IT departments can now improve service delivery by proactively identifying and responding to service issues that often fail to surface in traditional communication channels. Supportworks ITSM Enterprise v.3.2 combines these new capabilities with a range of ITIL-compatible enhancements that continue to support the IT Service Management journey, from help desk to ITSM maturity.
“Having the ability to proactively address support issues is an ongoing challenge for IT. This is particularly important during a time when there are an increasing number of savvy users such as ‘digital natives’ and Generation Y in the workplace. Customer demand, especially from service desks providing IT support to this audience, led us to look at the opportunities to develop social functionality into our service management solution, Supportworks,” said Patrick Bolger, Chief Evangelist at Hornbill. “Our first priority has been to enable IT support teams to incorporate a social monitoring capability into their support offering. We are increasingly seeing examples where users air their frustrations via social media channels long before contacting the service desk. In these instances IT is the last to know, which not only lets issues fester but can damage the reputation of support teams. With Supportworks v3.2, service desks can discover, react and resolve requests via Twitter and create an auditable record of these interactions in the Supportworks database.”
Supportworks ITSM Enterprise v.3.2 takes a major step toward the proactive service desk through the integration of Twitter. More specifically, this innovative new feature gives service desk staff the ability to:
• Search Tweets: Searches for specific hashtags, words or phrases can be saved and scheduled to run automatically, with real-time results displayed and options available to reply to the tweet.
• Monitor mentions and issue updates: Track what customer followers are ‘tweeting’ and enable immediate access to these followers and the ability to broadcast service updates
• Resolve customer records from Twitter ID: Match tweets received from customers with records in the Supportworks database to create an auditable record of interactions and ensure greater consistency across all support channels.
• Raise a Tweet as an Incident: Reply to a tweet from within Supportworks or raise an Incident, Service Request directly from the tweet. In turn, a new call form is opened, the customer details are resolved and relevant information is copied from the tweet.
• Manage multiple Twitter accounts: Use Open Authentication (OAuth) to integrate several Twitter accounts with the Service Desk, enabling support staff to tweet and reply from accounts they are approved to use.
“The use of social media continues its inexorable growth among business professionals in all departments, including IT: growth that is evident across all industries and in all geographies. Social media usage changes the way users interact with vendors, from the initial needs declaration to customer service,” according to Peter O'Neill, Vice President, Principal Analyst, in his October 2010 independent Forrester Research, Inc. report, Empowered Users Will Change How Business Software Is Served. “The business software market is affected by this increase in social media engagement as users decide that the IT service desk is no longer their first point of call. The former option [using search engines] is usually a richer and more productive experience than calling a help desk, where users must often first provide administrative details to gatekeepers before their problems are documented and then dealt with in a later interaction phase.”
Supportworks ITSM Enterprise v.3.2 now also includes an updated Mobile Web Client with a more intuitive interface. In just a few clicks, support staff on the move can log, update and resolve requests, as well as authorise and update tasks without having to enter large amounts of text. This mobile functionality can be utilised on a variety of popular smartphones including Blackberry, iPhone and Android devices.
“Supporting a community of around 25,000, most of which are students that include the ‘Generation Y’ user whose primary communication channel is social media, can sometimes feel like an immense undertaking. Since implementing Hornbill’s Supportworks we’ve been successful at improving our productivity and the service we provide our customers based at different campus locations both in the UK and overseas. Our next goal is, naturally, to reduce the number of calls we receive and improve the perception of our service. This means having a greater insight into problems before they reach the service desk and finding a way to hook into our customers’ communication channels, which is where the new social media integration within Supportworks will play a central role,” said Oliver Holmes, Service Manager, London Metropolitan University.
According to David Coyle, Research Vice-President at Gartner,“Continuous improvement must be at the heart of the service desk strategy. This becomes even more challenging at a time when a complaint or poor service experience can be communicated to thousands of people with a 140-character tweet. If these service issues are left dormant simply because they cannot be easily identified or logged, it’s impossible to truly judge the performance of your service desk. Service desk professionals today need a diverse set of tools for responding to service issues that emerge in an environment where customer or user expectations are that much higher.”
Additional enhancements to Supportworks ITSM Enterprise v.3.2 include updates to business process features in areas such as user authorisation and task setting, as well as new Configuration Management Database (CMDB) settings.
Hornbill (hornbill.com) develops and markets Supportworks: platform technology and applications for IT Service Management and business helpdesks. Supportworks' service desk software is designed for rapid deployment within any IT or business support environment, including ITIL-compatible IT Service Management (ITSM), IT Helpdesk, Customer Service & Support, Human Resources and Facilities Management with the flexibility to build additional service desks at minimal extra cost.
Customers including Atos Origin, Toyota Motorsport, Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Kent County Council, Greggs, London School of Economics, Natural History Museum, Knight Frank, Comet, The National Archives, and Camelot benefit from Hornbill’s unique ‘Human Touch’ approach to Service Management.
Hornbill was founded in 1995 and has offices in London, UK and Dallas, Texas.