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2 min read

Vivantio Named High Performer in G2 Winter 2020 Report

By Lauren Saalmuller 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 Lauren Saalmuller 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 Lauren Saalmuller 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
3 min read

The Differences Between Help Desk and Service Desk and Why it Matters

By Lauren Saalmuller 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 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
3 min read

Ask These Questions Before You Invest in a SaaS ITSM Solution

By Nate Lipka 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

Vivantio Meets ITIL & Performance Demands For Global Car Manufacturer

By Nate Lipka 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
2 min read

How to Benchmark Uptime for ITSM Solutions

By Nate Lipka on 8/31/15 9:00 AM

HOW IMPORTANT IS UPTIME IN ITSM?

As often as we preach the importance of streamlining recurring ITSM processes and speeding up the delivery of core offerings, nothing grinds customer service to a halt quite like a platform outage.

You might recall the massive 2014 Google outage, which left 10 percent of the behemoth’s customers locked out of Gmail, Google+ and other services for nearly an hour in the middle of the US workday. This from a company that typically boasts 99.9% uptime.

While this is an extreme case and rare on Google’s part, it punches home the importance of high availability and proves that uptime percentage is more than just a figure for sales to throw around. In ITSM software, high availability is crucial.

 

WHAT AFFECTS ITSM SOFTWARE UPTIME?

One big factor that can either bolster or hamper IT service management software uptime is a vendor’s choice of hosting partner.

Tier One hosts employ significant measures at each of their massive data centers, capable of operating day-to-day with zero outages and prepared to handle more catastrophic challenges posed by natural disaster or external attack with minimal downtime.

Other issues with downtime arise from the design of certain ITSM platforms themselves. A vendor should be able to add customers and expand and alter their system without bringing it down. Platforms designed without extensibility and scalability in mind often crumble under the weight of a growing user base, and no one utilizing the tool is spared the headaches.

Anyone who regularly depends upon tools like Microsoft Azure knows this all too well.

But it’s not just unplanned outages that hamper customer service capabilities: scheduled updates to an ITSM platform can cause problems if the timing of such updates are suspect, if such updates happen far too often, if downtime during updates drags on longer than planned or, worst of all, news of upcoming update outages isn’t communicated to you, the user of the tool.

 

IS ITSM SOFTWARE DOWNTIME AVOIDABLE?

Simply put; no.

Downtime is inevitable. No matter how much money, time and effort is spent on high availability, it’s just that – high, not guaranteed.

The real key is how ITSM vendors deal with outages, what stopgaps are put in place to limit unplanned downtime and how readily they keep customers looped in to service updates.

Vivantio maintains a dashboard with live updates on both planned and unplanned outages and a log of updates and fixes. With a comprehensive log in hand, it’s impossible for ITSM vendors to hide from their own service record.

 

WHAT’S ACCEPTABLE UPTIME FOR ITSM VENDORS?

99.5% uptime, excluding planned maintenance, is an acceptable level for an ITSM platform. Any lower than that and you’re dealing with a tool that isn’t dependable enough to make up for even steep cost savings. Steer clear.

Perhaps most importantly, the uptime for your service management software should exceed your organization’s own internal requirements. If the tools you use to deliver a stellar customer experience don’t pass muster, your team’s own delays and frustration will be passed along directly to the customer.

Topics: Service Desk Software Service Management ITSM ITSM Solution ITSM Tools