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Put the customer in the center

Customer and service orientation
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Responsive ITSM means for us:

- customer-centric processes before exact mapping of IT structures

- preventive measures before reactive incident management

- rich conversation before digitalized "correspondence" (ticketing)

Customer-centric processes

ITSM systems are procured by IT organizations. We find that often the end customer that the ITSM organization wants to serve is too superficially involved in the design of the system. For example, service catalogs are structured precisely based on the detailed technical services as delivered by the ITSM organization. But it would be better to ask, as a first priority, which services the customer wants to access individually. We recommend effective stakeholder management in implementation projects and applying user-centric methods such as customer journey mapping to ensure a high-quality customer experience also to internally delivered IT services for the benefit of the business.

Preventive measures

How can you become proactive? The key is to make ITSM data-driven. Only with a well-developed sensor system is it possible to recreate the quality of the service perceived by the customer in everyday life.

In day-to-day ITSM, the relevant early indicators are often missing, which would make it possible to act in time on problems that are building up. The figure on the right shows a single example indicator. If, on the other hand, the IT professionals' dashboard looked like the figure below, they would immediately know which problems that have not yet been reported should be addressed.

Screenshot of error messages

Rich conversation

Setting up an ITSM usually means introducing a ticketing system. Systems such as ServiceNow or Jira Service Desk make a significant contribution to transparent and controllable ITSM. A major limitation of most ticketing systems, however, is that the communication pattern between end users and IT as well as between the various support level managers resembles an "exchange of letters" between two offices.

It therefore makes sense to supplement the ticketing tool with digital rooms in which a chat-based conversation can be conducted with the active participation of all necessary specialists. They have the great advantage that customers immediately feel that someone is taking care of the problem and initial queries can be answered immediately without delay.

Linking ticketing with other communication channels enables tasks to be completed more quickly and in a more targeted manner.

Our toolbox: "best of breed" solution components

Compilation of tools

Frontend Tools: Interaction with end users and IT teams

The frontend tools provide the customer interface of the ITSM.

The Status Information component is used to communicate service status to end users. This includes communicating availability constraints, maintenance announcements, etc. In the context of business continuity management, this component is used to ensure that information is provided even if all other communication channels fail. Our preferred product for this is statuspage.

In chat rooms, end users can be provided with uncomplicated support in a conversation ("conversational ticketing"). Depending on the customer journey concept, the chat-based interaction can be initiated either directly by the end user or by IT. We prefer to work with Halp, Chatlio and Slackif a cloud solution involving US companies can be used, or with Mattermost and jitsi if an operation in Switzerland is required. If Microsoft Teams is available, integration is obvious.

The Ticketing Portal allows end users to submit and track their service requests. This includes the provision of order forms, their approval by the relevant departments and the processing of the service provision. We prefer to work with Jira Service Desk or supplement Jira with our own portal development if there are special requirements for the design or integration of the portal.

Backend Tools: Data-driven ITSM and Process Support

The goal of Knowledge Management is to ensure that issues can be resolved more quickly. On the one hand, relevant troubleshooting articles can be displayed to end users based on keywords when tickets are created, with the goal that they either solve the problem themselves or at least provide the relevant information to describe the problem. On the other hand, it also serves to transfer know-how through the support chain (2nd level to 1st level, etc.). We work with Confluence.

In Asset Management, the components and their properties for which the ITSM provides services are managed in the sense of an inventory. This information is then read when tickets are created or to determine dependencies when solving problems. Ideally, the information is not only entered manually, but is also supplemented as far as possible by automated service or user device monitoring. We prefer to use Insight - Asset Management for Jira.

Alarming is used to summon the employees required to solve a problem according to the stored shift plan or to trigger escalation chains as soon as certain criteria occur. For example, shortly before the expiry of a guaranteed SLA response time or in the event of a service failure. We prefer to work with OpsGenie.

Service monitoring is used to monitor the status of IT services. In particular, this includes checking service availability (uptime), performance (response times) and resource usage (such as disk space, RAM, etc.) for capacity management. In this area For rather simpler problems we like to use StatusCake and Prometheus. However, experience has shown that the problems in service monitoring are very heterogeneous.

User Device Monitoring deals with the monitoring of PC workstations used by end users. Traditionally, thanks to software distribution tools such as Microsoft SCCM, IT has good information about the target state of the end devices, e.g. which software should be installed. Proactive management of devices only becomes possible when accurate information about the current state can be evaluated across the organization. Frequent crashes, decreasing storage space, declining performance, etc. can thus be detected and dealt with before the end user creates a ticket, which then has to be resolved under time pressure. Endpoint monitoring is particularly relevant in environments with less management control by IT (Bring Your Own Device, school IT, software development, etc.) to ensure an appropriate level of endpoint security.

Project Management is used to handle projects or more complex operational processes that cannot be adequately managed by individual tasks. In this area we work with Jira Softwarewhich is widely used for software projects, but can also be used for any organizational and IT projects.

The time worked is reported and evaluated in Time Reporting. In this area we prefer to use Tempo Timesheets in this area.

Our options for deployment

Atlassian Cloud

The solution can be implemented on the cloud solution operated by Atlassian from the USA.

linkyard cloud

The solution can be implemented on the cloud solution operated by linkyard in Switzerland.

On Premise with Support

The solution can be implemented on systems provided by the customer. The operation is done by the customer, linkyard provides support if required.

Managed Service on Private Cloud

The solution can be implemented and operated on the private cloud or infrastructure provided by the customer. The IT operator of the customer takes over the operation of the infrastructure, linkyard takes care of application operation and maintenance.

Excerpt of realised projects

Service Desk
Service Desk

Your contact

Stefan Haller | Managing Partner