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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
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 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Free Software Trial

By Staff Writer on 9/10/19 9:00 AM

TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR FREE SOFTWARE TRIAL PERIOD

So you’ve narrowed down your ITSM solution finalists and are ready to start a software trial? Many SaaS companies offer free trials for a limited time so that you can test drive the platform and ensure it meets your business needs. But how do you make the most of your free software trial before it expires?

At Vivantio, we’ve seen many companies approach service desk software trials differently but have found that the most useful and worthwhile trials are the ones where both the customer and the software vendor took full advantage of prep-time, pre-trial set-up, and thoroughly tested the system. Here are 5 tips to maximize your time with your free trial:

Computer monitor showing the vivantio self-service portal


1. DETERMINE WHAT TO TEST

Before you work with the vendor to set up your trial, compile a list of must-haves and nice-to-have technical and functional requirements you’d like to test so that the product specialist can configure the trial platform with the features you need. Doing so will allow you to focus on using the platform in a testing environment that mimics a real-use case. This is the best way to determine if the product will meet your specific business needs.

Unsure what you might want to test? Here’s what some of our customers ask about pre-trial:

  1. Functionality and ease of customizability of the self-service portal (here’s why it matters)
  2. Ways to capture information specific to the company, such as custom forms and fields
  3. Walkthrough of how to work a ticket and overall feel for the platform
  4. Automation and visual workflow options
  5. Reporting and dashboard capabilities
  6. ITIL standards and best practice (here’s more about how project management can improve ITIL practices)


2. PARTICIPATE IN A TRIAL SET-UP SESSION

At Vivantio, we’ve found that offering a trial set-up session is incredibly helpful. Don’t skip this crucial and often overlooked step in the process! During this scheduled session, a product specialist will walk you through initial steps on how to navigate the trial site, provide instruction on how to use system areas, and allow users to get a basic handle on the product.

It’s also another opportunity for the vendor to build out specific features suited to you and answer questions you may have about them. Although the trial site is created to provide an optimal experience, remember that multifaceted and fully customizable configurations might not be immediately set up in the trial phase, but will be available once the software is implemented.


3. SCHEDULE TIME FOR TESTING

Trial periods can range anywhere from 14 to 30 days, meaning you will need to carve out time to test the platform in order to determine whether it meets your business needs.

In order to make an educated decision, prioritize the trial period by deciding early on who needs to test-drive the platform, what the evaluation process of the software looks like, and what the decision timeline is.

Ensure all stakeholders have access to the platform and check in with them regularly. Then, devote the time necessary to thoroughly test the software. Logging in, asking the vendor questions, and learning the trial platform ensures that you’ll decide on a solution that works best for you.

 

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

Trials exist to make sure both the vendor and potential customer are a proper fit. The most successful trials are ones where there is open and consistent communication. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about specific features or future developments in the pipeline. Utilize any type of help button, contact page, knowledge base articles, or resources the vendor offers. Remember, your experience with the vendor during this trial period often reflects the level of service you will get once you’re a customer.

 

5. INCLUDE YOUR TEAM

Although companies typically assign only a handful of people to research possible ITSM software solutions, you might not be the only boots on the ground relying on the software daily. As you research, ask for input from your team and be sure to involve everyone—from technicians to IT managers to CIOs —in the ITSM tool selection process where necessary to avoid confusion and to reasonably manage expectations. Typically, the trial-testing team includes:

  • An IT manager who oversees the trial and sets up proper workflows to assign to the appropriate technicians
  • Technicians who receive and process service requests
  • End-users who submit tickets to stress-test the platform
  • Developers who test integrations with tools like JIRA and TFS
  • Other department managers, such as HR, facilities, and operations, who will check compatibility and workflows between departments using the platform (here’s how ITSM software can be used beyond the IT department)

After thorough testing, IT managers usually collect feedback and data, which can include discussion on processes such as ticket routing, automation capabilities, and escalation scales, from all parties to bring to the decision-maker. We’ve created a simple to use, comprehensive software evaluation tool your team can use to see how the vendors on your shortlist stack up against your criteria. You can download it here.

 

PART OF THE JOURNEY

The trial period can be an informative and relatively painless part of the software-buying journey, and by spending time with the platform, being specific with your needs, and including your team, your trial is likely to go smoothly.

Remember that you don’t have to be the solo driver—the implementation team will be able to set up and walk you through your specific software service desk configuration should you decide to move forward with the vendor.

Topics: Service Desk Software Service Management Software Trial ITSM Tools

Video: 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 Staff Writer on 4/4/18 9:00 AM

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SAAS) HAS TRANSFORMED HOW BUSINESSES MANAGE SOFTWARE

There are many advantages of choosing a SaaS provider for IT and other service departments. So, the question for many teams has shifted from “Should we invest in SaaS?” to “Which SaaS product is right for our unique business challenges and requirements?”

Before choosing to partner with a SaaS provider, consider exploring the following areas to decide which solution provides the lowest investment risk.

 

SOFTWARE

What are the functional differences between a company’s SaaS and on-premise versions?

A SaaS model unarguably brings many advantages over a traditional on-premise solution, which often includes lower license costs, continuous updates, and reduced maintenance fees all without the hassle and concern of maintaining in-house infrastructure. Many SaaS service management providers deliver sophisticated platforms with the same flexibility of an on-premise solution, but with the added benefit of continual improvements. This means that the system continues to grow with the business, rather than being tied down to an outdated legacy platform.

The outdated concern that SaaS platforms are less flexible and secure than on-premise solutions has long been a thing of the past. The rise of open API platforms and state-of-the-art hosting services provides the opportunity for fluid information exchange between platforms with necessary security certifications such as ISO27001, SOC1, and SOC2.

You have chosen SaaS. Great! Now how do you determine which vendor is an appropriate partner?

How many versions have been released on their SaaS platform?

SaaS products, by the nature of their continual updates, expand to add functionality over time. The key to choosing an appropriate service management platform is that you need to invest in a proven product. Established solutions provide their customers with the benefit of a secure, highly functional, and adaptable system for their service management needs. In short, choose a product that is tested and trusted throughout an industry, rather than investing in a less mature solution.

 

WHO OWNS THE DATA?

How often and what types of backups are performed?

SaaS providers have different approaches to data ownership. Some vendors do not provide an open API platform, limiting the company’s ability to collect and store data. Other providers have embraced an open platform, allowing businesses to transfer data from the cloud to their own database or other SaaS platforms.

Service management providers can also offer a multitude of integration options with their platform, so companies can move their data to any other system inside the business.

 

SECURITY

What security certifications does their data center hold and were they independently assessed?

In a SaaS model, the IT Service Management vendor is responsible for storing its data and keeping the application up-to-date. Always be sure to ask potential vendors about the security certifications they hold. SaaS vendors do not typically own their own data servers, therefore it is imperative to research their partners as well. All data centers should be SaS570, SOC, ISO27001 and PCI compliant.

 

HIDDEN COSTS

Can there be hidden costs when choosing a SaaS Provider?

We have discussed how choosing SaaS over on-premise solutions can lead to a higher return on investment, but we have not looked at how different companies handle the costs of their features. Several providers offer cut-down versions of their products, requiring you to invest in a higher cost solution as your company grows. Other providers require you to pay for additional products to add on functionality to the base ticketing platform. Sometimes upgrades are not free and require expensive consultation from the SaaS provider when the decision is made to make a change. If you are looking for a platform that continues to grow with your business, make sure you contemplate the more costly packages required to fulfil all your business requirements.

 

IN SUMMARY

According to IDC, global spending on cloud computing will jump from $67B in 2015 to $162B in 2020 and that number is expected to grow. In fact, cloud computing is growing at an even faster pace than IT as a whole. The breadth and variety of SaaS offerings today means stricter, and more time-consuming research on the part of companies considering investing in a SaaS product. Fully understanding the nuances of each SaaS tool is not to be overlooked along the journey to purchasing the perfect IT Service Management product for your business.

For a comprehensive list of even more SaaS-related tips and tidbits, check out our whitepaper, 29 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a SaaS ITSM Solution

Topics: Service Management ITSM ITSM Solution ITSM Tools
2 min read

How to Benchmark Uptime for ITSM Solutions

By Staff Writer 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