Service Desk Market Welcomes GFI MAX

By Doug Barney

Last month, GFI MAX entered the mobile device management (MDM) market. This month the company tossed its hat into the service desk space with GFI MAX ServiceDesk, aimed exclusively at MSPs.

One of GFI MAX’s core offerings is its GFI MAX RemoteManagement, an RMM tool that helps MSPs manage other GFI services such as security, backup and most recently MDM. Now that same tool can manage the new help desk and customer service offering. Just as the GFI MDM tool was based on an acquisition, the service desk tool is based on GFI’s buy of LogicNow this past May.

“As always, our focus is to provide our MSPs with the tools needed to best service their customers and to create and maintain long, healthy relationships. High levels of customer service and satisfaction are the most sustainable competitive advantage for a managed service provider and using the right tools can be highly effective in supporting that,” said Dr. Alistair Forbes, general manager of the GFI MAX business unit. “This new offering addresses one of the key challenges faced by MSPs. If they are doing their job well, their customers will rarely see them because everything is running smoothly. GFI MAX ServiceDesk allows MSPs to demonstrate continued value by creating customized reports that not only show the time spent by technicians to resolve and proactively avoid problems, but also how this matches with each customer's service level agreements. Effective management of service delivery is also a key to maximizing internal efficiency within the MSP's business.”

Forrester’s Service Desk Advice

Forrester Research closely tracks the service desk/help desk market, and its research shows that little more than a third of all IT departments are proud of their end user support, last year offered some help for troubled help desks.

Forrester analyst Stephen Mann says you should “never put the service desk before your customers,” such as limiting help to just what is in the trouble ticket.

Service desk personnel should also listen, and try to fully understand the user’s situation.

Here are the final 10 straight from Mann:

“Respond to customer needs

Anticipate needs

Treat customers as human beings

Help your customers understand life on the service desk

Learn how to apologize  

Value your customer complaints

Get regular feedback

Provide regular communications to the business

Ensure that you can support all employees

Don’t treat your ‘customers’ like five-year-old children”

GFI’s MDM Play

Last fall GFI bought VizualMobile, a maker of MDM wares, and announced plans to integrate it with the company’s GFI MAX line, for MSPs, and GFI’s line of tools aimed at IT professionals, specifically GFI Cloud.

GFI MAX long ago identified the need for MDM and a recent survey drove that point home. According to a survey of GFI MAX customers, less than a third, just 28 percent, are today making money from mobile device support.

The good news is that as of last month, these GFI MAX partners can now simply add MDM to their repertoire, and have it integrate with the other GFI tools they already use and sell. The MDM tool supports the key mobile platforms, including iOS, Blackberry and Android. With it, one can insure security, monitor and track smartphones, and control costs.

On the monitoring side, the tool offers real-time information about how smartphones are being used, including where they are, whether they are violating corporate policies and how data is being transferred.

Why MDM Matters

Mobile security and control is critical in this age of BYOD. Another survey by GFI in the UK found that a full 100 percent of the 1,000 workers questioned use public WiFi to get work done, possibly exposing corporate information to prying eyes. “Furthermore, 20 percent of mobile devices have no security enabled; while just 5 percent indicate that they have corporate security policies enforced on their devices,” GFI cautioned.

Meanwhile, according to Forrester, some 37 percent of U.S. information workers in the U.S. already use their own devices – without corporate permission.  Forrester also argues that by 2016, 200 million people will bring their own devices to their companies.

IDC also covers this market and is particularly interested in the intersection of MDM and mobile application management (MAM). “In recognition of the growing convergence between the mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) markets, IDC is now producing an annual forecast and analysis document that combines the two markets into a new market called mobile enterprise management (MEM) software,” IDC explained.

Two years ago the global MEM software revenue was $444.6 million. This market will grow 31.8 percent and will hit $1.8 billion in 2016. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

MSPToday Editor at Large

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