Monday, 21 September 2020 11:43

SolarWinds Service Desk can transform your IT Dept from chaos to calm


Out of all the factors that make an IT team successful or otherwise, one of the most crucial is the service desk tool it uses. SolarWinds has a cloud-based SaaS product, built on the ITIL framework, that can help drive your operations.

I've seen organisations where the IT Manager takes requests for support via email, desk phone, mobile phone, SMS, instant messaging and whatever else they could throw at them. These IT Managers have lamented to their own manager about their workload and the crushing weight of support items. Yet, when asked how they record and manage these problems the answer has been they keep track in their head and didn’t need any systems or software to assist.

However, a good support desk, help desk, service desk tool isn’t merely a “to-do” list. It gives you the ability to prioritise tickets, create a knowledge base, to aid staff in self-service, track troublesome equipment, trending requesters, and to predict potential future problems. A great service desk tracks a problem from its first recorded incident through the change management process to get serious defects resolved.

On the other end, I've seen organisations where the support platform was so convoluted it was a maddening effort to find and link tickets relating to the same problem or to perform any meaningful investigation into the accumulated data.

A good service desk platform provides all the great advantages and features to resolve your user’s issues efficiently, without the tools themselves getting in the way.

This is where SolarWinds Service Desk comes in. Well known for its networking tools, SolarWinds has brought its expertise and skill to deliver a SaaS-based service management platform. The Service Desk is complete with a configurable self-service portal, ITIL offerings ranging from incident management, problem management and change management, along with a service catalogue, and integrated asset management. The product is built to scale as your team grows and can support small organizations with a single IT technician, but the same benefits and power can be extended to large enterprises. Pricing is based upon the number of technicians supporting the service desk and begins at $US19/agent/month.

I hold two fundamental philosophies around IT support and service. The first is that an internal-facing IT department chiefly exists to optimise the rest of the business. The second is the IT department must implement planned and predictable work to maximise the availability of all systems.

Of course, the reality can instead be an Old McDonald’s farm of outages here and spot-fires and user complaints there. It’s trite for me to say the solution is to get these unpredictable problems under control allowing more time for predictable work, but the simple reality is this is it. And, you do it with the help of a good tool. And that good tool can be SolarWinds Service Desk.

SolarWinds states its Service Desk has an overarching goal of improving IT processes, monitoring and assessing current processes and trends and looking for opportunities for IT processes to run more efficiently. The goal of the IT service desk is to restore the end-user to productivity, using problem resolution, end-user education, or sometimes generating a workaround. To do this optimally, it has to understand the end-user experience and meet the end user where they are technologically.

This is precisely what you want, and SolarWinds gets it done by tracking tickets, identifying recurring issues and problems and keeping services up to date.

Another benefit that SolarWinds Service Desk offers is the Open REST API, among other integrations, that helps connect your service desk to other business applications and practices within your organization. There are over 200 integrations which includes Microsoft Azure (for SSO and user provisioning), Microsoft SCCM, Google SSO, Dameware Remote Everywhere, Okta, Slack, SolarWinds Orion Platform, VMware, Zapier and many more.

SolarWinds Service Desk is a service management platform that your users and IT staff will find intuitive and helpful from the first time they use it; it is highly configurable and requires no coding to implement. But more than this, the Service Desk offers rich and plentiful functionality to move your IT operations from responding to user issues to being in charge of when you perform maintenance.

IT leaders often speak about the need to move from reactive to proactive; Service Desk is how you can get there in your organisation. Read more customer case studies here.

You can try it out for a free trial too. It’s fully functional for 30 days, sign up for the trial here.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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