Meet Your Next (and Last) IT Service Management Solution
In this webinar, we demonstrate how the Samanage engine can change the way your IT department operates and strengthen your communication with end users.
Welcome everyone. I’m Matt Shanklin and I want to welcome you to the Samanage webinar Meet Your Next and Last IT Service Management Solution. I’m an account manager here at Samanage, I’ve been with the company since 2011. Just a few talking points before we get started, some of the things we’re hearing from our customers is that they need an ITIL-ready solution that is simple and with rich features, is easy to use, unified asset management ticketing system, and something they can utilize off-base so they can access the application through their mobile devices.
Some of the things that make Samanage different is the functionality. It is code free and customizable, meaning you aren’t building the application yourself, it’s ready to use right out of the box. Most people look at it and they get it right away. The UI is so simple and easy to use that end users are adopting it very quickly. We built an agile application in terms of deployment, where we’re continuously adding new features and functionality to the application based on user feedback. In the month of October alone, we deployed somewhere around 15-16 new updates to the application. Obviously, that adds instant value to our clients right off the bat. Most of our clients are up and running with their solution in about 2 weeks time.
I want to show you the app now. Right now, we’re looking at the live application itself. The dashboard is what we’re going to see when you log in, but what we’re focusing on today is the service desk side, or the service management portion of Samanage. You can see the ITIL methodology is already built into the application. Incident management, problems, changes, releases, solutions, and service catalog. We support the creation of incidents in several different ways. So, if someone wants to go to the self-service portal, this is set up very easily for them. You can do a quick search for useful articles, they can search the knowledge base here and view old requests. If there’s an incident they submitted months ago, they can go look at their history and see how your IT team helped them in the past. You’re also logging all history, so any conversations that happened around your tickets, you can reflect back on that. If they wanted to, they can access the knowledge base. You can also keep an internal knowledge base, or share that knowledge base with your end users.
Logging a new ticket is really simple, it’s set up a lot like email already. Then on the backend, this is where you as the IT professional will work the tickets and basically assist your end users. I’ve got some filters set up here, but if we wanted to look at a full list of everything we could do. This is all of the tickets and then you have some functionality around in-line editing that you can do. You can change the state of the ticket, these are customizable as well, you can add in your own ticket status or ticket stakes. You can view the ticket as well, here it will give me an in depth view of the ticket itself. If we look at one in particular that has more info, you can see all the variables that the end user has filled out. You can see that by hovering over the eye without opening the ticket. At the same time, you have the ability to change the priority on the fly. If the CEO submits a ticket, you want to go ahead and escalate that to high priority. There are several categories you can create as well, which are essentially related to incident types. If you wanted to create categories for hardware issues, software issues, desktop issues, facilities issues, you can create your own categories and subcategories and define the default assignee for those particular tickets. That can be one specific person on the tech side or a group of people. Lastly, here you can change the assignee, you can on the fly just reassign that ticket. This is a good high-level maintenance of the app you can do on the fly.
Some of the things we can do as far as reporting, if you wanted to add in a filter to see the tickets assigned to yourself, you can do that. You can also set this as your default so when you log in and look at your incident section the only things you’ll see are the tickets related to you.
And finally, when you dive into the ticket itself. this is where you’re going to assist the end-users. So obviously you could see the response and description of the issue is, and then their comments. So you can see the comments here, whenever you post that, again we’re keeping track of the comments. That’s on both sides of the tickets, the back-end and the requester side. product comments are basically comments that if you want to keep those separate from the end users and create a dialogue between you and the end user you can do that. You can also create a knowledge base, search for the solution, find the correct solution, and attach it. Now you can send the response back without having to retype that again. You also have time, service monitoring here, so we’re monitoring the time to assign, to first response, and time to close. You also have the ability to link incidents together, so if there’s a relationship between any incidents that are coming in, you can associate those incidents together. You could close this incident and it would prompt you to close the related tickets as well if you wanted to.
A good example of using the ITIL methodology where you’re escalating incidents to problems to changes, we’ve put together an example called server outage. Say your users all submit tickets that they’re unable to access their emails or send emails, maybe you have 15 or 20 tickets that have come in, you’re going to associate them to one ticket and create a parent-child relationship. At that point, you’re going to want to identify this as a problem. What we’ve done with the problem section is, in this example, it’s an information gathering stage. In the actual problem section, you can add in a description of the issue, what you have determined is the root cause of the problem, any symptoms and the work around. Then you’ll want to implement a fix for the issue, where the change management portion comes in. In this instance, we’ve done a change request, and when we’re in this mode, you have the description, the change plan (which is really just what you plan to do to fix this issue), rollback plan is synonymous with the work around you have previously put in place, and then what you plan to do as far as testing the fix. In many organizations, you’ll need a change approval. The functionality built into Samanage is that you can add as many approvals as you need in regards to how many specific approvers need to approve that before you can move forward. In this case, you can choose only one is required, all of the approvers are required, or 50 percent or more is required. Then you can create tasks, if you need to do working tasks. Say you’re doing a software update, from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and you want to do a whole change process for that. There may be a few tasks to create before you can go ahead and implement that process, so that’s a great use case for the tasks section.
You’re also able to attach and assets that may be affected, and that unilaterally can be done over incidents, problems, changes, or releases. So, if you need to attach an asset and create that relationship between our service desk and asset management functions, you can do that by simply attaching an asset. Once you’re ready to release the fix into the environment, you would just then add it as a release.
Our solution is pretty straight forward. This is your knowledge base, and there are a number of different ways you can bring in solutions. We have an import function where you can bring existing solutions, if you can export them from your old system, you can import it into our system. Another way to do this is to create a new system from scratch, or if you wanted to you could go in based off of resolved. So, after you’ve resolved a ticket (when we’re in this edit mode and change this to resolve), we could edit this to create a new solution.
Last part on the front end of the service management system is the service catalog. The service catalog is a great way to open up the application to more than just your IT department. You can involve your HR department, Comm department, facilities, or any department you want to bring on and give them access to utilize this in terms of business services they’re providing your end users. One of the examples I like to use is a new hire process request. Whenever you’re hiring new employees, what is the process we’re following when hiring? If you have this documented on a piece of paper, this is a great way to digitize that. You bring this into the system, you create a new hire process request form, and from there you can build this out and customize this however you want. On the backend we specify the name, the description, and the variables. If we go back to the portal, the service catalog is where the end users can go in and request those services. If we scroll down and look at HR, and choose the new hire process request, these are the variables built into the system. This is identical to those variables I showed you on the backend. So, if we go in and fill out the variables, such as name, the title, manager, and start date, then we submit the request. This comes in as a request with all the variables that we need filled in. If we go back and see the actual request, I can click into it and scroll down, this is our process that we’ve built out on the backend. These are the variables, which are identical to what we’ve just filled out, and the process which is identical to what you see in the actual request itself. So you build this out, the first step we want is manager confirmation. The manager will confirm the new hire. They can do that directly from email. I’m actually assigned as the manager for this particular example so I approve it. I can add a comment if I want to, but once everything is approved, it then kicks off to the next person to order the actual machine. These tasks go straight to whoever is assigned, so I can pick someone from procurement to order a new device. You can add a description for what type of device they need to order. Once that’s approved, it goes to someone in IT to set up their email and any passwords they may need. Then you’re set and the new hire is already set up. You can add or subtract any of these tasks. You can reposition these tasks too based on what your workflow needs. There’s a lot of editing you can continue to do as you mature you’re processes.
The last part I want to show is reporting. We’ve given you a template of a report that you can go in and edit, and these are all live reports, so if you click on one of the graphs it will pull you right back into the app and show you that filtered data. What we’re looking at currently is the status of the tickets. Say we only want to see anything that’s new and assigned, we can just start picking away at these different tabs at the bottom and carve the data up. You can change the group, so say we want to see what our technicians are doing so over the last 90 days you want to see how many tickets a specific technician is working on during that timeframe. You can change the subcategory, you can change the priority, resolution, created time, sites, etc. And then you have the ability to export this data. If you go back into the table view, it pulls you right back into the app. You have those export capabilities here.
This concludes everything I wanted to show in our demo portion. If there are any questions, I’m happy to answer those now.