CA Touts Next Generation Service Desk

By Doug Barney

With so many new devices, more and more applications, and BYOD, the service desk is more important than ever. Offer poor help and your shop loses productivity as it gains complaints.

Adding insult, service or help desks are time consuming and manpower intensive.

One way of making service desk tools more efficient is to put them in the cloud.

That is precisely what CA is doing with its SaaS-based CA Nimsoft Service Desk (NSD), which has just been revamped.

One key aspect is cloud automation and self-service. “With CA NSD, IT organizations can quickly and easily implement Web services that automatically trigger activation, de-activation and/or modification of resources such as compute capacity or applications running in the enterprise data center or in the public cloud based on appropriate policies and approvals,” CA said. “This reduces operational cost and accelerates fulfillment of requests from the business by eliminating the need for manual action by IT staff.”

Service or help desk tools should integrate with related tools, and here NSD works with SAP Solution Manager, Cisco Smarts and CA’s own LISA Release Automation.

Finally, service desk folks aren’t always chained to a desk, nor are end users, so NSD has improved mobility, allowing users to “to create incidents, manage tickets, monitor approvals and view critical service communications information anytime or anywhere from any device. This rich mobile functionality includes geographic location and the ability to leverage native phone capabilities such as GPS and the camera, and optimizes responsiveness to end-user needs,” CA argued.

MSP Welcomes the Help

One MSP partner, DecisionOne Corp., bases its service desk on NSD. “As a premium managed IT services provider, we must do a superior job of keeping our clients’ complex IT environments running smoothly, while continuously improving the efficiency of our own internal operations,” said Steven L. Lack, DecisionOne’s senior vice president of managed services and IT. “We chose CA NSD as a foundational technology for our business precisely because it enables us to achieve these twin objectives by virtue of its rich features, the ease with which we can configure new clients and integrate ITSM processes, and the global support we can count on from CA Technologies.”

Research house Enterprise Management Associates likes the cloud approach. “SaaS is more than a convenient delivery model, it can provide significant advantages in enabling more diverse and flexible IT services without incurring burdensome administration and management requirements,” said Dennis Drogseth, vice president of Enterprise Management Associates. “The latest version of CA Nimsoft Service Desk captures these core SaaS advantages, with a focus on ease of use, easy customization, flexible integration and enhanced levels of automation. These strengths are pivotal in enabling IT organizations to focus increasingly on delivering business value with reduced TCO and back-office overhead.”

Forrester Research also tracks this market, and its research shows that little more than a third of all IT departments are proud of their end user support. Forrester Research last year offered some suggestions 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 suggestions 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.”

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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