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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. 

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Topics: ITIL podcast ITIL v3 ITIL Certification
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
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
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
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
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
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

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
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