer Service Management Platforms

If there were ever a way to automate operations to improve service efficiency, a CSM platform would be the perfect tool. Using a customer service management platform can help B2B organizations ultimately improve customer experiences.

If you’re operating in a competitive market where any slight advantage will prevail, using a CSM can help you elevate your customer experiences and take a competitive advantage. This is where Vivantio comes into play. 

Vivantio leverages a customer service management platform to help companies:

  • Consolidate customer views into one central platform
  • Automate the business process to improve efficiency and provide faster, better service
  • To understand if they are truly providing excellent service through monitoring of SLAs and customer surveys
  • Access helpful reports and analytics to improve customer service look for bottlenecks or areas where service can be improved

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform. To find out how Vivantio can help you take advantage of customer service management platforms, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Service service optimization Customer Service Management
2 min read

Vivantio Maintains High Performance Status from G2

By Staff Writer on 5/22/22 9:17 PM

Vivantio Maintains High Performer Recognition from G2 in Spring Report

Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams, continues to be recognized as a Higher Performer in several categories in the 2022 Spring Report from G2. G2 is a product review platform where verified users review, rank and share experiences and feedback on various services and software products.

As a high performer on G2, Vivantio maintains their streak of ranking high in customer satisfaction and averages 4.2 out of 5 stars.  Recent reviews applauded Vivantio for being a "powerful and flexible tool" that is "easy to use" and "feature-rich".  In G2's latest Spring Report, Vivantio was noted as a High Performer in Europe, United Kingdom and overall Mid-Market in the categories of Service Desk, Help Desk and IT Service Management Tool.  

4badgesSpringG2

Vivantio leverages proven approaches and frameworks (ITIL V4) with a unified service management platform empowering companies to take charge and reduce operational costs, improve response times, meet performance objectives and elevate the customer experience. 


"Vivantio is a powerful and flexible tool that ensures our customer and asset data is in good hands. I find the power to layout and control our data as it suits us best is a great addition... "

– G2 Reviewer, Chris B, Project Manager


Vivantio’s success can be attributed to consistently providing best value with unique, flexible licensing, quick-response customer satisfaction and support, and a feature-rich, configurable platform that can be adapted to any growing business's needs.  More reviews on G2 and other review sites are available here

To see why customers rate Vivantio so highly, book a personalized demo today.

demoSITS22Number 2

 

About Vivantio

Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. By combining the power of enterprise-level software with the flexibility of a cloud-based solution, Vivantio is the only unified service management solution that empowers teams through rapid configurability enabling effortless operations and elevating the customer experience for future-ready businesses.

About G2

G2.com is the largest and most trusted software marketplace, helping over 5.5 million people every month make smarter software decisions based on authentic peer reviews.

Topics: Service Desk Software SaaS review help desk
1 min read

Interview With SITS22 Speakers - Podcast

By Todd Carruth on 4/22/22 10:58 AM

SITS 22 - The Service Desk & IT Support Show is happening 11-12 May 2022 at ExCel, London and we are especially excited as our Chief Operation Officer, Andy Walsh and our Head of Customer Success, Alexis Mackie, will be presenting an educational session on "Why Service Optimisation is Vital for your Vision". 

In this episode of the Vivantio Vibe Podcast, our Director of Digital Marketing Todd Carruth visits with Andy and Alexis about returning to SITS, meeting people face-to-face again and reviews some of the key points in their educational session including what is service optimisation, customer success vs. customer service, and KPIs we all need to consider to improve service.

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify. 

 

Headed to SITS22?  Come see us at the educational session and on the show floor.  Pre-register for free using the link below. 

REGISTER FOR FREE

 

Topics: SITS service optimization podcast
3 min read

Join Vivantio at SITS 2022 - The Service Desk & IT Support Show

By Staff Writer on 4/8/22 11:18 AM

We're headed to SITS 2022 and you're invited!

 

After a 2-year hiatus, Europe's leading event for ITSM, Service Desk and IT Support Professionals is back in person and Vivantio will be there providing insights on elevating your customer experience alongside expertly-led demos of our award-winning service management platform.

REGISTER FOR FREE  

SITS 22 - The Service Desk & IT Support Show is happening 11-12 May 2022 at ExCel, London and this year, we are especially excited as our Chief Operation Officer, Andy Walsh and our Head of Customer Success, Alexis Mackie, will be presenting a special session on "Why Service Optimisation is Vital for your Vision" as part of the educational programme. 

 

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Vivantio's session at SITS 2022 will provide insights on how to improve service operations including developing and implementing partner ecosystems to create a single source of truth for service teams. Plus, we'll look at mapping the customer journey to value streams that increase internal and external customer satisfaction, advocacy, and revenue. 

 

We will touch on practical service optimization tips that will allow you to develop a better Customer Journey and build in predictors to improve usage and satisfaction. We'll also provide real case study examples with metrics that matter including a 45% growth in self-service usage and an 80% reduction in incident resolution times.

And at a time when talent management has become a significant force in every service organization, it’s more important than ever to provide your team with the tools, knowledge, and key performance indicators they need to succeed in any, and all environments.

 

"Sixty-four percent of customer service and support leaders report 'grow the business' is their most critical priority in 2022" - Gartner, Inc.

 

Technology research and consulting firm Gartner predicts that 64% of customer service and support leaders are placing more emphasis on business growth in 2022.  These leaders and their peers now recognize that service and support is no longer considered a cost-center with a sole purpose of retention, but that more value can be added beyond just fixing issues.  Enhanced customer service interactions can lead to new revenue streams while also protecting existing ones.  Gartner reports that forward thinking leaders (making up 82% of organizations), are planning to implement value enhancement strategies to improve their revenue. Don’t miss Vivantio’s session "Why Service Optimisation is Vital for your Vision" for more insights!

REGISTER FOR FREE

 

 

Click the link above to pre-register for free and don't forget to stop by our stand to meet the speakers and experience a personalized demo from the Vivantio team.

 

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Topics: Service Desk Software UK SITS tradeshow
3 min read

Vivantio Review Roundup

By Staff Writer on 4/7/22 4:57 PM

When it comes to evaluating software solutions, it's best to hear from someone who's actually tried the product and provided honest feedback.  In fact, according to a study from Google, 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process and over 90% of consumers will read online reviews as a trusted source of information. So here are some excerpts and links to many popular software review sites that share why Vivantio is rated best value by professionals just like you.  

  • Click here for G2 Vivantio Reviews -  According to G2, they are the world's largest tech marketplace where businesses can discover, review, and manage the technology they need to reach their potential. Here's what an executive in the Hospital and Healthcare industry had to say about Vivantio:

"A cloud-based high-functionality and cost-effect service desk solution."  

"4.5 Outstanding...a top ITIL-compatible service desk...sets the standard." 

  • Click here for Capterra Vivantio Reviews -  With over 800 software categories and 1.5 million validated reviews, Capterra has been helping businesses choose better software since 1999. Here's what a verified reviewer in the telecommunications industry had to say: 

"I consider (Vivantio) a more complete tool that I can definitely recommend.
(It's) the best solution for many management services."

  • Click here for Software Advice Vivantio Reviews - Software Advice uses real human advisors to connect businesses with the right software options.  Here's what a current customer in the aviation industry wrote in their review about Vivantio: 

Vivantio is more configurable, and we were able to build a better approval process.
Also, the Self-Service portal turned out so beautiful and useful to our employees. 

  • Click here for GetApp Vivantio Reviews  - GetApp has been described as an ecosystem of business app and software discovery platforms. Its mission is to advise professionals to help them find the software and apps that best meet their needs.  Here's what an executive in the E-Learning industry had to say about Vivantio: 

"Good value for the money...I recommend Vivantio as a company.
(They) make you feel more valued and appreciated as opposed to larger corporations which have a more clinical approach."  

Ready to experience Vivantio for yourself? We recommend a personalized demo that allows our solutions consultant to help determine the best way to address any specific business needs. You can sign up for a free demo here. 

And if you just want a sneak peek at the solution, go on this free self-guided tour and discover the power of self-service portals, UI, ticketing and key features as well as custom dashboards and reporting. 

3 min read

Vivantio and DigitoWork Announce Market-Leading Partnership for India

By Staff Writer on 4/4/22 10:30 PM

Vivantio and DigitoWork Announce Market-Leading Partnership for India 

Innovative service management provider partners with new generation IT digital services organization to expand global reach 

 

Boston, MA (April 4, 2022) - Vivantio, an innovative provider of customer service management software and solutions, and DigitoWork, a new generation IT digital service provider, are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic partnership that will provide Vivantio’s award-winning service management solutions to the India market through DigitoWork’s best-in-class IT solutions and services.  

"Vivantio capabilities lead the market in both value and scalability Their client base is one of the most loyal in the market space,” said founder and CEO of DigitoWork Dinesh Mehn. “Not only is Vivantio a flexible and scalable solution that can provide Enterprise Service Management capabilities, but their SaaS platform scales for companies big and small to efficiently implement the service delivery process for improved customer satisfaction.  DigitoWork looks forward to working closely with  Vivantio to provide these cutting-edge technology products to businesses in India to improve productivity and customer service delivery.”   

“We are proud to partner with DigitoWork and bring our intuitive, flexible and scalable service management platform to India,” said Greg Rich, founder and CEO of Vivantio. “Working with a true global data management partner allows us to expand our reach as more and more companies around the world are realizing the gains to be made by optimizing their service and elevating the customer experience.”  

Customers’ expectations of service are growing exponentially. Meeting these increased expectations while managing one’s business makes delivering sound customer service extremely challenging. Vivantio’s platform along with DigitoWork’s services network enables more businesses to deliver world-class customer service effectively, efficiently, and affordably to optimize customer satisfaction, retention, and value. 

For more information about Vivantio’s award-winning service management solution now available through DigitoWork in India, please visit: https://digitowork.com/ 

To learn more about Vivantio, visit https://www.vivantio.com/ 

About Vivantio: Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. Vivantio’s award-winning solutions feature rapid, low-cost deployments through a “configuration vs. customization” design. Highly scalable for growing companies, Vivantio empowers teams to take charge and elevate the service experience to both internal and external customers. Easily track KPIs, increase productivity, accelerate response times, all through a simple and intuitive interface.  

About Digitowork: DigitoWork is a new generation IT digital services provider for the new world. A responsible partner for customers, Digitowork enables digital transformation in a way that is inclusive, transparent, fast, lean & agile. Customer-centricity is foundational to Digitowork with a goal to support clients in achieving business objectives by providing innovative, best-in-class IT solutions and services. Digitowork nurtures a culture with a passion to refresh the world and make a difference.  

 

Topics: Service-Sales Connection Partnership
2 min read

ITSM Solution Expands into Finance & Accounting

By Staff Writer on 3/27/22 11:34 PM

Is your service management solution meeting the needs of all your service departments? 

Vivantio’s service management tool is flexible for a reason – that’s what our customers need. No matter what industry you serve, our service management software can meet the unique demands of any department receiving internal or external requests, like Accounting and Finance, for one.

Watch the video to learn why Vivantio has become a popular solution for accounting and finance teams around the world. 

 

Did you know that while many of our customers originally explored our product strictly for IT purposes, they quickly discovered just how easy it is to add service categories and customize ticket types to accommodate the needs of other business units. Vivantio’s versatile platform is being used as a service solution not only for technical support, but also for Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Claims, Quality, Facilities Management, Corporate Services, and many more.

Saving Time and Money

While it’s no surprise that Vivantio is used by technical support (IT) the most, Accounting and Finance was a close second. With Vivantio, users can gain control and insight of their department with the ability to track, prioritize, and process incoming finance-related requests. Here are more reasons why it’s a popular tool for this department:

  • Control costs by streamlining routine processes with automated workflows.
  • Reduce the time it takes to get approvals and manage purchase orders.
  • Stay informed of all requests the team is managing with custom dashboards.
  • Manage end-user requests via the self-service portal.

In addition, users appreciate the platform’s codeless, drag-and-drop design, and intuitive interface. Changes can be made to the system without the need for a programmer – now, that's a nice feature for non-technical departments.

Considering the wide range of fiscal responsibilities that are task-related, it’s easy to see why so many Accounting and Finance departments count on Vivantio’s service management platform to manage the requests of both internal and external clients–ranging from contractors, suppliers, and employees–so they can focus on being responsive, accurate, and compliant.

Ready to learn more? Why not sign up for a quick demo and discover if Vivantio can help you elevate your customer experience? 

FREE DEMO

Topics: ITSM Solution ITSM Tools Finance Video
3 min read

Vivantio Execs Speaking at Europe’s Top ITSM Conference

By Staff Writer on 3/25/22 4:32 PM

Vivantio Executives Speaking at Europe’s Top Exhibition Conference for ITSM Professionals: SITS 22

Why Service Optimisation is Vital for your Vision: 

Educational Programme at Service Desk & IT Support Show 2022 

 

Boston, MA (March 20, 2022) - Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service management software and solutions, is pleased to announce Alexis Mackie, Head of Customer Success, and Andy Walsh, Chief Operating Officer, will be presenting Why Service Optimisation is Vital for your Vision at the Service Desk & IT Support Show (SITS 22) at ExCel London on 11-12 May. 

The Vivantio team will be sharing how to improve service operations including developing and implementing partner ecosystems to create a single source of truth for service teams. They will also provide guidance on mapping the customer journey to value streams that increase internal and external customer satisfaction, advocacy, and revenue. Plus, they will demonstrate how predictive analytics can significantly reduce inbound requests and elevate the customer experience. 

“I’m excited for the return of SITS 22 and especially looking forward to being a part of their outstanding educational programme,” said Vivantio COO Andy Walsh. “At Vivantio, we believe that service optimisation is key to elevating the customer experience. Companies that adopt a customer-centric strategy discover measurable benefits across all aspects of their business.”  

 “I love talking about the customer journey and how to maximize co-creation of value,” said Alexis Mackie, Head of Customer Success. “Andy and I are going to provide some proven KPIs that attendees can use to measure service optimisation benefits. And I hope they will stop by our booth after the session to continue the dialog!”  

Attendees are encouraged to check out how critical KPI’s are easily tracked in the latest version of the award-winning Vivantio service management software. Vivantio experts will be providing demos in their exhibit throughout the conference. 

To learn more about their session and register for the show, you can visit the official SITS22 site here 

For more information about Vivantio, please visit Vivantio.com.  

 About The Speakers 

Andy Walsh is COO of Vivantio with 25+ years of experience in IT and the last 19 years working at Vivantio. Andy has a wealth of experience in all aspects of IT including software development and is dedicated to helping companies deliver exceptional customer service. 

 Alexis Mackie is Head of Customer Success at Vivantio and has excelled in customer-facing roles in the technology space for 12+ years. She currently serves as an advocate on behalf of Vivantio’s customer-base and is dedicated to customers’ needs and goes above and beyond to ensure their technical, functional, and business expectations are met and exceeded. 

 About Vivantio  

Founded in 2003, Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. Vivantio’s award winning solutions feature rapid, low-cost deployments through a “configuration vs. customization” design. Highly scalable for growing Small Medium Enterprise (SME) companies, you are empowered to take charge and elevate the service experience to both your internal and external customers. Easily track KPIs, increase productivity, accelerate response times, all through a simple and intuitive interface. Our platform grows with your company and integrates effortlessly with other lines of business software to deliver maximum, measurable value. 

Topics: ITSM SITS tradeshow education
1 min read

Ticketing System Tips for Service Optimization - Vivantio Vibe Podcast

By Todd Carruth on 3/22/22 1:23 PM

Let's face it - TICKETING is the focal point for every service management system.  How well you handle service requests can either lead to broken SLAs and upset customers or streamlined processes and happier outcomes. 
 
melissa-faletra-product-specialist
Vivantio's Product Specialist Melissa Faletra visits with Director of Digital Marketing Todd Carruth about the recent Demo Workshop Webinar "Ticketing Tips for Service Optimization" now available on demand here.
 
Listen as Todd and Melissa share some key tips from the on-demand webinar that include onboarding ideas for self-service portals and creating custom workflows.  And discover why Melissa's technical background gives her a unique perspective on helping people with software solutions. 
 

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify. 

 

 

Remember, no matter what your service management platform, use these tips from the webinar to help you achieve Service Optimization and help elevate your customer experience!   Just click here to start watching.

And you can always register for your free customized demo of the award-winning Vivantio platform by clicking FREE DEMO below.FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Software Trial podcast demo demo workshop
1 min read

Top University Improves Access With Switch to Vivantio IT Service Management Platform

By Staff Writer on 3/17/22 10:48 AM

Saving $30,000 and a quick implementation improves "access" and efficiency at this prestigious university.

In late 2019,  Wake Forest University (WFU) was faced with a problem. The company providing their service management platform wanted to start charging an additional $30,000 year for new servers. The director of the Physical Security Technology and Deacon One Card office (PSTDOC) decided that perhaps now was a good time to find a new solution and asked administrator David Cowan to head up the search. 

He immediately went searching for other options while agreeing to a one-year grace period with the current solution provider which would end on Dec 1, 2020. Hampered by the pandemic, David diligently researched different vendors and tried out several possibilities. The idea was to replicate Wake Forest’s system as quickly as possible with a look towards future expansion including a massive inventory asset project without incurring a massive price tag.

He needed a provider that could save Wake Forest money, integrate easily with their existing system, and implement quickly once approved.

The solution for WFU was Vivantio. 

“Vivantio’s team would walk me through steps and offer multiple solutions to where I was comfortable knowing we can make it work,” David explained, “I’d say one of the key reasons we went with Vivantio was because of their people.”

wfupix

Click below to read the whole case study and discover how quickly David's team was able to implement a new solution and tackle an impressive inventory project that would save countless hours and drive efficiency throughout the university. 

READ CASE STUDY

 

Topics: Software Implementation Self-Service asset case study
1 min read

On-Demand Webinar for Ticketing Tool Tips Available Now

By Staff Writer on 2/28/22 1:04 PM

Looking for tips on ticket management to help streamline processes and keep customers happy? 

Don't miss this live demo workshop as we answer your questions and provide real actionable ideas on how to improve service optimization and elevate your customer experience.

Ticketing Tips for Service Optimization

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

10:30 am ET / 2:30 pm GMT

watch now button

 

Let's face it - TICKETING is the focal point for every service management system.  How well you handle tickets can either lead to broken SLAs and upset customers or streamlined processes and happier outcomes. 
 
Join Product Specialist Melissa Faletra and Software Sales Engineer Mark Walker as they answer your questions and demonstrate how to optimize your service using these ticketing tips including:
  • onboarding ideas for Self-Service Portals
  • creating rules for automation and escalation
  • using templates, history and insights
  • scheduling custom workflows
  • merging tickets for efficiency and much more!  
No matter what your service management platform, use these tips to help you achieve Service Optimization and elevate your customer experience! 
 
melissaanddmark
 
 
 
Topics: Ticket Prioritization Ticket Best Practices webinar demo workshop
1 min read

Service Management Software Demo Expectations - Podcast

By Todd Carruth on 2/10/22 3:59 PM

We've all signed up for a demo or a trial for a software solution but not all companies provide the same amount of support after you fill out that form. 

Mark Walker Headshot-1Join Vivantio's Director of Digital Marketing Todd Carruth and Software Sales Engineer Mark Walker (right) as they discuss the questions you should ask and what you should expect whether your just a passenger or a driver when it comes to testing a service management solution.

Learn more about our demo workshop series here. 

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify. 

 

Now that you know what to expect, why not try a demo yourself? Click below to get your free consult and demo from Vivantio. 

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Software Trial podcast demo demo workshop
1 min read

Top Service Management Solution Demo Now Available On Demand

By Staff Writer on 2/1/22 4:12 PM

Join us for this in-depth look in this live demo of the powerful and highly configurable Vivantio service management solution   Hear from our experts as we demonstrate how to get the most out of this award-winning platform and elevate your customer experience. 

See Vivantio In Action 

Now Available On Demand

WATCH ON DEMAND

As part of our DEMO WORKSHOP Series, sign up now to see Vivantio In Action, a live demo on demand from Product Specialist Melissa Faletra and Software Sales Engineer Mark Walker. Discover how to easily configure and quickly enable the many features of the Vivantio solution including:  

  • Customizing TICKETING views and working with automation, workflows and routing
  • Using our built-in CRM to provide a holistic view of the operations
  • Storing unlimited ASSETS in a full CMDB and mapping their relationships
  • Providing knowledge-based ARTICLES and videos to help increase efficiency
  • Creating custom dashboards and REPORTS to help make informed decisions
  • Managing codeless INTEGRATIONS with popular platforms like Azure, Office, Jira and more! 

melissaanddmark

Plus, the Vivantio platform is backed by ITIL to drive continuous improvement, boost service efficiency and elevate customer satisfaction.  Don't miss out - watch it on demand today! 

Topics: Service Management csm demo demo workshop
1 min read

Ticket Automation Software Delivers Results

By Staff Writer on 1/27/22 12:43 PM

Let’s take a look at Automation. 

Automation reduces workload, improves efficiency, and decreases costs. With the right service management solution like Vivantio, you can manage complex workflows and automate recurring processes within your business, removing the need for manual resources. Many tasks can be automated, from finance and HR management to project management, team collaboration and reporting. Watch the video to learn more.

 

You can simplify ticket automation with Vivantio and create powerful business rules easily.  Use automation to bring information to the front of the screen to help make informed decisions with ticket management. 

Discover for yourself how automation delivers results by scheduling your own personal demo today. 

FREE DEMO

Topics: Automation IT Service Automation Service Automation
1 min read

Make Your Self-Service Portal Work Smarter with Guided Categories

By Staff Writer on 1/12/22 9:09 AM

Self-service offers customers a great opportunity to interact with your service teams in a way that works best for them.  And self-service portals offer customers access to information with a click of button and has shown to streamline business practices, improve service efficiency and (even better) increase customer satisfaction. 

But sometimes users need help in determining where to go or what to do inside their SSP especially when it comes to logging tickets.  It just makes sense to offer them a little "guidance."   And so, Vivantio now offers Guided Categories  - a new intuitive and visually pleasing way to help users log tickets in the proper category. 

Essentially, Guided Categories are an easy way to enable a service catalog on your SSP.  Being gently guided to the right category may also reduce both the number of tickets raised and the overall time it takes to resolve queries. And, of course, you can always allow the end user to log a ticket without a listed category.

guided categories screenshot

Example of Guided Categories

For example, let’s say a user has an issue with finding their network printer. Based on how you want to set up those initial categories, the user could navigate to (for example) the INCIDENT CATEGORY panel and then a subcategory of PRINTER and finally CAN’T FIND NETWORK PRINTER. The user can also provide additional text information to help assist the support team in troubleshooting the issue.

With Vivantio’s highly configurable software, you can offer a number of category selections, colors, images and options during set up. Create a pleasing palette of options for your users with unique icons or images that are specific to your branding. 

Guided Categories represent another product enhancement available to Vivantio users at no additional cost.  Discover for yourself why so many customers rate Vivantio best value and schedule your personal demo today!

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Ticket Prioritization Customer Self-Service Self-Service Guided Categories
1 min read

Making Sales Easier With Good Customer Service

By Staff Writer on 12/28/21 12:08 PM

Did you know that better customer service has a direct effect on accelerating the sales process?  It can have a huge impact on customer retention as well as increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities.  And statistics show that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. 

Watch this video to learn more about the connection between customer service and sales plus the two main considerations you should look for in a service management platform partner. 

 

Vivantio offers an approach to Customer Service Optimization through our Unified Customer Service Management Platform that elevates your customer experience.  

To learn more or request a live demo, click here. 

Topics: Customer Service customer service platform Service-Sales Connection
2 min read

Vivantio Continues Streak of Recognition from G2

By Staff Writer on 12/22/21 12:39 PM

Vivantio Continues Streak of Recognition from G2 in Winter Report

Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams, continues to be recognized as a Higher Performer and Momentum Leader in several categories in the G2 2022 Winter Report. G2 is a product review platform where verified users review, rank and share experiences and feedback on various services and software products.

As a top performer on G2, Vivantio continues to rank high in customer satisfaction and averages 4.2 out of 5 stars.  Customers give Vivantio high marks for easy configurability and quality of support.  In fact, in G2's latest Winter Report, Vivantio was noted as Best Support (Service Desk) Mid-Market as well as a High Performer in Europe, Mid-Market and Overall Categories.  Vivantio continued to be recognized as Momentum Leader as well.

combowinter

Vivantio leverages proven approaches and frameworks (ITIL V4) with a unified service management platform empowering companies to take charge and reduce operational costs, improve response times, meet performance objectives and elevate the customer experience. 


"Very Satisfied! Vivantio has met all of our needs and offers many features that we weren't necessarily looking for but have been quite helpful. We bought it for ticket management but have been delighted with the forms, workflows, customer portal, etc."

– G2 Reviewer, Chris B, Project Manager


Vivantio’s success can be attributed to consistently providing best value with unique, flexible licensing, quick-response customer satisfaction and support, and a feature-rich, configurable platform that can be adapted to any growing business's needs.  You can check out our latest reviews on G2 here. 

To see why customers rate Vivantio so highly, book a demo today.

group-demo-with-laptop-2

 

About Vivantio

Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. By combining the power of enterprise-level software with the flexibility of a cloud-based solution, Vivantio is the only unified service management solution that empowers teams through rapid configurability enabling effortless operations and elevating the customer experience for future-ready businesses.

About G2

G2.com is the largest and most trusted software marketplace, helping 5.5 million people every month make smarter software decisions based on authentic peer reviews.

Topics: Service Desk Software SaaS review help desk
1 min read

ITIL 4 Certification and more - Vivantio Vibe Podcast

By Staff Writer on 12/16/21 11:23 AM

It's time to say goodbye to ITIL v3 as the well-respected framework of best practices and processes is officially retired at the end of 2021.  

fatma

So, what are you options now?  Are you looking to build up your credits before time runs out? Or maybe you want to start fresh with the ITIL 4 Foundation course and certification? 

In this episode of the Vivantio Vibe Podcast, our Director of Digital Marketing and host Todd Carruth visits with Best Practices Consultant Fatma Ozcan about the ins and outs of ITIL certification - what's available, what's about to expire and how you can find the best deal on training.

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify. 

 

Fatma Ozcan is the admin for the largest ITIL-based group on LinkedIn. You can reach her directly through her email at: fatma@bestpracticeconsulting.co.uk or schedule a personal meeting to find out your best options for training and certification here.

Are you looking to empower your teams and elevate the customer experience? Click below to get your free consult and demo from Vivantio. 

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: ITIL podcast ITIL v3 ITIL Certification
1 min read

How Are You Measuring Up in the Self-Service Evolution?

By Staff Writer on 12/7/21 10:39 AM

To drive better engagement and truly transform customer experience (CX), it's critical to make as much helpful—and current—data-driven information available via self-service.
Determining where you are, today, and developing a strategy for advancement can be greatly assisted with the help of an experienced partner. Especially one who can share—and amplify—your vision.

If you're ready to accelerate your self-service efforts, speak to one of Vivantio's experts today to discover what's possible with a short timeframe and a reasonable investment.  

 

Don't forget to try out our free self-guided tour available now.

1 min read

Try The New Vivantio Tour

By Staff Writer on 11/29/21 12:58 PM

Free Self-Guided Tour

Have you tried out our latest free self-guided tour of the award-winning and highly rated Vivantio service management solution?

We just upgraded our “no obligation” tour that now dives even deeper into our flexible unified service management platform providing you with more insights on:

  • Configuring and viewing an unlimited number of ticket types.
  • Gaining customer insights with an included CRM.
  • Storing all your assets using a full CMDB with auditing.
  • Improving response time with knowledgeable articles, videos, and self-service portals
  • Compiling data with custom reports and interactive dashboards.
  • Connecting other popular platforms like Azure, Office and Jira with codeless integrations.

Discover how Vivantio can empower your teams to elevate the customer experience and take the tour today!

START YOUR FREE SELF-GUIDED TOUR



Topics: Unified Service Management Platform tour

Best Way To Boost Monthly Revenue

By Staff Writer on 11/19/21 11:35 AM

As businesses struggle to make up for lost time, the pressure on finding extra revenue continues.  If you are looking exclusively at your sales team to drive KPIs like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), you might be missing a major opportunity. Watch the video to learn how the shortcut to higher MRR runs through Customer Service

 

Ready to learn more?  Click below to sign up for your free demo. 

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Customer Service customer churn Revenue Strategies csm
1 min read

3 Questions To Ask About Pricing - Vivantio Vibe Podcast

By Staff Writer on 11/15/21 1:58 PM

When it comes to deciding on a service management solution, pricing matters. But nobody likes surprise charges popping up!  That's why comparing platforms simply on an advertised monthly charge per seat is not the answer.  Cheaper isn't always better. 

Vivantio's Director of Digital Marketing Todd Carruth provides 3 questions you can ask to protect yourself from unwanted surprises when selecting your service management solution. 

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify. 

 

Vivantio empowers your team with a robust service management solution that can be rapidly configured with only the features you want. Our editions are designed to align with your immediate needs on the same powerful platform that scales with your business.  Learn more about Vivantio pricing here. 

Ready to find out more?  Click below to get your free, no obligation demo. 

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Security SaaS podcast
2 min read

Vivantio's New Integration with Microsoft Power BI

By Staff Writer on 11/12/21 11:13 AM

As a provider of a Unified Service Management Platform, Vivantio allows you to seamlessly switch on integrations with virtually any other essential business application for a holistic view of your customers. Whether it’s JIRA, Active Directory or, as we will show you today, Microsoft Power BI, you can easily use these tools in concert with each other to get the data your team needs.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Using real-time data to achieve true continuous improvement is an integral part of any service management solution. These reports allow you to make informed decisions about your day-to-day activity, future planning, and evaluation of performance. Vivantio offers both custom dashboards as well as a robust built-in reporting tool within the solution alongside an out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft Power BI that allows you access to even more interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities.

GETTING STARTED

From Power BI, you can connect with the Vivantio OData Feed.

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All you need to do is specify the URL of your Vivantio instance.

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Once connected, you can select the data items in Vivantio that you wish to include in your Power BI reports.

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You also have the opportunity to bring data from your custom fields into Power BI.

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Once connected, Power BI will load your Vivantio data set and you can start building reports and dashboards using the full functionality of Power BI.

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If your organization uses Power BI and you don’t have it integrated with Vivantio yet, give it a try and take advantage of the full power of your service management solution!

LEARN MORE

If you would like a quick demo or consultation on how Vivantio can empower your teams to elevate your customer experience, contact us below.

FREE DEMO

Topics: Service Integrations Types of Service Integrations Power BI
2 min read

Vivantio Named Best Customer Service Management Software Provider 2021

By Staff Writer on 11/2/21 12:51 PM

November 1, 2021 - Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams, has been named Best Customer Service Management Platform - USA by Acquisition International's Corporate Excellence Awards. The Corporate Excellence Awards were launched by CV Magazine to showcase companies and individuals that are committed to innovation, business growth, and providing the very best products and services to clients across a wide range of industries.

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"Today, every business is a service business. Even traditional companies in industries like healthcare and energy/utilities are rapidly acknowledging their roles in ‘co-creating value’ with their customers," says Greg Rich, CEO for Vivantio. "Business leaders seeking a competitive advantage are realizing that they need to align their organizations so that customer service plays a central role in all their business activities. Vivantio continues to help thousands of users across multiple industries elevate their customers’ experience and I’m proud our company has been recognized as a leader in the field of customer service management platforms."

What sets Vivantio apart is that it empowers its customers to take charge of their service operation and deliver the best possible service experience to their customers. Implementation can be completed in a fraction of the time compared to other enterprise solutions, and through intuitive and easy configuration, not customization, system administrators are in full control of their service operations.

Vivantio is also one of the only solutions that have combined a native CRM module with ITSM processes into a platform designed to enhance and elevate customer support and experience. By leveraging these two technologies, all service teams can now make use of decades of proven best practice to elevate service across the enterprise, not just in IT.

The Corporate Excellence Awards are judged purely on merit with all potential winners assessed against multiple relevant criteria, including company performance over a given period of time, expertise within the industry, sector or region, previous accolades won, and client testimonials or recommendations.

More information on the award and how Vivantio keeps "Customer Service at the Centre" is available in the latest issue of Corporate Excellence Magazine found here.  

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Learn more about our award-winning Customer Service Management platform by booking a demo today.

About Vivantio

Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. By combining the power of enterprise-level software with the flexibility of a cloud-based solution, Vivantio is the only unified service management solution that empowers teams through rapid configurability enabling effortless operations and elevating the customer experience for future-ready businesses. 

 

Topics: Customer Service Management Customer Service Optimization customer service platform
1 min read

8 Reasons Why You Should Elevate Your Customer Experience Ecosystem

By Staff Writer on 10/18/21 5:51 PM

IT professionals have long envisioned the concept of a single view into one's company. This would:

  • Provide comprehensive visibility to virtually all data that touches any part of the customer journey and
  • ensure that systems across an enterprise are integrated to support business goals and metrics. 

Fortunately, this concept is available today for forward-thinking organizations that invest in a Unified Service Management Platform like Vivantio.

Here's 8 Reasons Why You Should Elevate Your Customer Experience Ecosystem and create a future-ready firm with a level of connectivity that gives service and sales teams a holistic view across their enterprise. 

For a PDF version of this infographic, you can click here. 

Vivantio8reasonsElevate

 

Are you ready to: 

  • better address all use cases?
  • track & report on the KPIs essential to improved service & sales?
  • tailor that service at the individual customer level?

Why not schedule a free demo of the Vivantio solution today?

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Customer Experience Unified Service Management Platform ecosystem
1 min read

4 Questions To Ask Your Vendor About Security - Podcast

By Staff Writer on 10/11/21 5:07 PM

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this month on the Vivantio Vibe podcast, we dive into security issues, trust factors and some questions you should ask to make sure your software vendor will keep your company and your customer's data safe. 

Director of Digital Marketing and Vivantio Vibe podcast host Todd Carruth shares 4 questions to ask your vendor about security. 

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify. 

 

As you listen to the podcast, here are some of the referenced links for more detailed information: 

Security is paramount in IT Service Management and at Vivantio, we place the same amount of value in security as you do. Learn how we prioritize the security of our users and their customers' data with this free white paper. 

Topics: Security SaaS podcast
2 min read

Vivantio Named High Performer/Momentum Leader from G2

By Staff Writer on 10/4/21 1:29 PM

G2 recognizes Vivantio as a High Performer and Momentum Leader for Fall 2021 Report

Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams, was recognized as a Higher Performer and Momentum Leader in several categories in the G2 2021 Fall Report. G2 is a product review platform where verified users review, rank and share experiences and feedback on various services and software products.

As a top performer on G2, Vivantio ranks highly in customer satisfaction and averages 4.2 out of 5 stars, with customers rating Vivantio most highly for ease-of-use, quality of support and configurability. For G2's 2021 Fall Report, Vivantio was noted as a High Performer in the United Kingdom, Mid-Market and Overall Categories.  Vivantio continued to be recognized as Momentum Leader as well.

Vivantio leverages proven approaches and frameworks (ITIL V4) with a unified service management platform empowering companies to take charge and reduce operational costs, improve response times, meet performance objectives and elevate the customer experience. 


"Vivantio ticks all of the boxes.  The system does all aspects of the ITIL processes required for my business. It's straightforward to configure and set up; you can make it as simple or complex as you need depending on your business requirements.

– G2 Reviewer, Administrator, Leisure, Travel & Tourism 


Vivantio’s success can be attributed to consistently providing best value with unique, flexible licensing, quick-response customer satisfaction and support, and a feature-rich, configurable platform that can be adapted to any growing business's needs.  You can check out our latest reviews on G2 here. 

To see why customers rate Vivantio so highly, book a demo today.

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About Vivantio

Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. By combining the power of enterprise-level software with the flexibility of a cloud-based solution, Vivantio is the only unified service management solution that empowers teams through rapid configurability enabling effortless operations and elevating the customer experience for future-ready businesses

About G2

G2.com is the largest and most trusted software marketplace, helping 5.5 million people every month make smarter software decisions based on authentic peer reviews.

Topics: Service Desk Software SaaS review help desk
1 min read

Take a Tour of Vivantio

By Staff Writer on 9/9/21 4:31 PM

Are you ready to elevate your CX?  We have an easy way for you to experience the award-winning Vivantio platform with no obligation, no phone calls and no email.  It's our free self-guided tour that shows you how to: 

Discover the Vivantio difference at your own pace and get ready to elevate your customer experience. 

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Vivantio provides a comprehensive suite of SaaS service management products that cover multiple customer service areas including IT ticketing, help desk, service desk, IT service management, asset management and enterprise service management, all backed by proven industry frameworks, such as ITIL.

With Vivantio, companies can manage incoming email, track messaging histories, route tickets to the right teams or employees, escalate critical issues, conform with scheduling, prioritize tickets and integrate with other service tools – all powerful, automated actions designed to increase efficiency across companies’ service teams.

Check out the free tour or better yet, schedule your own personal demo and get one step closer to delivering breakthrough customer service. 

Topics: ITSM Reporting Self-Service Service Ticket Software tour
1 min read

10 Ways to Align Your Teams for a Service-Optimized Organization - Podcast

By Staff Writer on 9/2/21 3:53 PM

 

In this episode of the Vivantio Vibe podcast, we share with you 10 ways to align your teams and garner support from the boardroom for optimizing your service management platform. 

Whether you're a C-level leader looking to rally your teams to investigate and adopt state-of-the-industry methods, or a CS/CX manager who needs to win support and resources from the boardroom, it's essential to have a strategy for communicating your vision and advocating for the action and resources required for success.

Our Director of Digital Marketing and Vivantio Vibe podcast host Todd Carruth shares with you 10 communications tips you can use to help drive change and gain executive support for service optimization.  

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify.   

Topics: ITSM Unified Service Management Platform podcast csm
2 min read

10 Ways to Align Your Teams for Optimized Service Management

By Staff Writer on 8/10/21 6:03 PM

The benefits of optimized Customer Service Management are becoming more widely understood every day. Of course, within any given organization, not everyone will recognize the value at the same time—in which case you may be interested in some communications tips we've seen from our clients.

Whether you're a C-level leader looking to rally your teams to investigate and adopt state-of-the-industry methods, or a CS/CX manager who needs to win support and resources from the boardroom, it's essential to have a strategy for communicating your vision and advocating for the action and resources required for success.

If you’re a Senior Leader looking to drive change...

  • Work to understand the reasons for current systems and processes—but quickly articulate your vision for the future state of your organization.
  • Stress that this effort has the attention of senior leaders, that the organization is counting on them, and that the required support for change is forthcoming.
  • Articulate your expectation for the solution, the implementation vendor/partner, and new capabilities you're looking to achieve.
  • Provide the appropriate guidance in sharing some of the benefits of Service Optimization (e.g. renewals/repeat business, customer retention, upsell/cross-sell wins, etc.)
  • Discuss the KPIs you expect to be tied to Customer Service and share current-state baselines as available. For KPIs that aren’t currently tracked, outline a method and timetable for discovering them.
  • Set an agile cadence for work periods, dependencies, and check-ins with the appropriate teams.


If you’re a Customer Service Leader looking to gain executive support...

Find a sympathetic Senior Executive (or two) and prepare these steps: 

  • Discuss how some enhanced Customer Service capabilities have been shown to improve critical business outcomes such as renewals/repeat business, customer retention, upsell/cross-sell wins, etc.
  • Try to discover what top management’s priorities are for the coming year or quarter and discuss how you think your team could contribute to advancing those goals.
  • Frame your discussion around those make-or-break business outcomes that are driven by customer satisfaction. Get people to appreciate the role you’re playing in the organization’s very survival.
  • Next, help inspire confidence that—with the right resources and support—you can deliver an optimized service organization built around a proven methodology and supported by technology that will demonstrate significant ROI.

Don't go it alone!

You can also enlist the help and experience of a proven solutions provider like Vivantio. Whether you want real-life examples and "case studies" that demonstrate optimized service environments, or just another voice "in your corner" to advocate for needed change, we have a lot of resources available to you. Speak to one of Vivantio's experts today to discover what's possible and how to frame a great strategy for getting your enterprise on-track.
Topics: Service Management service optimization Customer Experience communications strategy
2 min read

How Do I Select an ITSM Solution for my Business

By Greg Rich on 8/3/21 7:00 AM

Vivantio's CEO Greg Rich was recently featured in a round up article from HelpNetSecurity.com where the question was asked: How do I select an ITSM solution for my business?  See his response below and you can access the entire article here. 

How do I select an ITSM solution for my business?

greg-rich-ceo-and-co-founderWhen selecting an ITSM solution there are some key things to keep in mind. The system must be flexible and support and compliment your business process. It must be able to be configured to match your business needs as opposed to having to constrain your processes to fit the tool. The solution should also be based on industry best practices such as ITIL.

The relationship with the vendor is as crucial as the tool itself. The solution must allow the configuration of the solution by the business and not be beholden to the vendor. The vendor and the solution must enable the business to elevate its service to its end users or customers without the need of costly customization and development that is not in the reach of the service teams themselves.

Also, IT does not sit in a silo. Integrations with other systems are vital. Even if the ITSM tool is solely used within the IT team, having the ability to integrate with other line of business systems will provide a holistic view of the business, customers or end users and will allow the service team to support its end users much more efficiently. Above all, the ITSM solution should create true value to end users or customers.

This excerpt originally appeared in a round up article from HelpNetSecurity.com. You can access the entire article here. 

Topics: ITSM Solution
3 min read

Vivantio Shortlisted for 2021 SaaS Awards

By Staff Writer on 7/30/21 11:58 AM

Boston, MA, 27 July 2021 – Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service management solutions, is a finalist in the 2021 SaaS Awards Program in the category Best SaaS Product for Customer Services / CRM.

“It is an honor to make the SaaS Awards shortlist, which recognizes our team’s excellence and innovation in developing SaaS technologies,” said Vivantio CEO Greg Rich. “Being shortlisted underscores Vivantio’s position as a leading service management solution that elevates customer experience for a future-ready enterprise. By enabling a fast, configurable deployment with cloud-based flexibility, Vivantio empowers teams to simplify user experience, accelerate responsiveness and optimize for ongoing improvements that drive measurable business value.

Now in its sixth year of celebrating software innovation, the Software-as-a-Service Awards program accepts entries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australasia, EMEA and UK.

Head of operations for the SaaS Awards, James Williams, said: “Just as SaaS technologies have been vital in pivoting organizational functions to respond to global crises, they will be essential as we look forward to returning to normal levels of productivity.

“The shortlisted candidates announced today, however, have made it through that first round. They represent truly innovative thinkers in the SaaS industry, whether they’re freshly-funded disruptors or established names.”

Final SaaS Awards winners will be announced on Tuesday 31 August 2021 and the program will return in Spring 2022. Hundreds of organizations entered, with international entries coming from North America, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe and the Middle East. To view the full shortlist, please visit: https://www.cloud-awards.com/2021-software-awards-shortlist/

Last year, entry fees donated from shortlisted entrants to the ‘Communication, Collaboration and Conferencing’ category raised $3,555 for the WHO’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

A sister program to the SaaS Awards, The Cloud Awards will soon accept submissions for a new 2021-22 program, continuing its recognition of excellence in cloud computing, with an October deadline.

Winners are selected by a judging panel of international industry experts. For more information about the Cloud Awards and SaaS Awards, please visit https://www.cloud-awards.com/.


About the SaaS Awards
The SaaS Awards is a sister program to the Cloud Awards, which was founded in 2011. The SaaS Awards focuses on recognizing excellence and innovation in software solutions. Categories range from Best Enterprise-Level SaaS to Best UX or UI Design in a SaaS Product.

About the Cloud Awards
The Cloud Awards is an international program which has been recognizing and honoring industry leaders, innovators and organizational transformation in cloud computing since 2011. The awards are open to large, small, established and start-up organizations from across the entire globe, with an aim to find and celebrate the pioneers who will shape the future of the Cloud as we move into 2022 and beyond. Categories include the Software as a Service award, Most Promising Start-Up, and “Best in Mobile” Cloud Solution.

About Vivantio
Founded in 2003, Vivantio is the only service management solution that enables quick configurability, empowers B2B service teams and elevates customer experience for a future-ready enterprise. By combining the comprehensive power of enterprise-level software with the flexibility of a modern cloud-based solution, Vivantio provides an intuitive, flexible and scalable unified service management platform that empowers businesses to achieve unparalleled service excellence. The award-winning platform scales to meet the complex business needs of large, multi-site organizations, to optimize workflows across several departments including IT, operations and customer service. Vivantio is a trusted partner offering cost-effective solutions through flexible licensing. 

Topics: Customer Service Customer Service Management press release csm
1 min read

Vivantio Vibe Podcast - Customer Journey

By Staff Writer on 7/29/21 12:05 PM

 

Welcome to the Vivantio Vibe podcast.  Each month, we'll bring you the latest updates on Service Management solutions, software, innovations and interviews with smart people who have smart things to say.  All in around 30 minutes or less. 

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In this episode of the Vivantio Vibe podcast, host Todd Carruth visits with Vivantio's COO Andy Walsh about the evolution of the B2B customer journey, important KPIs to consider and how to handle Net Negative Churn.   

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify.   

Topics: Customer Service Future of ITSM Customer Journey Customer Success Unified Service Management Platform podcast
4 min read

4 Questions To Ask Your Vendor About Security

By Staff Writer on 7/23/21 5:00 AM

Security concerns continue to be in the news around the world with the White House issuing an executive order earlier this summer about cybersecurity and the European Union proposing a Joint Cyber Unit to respond to the rising number of security incidents.  And the hacking story that won't go away with the "SolarWinds" hackers launching a new global cyberattack at the end of May. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t necessarily trust cloud providers.  In fact,  there are many security benefits in working with the right cloud providers and SaaS companies that can leverage the economies of scale  around security far easier and sometimes faster than most companies themselves.  After all, providing SaaS solutions is what they specialize in and have the expertise to ensure their systems are secure.

There is also the driving factor of trust.  Any erosion of their customers' trust would have far reaching effects on their core business. Every vendor's approach to security is an important part of their Information Security Strategy, and to ensure that your service management software system is protected, here are some questions you should ask to make sure your software vendor will keep your company and your customer's data safe.

1. Does the vendor adhere to security best practices? 

Are they ISO27001 certified? This is an international standard that provides a management framework for implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all corporate data. If the vendor is not ISO27001 certified, how can you be certain that their data center partners are?

2. Do they align their Information Security Management System (ISMS) to good standards and best practices, such as:

  • ISO27001 or other standards based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)

  • The Information Assurance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IASME)

  • The UK National Cyber Security Centre's Cyber Essentials Plus or Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)

Each of these organizations offer best practices and standards to assist companies looking to increase their security protocols. 

3. Do the vendors follow the security concerns outlined by the CIA Triad of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability? 

We're not talking about the Central Intelligence Agency.  This CIA has to do with data. How is it stored, how accurate it is and how it is accessible. 

  • Confidentiality: The data needs to be private and remain private. Vendors should ensure only the people who are authorized to view the data have access to it. There are different levels at which this applies. Vendors need to protect their SaaS platform, each of their customer's systems, controls within each customer's system, vendor controls to the SaaS system and the vendors own controls over the information they store to run their business.

  • Integrity: The data itself needs to be consistent, accurate and trustworthy. The data must be trusted and nonrepudiation must exist.

  • Availability: The data must be available. Having data that is secure, yet inaccessible, is useless. Users need to be able to access data when they need it, so vendors need to be sure that they are resilient, they have built in redundancies and can ensure business continuity.

4. Do the vendors practice what they preach?

This one is pretty simple. 

  • Do they run their own business on the principles listed above?

  • Do they use the platforms and tools that they expect their customers to rely on to run their business?

  • Do they align with your own security policies and procedures?

Bottom line

It's important to find cloud vendors who answer the previous questions in the affirmative. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it's the best way to protect against potential harm from a security breach. Vendors need to build up trust with their customers and prevent them from potential reputation damage.

Ultimately, the vendors need to protect customers from any potential vulnerabilities along the IT supply chain that may expose data or other security risks. They must also address legal or regulatory concerns pertaining to their customers such as GDPR, HIPAA, CPRA and other data protection laws. 

Be an informed consumer and do your due diligence while selecting a software vendor. Ask questions to make sure your organization is protected from potential cybersecurity threats.

Download our whitepaper to learn more about how Vivantio values security and what measures it takes to keep your customer service data protected.

Topics: Service Desk Software Service Management ITSM Challenges Service Solution Security
2 min read

Do You Treat Your Best Customers the Same as Your Worst Customers?

By Staff Writer on 7/21/21 11:17 AM

If you're using one of the big "standard-issue" service management platforms. You might be forced into some very costly Customer Service practices.

For B2B companies, in particular, it is critical to be able to segment the allocation of your firm’s time and attention to your most valuable customers. The issues might include being able to address each customer with individual rules and to accommodate dynamic re-prioritization.

B2B customer journeys often grow complex because they must accommodate the special needs of small percentages of the client base.

Better connectivity and flexibility to the rescue

From a technology and process perspective, segmenting Customer Journeys into standard and specialty tracks can minimize complexity for a majority of clients,

resulting in easier journeys for clients and significantly lower costs. Additionally, customers can realize economies of scale as multiple large complex relationships are facilitated in similar ways to many smaller relationships. Being able to dynamically shift workloads and route customer service traffic without changing the ”sources of truth” or access rules is another way that a flexible Service Optimization Solution can support the kind of transformative processes required.

From a technological standpoint, a solution that can seamlessly integrate across the whole enterprise is essential. In particular, finding solutions that can accomplish this with a minimum of coding and work-arounds will not only save you money, but will help ensure the timely success of your initiative.

Ask your CS/CX platform vendor these essential questions

  • How much will you be able to accomplish in-house?

Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of consultants. The more capabilities that exist “out of the box” the better. Look for solutions that allow your team to configure processes, rather than solutions that require extensive custom coding. Solutions that empower your administrators to make decisions and changes save costs and delays of third-party reliance.

  • How quickly can you adapt the solution to evolving customer or business needs?

Here too, solutions that require custom coding every time you make a change to your system may be cumbersome. What happens as your customer base evolves...or as systems outside of Customer Service change? Look for solutions that allow for simple interface adjustments vs. prolonged customizations.

  • Does your solution allow you to work independent of other teams’ solutions, supporting the necessary autonomy to evolve?

Look for relevant integration capabilities that are easy to understand and develop so that you’ll have maximum flexibility in creating a more rounded solution. (Be careful! Many current technology solutions fall short here. )

Read to learn more?  Why not schedule a free demo and see how Vivantio can elevate your service? 

 

Topics: ITSM ESM Customer Service Optimization flexbridge Unified Service Management Platform CSAT Improvement csm
6 min read

Customer Service Today Interview with Greg Rich

By Staff Writer on 7/9/21 4:36 PM

Earlier this year, Vivantio's CEO Greg Rich spoke with TEC Analyst PJ Jakovljevc about customer service, technology and the "next normal" in CX (Customer Experience).  Here's an excerpt from that interview that originally appeared here from Technology Evaluation Centers. 

TEC: How do you view the impact of the pandemic on customer service management?

greg-rich-ceo-and-co-founderGR:  For most of our customers, there has been little impact as it pertains to service management. After all, we are a cloud provider, so it’s been business as usual. When it came to remote working, the largest pain for those customers was telephony: how do you maintain a service desk operation with everyone working remotely and handle large call volumes? And of course, call volumes went through the roof for IT Teams—people were working in environments that IT had no control over.  

But what we did see was a huge uptake in omnichannel support technologies in order to achieve reductions in call volumes and the ability to self-diagnose issues.
 
Like working from home (WFH), self-service is a technology that many people talk about, but hardly ever adopt. From the outside, it’s tough to really get a grasp on the value it might bring other than just providing another way to log a ticket. But it is far more than that.

Sophisticated self-service technologies provide access to tools, technology, and knowledge that can circumvent the need for a ticket to be logged in the first place. And, if it does get logged, it’s after a process of capturing further information about the issue that allows those tickets to be passed directly to the resolver group most equipped to resolve it, saving a huge amount of time.

For Vivantio customers that embraced self-service during COVID-19, there has been an overwhelming response of “Why didn’t we do this earlier?” Other technologies that rose to the forefront include integration with Teams and Slack. These tools became a lifeline in remote team working environments. Their chat capabilities, integrated with the service management platforms, became a new way for tech and customers to interact.
 
TEC: What software solutions and capabilities have been particularly helpful for your customers these days and how have they helped?
 
GR: Self-service/omnichannel technologies that provide end users with a more robust and enriched service is one. The other two are optimizing service and the ability to do more with less/reduce ticket times/reduce touchpoints. By implementing workflows, ticket routing, trigger rules etc., it allows the technology to make decisions based on the current situation/lifecycle of the ticket.
 
This means the ticket moves through the system far faster, reduces the workload on the team, and gets a resolution to the customer in a much shorter time. We have also seen an uptake in tech-to-tech chat within the solution. Given people are no longer in the same room and able to ask a colleague for help on a particular ticket, the chat feature keeps colleagues connected in real time.
 

TEC: How about some examples of metrics from your customers?
 
GR: We have seen customers, not only in the pandemic but also prior to it, who have been looking to adapt and mature significantly in their customer experience (CX) offerings. The pandemic has only exacerbated that need.
 
We have seen customers increase their capacity from 50 customer service tickets a day to 250 with the same staffing levels. Also, we’ve seen customers improving their on-boarding and termination processes to a single click from a former 27 min process and a 70% reduction in call volume as companies roll out omnichannel self service solutions. These have all been key for customers to pivot and adapt, especially during the pandemic.  

The Technology Aspects

TEC: You’ve been the cloud proponent for some time. Do you think that COVID-19 will be the final blow to on-premises software deployments?
 
GR: I do feel it will have an impact. The way I see it is that, for those still holding on to on-prem deployments, they are doing that for the following three reasons: 

  1. They have already invested heavily in technology infrastructure and want a return on that investment;
  2. They just don’t feel comfortable with SaaS (laggards); or
  3. For compliance/regulatory/security and other reasons. (We recently had an enquiry from the United States Space Force who don’t actually have access to the internet!)

 
For the first two categories, I think COVID-19 has had an impact. For the first group, the need to embrace digital transformation as their entire workforce moves to a Work From Home environment makes access to on-premise systems a logistical nightmare. They either needed to invest heavily in VPN technologies which required huge setup and configuration costs or find SaaS alternatives. It would have been evident quickly that, for those staff members not needing access to line of business (LOB) systems, all the other technologies can easily be provided through SaaS providers.
 
For the second group, they were just pushed over the edge! Like many companies unsure if WFH or hybrid was something they wished to roll out through their business, COVID-19 took that decision away from them and they had to embrace it. Same for SaaS technologies. You see this particularly in education who have had to adapt quickly to switching to remote based systems.
 
Some companies have been smart about adoption too, not just looking to switch their on-prem platforms to SaaS solutions, but making use of Azure and Amazon to host hybrid platforms allowing them to move their infrastructure to the cloud, allowing them to keep the platform private.

TEC: Have you seen AI, bots, big data, or any other buzzword du jour technologies being critical these days?
 
GR: With our customers, I don’t see it so much. I guess it all comes down to service management maturity and how they can elevate service during this time. So, for us and our customers, omnichannel support has been key. But I have seen evidence in other companies—ones where their service operations are much larger (particularly call centers), and they have leveraged chat bots and AI to resolve issues at the point of contact.
 
Big data is huge though and I think this has been a learning point during COVID-19. Again, more pertinent at the call centers or huge service teams using big data and analytics to provide predictive customer insight to drive business outcomes. The ability to pre-empt a customer’s needs or even the ability to provide agents with customized information to personalize the customer’s experience is huge.
 
Also, on the other end of the scale with the smaller companies and AI and machine learning, even without big data, there are massive opportunities for efficiencies and improved service offerings in leveraging these technologies at an appropriate level for their customers and end users. Just adding head count is not an efficient way to expand and improve service, it is the intelligent use of these technologies alongside adoption of best practice that will allow teams to stand out, technology is not the silver bullet but an enabler.  

Predicting the “Next Normal” in CX

TEC: How do you envision customer service post-COVID, now with the hope of vaccines? What will be the "next normal" in CX, to your mind?
 
GR: It will take some time to trickle down but enhancing customer experience based on predictive analysis will become the new norm. How can we enrich the users’ experience and provide them with the best possible outcome based on what we already know? We have learned over the past few years that customer service and customer success are seen as pivotal in the customer lifecycle journey these days. Retention and growth are both driven by CX. The better that experience, the happier the customers.
 
In terms of the new norm, I would say it is the norm that would have happened in five years’ time. What COVID has done is accelerate digital transformation and the need for companies to mature in their CX to both internal and external users. Whether that may be adopting an internal cloud-first approach or ensuring their services are optimized to add value to their end users and customers.
 
Machine learning will be introduced to aid the intelligence and automation of interactions and insights within CX. This automation and insight from machine learning will allow companies to add more value to their customer interactions, improve the customer journey, and allow companies to realize greater value themselves from their customers or end users in increased adoption and loyalty.
 
One of the benefits to adopting Cloud technologies in the CX space (and others) is the ability to not have long term contracts so customers can move relatively frictionlessly. I think post COVID, as more companies adopt a cloud approach, vendors will be looking to tie the customers into longer relationship, not with contracts but with real demonstrable value. This is not just applicable to CX software vendors but also to the customers themselves—they need a CX toolset that enables increased value, loyalty, and advocacy of their customers. The ones who don’t evolve and mature will be left behind in the new norm.  

The full article can be found here.

Topics: Customer Service Customer Service Management SaaS CX Technology
2 min read

B2B Customers' Best CSR? Themselves!

By Staff Writer on 7/6/21 4:39 PM

Let's start with two surprising statistics:

  1. Slow response is the #1 deal-breaker: In a recent survey of 1,000 B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number-one pain point (mentioned twice as often as price.)
  2. Today's B2B customers prefer instant DIY tools: Digital solutions loom large in executives’ thinking as a way to make routine tasks more efficient. Some 86 percent of respondents said they prefer using self service tools for tasks like reordering, rather than talking to a sales representative.

    Smartly leveraging all your data and content assets to optimize your customer service ecosystem

    To drive better engagement and truly transform customer experience (CX), it's critical to make as much helpful—and current—data-driven information available. (Ideally, in real time.)

    Customers will be happy to interact with premium content that you can deliver via self-service such as video presentations and training.

    Of course this means gaining secure and controlled visibility and access into enterprise solutions that live outside the traditional realm of Customer Service platforms.

    Expanding your customer service horizons to drive robust self-service options

    Tapping the power of a solution like Vivantio—supported by our FLEXBridge™ rapid integration platform—quickly connects your customers to vital real-time resources in a way that drives real customer satisfaction and instant self-service performance.

    How are you measuring up in the self-service evolution?

    Currently, there’s a wide spectrum of adoption of Customer Service Optimization powered by today’s best technology. This spectrum ranges from “pre-digital” organizations—all the way up to advanced CX practitioners who are leveraging the power of AI to anticipate the needs of their customers and head-off potential problems long before their customers become aware of them. (See table below.)

    Stages of service operations1

Determining where you are, today, and developing a strategy for advancement can be greatly assisted with the help of an experienced partner. Especially one who can share—and amplify—your vision.

If you're ready to accelerate your self-service efforts, speak to one of Vivantio's experts today to discover what's possible with a short timeframe and a reasonable investment.

Topics: Customer Self-Service service optimization CX Technology flexbridge enterprise service management
2 min read

What if you could connect 100% of your CSM, ESM, or ITSM data sources to your service teams?

By Staff Writer on 6/9/21 11:45 AM

The idea of a single view into the enterprise has existed for some time as a "holy grail" concept—not just for Customer Service teams, but for IT leaders, and managers looking for big-picture dashboards for better decision-making.

The trouble with realizing this concept has historically been an unreasonable investment in time and treasure to tear-down and rebuild vast enterprise systems. Today's fast-paced mergers and acquisitions activities only compound the technical challenges.

Because our team is 100% focused on Service organizations, we had a slightly different perspective—that has now delivered something of this long-awaited phenomenon. (At least as it impacts complex Customer Service Organizations.)

What does a Unified Service Management Platform look like?

The diagram below outlines how a unified service management platform can begin to provide visibility into customer-relevant data so that your Customer Service organization is equipped for maximum impact and success.

This type of solution can help your team better address all use cases, track and report on the KPIs essential to improved service, and tailor service provision at the individual customer level. This level of connectivity gives service and sales teams a holistic view across the enterprise.

Vivantio-unified-platform-tran

A single view solves myriad problems.

Implementing a Unified Service Management Platform eliminates the need to have duplicate information in multiple systems. Current systems remain the “source of truth” for specific customer data but the integration allows the coherent usage of those sources and functionality across multiple systems.

Direct benefits include improvements such as:

  • Support teams that can see the whole customer, not just an individual service/support request. This can have a profound impact on how issues are prioritized and resolved. Furthermore, this data can be used to “prompt” agents or drive workflows and system views.
  • Gaining a holistic view of your service operation that can be used to preempt problems, manage hardware expirations, version control, and compliance.
  • Providing definitive answers to questions such as: How long does a system outage take to resolve? What number of complaints does it generate? How does the length of a customer relationship relate to the number of support tickets generated? Who creates more tickets—a large or small customer? What is the ROI on our current service spend?
  • Better enabling team members to support one another. Improving and speed customer resolution times. Providing management with a holistic view of the service operation to support proactive problem resolution.

Seeing is believing. Ask for proof.

If you are contemplating the value of a Unified Service Management Platform for your team, be sure you are working with a vendor who can back up their claims with case studies in environments like yours.

Vivanto's FLEXBridge™ solution is the key to pulling together disparate "sources of truth" into a single platform designed specifically for CS/CX organizations committed to excellence.

To learn more on about how Vivantio approaches a unified service management platform click here

Or you can request a live demo here

 

Topics: ITSM ESM Customer Service Management flexbridge APIs Unified Service Management Platform
2 min read

The 5 Fallacies of B2B Customer Service

By Staff Writer on 6/8/21 6:00 PM

You've heard them before. You might have even thought it yourself at one time.  But be on the lookout for these 5 Customer Service fallacies ready to sink the unwary when thinking about a service management solution. 

1. "We're not really in the service business."

The term “service business” is going the way of terms like “internet-based business” or “online retail”—that is to say, the distinction is becoming irrelevant! The new reality is, every business is a “service business” today—even traditional companies in industries like healthcare and energy/utilities are rapidly acknowledging their roles in co-creating value with their customers.

2. "B2B Customers don't need a lot of fancy self-service options."

If you’re measuring what’s at-risk in economic/bottom-line terms, it’s clear to see that the risks of not prioritizing customer service are significant. B2B companies are often held to a higher standard across the board, as individual customers have a sense of their financial importance to your business. Service improvements in everything from telecommunications (the first mobile phones) to logistics (overnight document delivery) were spearheaded by the B2B economy, and customer service is no different. Thanks to the easy availability of information regarding alternate suppliers and the ubiquity of customer reviews, the stakes are higher than ever for providing great service—great value as your customers define it.

3. "Providing more self-service is out of our reach (and probably unnecessary anyway)."

In a recent survey of 1,000 B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number one pain point, mentioned twice as often as price. And digital solutions loom large in executives’ thinking as a way to make routine tasks more efficient. Some 86 percent of respondents said they prefer using self service tools for reordering, rather than talking to a sales representative.

4.“We could never get all our key systems linked to Customer Service without a huge IT investment.” 

You don’t have to overhaul your enterprise systems or leave yourself at the mercy of pricey consultants to benefit from a “Unified Service Management Platform” like Vivantio. With robust “out of the box” capabilities, Vivantio allows your team to configure processes, rather than solutions that require extensive custom coding. With a Unified Service Management Platform, you can give your CS team deep visibility into adjacent business data that lets them respond and resolve issues exponentially faster.

5. "We'd be better off investing our resources in finding new customers." 

The numbers say no. There is much greater ROI in keeping your customers happy. To start with, when it comes to sales, the probability of selling to an existing happy customer is up to 14x higher than the probability of selling to a new customer. Harvard Business Review says customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.

Want to chart a better course?

Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by leveraging a unified service management platform that help you avoid major Customer Service disasters. Learn more on how Service Optimization can benefit your business exponentially. 

Or even better, how about a brief, no-obligation, demo?

Topics: Customer Service Self-Service Customer Service Management
1 min read

Vivantio Vibe Podcast - FLEXBridge and the Future of CX

By Staff Writer on 6/7/21 3:27 PM

 

Welcome to the Vivantio Vibe podcast.  Each month, we'll bring you the latest updates on Service Management solutions, software, innovations and interviews with smart people who have smart things to say.  All in around 30 minutes or less. 

andrew

This month, we visit with Vivantio's VP of Technology Andrew Stevens about the customer journey and the importance of customer success teams and customer service teams working together. Plus, we introduce our new integrations tool FLEXBridge and what the future of CX will look like. 

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify.   

Topics: Customer Service Future of ITSM Customer Journey Customer Success Unified Service Management Platform podcast
2 min read

The Deeper Your Service People See, The Better They're Able To "Wow" Customers

By Staff Writer on 6/3/21 5:00 AM

In the old view, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system was used to house data about customers that could be tapped by sales and service organizations to support their efforts. Other systems—with varying degrees of connectivity and access—might house other customer data relating to things like credit terms, orders in-production, contracts, etc.

While some technologically advanced enterprises have tied more of these data sources directly to their customer-facing teams, there is still opportunity for radical improvements in transparency and access—with the aim of improved customer service and satisfaction.

The value of a Unified Service Management Platform

The concept of a single view into the enterprise has existed for some time, but remains something of a stretch goal for most B2B companies who face challenges such as growth through M&A (thereby inheriting disparate IT solutions), large or multi-national companies whose sprawling operations remain siloed, multi-brand/product companies, etc.

Fortunately, for forward-thinking service organizations, there are technology platforms that can—today—provide needed connectivity and visibility into a Service organization (and many of its adjacent systems) in a comprehensive manner.

Visibility and access—without an ERP overhaul

Vivantio's FLEXBridge integration platform offers users a single, shared back-end architecture and consistent user interface across all integrations— while providing centralized reporting and management. FLEXBridge opens up the Vivantio platform to meet future integration possibilities with other vendors—and customer solutions, whether cloud-based on on-premises.

This type of solution can help your team

  • better address all use cases
  • track and report on the KPIs essential to improved service
  • tailor service provision at the individual customer level

This isn't just for consumer-driven businesses

Top consultants are pointing out how companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Uber “continuously reinvent themselves by delivering simple, immediate, and individualized experiences.”

Today, these consultants suggest that “even traditional business-to-business players in sectors such as chemicals and steel [need to make] bold moves to build dynamic shared digital ecosystems around customer needs.”

Several ways to leverage an "über API" to optimize your customer service

There are several ways a Vivantio/FLEXBridge solution can quickly integrate your solutions—both cloud-based and on-premises tools. Here are three examples:

flexbridge graphic

To learn more or request a live demo, click here.

Topics: Customer Service Optimization CX Technology flexbridge APIs Unified Service Management Platform CSAT Improvement
1 min read

WEBINAR: Watch On Demand - Using FLEXBridge to Create the Future of CX

By Staff Writer on 6/1/21 2:16 PM

Today, every business is a service business. The future success of one’s business is tied to customer experience. Now available on demand, Vivantio Vice President of Technology Andrew Stevens presented a 35-minute webinar showcasing Vivantio’s new enhancement, FLEXBridge™, which allows for seamless integration with virtually every other essential tool for a complete customer experience ecosystem.

Watch it now on demand. 

As part of the complete customer experience ecosystem, Vivantio's Unified Service Management Platform integrated with FLEXBridge enables B2Bs to:

  • Gain comprehensive visibility into virtually all data that touches any part of the Customer Journey
  • Use no-code technology to simplify bi-directional data integration and mapping
  • Track and report on the KPIs essential to improved service
  • Tailor service provision at the individual customer level
Vivantio enables SMBs to deliver world-class customer service effectively, efficiently, and affordably to optimize customer satisfaction, retention and value.

 

Topics: webinar Customer Experience flexbridge
2 min read

Augmenting Customer Service and Success Creates a Customer Experience that Drives Growth

By Greg Rich on 5/26/21 12:59 PM

Meeting customers’ growing expectations while managing one’s business makes delivering sound customer service extremely challenging. Companies today must create a strategy centered around Customer Service and Customer Success in order to create a Customer Experience that generates business growth.

Defining the functions that revolve around the customer


Although they may sound similar, the following functions are not interchangeable:

Customer Service/Support
Customer Service or Customer Support is a reactive function. It focuses on helping customers solve immediate problems or manage requests for additional services such as products, features and licenses. Customer Service deals with customers who express emotions of anger or frustration. Following a positive Customer Service interaction, the customer will feel satisfied, valued and relieved.

Customer Success
Customer Success is a proactive function that helps educate customers about ways to garner further value from the products and services they use. The Customer Success team requires in-depth knowledge about the customers’ business, pain points and growth plans in order to align products and services. Customers may express negative emotions such as hopelessness, disengagement or apathy without the guidance of the Customer Success team. Interactions with the Customer Success team will lead customers to feel engaged, informed and confident. Customer Success is focused on building and maintaining long-term relationships.

Customer Experience
Customer Experience describes the interactive, end-to-end customer journey lifecycle. Indifference and lack of confidence or attachment are emotions that customers may feel prior to being introduced to the brand. Success in Customer Experience will make customers feel pride, advocacy and loyalty to the brand.

A People-Centered Approach


Augment Customer PNG3The Customer Service and Customer Success teams should work in harmony to garner a positive Customer Experience. All companies, but especially SMB B2Bs, should augment their Customer Service and Customer Success to drive meaningful, long-term business results. If a customer has a positive support experience, it promotes a good working relationship with Customer Success. Likewise, if a customer receives proactive updates about how to maximize value, they feel supported and are more willing to engage with their Customer Service Management (CSM) teams. Customer Experience is a predictor of revenue, which showcases how important it is for driving growth.

Utilizing Service Optimization to Drive Growth


While 89% of CEOs believe they now compete on service, only a fraction have embraced Service Optimization, which allows businesses to glean coherent insight and use the most efficient processes and information—across all disciplines and teams—to provide business efficiency and optimal service delivery.

Service Optimization means that companies place customers at the center of a unified platform. This forces the business to consider the value of the end-to-end Customer Experience. Self Service, like one of the many features found on the Vivantio platform, is one way to augment Customer Experience as it sits at the intersection of Customer Service and Customer Success. It allows businesses to easily keep track of certain types of requests and the amount of tickets flowing through to keep customers engaged and happy. In addition, a unified platform that utilizes Self Service allows companies to connect with customers during an issue, provides insight into products and services and drives a better, more meaningful Customer Experience.

To get started in Service Optimization, companies should look at all the touch points that a customer has, both inwards and outwards, to see how the Customer Experience can be enriched, service can be personalized and sales activities become predictive.

To learn how to apply Service Optimization to the latest evolution of business service, read Vivantio’s latest report.

Topics: Customer Service Optimization Customer Experience Customer Success
2 min read

When your Customer Service is Right, Sales Success Works at a Whole New Level

By Staff Writer on 5/17/21 12:15 AM

Not only is it easier for your team to sell (and cross-sell... and upsell) to satisfied customers, it's a whole lot more profitable—from 25% to 95% more, according the inventor of the Net Promoter Score, Frederick Reichheld of Bain and Company.

It's a phenomenon that makes intuitive sense, but it's even more impactful when you start looking at the numbers. Whether the KPI levers you're trying to pull involve increasing revenue from monthly subscribers or shortening the sales cycle for major programs, focusing on delivering superior Customer Experience (CX) will pay great dividends.

The "shortcut" that benefits every stakeholder

Better Customer Service has a direct effect on accelerating the sales process, by improving customer retention, upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Statistics show that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one.

serviceloop

Improving the Customer Journey—some concrete steps

Understanding the concepts and principles behind the Customer Journey can go a long way in helping you re-imagine current practices to find ways to streamline processes, break down silos, and increase transparency across the entire extended value chain. All of this helps bolster your team's ability to deliver a better CX.

Achieving these gains often means improving your human-driven processes, making sure your team is supported by the right technology—and giving your customers robust self-service options for quickly getting the information and services they need most.

ServiceManagementChart

For the technology piece, be sure to find a "good fit" partner

Two main considerations should be:

  1. Does the Customer Service platform provide you with the kind of robust
    visibility and interfaces with your enterprise systems to make "one-call resolution"
    a reality? Look for solutions that can deliver on the vision of a unified customer
    service management platform.
  2. Does the solution match your in-house skills/need and leave you free to configure
    for the future (without a lot of expensive consulting)?
Some of today's popular platforms require extensive implementation assistance. To make the product appealing, the monthly cost may not appear too high—until you begin to add-in consulting fees.

Vivantio offers an approach to Customer Service Optimization through our Unified Customer Service Management Platform that is truly poised to support better CX and customer journeys.

To learn more or request a live demo, click here.
Topics: Customer Self-Service Customer Service Optimization Customer Journey Service-Sales Connection CX Technology
2 min read

Vivantio Launches FLEXBridge™ for Superior Customer Service Integrations

By Staff Writer on 5/14/21 10:19 AM

Boston MA (May 5, 2021) -Vivantio, a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions, is launching FLEXBridge™, a new integrations platform that facilitates connections between Vivantio’s Unified Service Platform and other line-of-business applications. FLEXBridge allows information from applications commonly used in enterprise service management, customer service management and IT to be made available safely and securely within Vivantio’s Service Management tool.

“With the integration of FLEXBridge, Vivantio continues to showcase its leadership and innovation in the B2B customer service software space,” said Andrew Stevens, Vice President of Technology. “As businesses grow and service management is increasingly digitized, there is a strong need for all related service management and delivery tools to be tightly integrated. FLEXBridge was designed for demanding B2B service teams who prioritize delivering world-class service to their customers.”

FLEXBridge serves as the core of Vivantio’s Unified Service Platform, allowing information from disparate customer service systems within an organization to be shared safely and securely. This new integration will reduce the amount of time, human resources and capital it takes to fulfill customer service requests, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and reduced costs for B2B firms.

Of the many benefits FLEXBridge offers, it is:

  • Easy to use: Bridges to other systems are created and maintained using a simple wizard-based process
  • Centralized: All administration, monitoring and maintenance is carried out via the web-based admin portal, even when using on-premises agents
  • Extensible: Unlike other vendors, the FLEXBridge platform isn’t limited to “well-known” tools – support is available for connecting to in-house developed, legacy and on-premises tools
  • Cost-effective: Customers can configure any number of bridges (subject to the bridge type being available within their product tier) without additional cost
  • Out of the box: Bridges will include links to CRM tools such as Salesforce, MDM software such as Microsoft InTune, JAMF, and Ninja RMM, and IAM solutions such as Azure and Okta

The innovation of Vivantio’s FLEXBridge platform further underscores that the key to achieving business success is through Service Optimization. Service Optimization is the ability to glean coherent insight and achieve the most efficient use of processes and information—across all disciplines and teams—to provide real business efficiency and optimal service delivery.  To learn how to apply Service Optimization to the latest evolution of business service, please read Vivantio’s latest report here. 

About Vivantio

Founded in 2003, Vivantio is a leading provider of customer service optimization software and solutions for demanding B2B service teams. By combining the comprehensive power of enterprise-level software with the flexibility of a modern cloud-based solution, Vivantio provides an intuitive, flexible and scalable unified service management platform that empowers businesses to achieve unparalleled service excellence. The platform scales to meet the complex business needs of large, multi-site organizations, to optimize workflows across several departments including IT, operations and customer service. Vivantio is a trusted partner offering cost-effective solutions through flexible licensing. 

 

Topics: Customer Service service optimization flexbridge press release
2 min read

Cheaper isn't always better when you're looking at a Service Management platform

By Staff Writer on 5/3/21 12:15 AM

(It may not even be cheaper - in the long run.) 

 

While no Service manager in 2021 has "extra" budget to throw around, it's also unwise to compare Service Management platforms simply on their advertised monthly charge per seat. Factors like inadequate functionality, costs of training, and the expenses of implementing and coding customized solutions can have major impact on the price you'll ultimately pay for your solution.

Fortunately, protecting yourself from unwelcome surprises can be accomplished by asking a few key questions at the outset:

Does the platform integrate easily with our other enterprise systems?


Achieving true service optimization requires new levels of enterprise visibility. And while all forms of integration require a serious effort, many popular platforms require extensive customer interface work—if they even accommodate real-time integration at all.

It's important to calculate the value of being able to give customers the latest information—from a single "source of truth" within your organization. Similarly, the ability for your Customer Service team to contribute to the updating of enterprise-wide data from a single interface can be extremely valuable in both time savings and accuracy/reduction of errors.

Multiply that by the proven customer satisfaction "dividend" of proactive communications (based on dynamic information and triggers from all your interfaced systems) and the value of the right system becomes readily apparent.

Can the platform manage our external and internal customers as required?

Maybe you're trying to accommodate many different customers with different SLAs...Maybe you need to serve both external and internal customers in an integrated way...Maybe you manage several different brands within a larger parent company...

In any of these cases, it will be important for you to easily adapt the rules, scripts and processes for each of these groups of customers. Make sure the platform you choose can easily make these kinds of distinctions—without a lot of custom re-coding.

The more functionality you have out-of-the-box with your Service Management platform, the sooner you'll be boosting your KPIs for optimized service.

How dependent will we be on outside consultants to make it work for us?

Some of today's popular platforms require extensive implementation assistance. To make the product appealing, the monthly cost may not appear too high—until you begin to add-in consulting fees.

Being able to easily do more with your in-house resources not only save you money, but can get your initiatives moving faster as well. After all, who knows your company and processes better than your own people?

Look for platforms that allow for easy configuration as opposed to platforms that demand extensive re-coding and customization.

A closer look can make a big difference

Peeling back the label of low-entry pricing can reveal many hidden costs of a Service Management platform. Finding a partner that has the right features to support your full list of needs—today and in the future—is where you'll realize the ultimate value and keep your total cost of ownership exactly where you want it to be.

To learn more or request a live demo, click here.

Topics: Customer Service Optimization comparing customer service solutions pricing Total Cost of Ownership customer service platform
1 min read

Vivantio Vibe Podcast Launches

By Staff Writer on 4/29/21 3:32 PM

 

Welcome to the inaugural Vivantio Vibe podcast.  Each month, we'll bring you the latest updates on Service Management solutions, software, innovations and interviews with smart people who have smart things to say with information you can use. All in around 30 minutes. 

stephenandandy

This month, host and Director of Digital Marketing for Vivantio Todd Carruth visits with industry experts Stephen Mann and Andy Walsh about the power of ITSM and ITIL to meet and exceed customer expectations. Topics covered include: 

  • What is ITIL and why is it important for Customer Service Management
  • ITIL 4's holistic approach to service management
  • When ITIL may not be the best option
  • Customer journey and the future of ITSM 

You can listen below or download wherever you get your favorite podcasts including iTunes or Spotify.   

Topics: ITIL ITSM Future of ITSM podcast
1 min read

Are you ignoring your best chance for boosting monthly revenue? (Hint: It's not a sales problem.)

By Staff Writer on 4/19/21 1:00 AM

Revenue pressure is at an all-time high—whether you're an established telecom provider or a scrappy SaaS startup. 2020's seismic impact will linger well into the coming months and everyone is struggling to make up for lost time. If you are looking exclusively at your Sales team to drive KPIs like monthly recurring revenue (MRR) you might be missing a major opportunity.

The shortcut to higher MRR runs through Customer Service

One of the major culprits in declining revenues is customer churn. The cost of continually finding, acquiring, and on-boarding new customers is substantial—not to mention how long that process can take.

Stopping the "leaky boat" of customer churn—by attending to issues of Customer Service— should be a first-priority for companies where this is an issue.

To see why, we can look at a typical customer journey that encompasses Sales, Service Management, and Customer Success phases. As the figure below shows, you can accelerate (or bypass altogether) several steps in the process by focusing on better service which can boost KPIs in retention, cross-sell and up-sell areas.

serviceloop

Methods for achieving this kind of acceleration can be gathered under the discipline of Service Optimization, and Vivantio can provide some excellent evidence for starting a Service Optimization effort. (Download our 35-page report here, for a start!)

A 73% revenue boost—from your Service Team

The venture capitalist and business author Tomasz Tunguz published an analysis of how achieving even a 5% negative net churn rate could impact the customer value for a SaaS provider. In his example, the average customer’s monthly recurring revenue (MRR) increased by 73%.

Vivantio can help you quickly and affordably develop an infrastructure—based around a Unified Service Management Platform—to support the kind of Customer Service that delivers on this promise. We're especially adept at helping Customer Service/CX leaders within companies that manage multiple teams or support multiple brands.

To learn more or request a live demo, click here.

Topics: customer churn Revenue Strategies Customer Service Optimization Customer Journey SaaS
1 min read

WEBINAR: Rethinking Customer Service in 2021

By Staff Writer on 4/12/21 12:46 PM

If you've been looking to make leaps in Customer Service improvement, but have struggled with finding the right method—or justifying the investment to your boss—you shouldn’t miss this fast-moving and fact-filled webinar:
Vivantio’s 46-minute “Rethinking Customer Service in 2021".

In less than 50 minutes, you'll understand why a Service Optimization Solution could put you in an "uncatchable" competitive position for the foreseeable future.

We're going to cover the topics that are driving customer service leadership in 2021 including:
  • Self-service configuration and ticket routing
  • Load-balancing strategies and practices
  • Optimized workflows and business rules
  • Proactive vs. Reactive service for improved CX

Now available on demand, don't miss Greg Rich, CEO of Vivantio and Alexis Mackie, Customer Success Manager as they share the secrets to moving against your 2021 Cs/CX goals and start Rethinking Customer Service in 2021

Topics: Customer Service service optimization Customer Service Optimization webinar
3 min read

The Benefits of ITSM Optimization Strategies are moving beyond IT

By Greg Rich on 3/25/21 3:17 PM

Industries from energy grids to law firms are rapidly waking up to the tangible benefits of amping-up their customer service capabilities—with a focus on evidence-based methodologies. The smartest Industry 4.0 players are realizing that lessons from the IT world provide a ready-made blueprint for Service Optimization.

Leveraging a proven approach to service (ITIL 4)

Over the past three decades, there has been significant work undertaken to systematically identify and analyze best practices for service provision.

Based on the work by the famous efficiency guru W. Edwards Demming, the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) framework was introduced by the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) nearly 40 years ago— and has been continually revised and updated on an ongoing basis.

This evidence-based evolution has helped develop and refine practices that are relevant and proven effective—not only inside technology environments but well beyond.

In 2019, the latest iteration, ITIL 4, formally and deliberately expanded in focus beyond IT in order to help facilitate the implementation and adoption of agile principles across all types of service organizations—opening up more teams to this fundamental change that enables the kind of value co-creation sought by modern businesses of all description.

Getting started, often begins with a hard look at an organization's progress along the five key elements of Service Optimization. (See figure.)


Service
STRATEGY
Service
Design
Service
Transition
Service
Operation
Continual
Service
Improvement
  • Strategy Management
  • Service Portfolio Management
  • Financial Management
  • Demand & Capacity Management
  • Business Relationship Management
  • Design Coordination
  • Service Catalogue Management
  • Risk Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Capacity Management
  • Availability Management
  • IT Service Continuity
  • IT Security
  • Compliance
  • Architecture Management
  • Supplier Management
  • Change Management and Evaluation
  • Knowledge Management
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management
  • Release and Deployment Management
  • Incident and Request Fulfillment Management
  • Problem Management
  • Technical Management
  • In-Service Review
  • Process Evaluation

 

A faster path to ITIL 4 best practices:  The right Service Management Platform

One of the major challenges that will arise in an ITIL 4 initiative is connecting a large organizations' disparate data systems in order to allow service organizations to provide this new level of transparency and real-time response.

Vivantio addresses this challenge by serving as a unique Unified Service Management Platform that sits atop all of your current systems—integrated with flexible APIs—to quickly and cost-effectively supply the essential connectivity and holistic visibility. This provides service teams with a 360 degree view of all customer interactions from across the business which contains key data points to elevate service and response times.

The good news for any skeptics is that plenty of evidence points to the bottom-line benefits of Service Optimization Solutions. And Vivantio has the track-record and references to substantiate its bold claims for tying-together B2B enterprises for maximum service success.

To learn more or request a live demo, click here.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Service service optimization Customer Service Management
1 min read

Vivantio Releases New Service Optimization Guide for B2B Enterprises

By Staff Writer on 3/2/21 3:00 AM

New service optimization guide underscores need to meet elevated customer expectations.

Vivantio has launched a new guide, "Leveraging Breakthrough Service to Transform Your B2B Enterprise." The comprehensive guide identifies the distinct benefits of centralizing customer service and offers B2B business owners a detailed process for implementing it at their organization, inclusive of proven strategies for overcoming common challenges. 

"The reality is every business is a 'service business' today and it's time that B2B organizations' strategies reflect that," said chief executive officer Greg Rich. "Even traditional companies in industries like healthcare and energy/utilities are rapidly acknowledging their roles in 'co-creating value' with their customers. Business leaders seeking a competitive advantage will need to align their organizations so that customer service plays a central role in all their business activities. This report details how they can go about it effectively and efficiently."

Businesses in today's remote world need to meet the needs of their customers' elevated expectations. This is especially true for B2B companies that maintain a complex web of interwoven, dynamic and long-term relationships between suppliers, vendors, contractors, internal teams and their customers - and often their customers' customers.

Service optimization is the key to achieving business success for B2B organizations.

For any B2B business, service optimization is the key to achieving business success. Service optimization is the ability to glean coherent insight and achieve the most efficient use of processes and information - across all disciplines and teams - to provide real business efficiency and optimal service delivery. For nearly 20 years, Vivantio has been pioneering service optimization and this comprehensive guide showcases how to apply it to the latest evolution of business service.

To learn more or to download your copy of "Leveraging Breakthrough Service to Transform Your B2B Enterprise," click here.

Topics: Service Management News & Awards Vivantio Customer Service Service Strategy service optimization
9 min read

How to Integrate Vivantio with Microsoft Teams

By Staff Writer on 2/9/21 9:00 AM

INTRODUCTION

In every company, it is crucial to have effective, efficient communication, such as the ability to alert your team about new urgent issues, or let a customer know you’ve responded. Thanks to API integration and webhooks, Vivantio makes sending messages to applications such as Microsoft Teams from your department easy. If your organisation uses Slack instead, you can find a tutorial on sending out communication from Slack here.

This tutorial will show you how to configure this in Microsoft Teams and provides two examples of using notifications in the Vivantio platform. Please note that Microsoft Teams transitioned to a new webhook URL format to enhance security on January 11, 2021. If you've configured this integration prior to that date, there are new set-up instructions included at the end of this blog for Step 7.  

To connect Vivantio to Microsoft Teams, you’ll need:

  1. Vivantio ITSM
  2. Admin access to your Vivantio Instance
  3. Permissions in MS Teams to create, update and remove connectors for the Team you wish to post to

 

CONFIGURATION IN MS TEAMS

Step 1:

Begin by logging into Microsoft Teams (MS Teams). You will then go to:

Your teams » Click on the channel within MS Teams you want to send notifications to » More options » Connectors

MS Teams Vivantio connectors detail

Step 2:

If it’s not already installed for the selected MS Teams group, add and install Incoming Webhook. Otherwise, configure Incoming Webhook.

configure webhook 1 detail

Step 3:

Enter a name for your webhook (this will be the username associated with messages sent into MS Teams), upload a custom image if desired, and select Create.

Connectors 1 detail

Step 4:

Next, copy the URL that is created, circled in red below. This will later be used to set up the webhook in Vivantio.

Copy URL 1 detail

 

CONFIGURATION IN VIVANTIO

Step 5:

Log into Vivantio, open the Admin Area. Navigate to:

Integration & API » Webhooks » Add Webhooks

Then select the ticket type you want the webhook to be available for.

add webhook 2 detail

Step 6:

Enter a name for your webhook.

Step 7:

Next, navigate to the Basic Details tab and enter the following information (please refer to the Update at the end of this blog if you configured this integration prior to January 11, 2021):

  • Request URL: Paste here the URL produced when you configured the incoming webhook in MS Teams.
  • HTTP Method: POST
  • Response Content Type: text/html

Step 8:

This next step, filling out the parameters tab, is optional. Set up parameters for the webhook by selecting Add. These are either values the technician will be prompted to complete, or populated automatically from the ticket. In this example, we have created a multi-line text field for a technician to enter the message that they wish to send into MS Teams.

Parameters tab

Step 9:

Now, fill out the Request Body tab.

For the Request Content Type field, select application/json. The Body Template will contain the information you wish to send in MS Teams notification, such as specific text, details from the ticket or a webhook parameter. Screenshots from the Request Body of two example webhooks are given below.

Example 1:

A notification message sent into Teams that utilizes the webhook Parameter we created in the previous step.

request body detail

{"text": ""}

Example 2:

A notification sent into Teams that includes details from the ticket. In this case, we use fields from the ticket. The “\n\n” signifies a line break. Note that Steps 1 through 8 were followed to create another webhook “Teams – High Priority Ticket.” Once the Request Body is filled in, click save.

Microsoft Teams request body high Priority

{"Title": "High Priority Ticket Logged",
"text": "Ticket Details: \n\n ID: {{ticket.displayid}} \n\n Subject: {{ticket.title}}
\n\n Caller Name: {{ticket.callername}}"}

Step 10:

The last step before we can use our new webhook is to configure its roles. By default, there will be no roles assigned to the webhook. To update the roles, select the webhook and click Roles. Drag the roles you want the webhook available for into Current Roles.

roles 1 details

Now let’s put the webhooks we set up into action!

You can use your webhook to send ad hoc notifications into MS Teams directly from a ticket window or you can execute your webhook through Trigger Rules. Two examples are given below:

Example 3:

An ad hoc message sent into MS Teams from a Vivantio ticket window

Actions » MS Teams Notification

notification from ticket window

The technician is prompted to fill in the “Notification to Teams” parameter we set up in the webhook. Recall that this webhook was configured so that the text entered here will be sent into MS Teams.

screenshot of notification message

Press OK and voila! This message is sent into MS Teams.

screenshot of notification message from vivantio 2

Example 4:

Sending a notification to an IT team’s channel in MS Teams any time a high priority ticket is logged.

In this case, you can set up a trigger rule to automatically execute the webhook when a high priority ticket is logged. Go to:

Admin area » System Areas » Select the ticket type you created the Webhook for
» Business Rules » Trigger Rules

To add a trigger rule, click Add, then:

• Enter a Rule Name and select when the condition is to be executed, either when the ticket first meets the condition (for example, if you just want people to know the ticket was created) or when the matching ticket is updated (if you want everyone to see all updates to the ticket).

• Enter the condition(s) for the trigger. In this example, the trigger rule condition is for tickets with the priority name equal to “high.”

screenshot of trigger rule set up

For the trigger rule “Actions” select

Webhooks » Webhook you want to fire; in this case, we chose

Teams – High Priority Ticket » Save

screenshot of trigger rule action

Once the trigger rule is set up, the “Teams – High Priority Ticket Webhook” will automatically send a notification with ticket details into MS Teams any time a “High Priority” ticket is logged.

screenshot of high priority notification in MS teams

CONCLUSION

There you have it! Now you can easily communicate to any team in MS Teams directly from Vivantio.

Update (as of January 11, 2021):

This step is for anyone who configured this integration prior to January 11, 2021. On this date, Microsoft Teams transitioned to a new webhook URL format to enhance security. You will need to update your webhook URL from within Microsoft Teams and copy the new URL into the webhook within Vivantio (Step 7).

To update your webhook URL within Teams, navigate to your webhook:

Your Teams >> Click on the channel your webhook is configured on >> More options >> Connectors

teams-connectors

Select Configured. Find your webhook and select Manage.

configure-webhook

If your webhook URL needs to be updated, an "Update URL" button will appear to the right of the URL. Select Update URL.

incoming-webhook-notification

Once your URL is updated, it will say "URL is up-to-date" below the URL. Copy the new URL into your webhook within Vivantio (Step 7).

Topics: Vivantio Customer Center Types of Service Integrations API Integration Tools WebMethods Microsoft Teams Integration
3 min read

4 Reasons to Have a Flexible Approach to Service Management

By Staff Writer on 1/28/21 9:00 AM

IS A ROCK-SOLID SERVICE STRUCTURE REALLY IDEAL FOR YOUR TEAM?

Within the IT industry, everyone looks to get the most out of their service team. They often look to find concrete solutions to their service management problems. “Should I be running under an ITIL framework or an Agile framework?” “How should I structure the roles and responsibilities of my team members?”

As you reach decisions around these issues, you need to remember the answers are not etched in stone. Effective change management gives your team the ability to pivot to better solutions for internal and external customers. Staying flexible in your service management structure helps your team adapt.

Here are four reasons why operating with a flexible service management structure can help your IT service team:

 

1. TEAM MEMBERS WILL CHANGE

As you likely experience already, staff turnover is a stark reality of the IT industry. Based on a study by LinkedIn, technology has the highest turnover rate of all work sectors. Within technology, the IT & Services industry has the fourth highest turnover rate at 13%.

Yet, it’s not all gloom and doom. If you hire the right people, you will find leaders who stay on your team. These people will take on more responsibility and help you drive efficiency.

Can your service team handle shifts in roles and responsibilities without interruptions? A flexible service management structure enables your team to adapt to any personnel changes. You also need to make sure the system you use to manage service can adjust to these shifts in your team formation.

 

2. COMPANY STRUCTURE WILL CHANGE

No matter how long your company history, your business structure will not stay the same, especially considering the recent shift to working remotely. You might create a new position in IT or add more members to your management team. Changes in organizational structure can have a major effect on your service team.

You need to prepare for how these changes will affect your team’s performance. If you don’t update your service, you put both your team’s and your company’s service effectiveness at risk.

With a flexible service management approach, look to track how service interacts with the larger business. Armed with this information, you can tailor your service to maximize efficiency across all departments. This will help with multi-department operational events such as new employee onboarding. It can also help you identify service gaps in the greater company landscape.

 

3. TECHNOLOGY ALWAYS CHANGES

Your assets are a key part of how you structure your service management. After all, asset management is one of your team’s core functions. But, you can always depend on technology always evolving. Technological innovations not only affect your assets but also your company’s infrastructure.

As technology iterates, your service management strategy needs to account for any asset changes. If you can’t adopt new technology and retire outdated assets, it can lead to serious problems such as critical business data loss.

Flexible service management does not mean your technology change processes should be flexible. But, you need to maintain an iterative process design for services around assets and infrastructure. Utilizing tools that can integrate with new technology will help you to avoid tech debt.

 

4. INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICE ALWAYS CHANGES

The advancement of technology goes hand in hand with the forward progress of the entire IT industry. Best practices are constantly amended and improved. An example would be the growing standard of self-service portals due to the increasing expectations of the customer. The recent release of ITIL 4 marks a trend to expand IT services to include areas such as DevOps.

A flexible service management approach empowers you to measure and adopt new best practices without disrupting your service. For example, do you think your team would improve under Agile practices? Try to map out your service structure under Agile. With this larger picture, you can appraise this approach and make the right decision.

 

5. BE FLEXIBLE

Change can be scary. It is natural to feel apprehensive about making changes to your service. You shouldn’t change for the sake of changing, but you don’t want to maintain an antiquated service deliver system. What you can control is how you assess and adapt to change. A flexible approach to service management allows your team to stay effective in a constantly shifting IT landscape.

Topics: Service Management ITIL ITIL Project Management Service Strategy
5 min read

4 Things to Adjust in Your Service Strategy During an Unexpected Crisis

By Staff Writer on 1/6/21 9:00 AM

SHIFTING YOUR SERVICE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

No matter how strong your service strategy is, it was most likely put to the test during 2020 as your service teams were challenged with providing customer support during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Any crisis, including this pandemic, can severely impact businesses and customers alike. Whether you fell into the group who planned ahead or scrambled to develop a contingency plan, it's important to keep in mind that a crisis may pose different challenges every day, so you’ll need to continuously assess and adapt your strategic plan.

Read on to discover the four most important things to assess and adjust in your service management strategy during a crisis. A good place to start is to consider the big picture - ask yourself: How is my service strategy going to be impacted? What components of my strategy must change, and how do I prioritize these changes?

Now, take a step back and review your current strategy before making adjustments. Here are the challenges that may possibly arise, what will be impacted most and what to focus on first.

 

1. REVIEW YOUR CONTRACTS

The most important question to ask when reviewing your service strategy in a crisis is: What’s the contractual impact going to be during (and immediately following) this situation?

As a service provider, your service level agreements (SLAs) to customers, regardless if they are internal or external to your organization, are likely to be impacted. Now is the time to evaluate your most important contracts to ensure you can meet your obligations, and if not, re-prioritize them and address what may need to change and include business stakeholders where necessary. If your service level agreements are internal, then try to determine what the impact might be if there is a fundamental change in the way your entire business operates. With all of your internal staff working remotely, what is the impact on your ability to deliver service within your internal SLA’s?

For example, your service teams may experience an overload of requests from panicked customers that lead to higher volumes of work, which means that your team’s target close time for a particular type of non-urgent request may get lower priority and thus, an uncommon increase in resolution turnaround time.

If this is the case, you’ll need to determine whether you have provisions in place in your contracts for SLA changes. If you do, you may need to implement them for the remainder of the crisis to mitigate disruption to your service as much as possible and reset customer expectations. If you don’t have provisions in place, you’ll need to figure out what SLAs can and can’t change and address how to deal with SLA adjustments as soon as you can.

The key to making any adjustments to your contractual obligations is ensuring you communicate them to the right people, so that they know why and how your business services are changing.

 

2. CONSIDER THE TECHNICAL IMPACT

The next important piece of your service strategy to review is the technical impact a crisis will have on your organization. Is it “business as usual” for you? This is doubtful. Even if your business continues to thrive, how you continue to do so will shift.

Now you’ll need to ask yourself and your department the following: If required, is your staff capable of working remotely, and are your networks ready for a higher volume of remote workers? Do you have collaboration and communication tools in place to support people across the organization effectively, especially if they need to work remotely?

The situation may require the need to acquire, provision and support new hardware and software if your staff needs to work from home. You must also think about whether your company is required to provide better working environments for your staff (not everyone will have access to a comfortable office chair and desk) and if your workers are insured. It’s crucial to consider what parts of the business need altered supplies and processes and what the protocol will be for implementing and monitoring these changes.

Ultimately, the technical impact will result in financial implications. How much will the changes in processes and tools cost your company, and what budget shifts need to be made for those changes to happen? Keep this at the forefront of your strategy as you navigate each day of the crisis.


Are you breaching any contractual obligations like HIPPA by allowing staff to work remotely? Does it introduce data security risks? Are others not in your organization going to overhear/see things they should not? These are all important considerations to keep in mind as you review and implement your service strategy.


 

3. DON'T FORGET THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Because service management is about serving people, you’ll also need to determine what the human impact is going to be, not just for your customers, but also for your employees.

It’s time to take a close look at your service team structure. Is it still applicable if your service teams need to work remotely in case of a building shutdown? There may be essential and non-essential employees within your organization, so some employees may still be required to come into the office. How do you plan to support each group of individuals?

Working remotely can also be isolating, so consider how your organization plans to keep teams in communication with one another (both for business brainstorms and for social interaction) to keep morale high.

Keep in mind that everyone—customers, employees and leadership included—will likely experience some stress and anxiety both at work and personally during the situation. To minimize confusion and fear, be as responsive and upfront as possible in your communications regarding the new status quo. If your employees and customers have clarity into what is occurring and how you as a leader are dealing with it, the less concerned and more cooperative they will be.

 

4. VERIFY THE STATUS OF YOUR VENDORS

Now it’s time to assess your vendors. After all, how they modify their strategies might affect yours. With that in mind, have you assessed how prepared your vendors are for daily shifts in crisis management? If they’re not ready, how does your company need to respond?

First, evaluate your company’s most critical applications that your organization needs in order to stay operational and reach out to those vendors. If your vendors can no longer meet your business needs, consider an alternative vendor that may have solutions geared toward your altered requirements or certain product and supplies in stock that your current vendor doesn’t.

Before choosing this route, inquire how easy it is to switch vendors during and after the crisis to make sure the switch is worth your effort, time and money.

 

CONCLUSION

When it comes to providing service and having service management strategies in place, the primary goal of providing excellent service doesn’t change, even during a crisis. And while having a strategic plan in place is crucial to your department—and your company’s—success, it’s important to be flexible enough to alter your strategic plans to maintain business procedures and prevent widespread concern among your teams and customers should an unexpected situation arise.

In a crisis, you must first take a step back and review your current strategies and focus on the following components:
  • Contractual Obligations
  • Technical Impact
  • Impact on Humans
  • Status of Vendors

By prioritizing these four pieces first, you’ll be as prepared as possible for a crisis and be able to monitor and adjust your company goals and plans accordingly.

Topics: Service Management SLA Blog Service Strategy
3 min read

Ask These Questions to Find IT Vendors with Strong Security Practices

By Staff Writer on 12/22/20 2:58 PM

ENSURE YOUR SERVICE SOFTWARE IS PROTECTED

The recent security compromise of the United States Treasury, Department of Commerce and other government agencies by Russian hackers has prompted major concerns about which IT vendors organizations should rely on.
The root of the hack stems from SolarWinds's Orion IT monitoring platform.

To ensure that your service management software system is protected, here are some questions you should ask to make sure your IT vendor will keep your company and your customer's data safe.

Does the vendor adhere to security best practices?

Are they ISO27001 certified? This is an international standard that provides a management framework for implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all corporate data. If the vendor is not ISO27001 certified, can you confirm that their data center partners are?

Do they align their ISMS to good standards and best practices, such as:
  • ISO27001 or other standards based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)

  • The Information Assurance for small and medium-sized enterprises (IASME)

  • Or, the UK National Cyber Security Centre's Cyber Essentials Plus or Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)

Do the vendors follow the security concerns outlined by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability? 
  • Confidentiality: The data needs to be private and remain private. Vendors should ensure only the people who are authorized to view the data have access to it. There are different levels at which this applies. Vendors need to protect their SaaS platform, each of their customer's systems, controls within each customer's system, vendor controls to the SaaS system and the vendors own controls over the information they store to run their business.

  • Integrity: The data itself needs to be consistent, accurate and trustworthy. The data must be trusted and nonrepudiation must exist.

  • Availability: The data must be available. Having data that is secure, yet inaccessible, is useless. Users need to be able to access data when they need it, so vendors need to be sure that they are resilient, they have built in redundancies and can ensure business continuity.

Do the vendors practice what they preach?
  • Do they run their own business on the principles listed above?

  • Do they use the platforms and tools that they expect their customers to rely on to run their business?

CONCLUSION

It's important to find IT service management software vendors who answer the previous questions in the affirmative. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it's the best way to protect against potential harm from a security breach. Vendors need to build up trust with their customers and prevent them from potential reputation damage.

Ultimately, the vendors need to protect customers from any potential vulnerabilities along the IT supply chain that may expose data or other security risks. They must also address legal or regulatory concerns pertaining to their customers such as GDPR, HIPAA, CPRA and other data protection laws. Your IT vendor should be concerned about protecting your data to avoid the costs of dealing with the aftermath of a hack.

Be an informed consumer and do your due diligence while selecting an IT vendor. Ask questions to make sure your organization is protected from potential cybersecurity threats.

Download our whitepaper to learn more about how Vivantio values security and what measures it takes to keep your customer service data protected.

white-paper-vivantio-values-security

 

Topics: Service Desk Software Service Management ITSM Challenges Service Solution Security
7 min read

How to integrate Vivantio with Azure DevOps

By Melissa Faletra on 7/13/20 2:33 PM

Azure DevOps–formerly named Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS)–is a Microsoft product that allows developers to plan work, collaborate on code development and build and deploy applications. If your development teams are using Azure DevOps, integrating it with your service desk software can provide the following benefits:

  • Create bugs directly from Incidents or Tickets
  • Create Product Backlog Items from Service Requests or Change Requests

Vivantio includes an out-of-the-box, two-way integration with Azure DevOps, making it simple to have open communication and visibility between your support and development teams.

Our Azure DevOps integration helps you streamline your processes and keep everyone informed of what is going on, regardless of which tool they work in day-to-day, so there's no need for your developers to log into Vivantio, and no more phone calls to the development team to check on the status of bugs!

This tutorial will show you how to configure the integration and provides an example of creating a Work Item in Azure DevOps directly from Vivantio.

To connect Vivantio to Azure DevOps, you’ll need:

  1. Vivantio ITSM
  2. Admin access to your Vivantio Instance
  3. Credentials to a user account for Vivantio in Azure DevOps

 

CONFIGURATION IN VIVANTIO

Step 1:

Log into Vivantio, open the Admin Area. Navigate to:

Integration & API >> TFS

Fill in your Azure DevOps login credentials:

  • Version: Azure DevOps
  • Organization Name: Enter your organization name. This will be used in your API URL, for example: https://dev.azure.com/OrganizationName/
  • Username: The username for the Vivantio user account in Azure DevOps
  • Password: The Personal Access Token for the Vivantio user account in Azure DevOps. For details on creating a Personal Access Token, see the Microsoft Documentation here.

DevOps CredentialsThe bottom of the screen will update to show a couple of different URLs: the Work Item Alert URL and the Service Hook URL. You will use the Service Hook URL to set up Azure DevOps to send information back into Vivantio.

work item alerts

Step 2:

Select IP Range in the top left corner of the screen and configure the IP Range for Vivantio to accept requests from.

Azure DevOps Credentials

Step 3:

Configure your ticket to Work Item Mapping settings. This allows you to control which types of Vivantio Tickets can be mapped to which types of Azure DevOps Work Items so that the correct type of information can be transferred to the correct type of records. Any number of necessary ticket-to-work item mappings can be configured.

Navigate to the Ticket to Work Item Mapping tab and select Add.

On the Basic Details tab, give the mapping a name and fill in the following information:

  • Project Collection: The Project in Azure DevOps (If you’re using the hosted version of Azure DevOps, there will normally only be one option available here)
  • Project: The Project in Azure DevOps
  • Work Item Type: The Work Item Type in Azure DevOps
  • Ticket Type: The type of ticket within Vivantio that you want to create the Work Item from

basic details tab

Step 4:

Navigate to the Sync Options tab. Here you can configure the settings relating to the sync of data from Vivantio to Azure DevOps. (Note that this option does not force Azure DevOps to update Vivantio–that is configured within Azure DevOps itself). You have the option to fill in the following fields:

  • Link Work Item to Ticket: Checking this box will create a link to the Vivantio ticket from within the Azure DevOps ticket
  • Action Sync: Selecting “All” or “Non Private” will automatically sync all (or only non-private) actions made in Vivantio to the “Discussion” section within the Work Item in Azure DevOps
  • Attachment Sync: Selecting “All” or “Non Private” will automatically sync all (or only non-private) attachments added in the Vivantio ticket to the “Attachments” section within the Work Item in Azure DevOps

sync options

Step 5:

Select the Field Mappings tab and configure any additional field mappings. As standard, Vivantio will populate the Work Item Title and Description. If you want to add additional mappings, e.g., for custom fields, you can do so here. You can also choose to override the default mappings for Title and Description.

In the example below, we chose to map several custom fields from Vivantio to Azure DevOps.

field mappings

After choosing the appropriate options, hit Save, and you’re ready to start creating Azure DevOps Work Items directly from Vivantio.

 

CREATING A NEW WORK ITEM FROM VIVANTIO

When viewing a Ticket in Vivantio, under the Actions menu item, you’ll see the option to “Create New TSF Work Item.”

 

create work item

Selecting Create New TFS Work Item will open a pop-up window where you can select the Work Item Type. Any mappings created for the ticket type, using steps 3 through 5, will appear as options.create work item pop upSelecting OK will cause a TFSForm to appear in the Vivantio Ticket Window and a Work Item to be created in Azure DevOps.

DevOps form in ticket windowThe TFS form provides a direct link to the Work Item in Azure DevOps and provides the technician with the options to unlink the Vivantio ticket from the DevOps Work Item and to send ad-hoc comments and attachments to DevOps, which can be useful if you didn’t choose to automatically sync actions.

Clicking on the link to the Work Item in DevOps, we can see that the Work Item was created and the mapped fields were passed from the Vivantio Ticket to the Work Item.

DevOps ticket example

 

CONFIGURATION IN AZURE DEVOPS

Getting Information Back From Azure DevOps

Configurations can be made in Azure DevOps to automatically send information from DevOps into Vivantio. This is done using the Service Hook that was create in Step 1.

Step 6:

To configure the Service Hook in Azure DevOps, navigate to Service Hooks within Project Settings in Azure DevOps (Microsoft’s documentation on Service Hooks can be found here). On the first page of the Create Service Hook wizard, you’ll choose the Webhooks option and select Next:

new service hooks subscription

On the next page of the wizard, you’ll choose the type of event the Service Hook triggers on. Vivantio currently supports “Work Item Commented On” and “Work Item Updated.” Enter any filters you want for the area or work item type.

new service hooks triggerSelect and configure the action to perform with the service hook. Under URL,” paste your service hook from Step 1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select [Latest]for Resource Version.

service hook subscription actionNow when we comment on Work Items in Azure DevOps...

comment in devops

...the comment is automatically added to the linked Ticket’s history in Vivantio:

comment in vivantio from devopsAdditional configurations can be made in Azure DevOps using Webhooks to automatically update fields in Vivantio based on updates in Azure DevOps.

If you’re using Vivantio and Azure DevOps and you don’t have them integrated yet, give it a try and see how it helps improve communications between your service desk and your development team.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Center System Integration Methods Types of Service Integrations API Integration Tools
4 min read

Separate Fact from Myth to Master Self Service

By Andrew Stevens on 6/3/20 9:00 AM

THE USE OF SELF SERVICE

Self Service is the most cost effective, efficient way for your end users to get help.

Still, recent data shows that it’s not being used nearly as often as it should be across service teams in nearly all industries.

In a recent post, we uncovered that given recent widespread, drastic changes to the way most organizations work on a day-to-day basis, Self Service use is at an all time low among organizations that count Self Service as a part of their overall strategy. The number of tickets opened via Self Service in Vivantio dropped more than 17% from March to April.

Further analysis from Vivantio’s Product Management team finds that 30% of Vivantio customers forgo the use of Self Service altogether.

And for 50% of Vivantio customers, self service is only a small part of their strategy, with fewer than 1 in 4 tickets being created via self service at those organizations.

self service myths and facts pie chart

Granted, it’s fair to say that self service isn’t the right choice for everyone – no two organizations or service teams are alike, and there are many factors that come into play when deciding not only how much focus you put on Self Service, but whether it should be a part of your strategy at all.

But if you’re part of the 75 percent of customers who aren’t using self service extensively, when was the last time you asked yourself why? To help answer that question, we’re going to look at some facts and myths about self service.

THE FACTS

FACT #1: SELF SERVICE IS MORE COST-EFFECTIVE

We surveyed some of our customers who have a balanced mix of tickets – email, Self Service and “walk ups” – to understand the impact of channel on the cost of resolving a ticket. And as you’d expect, Self Service wins. On average, Self-service tickets are resolved faster and with fewer touches than tickets logged via email.

FACT #2: SELF SERVICE SCALES

The same research showed – unsurprisingly – that the fastest way to get a ticket resolved was a walk-up. If you’re a technician and someone is in your office, on the phone or on Slack asking you questions, then you typically answer that person then and there. That’s how you provide great service, right?

Wrong. What about the five other customers who called, but received your “all staff are busy” message? Maybe one of those was a VIP customer. Maybe their next phone call isn’t to your tech support team, it’s to one of your competitors.

So how do you prioritize a walk-in over your current workload? Should that walk-in have jumped the queue to get your undivided attention? Have they stopped you working on something that’s far more important to the business? Self service is scalable and helps prevent this from happening.

On average, self-service tickets are resolved faster and with fewer touches than tickets logged via email.

FACT #3: SELF SERVICE IS EMPOWERING

We’ve all been there: we’ve run into a problem and we want to fix it. And we want to fix it now. Not when the support desk opens at 9am on Monday, nor when we reach our turn in a seemingly never-ending queue. If you have the resources to fix it yourself, you are going to try to do so. And what’s more is that next time, your first thought isn’t, “I need to call for help,” it will be, “I can probably take care of this myself.”

THE MYTHS

MYTH #1: CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT SELF SERVICE

You might think your customers don’t want Self Service. Maybe you’re right. If you ask your customers if they’d prefer Self Service versus a human on the line, some of them (maybe most of them) will pick a human.

Are you asking the right question, though? What if you ask, “Do you want the same end result, but sooner?” How about asking, “Do you want the issue resolved immediately or tomorrow?”

Of course, there is a time and a place for human contact, but with limited resources, you need to save it for where it counts.

MYTH #2: SELF SERVICE IS IMPERSONAL

OK, so this one is partially true. Bad Self Service is impersonal. Good Self Service isn’t.

Your Self-Service portal is the equivalent to your shop window, and like any shop window, it can put people off or it can welcome–even entice–them in. To entice customers to use Self Service, show them resources that are relevant to them. Give them easy access to their open tickets and service requests. Provide links to articles about the products and services they’ve purchased. Give them news about your business and your people. If you do, they’ll find your Self-Service portal incredibly valuable.

MYTH #3: SELF SERVICE ISN’T WORTH THE EFFORT

We won’t sugar coat it: getting Self Service right isn’t always easy. But if you take the time to do it right, it’ll pay for itself many times over. You don’t need a massive knowledge base, rigorously designed workflows or a huge team to make self service work for you. The only things you need to get started are a commitment to understanding your customers needs, and a desire to improve your service levels.

CONCLUSION

Self Service can be a critical part of your service management strategy, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of implementing it. Of course, there are huge benefits to Self Service when it’s done well, and hopefully we’ve given you some insight into those benefits as well as dispelled a couple of common myths. To learn more about the ins and outs of Self Service, check out our self service resource page.

Topics: Service Management Customer Service Customer Self-Service
2 min read

Work-from-Home is Impacting Self Service in an Unexpected Way

By Andrew Stevens on 5/27/20 1:58 PM

Delivering good service is more challenging now than ever before: there are more questions being asked and fewer people available to answer them. Technology has risen to the challenge: Zoom stock has soared, Microsoft has been announcing new features in Teams, and yes, Netflix has been there to snatch us up when we step away from our desks.

Vivantio’s own account management / customer success team have been busy reaching out to customers to see how best we can help. A common theme among the responses has been, “How can we get more out of self service?” either from customers who aren’t using a Self Service Portal yet, or who are using it but not as much as they’d like to.

It made sense to us. With resources at an all-time low, we expected our customers to turn toward Self Service to help keep their service levels up. Wanting to find out more, we dove into our analytics, and the results weren’t quite what we expected.

The Results

Use of Self Service is at an all-time low among Vivantio customers.

Throughout 2019, the percentage of tickets opened via Self Service across the Vivantio SaaS platform stayed pretty constant – around 27% of tickets were opened via Self Service. Email accounted for 33-37% of tickets, with the remainder being opened manually via the Vivantio technician portal.

self service portal data chart dark mode

In March 2020, that dropped down to 23% – not a huge difference on paper, but to the customers impacted the most, that translates to over 5,000 extra phone calls, total. In one month! It looks like the trend may now be reversing – April rose about half a point on March – but it’s still early to tell.
You might have had an internal chat system in place already – Teams, Slack, something else – but it’s probably being used more than ever before. So now, you don’t even have to leave your desk to get hold of IT.
When we sat back and thought about this, we decided maybe it shouldn’t have been that surprising. We all know how easy it has historically been to walk over to your IT team and ask a question instead of logging a ticket. Your first thought might be, “Well, you can’t walk over to IT now, so they’ll have to use the ticketing system.”

Turns out, that’s not the case. You might have had an internal chat system in place already – Teams, Slack, something else – but it’s probably being used more than ever before. Now, employees don’t even have to leave your desk to get hold of IT.

So, what do you do? How do you get people back on to Self Service? Do you even want to get people back on to Self Service? Answering those questions is going to be the focus of our blog posts the next few weeks, with information on new/existing features, best practices, and tips and tricks.

In the meantime, how has this “new normal” impacted your service team’s day-to-day? Have you seen an uptick or a downturn in the use of self-service, or even other channels that weren’t at play pre-work-from-home? Drop us a line at info@vivantio.com or tweet us @Vivantio.

 

Topics: Self-Service
1 min read

Video: How Self-Service Portals Improve the Customer Service Experience

By Staff Writer on 3/20/20 9:00 AM


 

In this video, we explain how self-service portals play a key role in the customer service experience. They represent a company’s professionalism, brand, and its desire to help customers find answers to their questions, solve their own technical issues or find resources. The Vivantio service management platform enables service teams to build codeless, custom self-service portals tailored to business needs and customers.

You can get the latest insights on the impact self-service is having on service desk professionals and their customers in our exclusive report created in partnership with the Service Desk Institute (SDI).

Download your report here

SDI-SSReport thumbnail@2x

 

Topics: Service Management ITSM Customer Service Customer Self-Service Video
2 min read

Vivantio Named High Performer in G2 Winter 2020 Report

By Staff Writer on 3/17/20 9:00 AM

G2 CROWD RECOGNIZES VIVANTIO AS HIGH PERFORMER

Vivantio, an industry-leading IT service management software solution that empowers companies to achieve unparalleled service excellence, was recognized as a Higher Performer in G2 Crowd’s 2020 Winter Report. G2 Crowd is a product review platform where verified users review, rank and share experiences and feedback on various services and software products.

As a top performer on G2 Crowd, Vivantio ranks highly in customer satisfaction and averages 4.1 out of 5 stars, with customers rating Vivantio most highly for ease-of-use, quality of support and ease of set-up. Vivantio centralizes service management operations within companies and enables users to reduce operational costs, improve response times, meet performance objectives and maintain customer service excellence.


"The application is logical and efficient, promoting effective use. We are often surprised by additional features that provide well though-out functionality. The workflow functionality was significantly better than we expected. It adds a lot of value!”

– G2 Crowd Reviewer, Executive Sponsor in Cosmetics; A Mid-Market Company


Vivantio’s success over the past 17 years is due to its focus on creating a platform that consistently provides best value with flexible licensing, prioritizes customer satisfaction and support, and is a feature-rich, configurable platform that can be customized to business needs.

To see how Vivantio can help your company achieve service excellence, book a demo today.

Abi is giving a demonstration on the features of Vivantio

About Vivantio

In 2003, inspired by the desire to empower customers to solve complex problems with simple solutions, we created and deployed the world’s very first SaaS service management platform. Today, Vivantio’s multi-tenant platform is reliable, customizable, secure and trusted by leading service teams across the globe.

About G2 Crowd

G2 is the world’s largest tech marketplace where businesses can discover, review and manage the technology they need to reach their potential. Rankings are based on how likely users are to recommend the product to others, how satisfied they are and the popularity of the platform.

Topics: Service Desk Software News & Awards ITSM Vivantio Customer Service ITSM Solution ITSM Tools
5 min read

Why Operational Level Agreements Matter & How to Use Them in Vivantio

By Andrew Stevens on 2/28/20 9:00 AM

WHAT ARE OPERATIONAL LEVEL AGREEMENTS?

In order to provide excellent customer service, you need to meet your service level agreements (SLAs): the agreements you have with your customers about the level of service you’ll provide. But how do you make sure you’re doing that? And if you’re not doing it, how do you understand why? The first step is making sure you hit your internal goals: your operational level agreements (OLAs).

Whereas SLAs are focused on the customer, OLAs are in place to describe the level of service your internal teams can expect from each other. These might include relationships between your front line service desk and the teams who support them: network support, operations management, application management, desktop engineers, etc..

They can–and should!–be used as a key metric in service management because they allow teams to understand where bottlenecks are, and why they’re not hitting those all-important SLAs. OLAs should also be transparent so that everyone knows what their own targets are, and the impact it has on the rest of the business.

However, sometimes service teams bite off more they can chew when attempting to measure SLAs and ultimately fail to meet them. Instead of setting goals for the sake of having them, start small by clarifying or setting up OLAs within your ITSM software tool. From there, you can begin building out SLAs.

Here’s how you can use task management in Vivantio to ensure your OLAs are being met.

TASK MANAGEMENT IN VIVANTIO

Task management in Vivantio can help companies meet OLAs and, in turn, meet target SLAs. Task management can be enabled in all ticket types in the Vivantio service management platform.

In Vivantio Pro, you can assign tasks to licensed technicians. Vivantio ITSM goes a step further and allows you to assign tasks to both licensed technicians and non-licensed end-users.

With task management enabled, technicians can create tasks for the different work required to complete the ticket. The list of tasks can be viewed easily from the ticket. Tasks have the same core capabilities as tickets, including their own set of configurations (categories, status, etc.) and of course a full history of the work done.

There are three ways that tasks are created in Vivantio: Ad hoc as needed, via trigger rules, and through Vivantio’s workflows. Regardless of the way tasks are created, you can easily view them from the ticket to track progress. Here are examples of creating a task using each way.

AD HOC TASK CREATION

Within Vivantio, users can create ad-hoc tickets as needed in order to request internal or external help to meet an OLA. Perhaps a technician is working on a P4 support request that came in with a corresponding SLA of 16 hours. While working on the request, they discover they’re not trained in a specific area of the required work and will need to ask their colleague for help.

To do this, they can manually assign out an ad-hoc task from within the ticket to their colleague – or if they don’t know who specifically to ask, an assignment group – describing what they need help with.

At this time, four hours have already passed on the SLA and only 12 hours remain. When assigning out the task, the technician gives the task an appropriate OLA to ensure that their colleague knows when they need to have the work completed in order to meet the ticket’s SLA.

Screenshot of ad-hoc tasks outlines

This is a simple way to get started with OLAs. You might wonder why you don’t just re-assign the ticket, but there’s a few advantages in using task management. First up, you get to track each different piece of work separately; one ticket might need work to be completed by four different teams.

Vivantio will let you track the time each team/user owned the ticket, but it’s a lot easier to understand the timeline of a ticket when you’re using task management. Second, and we’ll talk more about the importance of this in a later blog, you improve the customer experience by ensuring the customer has a single named point of contact for their ticket so they don’t end up feeling like the buck is being passed.

Third, you make it very clear to other teams exactly what they do and don’t need to do so there’s no digging through the ticket history to find out their role in resolving this issue.

TASK CREATION VIA TRIGGER RULES

You can automate task creation within Vivantio using trigger rules. For example, when a request is logged reporting that a computer is lost or stolen, there are tasks that always need to be completed by both the IT team and the security team. Due to compliance reasons, it is required that this kind of request needs to be closed out within an eight-hour SLA.

Trigger rules can be created to automatically assign out the required tasks to the IT team and security team any time a lost or stolen computer request is logged. The tasks can have their own associated OLAs so that the teams know how long they have to complete the work in order to meet the request’s SLA.

The below screenshot shows two tasks that were automatically created via trigger rule due to the type of ticket that was logged.

Screenshot of trigger rule tasks outline

Clicking into one of the tasks, we can see the SLA for the task, providing the target time to complete the work by.

Screenshot security task outline

This is a simple way to get your team started using tasks for repetitive work requests. Sometimes though, this isn’t quite enough. You need to ensure tasks are completed in a certain order, or tasks are only worked on after approval has been given. If that’s the case, then you need workflows.

WORKFLOWS

Automated workflows within Vivantio can also help you and your team manage your OLAs. For instance, say a customer of a software company submits a support request, which requires a specific process involving multiple people to complete. The request falls into a P2 priority request with a close SLA of 40 hours on a 9-to-5 working time plan, or five business days from the customer’s view.

Based on the category of the request, four different support teams will need to work on the request in a sequential order. In Vivantio, a specific workflow which automates the assignment of the process tasks is automatically kicked off using Vivantio’s trigger business rules.

Tasks are automatically assigned out to each team when it is their time to complete their portion of the work. In order to meet the SLA agreed upon with the customer, the total time in the SLA is broken down into OLAs, or smaller chunks of time which are allocated to each team.

Screenshot of OLA workflow diagram

There are several tasks that need to be completed by different teams and technicians during the workflow. In order to make sure to meet the target SLA, you can use operational level agreements for each task that is assigned out in the workflow.

This allows each person who is assigned a task to be aware of how much time they have in order to complete the task. The target OLAs for each task are set up to leave time for the transition between tasks and to complete the tasks themselves.

CONCLUSION

If you’re wondering why you aren’t meeting your SLAs, then implementing OLAs is a good first step in understanding why. Whichever approach you use for Task Management in Vivantio, you can use the reporting tools you’re already familiar with to review your performance, understand which teams are creating bottlenecks, and fix the issues at the source.

Topics: Service Management SLA ITSM Customer Center Customer Service Automation IT Service Automation OLA
6 min read

Tips on How to Successfully Implement Your New ITSM Software Solution

By Staff Writer on 2/12/20 9:00 AM

PREPPING FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Investing in ITSM software can be a time-consuming and expensive process, beginning with researching platforms that meet your service team’s criteria through testing various IT software tools.

Once you’ve decided on the best ITSM software solution for your team, you’ll need to prepare for implementation. Based on our customer’s experience at Vivantio, following our recommendations for having a successful implementation has resulted in long-term success with our service desk software and a greater return on their investment. Here’s how to ensure your implementation process is smooth.

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK

From the get-go, you should set expectations and have clear communication with both your service team and the ITSM software vendor, which means you’ll need to front-load the planning phase of your implementation. But, without a robust plan in place and a way to measure success, the transition to your new IT software solution will be rocky. To start, clearly define and document the following:

Abi providing a demonstration of vivantio features

1. Document the current resources you have available – include employees, teams and departments that will use the service management software, and how you will communicate to them throughout implementation.

It’s important to identify your internal implementation team. Make a list of who needs to be involved in the implementation process and how much time you estimate they will need to reserve for the process, start to finish. You can work backward from your key roll-out date and document milestones that need to be reached in order to have a successful implementation.

Vivantio’s implementation manager, Abi Welsh, recommends mapping your plan early on. “Find out what your key dates are with the resources you have. Do you need to replace an existing solution before the contract expires? What departments are involved and who will implementation affect? Think about what functions need to be live to replace the legacy system or current process,” Abi says.

You should also ensure you have a good communications plan that includes all stakeholders: IT technicians, callers, systems administrators, management, etc. Communicating with everyone throughout the process will keep them engaged and help prevent unforeseen issues that may arise.

TIP: Identify which individuals should have a hands-on approach during implementation, then appoint a few super users who can provide support and be champions for change. Also recognize that some employees might need more support, so listen to their needs and engage them early on.

2. Create a step-by-step timeline of what needs to be done by who and when.

Remember that while having an all-encompassing, detailed implementation plan is crucial to success, you don’t have to tackle implementing your service management software all at once. For example, perhaps the incident management process needs to be up and running immediately, the technicians need to be trained and the historic ticket data from the legacy system needs to be migrated in, but you don’t need the self-service portal or reporting functionality until later in the implementation process.

These are the pieces to consider and outline in your roadmap as you prioritize moving parts of your software implementation, suggests Abi. “Different business areas or functionalities may have their own deadlines. Once you have these dates set, you can continue building out the project plan,” she says.

THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS

Now that you’ve laid out your plan, it’s time to begin implementation. Every IT software implementation project has three core phases: the foundation, framework, and custom finishes. Breaking up the process allows others to get a handle on the basics of the software first, then mold it to fit your service team’s specific needs.

Foundation: During the foundation phase, you will begin implementing basic functionalities that replace previous service software and procedures. In this case, you might focus solely on rolling out IT ticketing software first to the service desk before other departments.

Framework: The framework phase typically consists of added functionality and/or new features and processes your company wasn’t using previously but are critical to your improved business processes, such as workflows and automation.

Configuration: Once you have determined the core functionalities of your platform, you can implement your must-haves and tweak customized features specific to your company’s needs. This could consist of setting up specific integrations, or creating ticket categories, custom forms and fields, your asset area or SLAs.

ADJUSTING THE ROADMAP

To stay on track, communicate regularly with your ITSM software vendor and your stakeholders throughout implementation. Continuously review the milestones you’ve outlined in your project plan so you can quickly see if the project is progressing as expected.

You should also be flexible enough to adjust your project roadmap because unforeseen issues—or even great opportunities you hadn’t originally considered—might pop up. If they do, discuss any necessary changes in the project to the relevant people.

KEYS TO SUCCESS BEYOND IMPLEMENTATION

Remember that implementation doesn’t stop once your service management system is up and running. Your ITSM software will need to be configured and will have ongoing troubleshooting, feature revisions, additional training and maintenance. It’s likely your team will require training on these new or improved processes to make your systems and staff more efficient.

Because it takes time to fully train a staff to use new software, you will need to spend time supporting your team post-implementation. Don’t think of this as an expense or waste of time, but rather as an investment in your employees and the organization.

man leaning over his desk writing in a journal next to a laptop

“It’s a good idea to have an enhanced period of support for all users as the new system beds in and to make sure there are clear lines of communication,” Abi says.

As you become familiar with your software, you should begin measuring its effectiveness to ensure you meet your performance goals and desired KPIs. You might also learn about additional features you can add that you didn’t originally plan on using, so keep in touch with your ITSM software provider.

Abi suggests thinking about how you can measure the effectiveness of the solution and how to address issues you encounter. “Schedule a final project review after implementation to think about how to improve future projects. Finally, once you start collecting some data, you should review and update your system reports and dashboards,” she says.

CONCLUSION

Choosing the best ITSM software that meets your key business requirements takes a great deal of time, which is why it’s important to have a smooth implementation process. Remember to follow these recommendations:

  • Make sure you set clear expectations and have clear communication with both your service team and the ITSM software vendor from the start.
  • Develop an implementation plan that includes resources, time allocation and milestones.
  • Break up the process to allow users to get a handle on the basics of the software first, then mold it to fit your service team’s specific needs.
  • Spend time supporting your service teams post-implementation for continued success.

Once your new tech is in place, your data is tracked and positive feedback given, you’ll be glad you invested in a new service management system.

Topics: Service Management ITSM Software Implementation Software Trial ITSM Solution Automation
5 min read

4 Tips to Convince Leadership you Need New Service Management Software

By Staff Writer on 1/29/20 9:00 AM

MAKING THE CASE FOR NEW ITSM SOFTWARE

No matter what industry you work in, you’ve probably lived this story before: your current software tool is outdated, sluggish, or both, and you need to upgrade it in order to increase productivity, it’s going end-of-life, or it can’t scale to meet your business process or company needs.

The challenge? Convincing your manager or the leadership team to spend time, money and resources on new software. So how do you go about making a case for a much-needed upgrade? Here are four tips on convincing leadership to invest in a new service management tool.

1. PRESENT YOUR CASE AS A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND TRUSTED EXPERT

Many employees attempt to educate leadership by explaining the specific features of what their IT tools do and how much they cost without focusing on how these tools solve business problems and how replacing a current system can have a significant impact on the company as a whole.

To avoid falling on deaf ears, approach your spending discussion by coming across as a trusted expert, suggests Okta CIO Mark Settle in his book, Truth from the Trenches. Be able to discuss both current pain points and possible solutions to them when you present your case.

You should also ask ITSM software vendors thorough questions when you approach them about their service desk solution to ensure you have all the information you need. When speaking with your manager, break down total cost and costs per unit of each current and projected future resource—software tools, employees, contractors, protocols, etc., —and how it impacts the department and business operations.

Another tip is to provide industry cost-comparison charts to paint a clear picture of standard industry statistics and best practices. For example, articulate how implementing a self-service portal can increase service efficiency, reduce inbound call volumes, and assist in routing requests to those best equipped to deal with them--all of which lead to improved service level agreements.

man working on his laptop with coworkers in background

Next, use a scorecard to discuss KPIs, expected ROI and revenue goals for your short list of the best ITSM software solutions that will not only impact your department, but others as well, such as HR, facilities management or finance. Numbers matter, so deliver concise, goal-oriented reports that reflect your current workload situation and show the benefits of investing in new or updated service desk software. (We partnered with SDI to learn how teams can measure their service management success in this webinar.)

The key to using data is to be able to connect it to the big picture and associate IT costs with business operations that demonstrate efficiencies, profitability, reduced costs, service improvement or whatever your business is focused on achieving. The more leaders view you as a competent industry expert who’s also clued into the organization’s needs, the more seriously they’ll take your recommendation.

2. GARNER SUPPORT FOR YOUR PROPOSAL

Two—or in this case, many—is better than one. If you’re frustrated with your current service management solution, it’s likely others are, too. Consider soliciting meaningful feedback and experiences from your colleagues to help quantify pain points and convince leadership that a change is needed.

You can even enlist support from managers and VPs by discussing potential benefits of new ITSM software specific to their roles and by developing efficiency strategies.

Another way to express the need to upgrade your service management tool is to gather analysis and suggestions from independent third-party consultants, either generally related to the IT industry or, if possible, specific to your company.

Also look for and consider solutions that add capabilities beyond what you have now and that can scale (either through editions or modules) so that they grow as your company grows. It's important to consider efficiencies in licensing models or multi-department use that can help drive the cost down and increase ROI. Can the solution be used in other areas of the business to replace other legacy tools or to support new processes?

Taking all of these steps and combining them with your presented data and research will help bolster your case.

3. BUILD A ROADMAP

Now that you’ve presented yourself as a leader by highlighting the reasons you need a new service desk tool, researching viable options using data, and gathering support from colleagues, you should build out a roadmap, starting with product trials and continuing on through to post-implementation.

Investing in new software requires time and money, and managers want to know what you can do to justify using resources and reduce risk of failure. Identify possible risks and provide suggestions on how to mitigate them, keeping in mind that you may need to adapt along the way.

Introducing ITSM software will also require training. In your plan, highlight any team, department or company changes that need to occur to ensure a successful transition and how you anticipate executing each change. Also consider long-term costs as your organization scales. Can you or your team manage complex changes to configuration easily, or will you be forever dependent on outside resource or consultancy?

It’s just as important to remain flexible and prepare to adjust your roadmap as necessary, as well as build in time to review, measure and refine your goals continuously throughout (and after!) the implementation process.

4. START LEAN (AND SMART)

Although some service management solutions are geared mostly for IT service teams, solutions like Vivantio ITSM can help streamline business processes because it can expand across multiple departments. Even if you are looking to upgrade to an ITSM or enterprise-level service management platform to employ company-wide, test out your roadmap on a smaller scale.

Assemble a small team of ideal users (be sure to include a variety of roles, from IT technicians to IT managers) that can test out proposed new technology focusing on a small number of key processes. Collect data, analyze the results and compare them to your current solution to see if you’ve reached your goals, then present the information to leadership.

If you show your ability to manage a software implementation on a small scale successfully while also hitting desired KPIs and ROI, chances are you will receive management buy-in. Once you do, you can roll out your IT system overhaul in chunks throughout the company.

laptop shows the vivantio home dashboard against a blurred background of coworkers


CONCLUSION

Adjusting to and eventually mastering new technologies is a continuous and necessary process, and companies must do so in order to survive. Convincing leadership to invest in your particular department can be challenging, but with a thorough plan backed by data, research, and your team in place, your boss is more likely to feel confident in your suggestions and invest in service management software that will improve business processes company-wide.

Topics: Service Management ITSM ITSM Solution
4 min read

One IT Service Management Software Tool for Multiple Departments

By Staff Writer on 1/16/20 9:00 AM

One ITSM Software Tool, Many Departments

During conversations with our customers, we discovered that various service teams outside of the IT department are using our ITSM software, thanks to its scalability and flexibility. Why? Because they are focused on a common goal: using one tool to streamline their business processes. After all, using one IT service management tool can reduce operational costs, help you meet performance goals and maintain customer service excellence.

a-centralized-hub-hero-image-5-1200x300

Flexible. Scalable.

Sharing one software tool across different service teams for business processes that require action from multiple departments allows everyone to work toward a common goal while keeping sensitive information secure.

Consider the process of onboarding a new employee.

Between submitting the job requisition form and preparing the new hire’s work environment, at least three different departments are accountable for moving this process forward successfully: Human Resources, Facilities and IT.

If you’ve been on the side of hiring before, you probably know how much time and how many resources it takes to not only find the right person for the job, but to also prepare them for the first day on-the-job training.

Here’s the good news: using ITSM software, such as Vivantio, that new hire checklist can be streamlined and automated, and, as a result, your new employee (i.e., your internal customer) will be happy from day one.

Screenshot of workflow sample


  • Bring All Your Service Operations Under One Roof
  • Streamline Interdepartmental Workflow and Communication
  • Meet the Unique Demands of All Your Service Teams

Using employee onboarding as the example, let’s take a closer look at the steps each department can tackle using one ITSM software tool while keeping each department’s data secure.

Human Resources

  • Streamline the onboarding process by reducing paperwork, receiving status alerts on important contract updates and monitoring the overall progress of onboarding
  • Eliminate redundant data such as salary, contact, and personal information by integrating your ITSM platform with your current data tools and by using dashboards and reports accessible among your HR team
  • Use self-service portals to automate e-signing new hire documents and eliminate back-and-forth requests between the department and new hire
  • Improve interdepartmental communication and coordinate timelines via trigger rules and workflows for new hire training

office-settingwith a diverse group of coworkers collaborating


Facilities

  • Send notifications alerting IT support staff to configure a new hire’s laptop
  • With automation, reduce the amount of time it takes to get approvals so the new hire can get up and running faster
  • Trigger multi-departmental events like setting up access to important business tools and company intranet for the new hire
  • Track and manage the process of setting up the new hire’s workspace, ranging from hardware installation to moving desk furniture

two laptops and coworkers reviewing documents


Technical Support

  • Asset management helps teams manage the new hire’s assets like computers and software with efficiency and accuracy
  • With integration capabilities, IT can seamlessly integrate a new employee’s technology into the company’s network
  • Manage and track the status of employee’s email account creation and necessary software installations
  • Enable new employees to find the IT information they need in a searchable online knowledge base

two male coworkers discussing technology support options over their laptops


Conclusion

These examples from our customers aren’t the only way you can maximize the use of ITSM platforms. Overall, service management software can reduce operational costs, streamline processes and allows you to maintain customer service excellence across the entire organization. When you’re ready to jump on the ITSM platform bandwagon, make sure you consider the type of service desk you plan to operate and take a holistic approach to serving the needs of multiple departments, ensuring your business is running as efficiently as possible. Your customers will thank you for it.

Topics: Service Management ITIL ITSM Reporting ITSM Vivantio

Video: Roles & Permissions Provide Data Control for Service Management Teams

By Staff Writer on 12/16/19 9:00 AM


 

Vivantio offers a flexible ITSM software solution that can be used by service teams across multiple departments within the same company while keeping data secure. When Roles and Permissions are enabled in our ITSM platform, you can determine who and what departments can perform certain operations and access particular (e.g., confidential) data within the system. This video provides an overview of the roles and permissions capabilities within the Vivantio platform.

Topics: Service Management Video
3 min read

The Differences Between Help Desk and Service Desk and Why it Matters

By Staff Writer on 10/30/19 9:00 AM

HELP DESK VS. SERVICE DESK

The debate on the definition of a service desk versus a help desk has been ongoing, and companies find themselves asking questions around IT desk nomenclature, strategies and scalability. Although determining the difference between terms “help desk” and “service desk” seems like a crucial first step, what might be even more important is considering the type of service desk you want to be.

graphic with itsm at top service desk in the middle and help desk at the bottom

Before we explain why this is important, let’s clear up some of the confusion surrounding the terms “help desk” and “service desk.” In short, think of the service desk as an ecosystem and the help desk as a piece of that ecosystem (a square is a rhombus, right?). A help desk may consist of a smaller team with a primary objective to resolve specific incidents (a broken printer, for example), software and hardware glitches, and ticket management–all of which service desks do, too. Help desks are point solutions and typically reactive.

A service desk, however, is more business-centric and built on core ITIL principles and the five stages of the service lifecycle, which are:

  1. Service Strategy: design, develop, and implement strategy and business goals of ITSM
  2. Service Design: create design and develop processes that support service strategies
  3. Service Transition: transition services from development to operation
  4. Service Operation: review and deliver services
  5. Continual Service Improvement: review, assess and improve strategies to provide better service

This means service desks often tackle strategic business needs, provide service request solutions and a knowledge base to end users, and oversee incident and change management and IT processes and functions.

Some features commonly found within a Help Desk software typically include:

  • Ticket Routing and Management
  • Limited Automation
  • Asset Management

Some features commonly found within a Service Desk software typically include:

  • Change and Release Management
  • Self-Service Portals
  • Knowledge Base


WHY IT MATTERS

The reason it’s important to determine the kind of service desk you want to be is because you should invest in a system you can grow into, not out of.

Some smaller companies implement a help desk SaaS solution that focuses only on being IT-centric instead of IT service-centric, which may be all they need.

But other companies often outgrow the platform’s limitations and soon after look to upgrade, which can be time-consuming, expensive and require additional resources and training than originally planned for. And, given that service management solutions aren’t just for IT departments anymore, the need to expand your ITSM solution is common.


THE (IT) SOLUTION

To avoid outgrowing your software solution, consider the capabilities of the platform from the start. Does it offer typical help desk features as well as service desk management, such as a self-service portal, a knowledge base and automation? Does it follow ITIL processes? Be diligent in your research of your future service platform to ensure it–and your business–can succeed.

Topics: Service Desk Software Service Management ITIL ITSM Vivantio ITSM Solution ITSM Tools

Video: Learn How To Create Tickets In Vivantio

By Staff Writer on 10/18/19 9:00 AM

 

In this video, Patrick, one of our solutions consultants, demonstrates the multiple options for creating a ticket within the Vivantio platform: manually through the Vivantio platform, through email automation, and through a custom self-service portal.

Topics: Service Management Automation Video
7 min read

How to Integrate Vivantio with Slack

By Melissa Faletra on 9/12/19 9:00 AM

INTRODUCTION

In every company, it’s crucial to have effective, efficient communication, such as the ability to alert your team about new urgent issues, or let a customer know you’ve responded to their request. Thanks to API integration and webhooks, Vivantio makes sending messages to applications such as Slack from your department easy.

This tutorial will show you how to configure this in Slack and provides two examples of using notifications in the Vivantio platform. If your company is using Microsoft Teams, you can find the tutorial here.

To connect Vivantio to Slack, you’ll need:

  1. Vivantio ITSM
  2. Admin access to your Vivantio Instance


CONFIGURATION IN SLACK

Step 1:

Begin by logging into Slack. You will then go to:

api.slack.com/apps » Create New App

  • Fill in the App Name. This is the username that notifications from Vivantio will be posted in Slack from.
  • Choose a Development Slack Workspace, which is where you will manage your app. If you don’t already have a Development Slack Workspace, you can create one at slack.com/create#email
  • Select Create App

Screenshot of creating a Slack app

Step 2:

Your new app will appear under Your Apps on the api.slack.com/apps page. Select your app. This will bring you to a new page. Navigate to:

Add features and functionality » Incoming Webhooks » Activate Incoming Webhooks: On » Add New Webhook to Workspace

Screenshot for Adding New Webhook to Workspace

Step 3:

Choose the channel you want to post to in Slack. Select Allow.

Screenshot Selecting Slack Channel

Step 4:

Next, copy the webhook URL that is created, circled in red below. This will later be used to set up the webhook in Vivantio.

Screenshot of sample webhook url


CONFIGURATION IN VIVANTIO

Step 5:

Log into Vivantio, open the Admin Area. Navigate to:

Integration & API » Webhooks » Add Webhooks

Then select the ticket type you want the webhook to be available for.

Screenshot to add webhook in Vivantio

Step 6:

Enter a name for your webhook.

Step 7:

Next, navigate to the Basic Details tab and enter the following information:

  • Request URL: Paste here the URL produced when you configured the incoming webhook in Slack.
  • HTTP Method: POST
  • Response Content Type: application/json

Step 8:

This next step, filling out the parameters tab, is optional. Set up parameters for the webhook by selecting Add. These are either values the technician will be prompted to complete, or populated automatically from the ticket. In this example, we have created a multi-line text field for a technician to enter the message that they wish to send into Slack.

Screenshot of Webhook Parameters in Vivantio

Step 9:

Now, fill out the Request Body tab.

For the Request Content Type field, select application/json. The Body Template will contain the information you wish to send in Slack notification, such as specific text, details from the ticket or a webhook parameter. Screenshots from the Request Body tab of two example webhooks are given below.

Example 1:

A notification message sent into Slack that utilizes the webhook parameter we created in the previous step.

Screenshot of request body example

{"text": ""}

Example 2:

A notification sent into Slack that includes details from the ticket. In this case, we use fields from the ticket. The “\n\n” signifies a line break. Note that Steps 2 through 8 were followed to create another Webhook “Slack – High Priority Ticket.” Once the Request Body is filled in, click save.

Screenshot of Request Body Slack High Priority Ticket Notification

{"text": "High Priority Ticket Logged – Ticket Details: \n\n ID: {{ticket.displayid}} \n\n Subject: {{ticket.title}} \n\n Caller Name: {{ticket.callername}}"}

Step 10:

The last step before we can use our new webhook is to configure its roles. By default, there will be no roles assigned to the webhook. To update the roles, select the webhook and click Roles. Drag the roles you want the webhook available for into Current Roles.

Screenshot of Webhook Roles in Vivantio

Now let’s put the webhooks we set up into action!

You can use your webhook to send ad hoc notifications into Slack directly from a ticket window or you can execute your webhook through Trigger Rules. Two examples are given below:

Example 3:

An ad hoc message sent into Slack from a Vivantio ticket window

Actions » Slack Notification

Screenshot of Slack Notification from Ticket Window

The technician is prompted to fill in the Notification to Slack parameter we set up in the Webhook. Recall that this webhook was configured so that the text entered here will be sent into Slack.

Screenshot of Notification to Slack example

Press OK and voila! This message is sent into Slack.

Example of Notification in Slack

Example 4:

Sending a notification to an IT team’s channel in Slack any time a high priority ticket is logged.

In this case, you can set up a trigger rule to automatically execute the Webhook when a high priority ticket is logged. Go to:

Admin area » System Areas » Select the ticket type you created the Webhook for » Business Rules » Trigger Rules

To add a Trigger Rule, click “Add,” then:

    • Enter a Rule Name and select when the condition is to be executed, either when the ticket first meets the condition (for example, if you just want people to know the ticket has been created) or when the matching ticket is updated (if you want everyone to see all updates to the ticket)
    • Enter the condition(s) for the trigger. In this example, the trigger rule condition is for tickets with the priority name equal to “high.”

Trigger rule example select tickets

For the trigger rule “actions,” select Webhooks » Webhook you want to fire; in this case, we chose

Slack – High Priority Ticket » Save

Trigger rule example actions

Once the trigger rule is set up, the “Slack – High Priority Ticket” Webhook will automatically send a notification with ticket details into Slack any time a “High Priority” ticket is logged.

Example of High Priority Notification in Slack


CONCLUSION

There you have it! Now you can easily communicate to any team in Slack directly from Vivantio.

Topics: Customer Center Service Integrations Slack Types of System Integration API Integration Tools WebMethods
4 min read

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Free Software Trial

By Staff Writer on 9/10/19 9:00 AM

TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR FREE SOFTWARE TRIAL PERIOD

So you’ve narrowed down your ITSM solution finalists and are ready to start a software trial? Many SaaS companies offer free trials for a limited time so that you can test drive the platform and ensure it meets your business needs. But how do you make the most of your free software trial before it expires?

At Vivantio, we’ve seen many companies approach service desk software trials differently but have found that the most useful and worthwhile trials are the ones where both the customer and the software vendor took full advantage of prep-time, pre-trial set-up, and thoroughly tested the system. Here are 5 tips to maximize your time with your free trial:

Computer monitor showing the vivantio self-service portal


1. DETERMINE WHAT TO TEST

Before you work with the vendor to set up your trial, compile a list of must-haves and nice-to-have technical and functional requirements you’d like to test so that the product specialist can configure the trial platform with the features you need. Doing so will allow you to focus on using the platform in a testing environment that mimics a real-use case. This is the best way to determine if the product will meet your specific business needs.

Unsure what you might want to test? Here’s what some of our customers ask about pre-trial:

  1. Functionality and ease of customizability of the self-service portal (here’s why it matters)
  2. Ways to capture information specific to the company, such as custom forms and fields
  3. Walkthrough of how to work a ticket and overall feel for the platform
  4. Automation and visual workflow options
  5. Reporting and dashboard capabilities
  6. ITIL standards and best practice (here’s more about how project management can improve ITIL practices)


2. PARTICIPATE IN A TRIAL SET-UP SESSION

At Vivantio, we’ve found that offering a trial set-up session is incredibly helpful. Don’t skip this crucial and often overlooked step in the process! During this scheduled session, a product specialist will walk you through initial steps on how to navigate the trial site, provide instruction on how to use system areas, and allow users to get a basic handle on the product.

It’s also another opportunity for the vendor to build out specific features suited to you and answer questions you may have about them. Although the trial site is created to provide an optimal experience, remember that multifaceted and fully customizable configurations might not be immediately set up in the trial phase, but will be available once the software is implemented.


3. SCHEDULE TIME FOR TESTING

Trial periods can range anywhere from 14 to 30 days, meaning you will need to carve out time to test the platform in order to determine whether it meets your business needs.

In order to make an educated decision, prioritize the trial period by deciding early on who needs to test-drive the platform, what the evaluation process of the software looks like, and what the decision timeline is.

Ensure all stakeholders have access to the platform and check in with them regularly. Then, devote the time necessary to thoroughly test the software. Logging in, asking the vendor questions, and learning the trial platform ensures that you’ll decide on a solution that works best for you.

 

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

Trials exist to make sure both the vendor and potential customer are a proper fit. The most successful trials are ones where there is open and consistent communication. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about specific features or future developments in the pipeline. Utilize any type of help button, contact page, knowledge base articles, or resources the vendor offers. Remember, your experience with the vendor during this trial period often reflects the level of service you will get once you’re a customer.

 

5. INCLUDE YOUR TEAM

Although companies typically assign only a handful of people to research possible ITSM software solutions, you might not be the only boots on the ground relying on the software daily. As you research, ask for input from your team and be sure to involve everyone—from technicians to IT managers to CIOs —in the ITSM tool selection process where necessary to avoid confusion and to reasonably manage expectations. Typically, the trial-testing team includes:

  • An IT manager who oversees the trial and sets up proper workflows to assign to the appropriate technicians
  • Technicians who receive and process service requests
  • End-users who submit tickets to stress-test the platform
  • Developers who test integrations with tools like JIRA and TFS
  • Other department managers, such as HR, facilities, and operations, who will check compatibility and workflows between departments using the platform (here’s how ITSM software can be used beyond the IT department)

After thorough testing, IT managers usually collect feedback and data, which can include discussion on processes such as ticket routing, automation capabilities, and escalation scales, from all parties to bring to the decision-maker. We’ve created a simple to use, comprehensive software evaluation tool your team can use to see how the vendors on your shortlist stack up against your criteria. You can download it here.

 

PART OF THE JOURNEY

The trial period can be an informative and relatively painless part of the software-buying journey, and by spending time with the platform, being specific with your needs, and including your team, your trial is likely to go smoothly.

Remember that you don’t have to be the solo driver—the implementation team will be able to set up and walk you through your specific software service desk configuration should you decide to move forward with the vendor.

Topics: Service Desk Software Service Management Software Trial ITSM Tools

Video: How & Why to Use Workflows in Vivantio to Automate Processes

By Melissa Faletra on 9/9/19 9:00 AM


 

In this video, Melissa, one of our product specialists, will demonstrate how users can automate business processes using workflows in Vivantio.

Topics: Service Management Automation Video

Video: Ways to Set Up and View Tickets Within Vivantio

By Melissa Faletra on 9/6/19 9:00 AM

 

Vivantio offers customizable service management software, meaning that users can mold our platform to meet their needs. Vivantio provides several ways to view tickets based upon technician preference and the type of customer service requests being fulfilled. Check out this video to learn more.

Topics: Service Management Video Service Ticket Software

Video: Learn How To Use Custom Forms & Fields

By Melissa Faletra on 7/30/19 9:00 AM

 

Vivantio offers flexible and customizable software. One of our platform’s many features is the ability to create an unlimited amount of custom forms and fields, which allow users to capture important information when logging a ticket.

In this video, product specialist Melissa demonstrates the functionality of creating custom forms and fields and provides an overview of this handy feature.

Topics: Service Management ITSM Solution ITSM Tools Video

Video: Vivantio Empowers Teams To Provide Focused Customer Service

By Staff Writer on 7/26/19 9:00 AM


At Vivantio, we develop, deliver and support service management software focused on improving your teams’ customer support levels because we believe that providing excellent customer service is the core of any organization, including ours.

We took some time during the Service Desk and IT Support Conference in London to explain how Vivantio’s unique business model unlocks the very best customer service possible.

 

 

What sets Vivantio apart is our focus on the customer and our genuine care to help them create opportunities to streamline their service operations and increase productivity and accelerate response times to all customers. 

Discover for yourself with a free 15 minute consult/demo today. 

FREE DEMO

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Service Video
1 min read

A Service Management Software Solution for Accounting and Finance

By Staff Writer on 4/30/19 9:00 AM

IS YOUR ITSM SOFTWARE MEETING THE NEEDS OF ALL YOUR SERVICE DEPARTMENTS?

Vivantio’s service management tool is flexible for a reason – that’s what our customers need. No matter what industry you serve, our ITSM software can meet the unique demands of any department receiving internal or external requests, like Accounting and Finance, for one.

We recently spoke with our customers to learn how Vivantio has become a centralised hub for all their service departments since implementation. The answers were fascinating. We found that while many of our customers originally explored our product strictly for IT purposes, they quickly discovered just how easy it is to add service categories and customize ticket types to accommodate the needs of other business units. Vivantio’s versatile platform is being used as a service solution not only for technical support, but also for Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Claims, Quality, Facilities Management, Corporate Services, and many more.

 

A POPULAR SOLUTION FOR ACCOUNTING & FINANCE

While it’s no surprise that Vivantio is used by technical support (IT) the most, Accounting and Finance was a close second. With Vivantio, users can gain control and insight of their department with the ability to track, prioritize, and process incoming finance-related requests. Here are more reasons why it’s a popular tool for this department:

  • Control costs by streamlining routine processes with automated workflows.
  • Reduce the time it takes to get approvals and manage purchase orders.
  • Stay informed of all requests the team is managing with custom dashboards.
  • Manage end-user requests via the self-service portal.

In addition, users appreciate the platform’s codeless, drag-and-drop design, and intuitive interface. Changes can be made to the system without the need for a programmer –a nice feature for non-technical departments.

 

Closing

Considering the wide range of fiscal responsibilities that are task-related, it’s easy to see why so many Accounting and Finance departments count on Vivantio’s service management platform to manage the requests of both internal and external clients–ranging from contractors, suppliers, and employees–so they can focus on being responsive, accurate, and compliant.

Is your ITSM software supporting the needs of all your service departments? We’d like to know.

Topics: Service Management Finance Service Solution SITS HR Human Resources
2 min read

Top 3 Takeaways at the 2019 Service Desk and IT Support Conference

By Staff Writer on 4/30/19 9:00 AM

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

London’s 2019 Service Desk & IT Support Show is now over and the Vivantio team has met with over 300 people to demo the latest features in FLEX. During the show, we spoke with customers and industry experts to hear the big topics on everyone’s mind this year. Here’s what we heard.

 

SELECTING THE BEST ITSM TOOL

Choosing the best ITSM software for your company can seem challenging. With several options and configurations on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. What companies truly need to consider are their business goals, then assess potential costs and options such as SaaS vs on-premise delivery, the software’s hosting platform partner, security standards and certificates, and integration abilities. Attendees learned the do’s and don’ts of the ITSM selection process at the “How to avoid common pitfalls: a guide to ITSM tool election” seminar by Pink Elephant, who we’ve partnered with in the past to discuss ITSM strategies.

IT technician typing on server laptop

 

STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Is IT still relevant? We think so. But thanks to ever-evolving technology and customer demands, IT departments feel they are fighting to stay relevant, which was a hot topic in the “Fighting for relevance” seminar by Virtual Clarity. We’ve found that to provide top-of-the-line service, IT service teams will need to create strong customer connections, stay on top of technological innovation, deliver even better (and faster) service, continue to ensure quality processes, and adhere to security protocols–which leads us to the question of…

 

STREAMLINING THE PROCESS

…How to best streamline service management. Because an organization is greater than the sum of its parts, several companies search for scalable ITSM software that can serve multiple departments. By using custom-built workflows, conditional custom fields and forms, and flexible self-service portals, a company can meet the demands of both internal and external customers. Employee training is also crucial. SkillsTx covered how to identify what skills an IT team will need to keep up with customer demands in the panel discussion, “What skills do you have and what do you need?”

 

OUR SOLUTION

We provide a solution to some of these challenges. With your goal of improving service teams in mind, we’re creating software that is at the forefront of the industry. Vivantio is a centralised hub for all your service needs, enabling users to provide outstanding service management without being cost- or growth-restrictive. Let us show you.

Topics: ITSM Vivantio Service Desk Software UK SITS ITSM Trends Future of ITSM
4 min read

5 Steps to Advance Your Career in IT Service Management

By Staff Writer on 10/25/18 9:00 AM

DO YOU NEED SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO ADVANCE YOUR CAREER IN IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT? HERE ARE SOME CONCRETE STEPS TO MOVE FORWARD.

Every great figure in IT service management had to start somewhere. You could be just starting out as a technician or analyst. You could be an IT service manager looking to make the leap to CIO. Regardless of your status, there are key steps that every person takes to successfully advance their IT service career.

It can feel daunting to set a plan around career advancement, especially if you’re inexperienced. But, if you want more control over the direction of your career, you need a plan to do it.

Here are five key actions that will help you organize your IT career growth efforts:

 

1. MAP OUT YOUR CAREER PATH IN IT

IT is a massive industry. There are countless directions you can take. Do you want to be a COO at an enterprise-level MSP? Or would you rather be an IT Director at a SaaS startup? Or maybe just pivot entirely to software development?

Ask yourself these kinds of questions, get to know the different job titles and descriptions available, and create a plan for the direction you want to go. Don’t forget to review that plan after each step forward and adjust if necessary. You should have a living career plan, not a static one.

 

2. LEVEL UP THE NECESSARY TECHNICAL SKILLS AND IT KNOWLEDGE FOR ADVANCEMENT

You probably already know that technical skills and expertise are mandatory for working in IT. In fact, they are a requirement for most entry-level IT jobs. But, having the right technical skills is paramount to moving up. For example, if you want to manage a support team that primarily services AWS servers, you need to demonstrate a strong background in both cloud computing and server maintenance.

After you’ve mapped out your career path, research the necessary technical certifications and skills you need to move forward.

 

3. PROVE YOUR MASTERY OF YOUR ROLE ON THE IT SERVICE TEAM

No matter if you are currently at an entry-level role or a manager-level role, there’s more to IT than just pure technical expertise. In fact, in a recent survey, over half of CIO’s cite communication or problem-solving skills as main drivers to career growth.

Project management, people management, and change management are just a few examples of soft skills that IT professionals should master before moving into an upper-managerial role. There are professional certifications like ITIL and Agile, which can help you move forward.

With these skills in tow, you will better understand how to demonstrate maximum value to your team and prove yourself worthy of moving up.

 

4. TAKE STEPS TO DEVELOP YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK

Even if you aren’t currently planning to leave your company, it’s important to stay connected with your IT peers. Having an active professional network gives you a better chance of quickly landing on your feet in the event of a layoff. A recent survey shows that the majority of people find their next job through networking.

Beyond job security, your network can help you achieve other professional goals as well. Your professional network can keep you informed on up-and-coming trends in ITSM. They can help brainstorm possible solutions to business and problems that your IT service team is struggling with.

 

5. CARVE OUT YOUR THOUGHT LEADERSHIP IN A SPECIFIC NICHE

As you are moving forward in your IT career, you will naturally start to gravitate towards an IT niche. It could be email server maintenance. It could be service automation. Whatever your niche is, it’s important to recognize and self-promote your thought leadership in that area. You can do this through a variety of means such as doing public speaking at events or publishing insightful blog articles.

The career benefits from establishing thought leadership are akin to networking. When you are recognized by your IT peers as an expert, people will start to search you out for answers. When the whole industry sees you as an expert, it’s much easier to land on a higher leadership role. You can also have a positive impact on your organization by being a thought leader.

These are only just a few steps you need to take to advance in your career. Make sure you stay informed of the latest trends and push yourself to keep learning through trusted information hubs.

Topics: Service Management ITIL ITSM IT Career Tips
4 min read

4 Types of Integration Methods with Your Service Management Software

By Staff Writer on 10/11/18 9:00 AM

IT Service Requires More Than One Integration Tool

JIRA, Active Directory, and Beyond Trust (formally Bomgar) are a few examples of many third-party services and technology that can help your team by providing outsourced IT service. Using these tools in concert with each other is vital to getting the service data your team needs. So, when considering an ITSM platform, it is critical to understand the availability of integrations.

But what are the differences between the types of software integration tools out there? Here are the 4 major types of third-party integration methods available for service management software along with the pros and cons of each for your service team.

 

1. API Integration

Application Programming Interface (API) is the most common tool for connecting different applications for service management software. There are many different types of API that are either public, partner, or private. What they all have in common is how they enable interaction between applications. An API uses a common code language to specify functionality and set protocols. This gives your applications the ability to transfer data.

Pros:

  • Highly Flexible: Even though you are dependent on the developer resources, specific data becomes highly flexible because the integration uses product code.
  • App Changes Aren’t Disruptive: Service providers offer better functionality that goes uninterrupted since APIs are often limited in scope.
  • Widely Available: As stated earlier, API is the most common tool for third-party integration. So, it will be unlikely that you run into a service that won’t offer API integration options.

Cons:

  • Dependent on Vendor: Vendors are responsible for creating APIs. So, you are reliant on the vendor to create APIs for the specific type of information you are trying to pull.
  • Code-Intensive: Because they are code-based, APIs need an understanding of programming languages to install.

 

2. Webhooks

Webhooks or HTTP callbacks are an alternative to API integration. They are both tools that link to a web application but have two key differences. For webhooks, implementation is often not code-based. They often have modules that are programmable within a web application. Instead of being request-based, webhooks are event-based. They only trigger when specific events occur within a third-party service.

Pros:

  • Real-Time Data: Webhooks don’t use a request-based system. They allow your team to view data on a real-time scale.
  • Supports Automation Efforts: Because data requests are event-based, you don’t have to set up poll timings to your data center. This can help streamline data flow and automation.

Cons:

  • Limits Data Manipulation: A webhook requires the service to trigger a data transfer based on an update. In contrast to webhooks, APIs can list, create, edit, or delete an item without triggering a transfer.

 

3. ISC

Integration Services Component (ISC) lives on a local server unlike code-based integrations.  The ISC creates a bridge with on-premise tools such as directories, asset management tools, and BI tools without the need for file imports.

Pros:

  • (Near) Out-of-the-Box Solution: The ISC immediately offers many data synchronization options you would likely use.
  • Wider Range of Functionality: With an ISC, you have complete data access that you can do anything with.  Any data that you can access on the backend with your cloud service will be available.

Cons:

  • Knowledge of Database Architecture Necessary: If you are unfamiliar with how your local database is set up, implementing an ISC will be challenging.
  • Requires Access to the Backend of Your Applications: There will be many cases where backend access isn’t there for your team, so you won’t be able to use an ISC in those situations.

 

4. ORCHESTRATION

The most automated integration option is orchestrations. If you are not familiar with orchestrations, they refer to the process of automating multiple systems and services together. Teams will often use software configuration management tools such as PowerShell to build orchestrations. Software configuration management tools offer various methods such as snap-ins or hosting APIs to connect with applications to manage the automation workflow.

Pros:

  • Full Automation: Automation across all processes.
  • Manages Multiple Systems: Ability to manage the integrations of multiple systems collectively.

Cons:

  • Code-Intensive: You need to have coding skills to manage your software configuration management tool.
  • Labor-Intensive: Because the workflows are quite complex, the setup can be a drawn-out process. Also, any asset or process changes force you to check how it will affect your orchestrations.

 

Make sure you check what integration options your ITSM provider offers before you commit.  With Vivantio, you have several options including our rapid integration platform, FLEXBridge. 

Discover for yourself how Vivantio offers codeless integrations, customize ticket views, built-in CRM and much more. Schedule a free personalized demo to learn more.  

FREE DEMO

 

Topics: Service Integrations System Integration Methods API Integration Tools
3 min read

4 Takeaways from Vivantio’s 2018 UK User Group

By Staff Writer on 8/16/18 9:00 AM

In May, Vivantio held the UK Vivantio User Group at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre, part of the Madejski Football stadium in Reading, Berkshire. It was a great day with plenty of customer interaction, discussion on how to make better use of Vivantio and the exciting first look at the upcoming release of Vivantio’s newest toolset and user interface, FLEX.

In case you missed it, here are four key takeaways from the event:

 

SELF-SERVICE REALLY DOES REDUCE CALLS AND IT OFFICE WALK-INS

Attendees of the UK Vivantio User Group were fortunate to have Alan Shrimpton, Director of Raefen Consulting, as the keynote speaker. He opened the day sharing his experience of implementing Vivantio at two large organisations.

Shrimpton presented some of the challenges he faced and how these were overcome. For one of these organisations, a key measure of success was to significantly reduce IT office walk-ins via use of the Vivantio Self Service Portal.

To overcome this challenge required end-user training for the online platform as well as company-wide communication of the change. Leading up to the launch, there were numerous company communications about the new process, with floor-walkers providing employee support on the day the Self Service Portal went live. As a result of these measures, IT office walk-ins were reduced by 30% in the first month, a significant improvement for such a short period of time.

 

MOBILE IS KEY TO SERVICE MANAGEMENT

Attendees at the UK User Group attended breakout sessions, with customers working together in groups to identify their top five priorities for development of the Vivantio Platform. This made for an interesting discussion, as different organisations have different priorities and requirements. After the new priorities were discussed and whittled down, the top two areas identified for further development were the Mobile version of the Vivantio Platform and the Vivantio Report Builder.

The upcoming release of the new FLEX will make the mobile solution a much more consistent and complete experience, allowing organisations to customise what information they want to see, including custom forms and fields. Another key point for discussion was generally around flex and how this will improve the day-to-day use of the Vivantio Platform, not only for mobile, but also through improved rendering on any device whether it be a laptop or desktop monitor.

 

REPORT BUILDER HELP VIDEOS AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS ARE ON THEIR WAY

Vivantio will provide improved support for use of the Report Builder through a series of short videos and guides, building upon what we currently have. The Report Catalogue will continue to grow, providing additional example reports for customers to use with their own data.

Some of the User Group development suggestions, such as Impact Maps (allowing a user to easily see the relationship between Parent and Child items) and the Ticket History Filter are already in the Vivantio Product Roadmap, aligning customer need to Vivantio’s development vision.

 

IT’S FLEX TIME

For the final part of the day, Vivantio CTO Andy Walsh shared what Vivantio has done in response to the feedback from our last User Group and what we have coming up on the Product Roadmap. Andy then gave our customers a first-hand look at FLEX, which was very well received.

We are actively testing FLEX within our Support, Development and Implementation teams, and in the next few weeks we will be entering a Closed Beta period with select customers. More details to follow!

All in all, the 2018 UK User Group was a great day. Should you want to find out more about the User Group, FLEX or Product Roadmap, please get in touch with Alexis Mackie, Vivantio Customer Success Manager via email Alexis.Mackie@vivantio.com or phone +44 (0)1934 424 840.

We’re looking forward to the next User Group in 2019 and hope you will be able to join us! Details on the date and location will follow in early 2019

Topics: Customer Center User Forum
2 min read

Why Should You Care About ITSM?

By Staff Writer on 8/9/18 9:00 AM

IF YOU WORK IN IT, THEN YOUR TEAM SHOULD EMPLOY AN ITSM PROCESS.

ITSM is a key element for the service operations of all kinds of IT teams. ITSM defines how your team designs and executes your service operation. Whether your team works out of a shared mailbox or you operate with hundreds of agents across the globe, the IT department is responsible for establishing policies and events to properly align IT services with the needs of the business.

There are several popular ITSM frameworks that are designed to guide teams to most efficiently deliver their services. For example:

  • COBIT (Control Objectives for Information Technology): focuses on the continuity of delivering IT services throughout the whole enterprise
  • ITIL (IT Information Library): focuses on designing a service portfolio that best utilizes IT resources

While each ITSM framework offers different approaches to designing IT processes, they all address important details for improving the efficiency of both your service desk and the overall business.

 

HOW ITSM IMPROVES THE EFFICIENCY OF YOUR SERVICE DESK

An effective ITSM process will improve your workflows by:

  • eliminating bottlenecks in collaborative work
  • reducing error on standard requests
  • routing incoming tickets based on technician speciality and availability
  • setting prioritization standards based on the highest business impact

Your ITSM can also help you identify common requests through service reports. With this information in hand and running a root-cause analysis, your team will be able to identify and solve the underlying technical problems that are leading to ticket creation. This way you can save time by finding a lasting solution rather than addressing the same issues over and over again, which will free up your agents’ time to address other more pressing issues.

 

HOW ITSM IMPROVES THE EFFICIENCY OF THE OVERALL BUSINESS

ITSM addresses not only the efficiency of your service desk but that of your entire organization. By having the information in place to identify and solve technical problems, IT can help the overall business continue to run smoothly. Also, by analyzing potential risks and understanding demand cadences, teams will be better prepared to handle any major outage.

The most important part of a great ITSM system is being able to get a better understanding of the relationships between services and infrastructure. This will help businesses appropriately budget their IT expenditures. Through detailed reporting, service leaders can deliver relevant information to other parts of the business and built an efficient budget.

 

HOW AN ITSM SOLUTION CAN HELP

ITSM solutions help bridge the gap between your theoretical service plans and the reality of your service operation. By having the right technology in place to help service leaders manage the various aspects of ITSM, the true benefits from an effective ITSM framework can be more fully realized by service teams everywhere.

Topics: Service Management ITIL ITSM Service Strategy
2 min read

IT Service Catalog: The Intersection Between Business & Technical Services

By Staff Writer on 7/20/18 9:00 AM

DEVELOP A SELF SERVICE SUPPORT PORTAL THAT DISPLAYS ALL BUSINESS-CRITICAL SERVICES.

Regardless if support requests are assigned to IT, finance, legal or HR, employees should be confident the right agent is handling their issue. Since employees do not know the full technical scope of their available services, they need an interface that translates their technical issues into ideas they can appreciate. So, what is the best way to display easy-to-understand business services in a one-stop-shop interface?

 

TWO WORDS: SERVICE CATALOG

The service catalog serves as two facets of a service operation:

  • the operational piece of ITIL’s service portfolio
  • the public-facing interface for employees to request services

A service catalog’s interface is built to educate an end-user on service delivery items such as service description, availability, SLAs and costs. In terms of user experience, a proper service catalog should serve as the singular nexus for all types of service requests available. All expectations should be described before a ticket submission to limit confusion.

The user interface of the service catalog focuses on displaying data related to service delivery, while the internal facing documentation provides context on strategy. Additional details are maintained such as target availability, backup, service owner (funding), service representative (business representative), criticality, OLAs and expiry criteria. This data can be used to assess whether a service should exist on the catalog.

  1. When designing the catalog, the following questions may be considered:
  2. What business need does this service address?
  3. Who will pay for these services?
  4. What are the risks and impact of service outages?
  5. How should we prioritize our work?
  6. Do we have enough resources to meet the incoming demand?

Answering these questions helps determine strategy in managing workflows to fulfill all the available services.

 

BUSINESS OBJECTIVES DRIVES IT SERVICE STRATEGY

Before we can discuss the technical requirements of a service catalog, we must investigate the quality criteria for which items are included in the service catalog. It’s key to take into account overarching business objectives such as revenue generation, customer impact and marketplace visibility that drive business processes.

Business services should be designed to maintain critical processes with special consideration on availability and demand. Internal technical services are designed to address the variety of events and processes required to fullfill each business service. These services may include application services, application data and the technology and infrastructure to host this data.

 

DEFINE KPI AND BUILD IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES

Designing a service catalog to meet the operational requirements of an organization today is only half of the battle. Businesses are dynamic, which requires service teams to constantly benchmark the performance of each service process.

KPIs should be indicated in the Service Design Package—the ITIL-prescribed document defining all aspects of an IT service—to review the continued quality of service. As quality diminishes, the service pipeline may introduce new services or process improvements to help meet your SLAs. Teams should retire CIs when a reduced service quality no longer leads to positive outcomes and document any stakeholders who may have adverse reactions to changes.

As the scope of IT services changes, the service catalog can serve well to mask the complex processes guided by ITIL.

Topics: Service Management ITIL Service Catalog Service Strategy
3 min read

Bridging the Gap Between ITIL and Project Management Best Practices

By Staff Writer on 7/10/18 9:00 AM

DOES YOUR IT TEAM HAVE THE BEST PROJECT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY?

Forecasts show that cloud-based project management tools are expected to grow around 14% in the next four years, requiring IT software to adapt to new use cases. Organizations with mature ITSM strategies can leverage project management best practices to introduce new services. As teams adapt their service operations to meet increased demands, IT departments are pressured now more than ever to implement changes quickly without posing risks to their service levels.

 

WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

Project management allows teams to build upon ITIL principles by defining several necessary processes when introducing new services. While less defined than incident, problem and change management, project management frameworks (such as PMBOK) can fill in the gaps when implementing new IT services.

When utilizing project management, a project is generally defined as:

a set of planned operations required to fulfil a goal within a defined timeframe

Whether it be to develop software, design new business processes, or update IT infrastructure, project teams typically require individuals across a variety of expertise and geographic locations to come together to scope, plan, implement, monitor and close projects.

 

WHERE ITIL MEETS PROJECT MANAGEMENT

As we narrow our perspective to the ITSM space, we can find definitive connections between ITIL and project management best practices. ITIL actively questions if an IT team is utilizing their resources effectively. Fortunately, ITIL already has defined several key processes required to implement a successful project:

  • Project Initiation: Define key decision-makers, human resources and deliverables, available budget, assessment resources to determine ROI, the risk and mitigation plan and the transitional triggers to move from one stage to another.
  • Project Planning and Coordination: Align the project with an organization’s internal project management guidelines and compliance rules.
  • Project Control: Monitor your total costs and resources such as human efforts and capital expenditures.
  • Project Reporting and Communication: Implement methods to determine IT resource management, business unit demands, and proper scheduling while keeping stakeholders notified of project milestones.

The ITIL guidelines provide a good base when discussing project management best practices by covering areas such as resource management, ROI, communication with stakeholders and identifying transitions.

 

INCORPORATING PROJECT MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES

Project management can build upon ITIL objectives. This can be achieved by identifying the right additional processes to include, such as Project Integration Management, Quality Management, Project Procurement Management, and Stakeholder Management.

In order to understand these processes in context, let’s look at how PMBOK defines them:

  • Project Integration Management builds upon resource management by identifying the processes and activities needed to coordinate project groups.
  • Quality Management emphasizes the need to document quality policies, objectives and responsibilities to ensure that the project satisfies all the requirements for which the project was launched.
  • Project Procurement Management identifies the policies necessary to purchase goods and services to complete the project within the deadline and budget.
  • Stakeholder Management identifies all people within the organization affected by the project.

Project management can improve your ITIL practices if you know where to look. Make sure you’re not missing out on the improved effectiveness your team can achieve with these techniques.

Topics: Service Management ITIL Project Management Best Practices Service Strategy
2 min read

3 Benefits of Managing Your Support Teams on a Multi-Tenant Service Management Platform

By Staff Writer on 6/19/18 9:00 AM

SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE ISN’T EXCLUSIVELY FOR IT.

With the standardization of many IT processes, there are many services that provide management solutions to match the needs of your IT teams. But there are other teams that provide key business support. What exactly is stopping them from using the same platform to improve their workflows?

There are many practical reasons for separating your support teams and siloing operations. Many options are great at separating data, but fail to address each teams’ specific needs and workflows. IT will naturally resolve requests differently from compliance or HR.

That being said, your support teams don’t have to be siloed. They will benefit from having a centralized area to coordinate, standardize and automate work. Multi-tenant platforms can provide specific benefits to your operations. Let’s look at a few of them.

 

1. CONSOLIDATED SERVICE REPORTING

Most teams run their own reports, but analyzing a single group does not provide full insight into the overall service output. Departments often work independently of each other, which results in non-standard reporting. This places a burden on your executives when trying to make decisions from unrelated data sources. Collaborative work between departments also often goes unreported. Interdepartmental tasks are mostly handled through email with no method to analyze data associated with each action. This prevents analysis of any standard workflows that involve multiple teams.

Multi-tenant platforms simplify reporting standards to better determine team and organization KPIs. CIOs can benefit from having both a high-level view over each department’s performance and the ability to dive deeper into individual metrics.

 

2. IMPROVED SERVICE MAINTENANCE

Integrations commonly play a large part in many effective service management platforms. They are often used to connect disparate systems in order to get deeper analytics and metrics around your service operations. An example would be a development team that uses Jira integrating with their service management tool to determine which changes lead to an influx of service tickets.

When managing multiple systems for various support teams, the effort of upkeep between all these integrations can become expensive and complicated. Multi-tenant solutions eliminate that risk by offering a single avenue with which to link your various assets together.

 

3. MORE COST-SAVINGS

Many service management platforms will charge on a user-by-user basis through licenses. You might think that more users on one system would drive up costs, but, in fact, individual license costs will often decrease. Multi-tenant platforms will often offer more flexible pricing around their licensing models, especially when overall user counts increase. Effectively blending together named and concurrent licenses to fit the needs of your business will also add to your overall cost-savings.

 

CONCLUSION

In closing, multi-tenant solutions have clear advantages over separate platforms by providing enhanced visibility over organizational performance, an ease of maintainability, and a lower operating cost. These platforms provide the building blocks to design a custom solution per team, while hosting all the data in the same area.

Topics: Service Management SITS ESM Multi-Tenancy
3 min read

How Vivantio’s Visual Workflow Tool Automates Service Processes

By Staff Writer on 5/11/18 9:00 AM

BETTER AUTOMATION TOOLS FOR ALL.

At Vivantio, we constantly interact with teams who have mature service strategies but are searching for better ways to notify stakeholders of their incoming tasks, automate standard processes and define KPIs to adequately benchmark team performance.

To combat common process slowdowns, we have designed the Vivantio visual workflow process tool to streamline tasks and approvals for your standard workflow processes. Let’s discuss how the tool functions and then offer a few examples of applicable processes.

WHAT IS THE VISUAL WORKFLOW TOOL?

Vivantio’s Visual Workflow Tool is a flowchart builder that contains conditional statements to determine the order that tasks are assigned to decision-makers in your workflow process. Your processes can adapt based on previous actions. Therefore, our tool is designed to enforce different workflows depending on task decisions. An example of a conditional workflow includes a product return process that triggers separate tasks depending on the return reason.

Let’s look at how the Visual Workflow Tool address various company operation workflows.

 

EMPLOYEE ONBOARDING WORKFLOW

A disorganized and incomplete employee onboarding workflow can put an organization at risk for non-compliance or improper preparation. As with all workflows, the on-boarding process requires input between different stakeholders, requiring seamless transitions between each workflow stage.

Vivantio’s Visual Workflow Tool ensures that notifications, approvals and forms are displayed at the correct time and filled out by the proper person, so time-consuming processes such as manual emails, phone calls, and document tracking are completely automated.

Conditional task assignment in onboarding workflows may be used to eliminate unnecessary steps if an employee is a re-hire versus a new hire. If the individual is a new hire, the workflow may assign a task to them to fill out an I9 form and HR may initiate a background check based on the information filled out by the new hire. A re-hire instead may bypass this process entirely and automatically assign a task to the hiring manager to send an offer letter and schedule the starting date. Accepting the offer letter may then trigger additional processes such as assigning tasks to IT for hardware and software allocation.

 

CHANGE MANAGEMENT WORKFLOW

A successful change management workflow requires capturing details on the affected systems, measuring the risks involved, and managing approvals throughout the process.

The challenge with managing changes is efficiently planning, testing, implementing and then analyzing your KPIs to determine if the change was successful. These processes must occur without impeding normal business operations, hence the benefit of automatic approvals and conditional triggers. Triggering separate workflow processes depending on whether a change is pre-approved, normal or an emergency can help place focus on changes that have a larger impact on the organization.

Pre-approved processes, such as a planned asset upgrade, may trigger a single change manager approval. This prevents operational slow down with a lengthy review process. Scheduled reporting on KPIs associated with the change can be delivered to the change manager to determine if the change is successful.

 

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE WORKFLOW

Teams with improper evaluation and tracking protocols to process capital expenditure requests are open to budget risks. With Vivantio’s Visual Workflow Tool, you can create appropriate workflows to ensure the correct departments have input on reviewing and processing these requests.

An example process involves an IT employee filling out a form online to request funding for a new help desk solution. An approval notification is then sent to the requester’s manager, which, when approved, sends a secondary approval request to the CFO if the project exceeds a defined price threshold. After the CFO approves the purchase, the project details are delivered to the purchasing department to place an order. The contract may then be managed within your assets database for automated notifications when nearing license renewal.

 

REPORTING WORKFLOW

While streamlining workflows can rapidly improve a team’s output and success, a powerful reporting tool is essential for tracking service trends for continual improvements. Task completion time is tracked in Vivantio, which provides a useful metric in determining your bottlenecks.

Identifying your service pain points is the first stage in reallocating resources for improved service. Large organizations often track important dates within Vivantio, so scheduled reports can be sent to inform managers of start/finish and deliverable dates for changes and projects.

 

CONCLUSION

We hope you found this article useful in getting your workflows off the ground in our Visual Workflow Tool. Vivantio’s in-house implementation and support teams consist of ITIL-trained professionals who both have extensive knowledge with optimizing workflows and using the Vivantio platform to leverage the workflow tool to automate your processes. If you need more personal help with a specific workflow, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Center Automation
4 min read

How to Implement a Self-Service Portal for Your Support Team

By Staff Writer on 5/11/18 9:00 AM

A GREAT SELF-SERVICE PORTAL HELPS BOTH CUSTOMERS AND SERVICE TEAMS ALIKE

Not only does a great self-service portal free up a service team’s time, but users also prefer it. As customers are given the tools to solve their own technical issues, the service team can focus on more strategic work that delivers greater impact to the service desk, such as automating and streamlining workflows.

 

It’s important to remember that the premise behind a self-service portal is that it’s providing a service. The customer still needs to see the value of using a portal, which means that their answers are findable, new information is regularly updated, and service teams assist customers if they cannot solve their problems alone.

Let’s jump in and have a look at the ways you can successfully get self-service up and running for your internal support team.

 

DEFINE WHAT SERVICES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR SELF HELP

Begin by identifying which services take up most of your technician’s time and pinpoint tasks that customers can fulfill on their own.

Through examining your service reporting, you can identify trends in your service data, such as the number of requests associated with a certain issue and sorted that metric by the average time it takes to complete each action. For example, you may discover that your team receives 5 requests a week on “Installing office 365 on my local machine” and determine that it takes 20 minutes on average to close this type of request. Rather than continuing to address the same request one by one, write a comprehensive article on how a customer can do this themselves to save your team 10 days of service work per year.

At first, this may seem like a small change, but think about how much time you are going to save when it comes to other time-consuming tasks such as replacing printer ink or toner cartridges, installing software drivers, or diagnosing the reason a laptop’s internet is down. Not only have you reduced the time it takes your service team to handle simple and repetitive requests, but you have also empowered your customers by teaching them new skills.

Striking a positive experience with your customers, it is not uncommon to find a majority turning to the self-service portal first rather than coming directly to the service team to solve their issues.

 

ENABLE THROUGH EDUCATION

Your self-service portal cannot be a successful support channel if customers do not understand its benefits over sending an email or calling the service desk.

When you implement the self-service portal, take time to utilize its capabilities in order to educate new users and promote self-help. You can do this by:

  • Setting up a comprehensive knowledge base to promote user guides, help videos, and FAQs
  • Creating a service catalog to set expectations on available services
  • Setting up chat channels so customers can have immediate discussions with available technicians regarding their open tickets
  • Alerting users when assets are unavailable, such as when a file service goes down
  • Using conditional fields in your ticket submissions to capture specific information on the request type

After implementing these changes, you will find that the portal becomes the preferred method for customers to submit tickets because it saves them time.

 

USE DATA TO BENCHMARK THE SELF-SERVICE PORTAL

The most successful self-service portals incorporate scheduled reporting to analyze where continual improvements can be made. It is crucial that you use data to benchmark your self-service portal against other support channels.

For instance, how long does it take the technician to solve a request through email versus the portal? The portal provides a dynamic environment to capture specific information based on the issue type, while email only provides a subject and body. A service team technician may require additional information provided by the customer if submitted via email, which lengthens how long a ticket remains open.

As you continue to migrate your service to the self-service portal, compare the completion time, the number of exchanged emails, actions, escalations, and total ticket volume with your other support channels. There can also be other tools to help gauge success such as surveys and article rating systems, depending on what tools you are using to build your self-service portal.

 

CONCLUSION

Armed with a greater understanding of the benefits of the self-service portal, it is easy to see why offering a solution like this for your customers makes sense. Not only do self-service portals provide better customer service, but teams can also do so at reduced time and cost. Setting up a self-service portal conscientiously by properly customizing and implementing all its features can help elevate an organization’s reputation and brand and make their service teams’ lives a whole lot easier.

Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Self-Service Desk
3 min read

Ask These Questions Before You Invest in a SaaS ITSM Solution

By Staff Writer on 4/4/18 9:00 AM

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SAAS) HAS TRANSFORMED HOW BUSINESSES MANAGE SOFTWARE

There are many advantages of choosing a SaaS provider for IT and other service departments. So, the question for many teams has shifted from “Should we invest in SaaS?” to “Which SaaS product is right for our unique business challenges and requirements?”

Before choosing to partner with a SaaS provider, consider exploring the following areas to decide which solution provides the lowest investment risk.

 

SOFTWARE

What are the functional differences between a company’s SaaS and on-premise versions?

A SaaS model unarguably brings many advantages over a traditional on-premise solution, which often includes lower license costs, continuous updates, and reduced maintenance fees all without the hassle and concern of maintaining in-house infrastructure. Many SaaS service management providers deliver sophisticated platforms with the same flexibility of an on-premise solution, but with the added benefit of continual improvements. This means that the system continues to grow with the business, rather than being tied down to an outdated legacy platform.

The outdated concern that SaaS platforms are less flexible and secure than on-premise solutions has long been a thing of the past. The rise of open API platforms and state-of-the-art hosting services provides the opportunity for fluid information exchange between platforms with necessary security certifications such as ISO27001, SOC1, and SOC2.

You have chosen SaaS. Great! Now how do you determine which vendor is an appropriate partner?

How many versions have been released on their SaaS platform?

SaaS products, by the nature of their continual updates, expand to add functionality over time. The key to choosing an appropriate service management platform is that you need to invest in a proven product. Established solutions provide their customers with the benefit of a secure, highly functional, and adaptable system for their service management needs. In short, choose a product that is tested and trusted throughout an industry, rather than investing in a less mature solution.

 

WHO OWNS THE DATA?

How often and what types of backups are performed?

SaaS providers have different approaches to data ownership. Some vendors do not provide an open API platform, limiting the company’s ability to collect and store data. Other providers have embraced an open platform, allowing businesses to transfer data from the cloud to their own database or other SaaS platforms.

Service management providers can also offer a multitude of integration options with their platform, so companies can move their data to any other system inside the business.

 

SECURITY

What security certifications does their data center hold and were they independently assessed?

In a SaaS model, the IT Service Management vendor is responsible for storing its data and keeping the application up-to-date. Always be sure to ask potential vendors about the security certifications they hold. SaaS vendors do not typically own their own data servers, therefore it is imperative to research their partners as well. All data centers should be SaS570, SOC, ISO27001 and PCI compliant.

 

HIDDEN COSTS

Can there be hidden costs when choosing a SaaS Provider?

We have discussed how choosing SaaS over on-premise solutions can lead to a higher return on investment, but we have not looked at how different companies handle the costs of their features. Several providers offer cut-down versions of their products, requiring you to invest in a higher cost solution as your company grows. Other providers require you to pay for additional products to add on functionality to the base ticketing platform. Sometimes upgrades are not free and require expensive consultation from the SaaS provider when the decision is made to make a change. If you are looking for a platform that continues to grow with your business, make sure you contemplate the more costly packages required to fulfil all your business requirements.

 

IN SUMMARY

According to IDC, global spending on cloud computing will jump from $67B in 2015 to $162B in 2020 and that number is expected to grow. In fact, cloud computing is growing at an even faster pace than IT as a whole. The breadth and variety of SaaS offerings today means stricter, and more time-consuming research on the part of companies considering investing in a SaaS product. Fully understanding the nuances of each SaaS tool is not to be overlooked along the journey to purchasing the perfect IT Service Management product for your business.

For a comprehensive list of even more SaaS-related tips and tidbits, check out our whitepaper, 29 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a SaaS ITSM Solution

Topics: Service Management ITSM ITSM Solution ITSM Tools
3 min read

5 Ways Service Automation Can Transform Service Desk Operations

By Staff Writer on 3/1/18 9:00 AM

EFFECTIVE SERVICE AUTOMATION HELPS YOUR TEAM KEEP UP.

Customers expect faster and more individualized attention than ever, leaving teams struggling to keep pace with an ever-increasing influx of customer requests.

No longer can spreadsheets or other manual processes handle the constant inflow of requests. Service teams can look to one solution: automation. Let’s take a close look at five ways to use service automation to transform your service desk operations.

1. WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

Automation in workflow management plays an important role in dealing with requests consistently and effectively. By assigning tasks to the right people at the right time, you can remove bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your standard processes.

There are a number of ways to improve on an organizations’ workflow processes through automation:

  • Intelligent technician assignments
  • SLA driven escalations
  • Conditional actions based on customer selections

If you operate with a large service team, intelligent routing can assign issues to the most knowledgeable technicians automatically, reducing the burden on your first line teams. By orienting your escalations around your SLAs, you can ensure that the right people are involved with each issue. By offering more conditional choices for customer input, your agents can get the information they need to resolve the issue more quickly.

 

2. TICKET PRIORITIZATION

SLAs are created to define service expectations between a service provider and end-users. To improve customer satisfaction, SLA response and resolution times are often set based on ticket priority, allowing your technicians to accurately identify how much time is available to respond to incoming requests. However, it’s important to recognize not all tickets are created equal. For example, a small issue might become a big problem if it’s for a VIP user. Automatic ticket prioritization helps remove uncertainty about what to work on and when by using a rules-based approach to setting the importance of work.

 

3. SERVICE NOTIFICATIONS

Making sure the right people are notified about issues at the right time and through the right channel is essential for smooth operations management. If someone logs a ticket about a service not working, then the service owner should be notified immediately–not after someone in the call center has spent a couple of hours finding out who owns the service, and how to get hold of them.

Automatic notifications get the right information, to the right person, at the right time. Set conditions around technician communications for specific issue types and priorities. Automating these communications throughout the service process saves considerable staff time, provides transparent communication and helps to provide updates constantly.

 

4. SERVICE REPORTING

Automated business intelligence tools can help you put service metrics front and center. Regardless if you utilize them, it’s important you get regular access to deep insights into your service desk performance, including:

  • Ticket generation by customer type and specific customer
  • Close rates by employee and close time averages
  • Tickets per employee by shift, day, month or other date range
  • Ticket categorization and issue frequency

Scheduling reports around these metrics can automatically inform managers about performance data so that they have oversight over their whole team. These templated reports can send on a periodic basis so that no manual work is required to keep important individuals in the loop.

 

5. KNOWLEDGE BASE

The knowledge base is a powerful addition to many service desks because it gives users the power to solve issues themselves. Why wait for a technician to get back to you to reset a password when you can do it online? Or maybe that printer ink arrived, but you don’t know how to open the printer. Do you want to wait two days for Ian to visit on site? Or watch a two minute video, do it yourself and get that report on your CEO’s desk today?

Companies can give their end-users access to frequently asked questions via company branded portals, with intelligent tools that allow them to solve issues without input from your team – leaving your technicians to focus on the things that you’re paying them to do.

The knowledge base isn’t just for your end users, though. Maybe you don’t want your users trying to replace laser toner themselves – after all, it could be dangerous! But your technicians can’t be expected to remember the specifics of how to get under the hood of that one printer you purchased in the ’80s from someone who went out of business in the ’90s. Automatic article suggestion based on keywords or categories is just as useful to get that out-of-print user guide in front of your technicians as it is to get those password reset instructions in front of your end-users.

Vivantio is a leader in service desk automation and ITSM software. With Vivantio, companies can manage incoming email, track messaging histories, route tickets to the right teams or employees, escalate critical issues, conform with scheduling, prioritize tickets and integrate with other service tools – all powerful, automated actions designed to increase efficiency across companies’ service teams.

 

CONCLUSION

These areas are only a few that can be improved with effective service automation. Make sure you fully understand all of the benefits your team can get from automation by reviewing your processes and identifying what areas can be streamlined and improved.

Topics: Service Desk Software IT Service Automation Service Automation
6 min read

6 Top ITSM Thought Leaders of 2018 and What They Can Teach Us

By Staff Writer on 2/23/18 9:00 AM

IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOUR SERVICE DESK STAYS RELEVANT.

In the world of IT service management, as in most areas of business operations, it is more important than ever for service desks to stay on top of the latest trends and knowledge that’s being circulated.

Failing to remain “tapped in” runs service desks the risk of losing relevancy or missing opportunities to connect and interact with their customers.


Organizations looking to automate and innovate in 2018 are poised to provide better service to customers and consumers, more efficient operations, and improved service desk metrics. Whether it’s improving processes used to manage tickets or arming the team with more effective service level management tools, experts agree there are major opportunities for organizations seeking to take their operations to the next level.­­

Here is a look at some of our favorite thought leaders and what they have to say about the need for better service operations.

 

JEFF RUMBERG – METRICS OF THE MONTH: SERVICE DESK BALANCED SCORECARD

@MetricNet

Jeff Rumberg is the co-founder and CEO of MetricNet, former CEO of the Verify Group, and a leading IT service and support consultant. In his recent post, Metric of the Month: Service Desk Balanced Scorecard, Rumberg explains that despite service desks having access to copious amounts of performance data, companies still struggle to succinctly answer the question of “how is my service desk performing?” Rumberg suggests that service desks should focus not on individual service desk metrics, but combine them into a single, overall measure of service desk success.

The Balanced Scorecard methodology uses multiple metrics, such as cost per ticket, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction and combines them into a performance “grade” that can be used to track, trend, and benchmark service desk success over time. Communicating a single balanced score with stakeholders is also simpler and more digestible than presenting several metrics independently, especially to those outside the IT department who are looking to understand the performance story.

For service desks looking to create a clear, useful set of metrics that employees and leaders can use to measure performance, the Balanced Scorecard is a proven approach.

Read Jeff’s full story on how to use the service desk balanced scorecard method to effectively measure and communicate your service desk performance.

 

STUART RANCE – HOW TO DEFINE, MEASURE AND REPORT IT SERVICE AVAILABILITY

@stuartrance

“Service availability” can sound like two very different things to different audiences – in this case, we’re talking about the service desk and its customers. While a service desk is keen to report on its glowing metric of 98% service availability, customers are naturally going to recall the 2% of the time that services were not available to them and how that has negatively impacted their day-to-day. Using the current simplistic measure of IT availability that service desks use does not take into account the degree of impact it has on its customers, and there is a better way, according to Stuart Rance, owner of Optimal Service Management Ltd. and a leading IT service management and information security consultant, in the recent post, How to Define, Measure, and Report IT Service Availability.

Companies should instead have meaningful conversations with customers to understand which business functions are most critical to them, and which types of downtime would most adversely affect their work and their customers. These conversations can help to inform a more detailed definition of service availability that’s based on a weighted impact of downtime, disruptions, and related processes. Only after understanding the impact of each type of disruptions can service desks truly create measures and reports that show customers the true impact of service availability.

To read Stuart’s post on service availability, click here.

 

GREGG GREGORY – 5 BEHAVIORS OF A COHESIVE TEAM

@TeamsRock

Teamwork is often overlooked as an element of service desk efficiency, with many employees acting as sole practitioners. In 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, leading team and corporate culture expert Gregg Gregory identifies key traits that strong teams exhibit.

To begin, managers need to build vulnerability-based trust amongst their teams. Great teams function best when all workers believe they can be vulnerable in front of other team members. Being able to be exposed allows workers to take risks and express contrarian ideas.

Allowing conflict around ideas can be healthy within an organization when it’s framed positively. The expression of different ideas in a safe space fosters new solutions and allows those with alternative perspectives to come forward.

Read more of Gregg’s post to learn 3 additional ways service teams can become more cohesive around a shared vision for service desk success.

 

JULIE MOHR – IT FRAMEWORKS, STANDARDS AND MODELS

@juliemohr

It’s never too late to return to the basics and Julie Mohr, author, speaker and expert in IT framework processes, help desk technology and IT governance, does just that with her post, IT Frameworks, Standards and Models.

After all, IT is a practice built on logic and structure, and frameworks are a key way to organize and structure the complex systems inherent in an IT service desk model.

Frameworks helps IT service desks bring order to the seemingly competing priorities by providing an environment where efficiency and efficacy are paramount, and performance measures can be used to improve operations.

While there are a few different frameworks with each having their own place in an organization, the standard bearer is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is frequently used as a roadmap for treating IT operations like a business. Whether it’s for ITIL incident management, ITIL change management or ITIL service strategy, these frameworks strengthen the approach an organization takes to data, processes and responses.

There are also a couple of alternatives to the ITIL framework however, like COBIT and ISO 20000, and knowing where, and in which cases, it makes sense to use each framework depends on the overall business goals and objectives. Using an IT Governance Frameworks model allows an organization to map out which frameworks it should utilize depending on the business questions in mind, as outlined in the figure below:

Learn more about how to use IT Frameworks and Standards to maximize the success of the IT organization and its impact on the business.

 

JEFF TOISTER – HOW TO GET YOUR SUPPORT TEAM OBSESSED WITH SERVICE

@toister

A company’s reputation is only as good as the customer service it provides. Teams that are focused on delivering exceptional service above all are invaluable, writes Jeff Toister, author, contact center thought leader, and president of Toister Performance Solutions, in his post, How to Get Your Support Team Obsessed With Service.

So, what does it take to get your support teams obsessed with providing exceptional service?

Start by creating a shared vision for customer service that aligns team members with a vision that employees can relate to and aspire to every day. This vision should be simple, easy to understand, and customer-centric.

Secondarily, engage with the team around the vision, reinforce its value, and talk about how to apply it to their work every day.

Learn more about Jeff’s advice on how to bolster your customer service, including how the company, Rackspace, successfully did so using the strategy above.

 

STEPHEN MANN – THE PERFECT STORM DRIVING ENTERPRISE SERVICE MANAGEMENT

@stephenmann

“Enterprise Service Management” has been around for over 10 years, but why are people talking about it as though it’s a new “trend?” Stephen Mann, principal analyst and content director for the ITSM industry analyst firm ITSM.tools, recognizes the renewed interest in enterprise service management, and it’s not only because itfinally has a universally-accepted name!

In his post, The Perfect Storm Driving Enterprise Service Management, Mann writes that the tenets of enterprise service management is that it has broad applications well beyond the IT organization. Finance, marketing, facilities, HR, legal, and operations all have a need to respond to service requests for help, or information, and it’s in this greater organizational need that drives enterprise service management. Enterprise service management tools, such as Vivantio, provides utility across a number of diverse business functions so that organizations can realize greater value from the solutions those tools provide, such as workflows, automation, and alerts.

Read on to learn more about the resurgence of enterprise service management in today’s service economy and the impact it can bring to the entire organization

Topics: Service Management ITSM ITSM Trends Service Strategy
2 min read

How to Create An Effective Self-Service Strategy

By Staff Writer on 2/23/18 9:00 AM

ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS ENGAGED?

With the levels of self-service provided by the likes of Amazon, ASOS, and Zappos, service desks are under mounting pressures to match their service levels, despite having fewer resources. In fact, The Service Desk Institute (SDI) has research that shows that a whopping 64% of service desk professionals keenly recognize this pressure and are ready to respond.

Yet, in an industry where technology is developing at a rapid pace, many service desks struggle to do self-service well. However, unlocking the potential of this technology can greatly increase service desk efficiency and customer experience.

 

LEARN FROM SELF-SERVICE EXPERTS

In partnership with SDI, Vivantio staged and recorded a webinar where you’ll hear about how self-service has been successfully used by real organizations to improve customer satisfaction as well as drive efficiency of the service desk.

In the webinar, Vivantio’s Helen Heyns will be sharing real customer stories and her industry expertise:

“The Self-Service portal (SSP) plays a key role in the customer experience; it’s the shop window and it represents your professionalism, brand and competence in dealing with your customer’s queries and issues. I would love to show you how a well-built self-service portal will improve the efficiency and performance of your teams and in turn increase organizational ROI.” – Helen Heyns, Senior Technical Consultant, Vivantio

From this webinar, you will learn:

  • What a Self Service Portal is and how it works
  • An array of Self Service Portal best practices
  • The multitude of benefits a Self Service Portal brings to the service desk, to customers, and to the overall business ROI – if it’s done right
  • Why investing in a new or improved Self Service Portal now can be a sound decision.
Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Service Strategy
1 min read

Application Lifecycle Management in Vivantio

By Andrew Stevens on 9/26/17 9:00 AM

CAN VIVANTIO BE USED AS AN ALM TOOL?

The answer is yes. Vivantio is flexible enough to be configured to model your development processes, whether you’re using Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Spiral, or some combination of these. The combination of multiple ticket areas, workflow, asset, and knowledge management gives you almost everything you need.

 

WHAT CAN’T VIVANTIO DO?

There’s still a couple of things Vivantio can’t do. Some examples are:

  • Source control
  • Software development

 

SHOULD I USE VIVANTIO FOR ALM?

Probably not, at least not just Vivantio. Using it with a combination of tools like Team Foundation Server would be a more optimal solution.

That being said, there is definitely a place for Vivantio in your ALM activities. It is very unlikely your developers will want to share their ALM software suite with the support team. However, there is a good chance that Vivantio can help a support team supplement their development team’s efforts.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Center Lifecycle Management
7 min read

How to Integrate Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) with Vivantio

By Andrew Stevens on 9/26/17 9:00 AM

PREREQUISITES

In order to connect Vivantio to TFS, you’re going to need:

  • Admin access to your Vivantio instance
  • Admin access to your TFS instance
  • A user account in TFS for Vivantio
  • The IP address(es) for your TFS servers

BASIC CONFIGURATION

Step 1:

Log in to Vivantio, open the Admin Area, and select TFS under the Integration & API heading on the left menu:

TFS Credentials Empty

The first screen you’ll see will prompt you for the version of TFS you’re using, and the credentials to use.

  • If you’re using TFS 2012/13, or 2015, enter a username and password.
  • If you’re using TFS 2017 or VSTS, enter a username and a Personal Access Token. For details on creating a PAT, see the MSDN documentation here.

Having entered those and hit the ‘Save’ button.

Step 2:

The bottom of the screen will update to show a couple of different URLs: the Work Item Alert URL, and the Service Hook URL:

TFS Credentials Populated

You’ll use one of these URLs when you set TFS up to send information back into Vivantio. We’ll get more into that later. But, while you’re here, you should configure the IP Range for Vivantio to accept requests from, using the ‘IP Range’ button in the menu bar:

Jira IP range buttonJira IP range dialogue

Having configured those, you can move on to the next tab, Ticket to Work Item Mapping.

 

TICKET TO WORK ITEM MAPPING

You can control which types of Vivantio Ticket can be mapped to which types of TFS Work Item by setting up Ticket to Work Item Mappings. This prevents the wrong type of information being transferred or the wrong type of records being created.

Team Foundation Service Ticket To Work Item Mapping Empty

When creating a Ticket to Work Item Mapping, you’ll be prompted for a number of different things:

  • Project Collection – The Project Collection in TFS
  • Project – The Project in TFS
  • Work Item Type – The Work Item Type in TFS
  • Ticket Type – The type of Ticket within Vivantio

These control the basics of the mapping. On the next tab, Sync Options, there are settings relating to the sync of data between:

Team Foundation Server Ticket To Work Item Mapping Empty Sync Options

You can configure Vivantio to automatically send updates to TFS when the Vivantio Ticket is updated. (Note: This option does not force TFS to update Vivantio. That has to be configured within TFS itself.)

Finally, you can add additional field mappings:

Team Foundation Server Ticket To Work Item Mapping Empty Field Mappings

As standard, Vivantio will populate the Work Item Title and Description; if you want to add additional mappings, e.g. for custom fields, you can do so here.

After choosing the appropriate options, hit ‘Save’, and you’re ready to start creating TFS Work Items.

 

CREATING A NEW WORK ITEM

When viewing a Ticket in Vivantio, under the “More…” menu item, you’ll see the option to “Create New TFS Work Item”:

Jira Create New Jira Issue Menu Item 1

Clicking that button will bring up the “Create New TFS Work Item” dialog:

Team Foundation Service Create New Work Item Dialog Empty

You can optionally enter Notes for the Vivantio Ticket History, then hit ‘Save’ to create the TFS Work Item. After a short period of time, you’ll see a TFS tab appear on the Ticket Details:

Team Foundation Service Ticket Details Tfs Sub Tab

That includes a link to view the Work Item in TFS, along with options to unlink the ticket from TFS, or to add a direct comment to the TFS Work Item, which can be useful if you didn’t choose to automatically sync actions.

 

GETTING INFORMATION BACK FROM TFS

The next step in the process is getting information added to TFS sent into Vivantio. This is done using one of two mechanisms, depending on what version of TFS you’re using:

  • Work Item Alerts (TFS 2015 or earlier)
  • Service Hooks (TFS 2017 / VSTS)

The configuration is pretty similar either way.

Creating a Work Item Alert

(The Microsoft documentation on Work Item Alerts can be found here.)

Work Item Alerts are the ‘older’ of the two mechanisms that can be used for TFS to update Vivantio. If you’re using a version of TFS that supports Service Hooks, we suggest you use those instead. However, if you do want to use Work Item Alerts, you can do so easily.

You can follow the instructions in the MS documentation to configure the basics of the Work Item Alert – which work items the alert is for, and when. The main difference is that rather than having the alert delivered to an email address, you’ll select the ‘SOAP’ option, and enter in your Work Item URL:

Team Foundation Server TFS Create Work Item Alert

TFS will then send a HTTP request to Vivantio when the alert fires, and Vivantio will add the details of the update as a Note on the ticket.

Creating a Service Hook

(The Microsoft documentation on Service Hooks can be found here.)

Service Hooks are a newer feature within TFS–introduced in TFS 2015. We don’t currently have Vivantio listed within TFS as a dedicated option, so on the first page of the Create Service Hook wizard, you’ll choose the “Webhooks” option:

Team Foundation Server New Service Hook Step 1

On the next page of the wizard, you’ll choose the type of event the Service Hook triggers on:

Team Foundation Service New Service Hook Step 2

Right now, we only support Work Item Commented On and Work Item Updated, but we’re working on introducing support for other events soon. Enter any filters you want for the area or work item type, then move on to the last step:

Team Foundation Server New Service Hook Step 3

All you need to do here is add your Service Hook URL, then click Finish. TFS will then start sending updates on Work Items back in to Vivantio.

If you’re using Vivantio and TFS, and you don’t yet have them integrated, give it a try, and see how it can help you improve communications between your Service Desk and your development team!

Topics: Customer Center Service Integrations Types of System Integration Microsoft Teams TFS Integration Types of Service Integrations
6 min read

How to Integrate JIRA with Vivantio

By Andrew Stevens on 9/26/17 9:00 AM

PREREQUISITES

In order to connect Vivantio to JIRA, you’re going to need:

  • Admin access to your Vivantio instance
  • Admin access to your JIRA instance
  • A user account in JIRA for Vivantio
  • The IP address(es) for your JIRA servers

BASIC CONFIGURATION

Step 1:

Log into Vivantio, open the Admin Area, and select JIRA under the Integration & API heading on the left menu:

Screenshot of Jira Empty

The first screen you’ll see will prompt you for your JIRA credentials. Enter them and hit ‘Save’.

Step 2:

The bottom of the screen will update to show your unique Webhook URL:

Screenshot of Jira Credentials Populated

You’ll use this URL when configuring Webhooks within JIRA.

However: before you can do that, you need to configure the IP Range for Vivantio to accept requests from, using the ‘IP Range’ button in the menu bar:

Jira IP Range ButtonJira IP Range Dialogue

Having configured those options, you can move on to the next tab, Ticket to Issue Mapping.

 

TICKET TO ISSUE MAPPING

Jira Ticket to Issue Mapping Empty

You can control which types of Vivantio Ticket can be mapped to which types of JIRA Issue by setting up Ticket to Issue Mappings. This prevents the wrong type of information being transferred or the wrong type of records being created.

When creating a Ticket to Issue Mapping, you’ll be prompted for a number of different things:

  • Ticket Type – the Vivantio Ticket Type
  • Project – the Project in JIRA
  • Issue Type – the Issue Type in JIRA
  • Vivantio ID Custom Field – if you have a custom field in JIRA that you want to use to store the Vivantio Ticket ID, you can enter the (system) field name here. This will usually be in the format ‘customfield_10010’
  • Link Issue to Ticket – JIRA has a concept of ‘links’ within a ticket – checking this box will add a link to the Vivantio Ticket to the Issue in JIRA
  • Action / Attachment Sync – you can configure Vivantio to automatically send updates to JIRA when the Vivantio Ticket is updated (Note: this option does not force JIRA to update Vivantio though. That has to be configured within JIRA itself.)

After choosing the appropriate options, hit ‘Save’, and you’re ready to start creating JIRA Issues.

 

CREATING A NEW ISSUE

When viewing a Ticket in Vivantio, under the “More…” menu item, you’ll see the option to “Create New JIRA Issue”:

Jira Create New Jira Issue Menu Item 1

Clicking that button will bring up the “Create New JIRA Issue” dialog:

Jira Create New Jira Issue Dialogue

You can optionally enter Notes for the Vivantio Ticket History, then hit ‘Save’ to create the JIRA Issue. After a short period of time, you’ll see a JIRA tab appear on the Ticket Details:

Jira Ticket Details Jira Sub Tab

That includes a link to view the Issue in JIRA, along with options to unlink the ticket from JIRA, or to add a direct comment to the JIRA Issue – useful if you didn’t choose to automatically sync actions.

 

GETTING INFORMATION BACK FROM JIRA

The next step in the process is getting information added to JIRA sent into Vivantio. This is done using Webhooks in JIRA. Full documentation on Webhooks can be found here, but we’ll briefly walk you through the steps required to configure them.

Back in the Vivantio Admin Area, you’ll find your unique Webhook URL, which will look something like:

https://url-to-your-vivantio-instance/webhooks/jira/event?accesskey=xxx-yyy-zzz

Make a note of this, head in to the “System” section of the JIRA Admin Area, and find the ‘WebHooks” menu option under “Advanced” (towards the bottom left of the screen). You’ll then have the option to “Create WebHook”, which is going to give you a screen more-or-less similar to the below:

Jira New WebHook

You can enter whatever you want for the “Name”. Vivantio doesn’t use that field. Add your Unique URL in, then head down to the “Events” section, where you choose when you want the Webhook to fire, and for which Issues:

Jira-JIra-New-WebHook-Select-Events

It’s up to you exactly which events you want the Webhook to fire for. For example, you might want to just have the Webhook fire when an Issue is updated or a Comment is added. More advanced users might want to configure the Webhook to only fire for specific transitions as a post function in a Workflow. (Note: see here in the Atlassian docs for more info on that.)

Having done that, you then need to set Vivantio up to listen for that specific event, and decide what actions to take. Back in the JIRA section of the Vivantio Admin Area, select the Webhooks tab, click Add, and choose the type of Ticket you want the Webhook to run for. Completing that step will show you the Add Webhook dialog:

Jira Vivantio Add Webhook

In the name field, you’ll enter either a standard event name (such as ‘issue:updated’) or the name of a transition. For simple integrations, you can then choose to just add the JIRA Comments as Notes–then when the Webhook in JIRA fires, the comments will be added to Vivantio.

If you’re using transitions though, you might want more complicated actions to take place – for example, when an Issue is resolved in JIRA, you might want to change the status of the Vivantio ticket. You can do that using the Actions grid at the bottom of the page.

And there you have it: bi-directional integration between Vivantio and JIRA. If you’re using Vivantio and JIRA, and you don’t yet have them integrated, give it a try, and see how it can help you improve communications between your Service Desk and your development team!

Topics: Customer Center Service Integrations Types of Service Integrations JIRA
2 min read

How to Use the Vivantio Report Catalog

By Andrew Stevens on 7/27/17 9:00 AM

WHAT IS THE REPORT CATALOG?

All Vivantio customers receive the same standard out-of-the-box reports when they start out with Vivantio. However, every customer has different requirements for reporting in Vivantio, and the out-of-the-box reports are meant as a starting point, only. During your implementation, your Implementation Consultant will work with you to assess your reporting requirements and either build reports for you or empower you to build your own reports using the Vivantio Report Builder.

During the nearly 15 years our implementation team have been going through that process, we’ve seen many different reporting requirements from a lot of different customers. Some are pretty unique. Others have made us think: “Wow, we need to make this available to everyone!” While we don’t want to fill up every customer system with hundreds of reports that aren’t relevant, we did want to find a way to share these reports with all our customers.

Hence the introduction of the Vivantio Report Catalog: a “marketplace” of Reports that you can browse through. If you find a report you like, you can import it into your Vivantio instance, where you can then customize it using the Vivantio Report Builder.

 

HOW DO I USE THE REPORT CATALOG?

Once the Report Catalog is enabled in your system, you need to choose which Roles have access to it. This is done under:

Admin » Reporting » Reports » Access Control

On that screen, when editing a Role, you can grant the Role the “View Report Catalog” permission. Having enabled that for a Role, when a member of that Role is logged in, they will see the Report Catalog link under the Reports section of the left menu. Clicking that link will open the Report Catalog in a new window, allowing you to browse the selection of available reports, preview them, and then import them into your Vivantio instance. After importing a report, it’s available within Vivantio (and the Vivantio Report Builder) like any other report. So, you can customize it, add branding, change the data, whatever you need!

 

CAN I PUT MY REPORTS INTO THE REPORT CATALOG FOR OTHER VIVANTIO CUSTOMERS TO SEE?

We won’t be making this available by default. If you have a report that you’re particularly proud of or think other customers would find useful, please contact our support team and let them know. We will then review and contact you with a time to chat and see if we can include it.

Topics: Vivantio Customer Center Report Catalog Report Catalogue

Vivantio Meets ITIL & Performance Demands For Global Car Manufacturer

By Staff Writer on 1/12/17 9:00 AM

 


Alan Shrimpton, IT Strategy Manager at a global car manufacturer, weighs in on why his organization chose Vivantio and their experience using the ITSM Platform to meet their ITIL and performance requirements.

 

Topics: ITIL ITSM Solution ITIL Project Management Video
1 min read

SIAM Group Test: How It Works and How Vivantio Compares

By Staff Writer on 7/14/16 9:00 AM

LEARN HOW VIVANTIO’S INTEGRATION CAPABILITIES REALLY COMPARE.

When considering possible ITSM tools, one key element to consider is how well each product will integrate with your available resources to provide a seamless IT organization. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to determine what will work best for your team. In order to see how our product compares, Vivantio participated in a SIAM group test that was run by The ITSM Review. The ITSM Review is an IT community that focuses on sharing knowledge about various tools out there that are available to professionals. But, what is a SIAM group test exactly? Let’s explain.

 

WHAT IS A SIAM GROUP TEST?

SIAM (service integration and management) is a framework for managing multiple suppliers of IT services and integrating them to provide a single, business-facing IT organization.

In other words, SIAM is all about joining all of your IT tools – email, systems monitoring, development tracking, notification services, etc. – into one unified hub, saving your service team time and money while never losing out on important data.

 

THE RESULTS ARE IN

Vivantio took part in the Group Test and garnered some high praise.

“What really impressed me about Vivantio was their dedication to making life easier for beleaguered Ops and Supplier Managers,” wrote Vawns Murphy, senior ITSM analyst for ITSM Review parent Enterprise Opinions and author of the study. “The use of technology to not only support integration but also automate pre-defined responses to ticket event, really makes this a strong contender in the tools universe.”

“The Vivantio ethos is to deliver flexible, reliable, trusted ITSM software to empower the delivery of service excellence to the customer organisation. From the product demonstration, this ethos was clear to see as the flexibility of the product spans interfaces from everything; from Microsoft to Google,” Murphy goes on to write.

For the full results of the SIAM Group Test, visit The ITSM Review.

Topics: News & Awards Vivantio Service Integrations SIAM
1 min read

PC Magazine Notes Vivantio’s Integration Power

By Staff Writer on 5/12/16 9:00 AM

TECH EXPERTS AT PC MAG TAKE NOTE OF VIVANTIO'S INTEGRATION CAPABILITIES.

If you’re familiar with our platform, you already know that flexibility is a big theme for Vivantio. This theme ties directly into our platform’s approach to integrations. The Vivantio Platform is a workhorse in IT service management in its own right. But, the typical service team may utilize dozens of different tools in day-to-day operations, making it imperative that the Platform work in-sync with all the pieces in your service ecosystem.

 

LEARN DIRECTLY FROM THE EXPERTS AT PCMAG

PC Magazine published a great piece on taking the Vivantio Platform’s functionality to the next level by integrating with key outside tools.

Read the full story here: 4 Integrations for a More Powerful Vivantio Experience.

Topics: News Vivantio Service Integrations
1 min read

How to Set Up Asset Synchronization

By Andrew Stevens on 1/21/16 9:00 AM

ASSET SYNCHRONIZATION IN VIVANTIO

If you’re running an IT service desk or managed service provider using Vivantio, you’ve probably got some IT assets out there. When your end users log a ticket with you, there’s a good chance that it will relate to one of those assets.

If you’re using an Asset Discovery tool, then you’ve also got a database of those assets somewhere. Asset Synchronization allows your technicians to get all the information they need from that database within Vivantio.

 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR ASSET SYNCHRONIZATION

You can use the Vivantio API to build your own Asset Synchronization, but there is another way. Depending on where your data is stored, there are a couple of out-of-the-box options available via the Vivantio Integration Services Component.

 

WHAT IS THE INTEGRATION SERVICES COMPONENT?

The Integration Services Component (ISC) is an application you install on your local network. It is designed to run one of several different types of task that require access to local resources, such as your Asset Discovery database. In terms of tasks available from your ISC, there are quite a few including:

  • Asset Sync (what you will use for Asset Synchronization)
  • Active Directory Sync
  • Scheduled Export

The ISC can be downloaded via the Admin Area in Vivantio. Basic setup can be performed via the installer.

 

WHAT ASSET DISCOVERY TOOLS CAN I CONNECT TO?

The Asset Sync connects directly to the database used by your chosen Asset Discovery tool. At the time of this post, we have support for:

  • SQL Server
  • SQLite databases

It should be noted that connecting directly to the database has pros and cons, but this allows us to connect with the widest range of tools.

Topics: Customer Center Service Integrations Types of System Integration ISC
2 min read

When and How to Use the Vivantio API

By Andrew Stevens on 11/18/15 9:00 AM

WHEN SHOULD I USE THE VIVANTIO API?

We’d encourage the use of Webhooks and Web Methods wherever possible for a number of reasons such as:

  • You don’t need to write any code.
  • They’re hosted within Vivantio so don’t need to be deployed separately.

But there are a number of situations where the API is the better or only choice. Let’s explain with two most common instances: Integrating with Legacy Systems and Developing Custom Applications.


INTEGRATING WITH LEGACY SYSTEMS

In this case, you’ll be integrating Vivantio with another system that:

  • Doesn’t have an HTTP API (or doesn’t support HTTP Basic Authentication)
  • Isn’t externally accessible
  • Doesn’t support Webhooks to send data to other applications

With this situation, you’ll need to write custom middleware to push data to and pull data from the external system. Our API can help with that.

(It’s worth noting that you might find Webhooks and Web Methods are still useful in this scenario. Webhooks are still the only way to have Vivantio automatically push data out in response to another event. Web Methods can also simplify the code you have to write on your side to interact with Vivantio.)

DEVELOPING CUSTOM APPLICATIONS

In this case, you might be developing your own software and need Vivantio to communicate with it.

For example, Vivantio includes a comprehensive and flexible Self Service Portal, but maybe it doesn’t quite work for you. If you need features available that aren’t supported in the standard SSP, you might want to create your own.

In this kind of scenario or ones similar to it, utilizing our API could be more appropriate.

 

HOW DO I USE THE VIVANTIO API?

There are two key resources available to help you get started: Code Samples and Documentation and the API Reference.

CODE SAMPLES AND DOCUMENTATION

The best place to start is the API Samples repo on our GitHub page. Here you’ll find:

  • Documentation on the core concepts of the API such as API Design, Authentication and Querying
  • Code samples (Note: currently only in .Net, but we’re working on other languages.)

You can also jump straight to our live samples to see sample applications running.

API REFERENCE

Once you’ve got the basics down and are comfortable working with the API, you can find a complete list of available endpoints and methods in the API Reference.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THE VIVANTIO API?

Quite a lot! Vivantio was developed API-first, so the majority of the functions available within Vivantio are available via the API.

We should note that administrative features are not available in the API and only available in the main GUI.

Topics: Vivantio Customer Center Service Integrations API Integration Tools
7 min read

How to Create Simple Contact Forms with Web Methods

By Andrew Stevens on 11/10/15 9:00 AM

CREATING THE WEB METHOD

To create a Web Method in Vivantio, log into the platform, open the Admin Area, and go to:

Integration & API » Web Methods

screenshot of web methods admin area

(If you don’t see Web Methods in this menu, please contact our support team.)

When you reach this screen, select the “Add” button. You’ll then get a dialog with a box for you to enter a name and a few sub tabs below to fill in. Submit a name and then move onto the first tab.

BASIC DETAILS

screenshot of add web method basic details

In this example, because we’re going for a simple form POST, we won’t be authenticating.

So, select Access Key Auth, and enter the IP range of the web server(s) that will host the form.

(Note: We’ve gone for 0.0.0.0 and 255.255.255.255 in our example. Don’t do that in practice!)

The other options on this tab are:

  • HTTP Method
  • Request Content Type

As this is a web form we’re dealing with, you will want to select ‘POST’ and ‘application/x-www-form-urlencoded’ respectively.

PARAMETERS

screenshot of vivantion add web wethod parameters

You can add as many parameters as you like, depending on how complicated you want your form to be.

In this example, we’ve kept it simple with:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Subject
  • Description

They are all configured in the same way.

ACTIONS

In this example, we want to create a Ticket when the Web Method is called. So, on the Action tab, choose

Add » Create Incident

(Note: You can use whichever of your Ticket Types is more appropriate for the situation.)

screenshot of vivantio add web method actions

After you’ve selected your Action, you will get a popup with two tabs: Conditions and New Record Details.

In this example, we want a Ticket to be created every time the Web Method is called. So, we will leave the Conditions tab empty and move onto New Record Details.

screenshot of vivantio add web methods 2

In this example, you can see we’re using to pass our parameter values into the Ticket Details.

You’ll also want to note though that we’ve put some literal values in for the Priority and Category. In our example, we want these set for every contact form submission, but we don’t want the user to choose them, so we’re specifying fixed values.

RESPONSE

When you’re setting up the Response, you can configure up to three options:

  • Response Type – For this field, you have the choice between Content or Redirect. Content allows you to specify content to be returned to the user as part of the Response Body. Redirect let’s you send them to a specific website with a 302 redirect.
  • Response Content Type – For this field, you have the choice between JSON, XML, or Text/HTML. This field is only available when you select the Content option for the Response Type field. It will inform the user of the Web Method which data type to expect in return.
  • Response Template – This field allows you to enter the actual response you would like to send: either the content or the redirect URL. If your Web Method contains a “Create Ticket” action, you can use to refer to properties from the created ticket within the response template such as {{ticket.displayid}} to get the ID of the inserted ticket.

For our example, we’re going to set up a Content Response using the Content Type “Text/HTML” that shows a basic “Thank You” message and refers to the Ticket ID.

screenshot of add web method response

After you hit the “Save” button, you’ll be shown the unique URL for your Web Method.

screenshot of vivantio web method URL

 

CREATING THE CONTACT FORM

When creating the form, the things you need to know are:

  • The form method should be “POST”.
  • The form action should be the Web Method URL you noted earlier.
  • When you’re setting the names of your form inputs, they should match the names of the parameters you added earlier.

Here’s a sample form below that is ready to use apart from the action URL on the form:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang=”en”>

<head>

<meta charset=”utf-8″>

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=edge”>

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>

<title>HTML Form &raquo; Web Method Example</title>

<link href=”https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.5/css/bootstrap.min.css” rel=”stylesheet”>

<!–[if lt IE 9]>

<script src=”https://oss.maxcdn.com/html5shiv/3.7.2/html5shiv.min.js”></script>

<script src=”https://oss.maxcdn.com/respond/1.4.2/respond.min.js”></script>

<![endif]–>

</head>

<body>

<div class=”container”>

<div class=”row”>

<div class=”col-lg-6 col-offset-lg-3″>

<form method=”POST” action=”YOUR WEB METHOD URL HERE”>

<div class=”form-group”>

<label for=”firstname”>First Name</label>

<input type=”text” class=”form-control” id=”firstname” name=”firstname” />

</div>

<div class=”form-group”>

<label for=”lastname”>Last Name</label>

<input type=”text” class=”form-control” id=”lastname” name=”lastname” />

</div>

<div class=”form-group”>

<label for=”email”>Your Email Address</label>

<input type=”email” class=”form-control” id=”email” name=”email” />

</div>

<div class=”form-group”>

<label for=”subject”>What can we help with?</label>

<input type=”text” class=”form-control” id=”subject” name=”subject” />

</div>

<div class=”form-group”>

<label for=”description”>Any additional details?</label>

<textarea class=”form-control” id=”description” name=”description” rows=”10″>

 

(Note: You’ll note that we’ve referenced Bootstrap in this sample. You do not have to do that and can use whatever UI framework you like.)

Here’s what the sample form would look like in practice:

vivantio web method form sample

Using the code, you can publish the form to your website. After a user fills in and submits the form, a Ticket will be created via the Web Method. The user will then see the content configured on the Web Method Response.

Topics: Customer Center Service Integrations Types of System Integration API Integration Tools WebMethods
3 min read

How to Integrate BeyondTrust (Formerly Bomgar) with Vivantio

By Andrew Stevens on 11/4/15 9:00 AM

Editorial Note: In September 2018, privileged access management (PAM) provider Bomgar acquired BeyondTrust and now operates under this name. We’ve since updated this article text to reflect that change.

 

BEYONDTRUST API

You can access the BeyondTrust API documentation here.

 

BASIC CONFIGURATION

There are three main steps required to configure everything in Vivantio:

  1. Create a Custom Form to hold the BeyondTrust Session Details
  2. Create an Email Template to send the session details to customer
  3. Create the Webhook to allows the technician to create the session

CUSTOM FORM

Why do you need a Custom Form?

The “Generate Session” method in the BeyondTrust API gives us back a number of different values and we will need these to be available in Vivantio.

The main value we need is the “key_url” field, but you can also set up fields for:

  • Expiry Date
  • Queue
  • Short Key
  • Key URL

Begin by logging into Vivantio and going to the Admin Area. You will then go to:

System Areas » Incidents » Custom Forms

From there, you can start adding fields:

screenshot of beyondtrust vivantio custom forms and fields

(Note: All of the field can be created as “Read only” fields as they will be populated by the Webhook and not end users.)

Having created the fields: create a Custom Form with those fields on the following screen:

screenshot of beyondtrust vivantio custom form

EMAIL TEMPLATE

In order to create the Email Template, navigate to:

Admin » System Areas » Incidents » Templates » External Emails

From there, you can click the “Add” button and enter the email you would like to be sent to your end user. You can see our example below:

screenshot of beyondtrust vivantio email template

After saving the email, make sure that the template is available for the “Add Note” process by using the “Action Types” button on the email template list.

WEBHOOK

In order to create the Webook, navigate to:

Admin » Integration & API » Webhooks

From there, you can click the “Add Webhook” button. You will then choose “Incident” and see the Add Webhook screen. You can name this what you like, but, for our example, we will name it “Start BeyondTrust Session”. From there, you will need to fill out a number of tabbed parameters. You can see an example of what that will look like below:

screenshot of beyondtrust vivantio add webhook

Notes on Specific Fields:

Basic Details » Request URL:

This is the format it should be in:

https://instance.beyondtrust.com/api/command?username=username&password=password&action=generate_session_key&type=support&queue_id=general

The bolded and italicized values should be specific to your BeyondTrust account. You might also want to change the “type” and “queue_id” values to match your instance.

Response Fields:

This tab allows us to extract information from the BeyondTrust response and put it in a Custom Form. We recommend using XPath to get the values out. Here’s an example of what that would look like in practice:

screenshot of beyondtrust vivantio response fields

USING THE WEBHOOK

Having completed all of these steps, you should be able to see the “Start BeyondTrust Session” link on the Ticket Details page such as in the example below:

screenshot of beyondtrust vivantio webhook session

When selecting that option, an email should be sent to your customer, complete with a link to join the BeyondTrust session.

Topics: Customer Center Service Integrations Types of System Integration API Integration Tools Bomgar
3 min read

How Trigger Rules Automate Your Unique Business Processes

By Andrew Stevens on 10/19/15 9:00 AM

WHAT ARE TRIGGER RULES?

Trigger Rules is a mechanism that Vivantio users can use to automate processes. The basic concept behind Trigger Rules is:

When a certain condition is met, an action occurs.

They are useful in a wide range of scenarios, but a few common examples are:

  • Sending out surveys after a ticket is closed.
  • Automatically setting the ticket priority when a specific category of ticket is logged.
  • Taking a ticket off “Hold” when it is updated by a customer.

HOW DO THEY WORK IN PRACTICE?

We’ll use a very specific example to help explain: sending an SMS via Twilio for a CopperEgg alert.

(Note: For this example, we will assume you have already set up a CopperEgg Web Method integration and a Twilio Webhook integration.)

BUSINESS RULES

Under Admin » System Areas » Incidents, you will find a menu option for “Business Rules”:

Vivantio Business Rules 1

Within this section, there are three different types of rule available:

  • Routing – These are simple rules to assign new tickets to specific groups or users.
  • Escalation – These are time-based rules used to take action on tickets as SLA targets are approached or breached.
  • Trigger – This is the focus of our example and where you can set an action to occur when a specific condition is met.

Under the Trigger Rules tab, you will be able to click the “Add” button, which will bring you to the following screen:

Vivantio Business Rules 2

Under this screen, you will have a few elements to fill out:

  • Rule Name – This is where you can name the rule to whatever you want.
  • Execute When – You will have the choice beween “Ticket first meets condition” and “Matching Ticket updated”. “Ticket first meets condition” will only execute the action the first time a specific ticket meets the condition. “Matching Ticket updated” executes the action whenever a matching ticket is updated.

To explain each content tab, let’s run through them:

Select Tickets

This is where you will use the Vivantio Expression Builder to set the condition. For our example, we will set this for “Run this rule for tickets with the CopperEgg Alert category” as seen below:

Vivantio Business Rules 3

Timing

This is where you can set timing rules around when the action is completed. For our example, we will want to select the default option of “Immediately”, because we want the SMS to be sent out as soon as the ticket is created:

Vivantio Business Rules 4

There might be scenarios where you want to delay the action. This is where you can control that.

Actions

This is where we define the action that takes place once the condition is met. There are a number of different processes available, but, for our example, we’re only interested in “Send SMS via Twilio” under Webhooks:

Vivantio Business Rules 5

Under that option, it will bring you to a screen where you can set the recipient and text sent. You can also leave an optional note regarding the action.

After saving the rule, you have finished. With this example, the next time CopperEgg creates an alert, the SMS you created will be sent and be noted in Vivantio:

Vivantio Business Rules 11

 

Topics: Service Management Customer Center Automation
12 min read

How to Set up SMS Messaging in Vivantio’s ITSM Software Using Webhooks

By Andrew Stevens on 10/12/15 9:00 AM

LEVERAGING WEBHOOKS IN SERVICE MANAGEMENT

In this post:

  • Webhooks: what they are and why they exist.
  • Worked example: How to leverage Webhooks to send SMS messages from The Vivantio Platform using Twilio (Highly technical)

In our last Customer Center post we looked at the what and why of Web Methods and how they can be used to create lightweight endpoints to receive messages from external services such as CopperEgg. In this post, we’re going to look at what you might call the opposite of Web Methods: Webhooks.

What is a Webhook?

Webhooks are nothing new in the tech sphere. Jeff Lindsay came up with the term Webhook in 2007, and if you’re interested, you can read more about the general principle here. If you’ve been following the series, you’ll know that in the last blog post we looked at using Webhooks coming from Copper Egg to send information to Vivantio. The basic goal of a Webhook is to allow one system to connect to another via a HTTP request to carry out an action of some description – telling us an alert condition was detected in the CopperEgg example. So in this post we’re going to look at how you can use Webhooks coming from Vivantio to send information to other systems.

 

Why use Webhooks?

If you’re looking at integrating Vivantio’s ITSM software with another business tool – CRM, Bug Tracking, Billing, etc. – there’s a good chance the system you’re integrating with is going to need to know when something has happened in Vivantio, such as a new Ticket has been logged or a Ticket has been closed. Without Webhooks, you’d probably end up with a solution that polls the Vivantio API looking for new events you’re interested in and then doing something with them. There are a few downsides to that approach:

  • You’ve got a lot of code to write and maintain
  • You have to find somewhere to deploy it
  • Your IT solution is either a. very chatty or b. slow to respond to events (or both!)

Webhooks solve some or all of those problems:

  • You don’t need to write code*
  • They’re contained within the Vivantio ITSM Platform
  • Event notifications are sent in near real-time

*At least not in Vivantio’s service management tool. Depending on the system you’re integrating with, you might have to write some code to handle the request coming out of Vivantio – we can’t always help you out there! But feel free to email support@vivantio.com and we might be able to give you some pointers, examples or best practices.

 

Worked Example – SMS via Twilio

Vivantio Webhooks allow you to easily get up and running with with SMS messaging. There are a number of SMS providers out there with HTTP APIs. Our favorite of these providers is Twilio. In this example we’re going to walk you through setting up a Webhook in Vivantio that lets you easily send an SMS message via Twilio.

To follow this example, you’ll need to sign up for a Twilio account. Once you’ve done that, make a note of your Account SID and Auth Token from the “My Account” page:

Vivantio SMS 1

You’ll also need to set up a “From” phone number. You can do this in the “Numbers” section of your account:

Vivantio SMS 2

Finally, take a look at Twilio’s API documentation here. That describes the format of the HTTP request that should be sent to Twilio:

Vivantio HTTP SMS 3

The next step is to set Vivantio up to send a message to Twilio similar to the one shown above. So log in to Vivantio and head to Admin → Integration → API → Webhooks:

Vivantio SMS

If you don’t see that option there, contact us via email or our support portal and we’ll enable it for you.

Once you’re there, click “Add Webhook” and you’ll see a list of your available Ticket Types.

Vivantio SMS 5

Choose one, and you’ll see the Add Webhook dialog, starting off with the Basic Details tab.

 

Basic Details

Vivantio SMS 15

First up we’re going to give it a name – here, we’ll be using “Send SMS via Twilio.” Then you have a few other simple fields to fill out:

Request URL

This is the URL at Twilio we want to make the HTTP request to when the Webhook is run. You can get this from your Twilio account. It’ll look something like:

https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/YourAccountSID/Messages.json

Add that into Vivantio:

Vivantio SMS URL

HTTP Method

This is the method the request will use. At the moment we only support GET and POST; for Twilio, we’re going to use POST:

Vivantio HTTP Method

Username / Password

Your username is your Twilio Account SID; your password is your Auth Token. If you’re following this walk-through, you’ll have noted these down earlier:

Vivantio SMS username

Response Content Type

In this example, we’re not going to do anything with the response we get from the request to Twilio, so this isn’t crucial. The response will be in JSON format though, so let’s pick that:

Vivantio SMS json

Action Description

The final box lets you enter some text to appear in the Ticket History after the Webhook has been executed. You can enter whatever you want here:

Vivantio SMS Twillio

Advanced users can use the to reference parameters so that parts of the Webhook can appear in the Ticket History. That can be left as an exercise for the reader to experiment with!

With the Basic Details complete, we move on to the next tab, Parameters.

 

Parameters

Vivantio SMS Parameters

When the Webhook executes, Vivantio is going to send some data to another system. Sometimes, that data is going to come from within the Ticket that started off the Webhook like the Ticket ID or Description, for example. Sometimes though, you might want to allow the person running the Webhook to enter a value to use in the Webhook. In our example, we want to let the user enter a) the text to be sent in the SMS, and b) the number to send it to, so we’re going to add two parameters – Recipient and Text.

Recipient

As you might have guessed, this represents who is going to receive the SMS.

Vivantio SMS Recipient

Name

The label that will appear on screen next to the input field when the user runs the Webhook – we’ve gone with “Recipient”. This is also used to reference the value within the Webhook body as we’ll see a bit later.

Read Only

Whether or not the end user can edit the field when they run the Webhook. In our example we’ll allow the user to adjust the number if needed but in the real world you might want to restrict this.

Data Type

The type of data that the field will allow. At the moment we only support alpha-numeric fields but we’ll be adding more as we continue to develop the Webhooks module. As always, if you need something that isn’t there, let us know!

Display Type

How the field will appear on screen. We only need a single line text box for the recipient phone number so we’ll choose “Freetext”.

Default Source

The “Default Source” for the parameter value, i.e. what the field will be populated with when the user runs the Webhook. You can either enter a fixed value or use the here to reference properties from the ticket. In this example we’ll use {{ticket.callerphone}} to get the phone number of the caller from the Ticket.

Text

For the second parameter, Text, we’ll use the values shown below. Although similar to the above, here we want a multi-line text box and we don’t need a Default Source specified.

Vivantio SMS Text

Now that the parameters are set up we can move on to the next tab, Request Body.

 

Request Body

Vivantio SMS Request Body

This is where we set up the actual HTTP request that will be sent to Twilio. To start, we’re going to set the Request Content Type to application/x-www-form-urlencoded – that’s the format Twilio accepts:

Next, we’re going to give it a name – here, we’ll be using “Send SMS via Twilio.” Then you have a few other simple fields to fill out: