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2 min read

Vivantio Named High Performer/Momentum Leader from G2

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

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

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

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

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


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

– G2 Reviewer, Administrator, Leisure, Travel & Tourism 


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

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

group-demo-with-laptop-2

 

About Vivantio

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

About G2

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

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

4 Questions To Ask Your Vendor About Security

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

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

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

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

1. Does the vendor adhere to security best practices? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Do the vendors practice what they preach?

This one is pretty simple. 

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

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

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

Bottom line

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

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

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

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

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

Ask These Questions to Find IT Vendors with Strong Security Practices

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

ENSURE YOUR SERVICE SOFTWARE IS PROTECTED

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

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

Does the vendor adhere to security best practices?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

white-paper-vivantio-values-security

 

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

5 Ways Service Automation Can Transform Service Desk Operations

By Staff Writer on 3/1/18 9:00 AM

EFFECTIVE SERVICE AUTOMATION HELPS YOUR TEAM KEEP UP.

Customers expect faster and more individualized attention than ever, leaving teams struggling to keep pace with an ever-increasing influx of customer requests.

No longer can spreadsheets or other manual processes handle the constant inflow of requests. Service teams can look to one solution: automation. Let’s take a close look at five ways to use service automation to transform your service desk operations.

1. WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

Automation in workflow management plays an important role in dealing with requests consistently and effectively. By assigning tasks to the right people at the right time, you can remove bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your standard processes.

There are a number of ways to improve on an organizations’ workflow processes through automation:

  • Intelligent technician assignments
  • SLA driven escalations
  • Conditional actions based on customer selections

If you operate with a large service team, intelligent routing can assign issues to the most knowledgeable technicians automatically, reducing the burden on your first line teams. By orienting your escalations around your SLAs, you can ensure that the right people are involved with each issue. By offering more conditional choices for customer input, your agents can get the information they need to resolve the issue more quickly.

 

2. TICKET PRIORITIZATION

SLAs are created to define service expectations between a service provider and end-users. To improve customer satisfaction, SLA response and resolution times are often set based on ticket priority, allowing your technicians to accurately identify how much time is available to respond to incoming requests. However, it’s important to recognize not all tickets are created equal. For example, a small issue might become a big problem if it’s for a VIP user. Automatic ticket prioritization helps remove uncertainty about what to work on and when by using a rules-based approach to setting the importance of work.

 

3. SERVICE NOTIFICATIONS

Making sure the right people are notified about issues at the right time and through the right channel is essential for smooth operations management. If someone logs a ticket about a service not working, then the service owner should be notified immediately–not after someone in the call center has spent a couple of hours finding out who owns the service, and how to get hold of them.

Automatic notifications get the right information, to the right person, at the right time. Set conditions around technician communications for specific issue types and priorities. Automating these communications throughout the service process saves considerable staff time, provides transparent communication and helps to provide updates constantly.

 

4. SERVICE REPORTING

Automated business intelligence tools can help you put service metrics front and center. Regardless if you utilize them, it’s important you get regular access to deep insights into your service desk performance, including:

  • Ticket generation by customer type and specific customer
  • Close rates by employee and close time averages
  • Tickets per employee by shift, day, month or other date range
  • Ticket categorization and issue frequency

Scheduling reports around these metrics can automatically inform managers about performance data so that they have oversight over their whole team. These templated reports can send on a periodic basis so that no manual work is required to keep important individuals in the loop.

 

5. KNOWLEDGE BASE

The knowledge base is a powerful addition to many service desks because it gives users the power to solve issues themselves. Why wait for a technician to get back to you to reset a password when you can do it online? Or maybe that printer ink arrived, but you don’t know how to open the printer. Do you want to wait two days for Ian to visit on site? Or watch a two minute video, do it yourself and get that report on your CEO’s desk today?

Companies can give their end-users access to frequently asked questions via company branded portals, with intelligent tools that allow them to solve issues without input from your team – leaving your technicians to focus on the things that you’re paying them to do.

The knowledge base isn’t just for your end users, though. Maybe you don’t want your users trying to replace laser toner themselves – after all, it could be dangerous! But your technicians can’t be expected to remember the specifics of how to get under the hood of that one printer you purchased in the ’80s from someone who went out of business in the ’90s. Automatic article suggestion based on keywords or categories is just as useful to get that out-of-print user guide in front of your technicians as it is to get those password reset instructions in front of your end-users.

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

 

CONCLUSION

These areas are only a few that can be improved with effective service automation. Make sure you fully understand all of the benefits your team can get from automation by reviewing your processes and identifying what areas can be streamlined and improved.

Topics: Service Desk Software IT Service Automation Service Automation
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