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Staff Writer

Staff Writer


Recent posts by Staff Writer

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
5 min read

4 Things to Adjust in Your Service Strategy During the Coronavirus Crisis

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

SHIFTING YOUR SERVICE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

No matter how strong your service strategy is, it most likely won’t hold up to the challenges your service teams are facing with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

This pandemic has severely impacted businesses and customers alike. If you’re ahead of the curve and have already developed a contingency plan, great! Keep in mind that this crisis poses different challenges every day, so you’ll need to continuously assess and adapt your strategic plan.

If your organization has only started to review its service structure or has only recently been affected by the dire situation at hand, read on to discover the four most important things to assess and adjust in your service management strategy. First, consider the big picture by asking 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 this 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: 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
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
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.

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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
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