Paid function Wouldn’t it be great if joining a new company was like walking into a bar where everyone knew your name and, more importantly, knew exactly what you wanted or, even better, what you needed?
Getting your work laptop would just mean walking through the office to a colleague in the IT help desk, who will also set you up on the network, before stopping on the way back to your desk to check in with HR who will then use your employee ID. to add you to the payroll and make sure your benefits and medical insurance are in order.
Whenever you needed to book a trip, organize an event or update your software, the right person would be automatically alerted, ready to help you. And, before long, no one would need to ask you how you like your latte when it’s time for coffee.
The problem is that while some micro businesses and startups may indeed have such a setup, most large organizations are sprawling and complex beasts, whether they grew organically or through mergers and acquisitions. Specialist departments are spread out, whether in individual office complexes or across multiple regions. Accessing the “services” these silos offer becomes less of a journey, more like negotiating a maze.
The situation is further complicated by changes in work patterns in recent years that are likely to be permanent. For many workers, the option of speeding things up by walking down a hallway to pick up that laptop or drop off that personal information form might just be closed for good. It should also be noted that people are not static in their professional role. People change. People leave organizations. So not knowing who to contact can be confusing.
Meanwhile, enlightened organizations are striving to improve the employee experience, with services presented logically and centrally, and purchase or support journeys flowing smoothly and seamlessly.
What’s needed, says Seyi Verma, product marketing manager (ITSM) at SolarWinds, is a way to expose services, get people to them, and automate the workflows that deliver them to customers. people who request them.
If that sounds like the kind of service catalogs IT departments have been delivering for years, using platforms like SolarWinds IT Service Desk, you’re right. And if you thought well, surely it’s too good to be reserved only for technology services, you’d still be right.
As Verma explains, a service catalog essentially offers all the services available to an employee and, behind the scenes, automates the workflows needed to deliver them, “so that the employee, for better or for worse , never leave their desk and go get someone. That’s a nice little efficiency boost.
A developer may be used to filing a ticket to provision additional storage. And a marketer can often seek review and approval from the NDA. Both of these requests can be made using the same platform, but the first ticket goes to the IT department and the second to the legal department.
From there, it’s easy to imagine other business or service owners using the same underlying platform to provide access to their services. For example, HR could allow employees to set up benefits or provide key information by simply filling out a ticket through a portal, and, Verma explains, “all of that gets redirected in the background and goes to the right owner of the account.” ‘business”.
It should be remembered that this is firmly in line with the guiding principles of ITIL, which emphasize value creation, holistic thinking and collaboration, as well as automation and optimization, both within the organization only for customers.
Anyone with experience in the corporate world knows that there are software packages and platforms dedicated to services such as human resources or facilities management. The problem is that they are precisely that – dedicated to managing workflows within a given function – and a given ticket, issue or even service can span multiple departments.
For example, what initially looks like an HR issue – the benefits check – can also affect finance, payroll and facilities. Similarly, as Verma explains, managing intellectual property and filing a patent can encompass engineers, marketers, intellectual property specialists and general legal functions – positions that can have very differences in technology adoption.
But there’s a broader benefit to not having to deal with application sprawl, which means maintaining and paying for a myriad of systems and platforms for different departments – and building at hand the integration between them. This can be time consuming and expensive and may even require dedicated people to handle the integration
Verma is a case study himself, having joined SolarWinds from a startup. At his former employer, it was easy to solve any problem – it was a small company and he “knew everyone”.
At first glance, SolarWinds, with over 3,200 employees, might have been a very different proposition. The company has grown through multiple acquisitions as well as organically; employees are “geographically distributed and, with Covid, everyone is everywhere on the map. There could have been so many silos. But the integration process went very well. Anything I had a question with, I would just file a ticket or find an answer. And it gets routed, and the right person responds to it every time. It’s the best experience I’ve had. »
Experience can of course be subjective. But applying the ITSM approach to service delivery in general means that organizations can begin to objectively define what a good experience is.
“As an organization or as a service provider, I can define the SLAs that I want my team to start meeting,” he says. This means more visibility into team performance and more accountability to the rest of the organization. “It’s the kind of stuff that employees started to expect, instead of just pushing it into a black hole.”
And as systems and workflows become more complicated, there is a risk that individuals will struggle to see the big picture. This is something SolarWinds is tackling with integrating AI into its platform.
The objective is that when an employee is faced with a problem or a problem, they are not simply asked to file a ticket. Rather based on the inputs they enter, not only does the organization get visibility that a problem is brewing, but the employee is presented with a solution or knowledge base article that will help them solve or less to understand the situation.
Ultimately, it all helps to maximize employee productivity and their ability to deliver value to customers and the organization. As Verma says, “If your phone or laptop isn’t working and you need something, what are you going to do?”
To IT and beyond
So how does an organization achieve this state of nirvana? Surprisingly, perhaps, most IT service desk deployments are not “big bang” affairs.
Typically, installations start with the IT department. After all, Verma explains, “it is the IT department that provides the widest range of services and assets to employees.” And that’s where features like automatic discovery of devices and dependencies come into play.
But once an organization has addressed an immediate need, the opportunity for other departments to adopt a service management (IT) approach begins to emerge. “Through word of mouth within the organization, it is growing very quickly in other departments.”
Indeed, SolarWinds IT Service Desk was thus developed in “direct response to customer requests”, according to Verma. The result is a wide range of predefined workflows for non-IT departments within the Service Desk. “That’s the out-of-the-box experience that we provide to a lot of these customers with these already defined workflows or service catalogs. And that goes hand in hand with customization for your particular use case. You can start small and then naturally make it as complicated as you want.
Fundamentally, SolarWinds aims to make deployment beyond the IT core a frictionless process, with organizations able to quickly get up and running and choose additional services when needed, all without additional scripting or coding. “We want to bring this no-code experience to people where it’s available in our service catalog and ready to go.”
Thus, implementation times should range from months to days or even weeks. That said, SolarWinds recognizes that many departments will already have platforms in place that they rely on that may not be easy to live without. “One of the things that really separates us,” Verma says, “is that we have integration into a lot of solutions that could potentially be used by other departments.”
Does this all add up to the kind of organization where everyone knows your name? Maybe that’s too much to ask. But if you ever need to change your name, at least you’ll know there’s a predefined workflow to make it happen.
Sponsored by Solarwinds.