Event Listing: IT in the Park 2016

 

Event Listing: IT in the Park 2016

It’s Edinburgh baby! IT500 and Scot-Tech will be hosting Scotland’s biggest ITSM and IT Operations Management conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh this October. This conference will follow previous IT500 & Scot-Tech events such as IT in the park 2015 and the IT500 Learning Conference; both of which gained great acclaim from speakers, sponsors and attendees alike. The 2015 conference had over 200 IT professionals gathered in one place to share ideas, hear case studies and learn about new products and services.

Delegates were a good mix from both public and private sectors. Speakers included the CTO of Arnold Clark, CIO of St Andrews University and senior representatives from Standard Life, the Scottish Government and Fife Council. Over 95% of delegates surveyed post event stated that they intend to return with many indicating that they would also be bringing additional colleagues. The event facilitated great networking opportunities with high levels of engagement and a real buzz. New faces, sparkly new products, case studies and workshops – what’s not to love?

 


Event Highlights

On October 25th 2016 the crack team of IT500 & Scot-Tech will take IT in the Park a step further, adding industry hot topics such as SIAM, DevOps and ITAM to complement their existing core messages around best practice and value driven IT services.  The agenda promises to be exciting and action packed; here is a list of some of the presenters and experts who will be speaking on the day:


Event Break Down

 

WHAT: IT in the Park

WHERE: Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

WHEN: October 25th 2016

WHO: IT500 & Scot-Tech

HOW TO BOOK: Click Here

Data Driven Automation ITSM & Skynet; LOGICnow Global Survey Results

A sparkly new global survey from LOGICnow shows that data-driven automation is imminent among IT service providers.

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Introduction:

LOGICnow have recently released the results of a survey into data driven automation in the ITSM community. The results overwhelmingly suggest that data driven automation is becoming an important trend in the ITSM world with over 44% of IT Service Providers & MSPs calling themselves “data driven” and of the 54% of IT service providers that collect and store data on customers’ IT performance, 81% were able to use the data to proactively improve service delivery.

 

So What Is Data Driven Automation & Why Do We Need It?

Data driven automation is:

  • The ability to automatically transform raw data into insights that can be implemented immediately

 

Or

  • Enabling data to automatically trigger corrective actions using analytics beyond simple event/ threshold triggers

 

So far so Skynet right? The reality is that data driven analytics is becoming more and more prevalent in ITSM as we move from the traditional reactive model to a more proactive stance to improve customer experience. The concept of simply waiting for our customers to ring the Service Desk to report Incidents is becoming less and less useful as we have more sophisticated event monitoring in place to capture alarms, alerts and notifications before they spiral into Incidents that adversely impact our people. It’s not just the Service Desk that are getting more proactive; Problem Management is a key area for getting ahead of the game, from trending to simply going out and asking our support teams and delivery managers what keeps them up at night; proactive activities give you a solid list of potential issues. Extend that out to other processes such as Change Management, Knowledge Management and CSI and you have potentially game changing improvement options.

LOGICnow Research Findings In Their Own Words:

LOGICnow, now a part of the SolarWinds family and still a global market leader in integrated cloud-based IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, today announced the results of a global research study entitled “The value of data-driven automation to the ITSM community.” The results are based on a survey of over 350 ITSM companies across the US, UK, Europe and Asia Pacific. Results show that the ITSM community is on the cusp of a massive shift towards data-driven automation. This is fueled by the widespread recognition of its importance and commercial potential—and the fear of losing ground to early adopters who are already enjoying measurable commercial benefits.

According to the research, 44 percent of IT service providers and MSPs are already “data-driven” i.e. able to collect, store and act upon performance data drawn from their customers’ IT estates. However, automated processes to produce proactive recommendations and reactions based on this data are currently a step too far for all but eight percent.

The findings also highlight the quantified benefits that those few companies that are using automation are enjoying, including 38 percent seeing client servicing capacity at least double; 72 percent now able to service more complex IT estates; and 21 percent able to identify 100 percent or more ROI from automation.

Key findings from the new LOGICnow research include:

  • 54 percent of IT service providers collect and store data on customers’ IT performance, 81 percent of whom are able to use the data to proactively improve service delivery. Yet only eight percent have put in place automated processes for transforming data into actionable recommendations.
  • 21 percent of these early adopters have enjoyed 100 percent ROI or more; within two years, those experiencing 100 percent or more ROI is expected to rise to 47 percent.
  • Of those who have not yet deployed data-driven automation strategies (the 92 percent majority): Almost 75 percent believe that doing so will enable them to deliver a range of new services, while 49 percent believe that it is a route to offer more sophisticated services and win more business. 85 percent believe it will give them a competitive advantage, and 52 percent actively fear they will lose out to more advanced competition if they do not adopt automation. Six percent believe either late or no adoption will lead to them going out of business within two years.

“The need to collect and query customers’ IT performance data delivers a proven competitive advantage, regardless of the MSP’s size. Armed with this data, IT service providers have the power to investigate trends, pre-empt threats and deliver more thorough and proactive services,” said Alistair Forbes, Managing Director, SolarWinds MSP (former General Manager, LOGICnow). “However, the most powerful benefits of data use stem from automating the actions and recommendations, empowering engineers to escape routine tasks and focus on value-adding services. Every day that service providers spend not doing this enables their competition to surge further ahead. The industry is predicting a major shift: that data-driven automation will be the norm in less than two years. Considering the progress made so far and the benefits already seen, it is hard to disagree.”

The full report, “The value of data-driven automation to the ITSM community,” is available to download here.

About LOGICnow

LOGICnow ® delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. LOGICnow’s MAX products including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail and Service Desk – comprise the market’s most widely-trusted integrated solution. Deployed on over two million endpoints across 240,000 networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. LOGICnow provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning. LOGICnow’s passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT. For more information, visit www.logicnow.com.

 

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ITSM Tools, Service Delivery & Being Awesome; EasyVista Are Leading The Way In Digitisation

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Being just “good enough” isn’t good enough any more. We live in an age of innovation and CSI; where we need to be continually adapting to changing business priorities and finding ways to be leaner and more agile in our delivery. But let’s face it, how does that work in the real world? A real world where budgets are limited, resources are stretched and our people feel overworked and undervalued.

Enter EasyVista with their ITSM tool. With over 20 years of industry experience, as well as being Pink Verified for 11 processes; here’s what they have to say on digitisation.

Digitisation The EasyVista Way

The IT service desk has become ground zero for the Digital Workplace that is currently transforming the work environment and fundamentally changing the relationship between employers and employees. It’s no longer just a place to get IT support. The IT service desk is evolving to become an employee concierge of sorts, offering fast, easy access to all kinds of employee services—things like HR benefits, payroll information, facilities services and hard and soft asset tracking.

We believe that with its digital-first approach EasyVista is at the forefront of enabling enterprise companies to launch their digital workplaces. Serving 1,000+ enterprise companies around the world, EasyVista has many real-world examples of this major trend in the IT service management industry.

If you speak to any of the companies investing in EasyVista IT service management platform — whether they are in retail, insurance, higher education, healthcare, government, etc. — it’s clear how integral their charters have become to corporate strategic initiatives. In fact, Gartner * wrote recently that digital workplace leaders should understand the needs of employees to help focus digital workplace priorities, include non-IT business units in digital workplace planning and execution, and make the service desk one of the focal points of the digital workplace.”

Kevin Coppins, EasyVista General Manager of North America couldn’t agree more. He will tell you that the future success in service management depends on a philosophical commitment to the employee service experience, including:

  • Stronger focus on mobility to enable productivity from anywhere
  • More emphasis on a ‘service apps’ mentality mirroring what we’re accustomed to in our lives outside of work
  • Deeper integration with a wide range of enterprise systems
    • Services that can be quickly created and tailored for any number of employee needs.
    • Services that are device agnostic and available to workers across a variety of platforms or operating systems.

Kevin says companies that leverage the service desk to advance their digital workplace strategy are seeing improvements in several ways:

  • Better support for emerging work styles
  • Increased employee productivity and overall agility
  • Higher employee morale and motivation

How are companies embracing the digital workplace? They:

  • are turning the service desk into a hub for the digital workplace
  • are including non-IT business units in digital workplace planning and execution
  • can better understand the service needs of their employees
  • are embracing shadow IT trends
  • are using a bimodal approach to IT investments to support changing work and business models
  • can allow time for IT to deliver quick value to the organization
  • are changing laggard perceptions to an attitude of innovation

 

The EasyVista vision is easy to deliver, easy to use and with over 6 million SaaS end users and a customer renewal rate of over 98% they must be doing something right!

EasyVista are certainly gaining ground in a packed ITSM market place. They’ve been crowned a high performer by G2 Crowd and have been selected for Gartner Peer Insights. One of the things that differentiates EasyVista is that it is purpose built as a mobile-first experience. Instead of a more traditional experience where it can take months to roll out an enterprise level ITSM tool, EasyVista uses service apps to get customers up and running quickly.

The EasyVista ethos is to use their proven power (hello 20+ years of innovation!) to deliver awesome services without having to spend millions on delivery or supporting tools. EasyVista are seeing a shift from Chief Information Officers to Chief Service Providers and with the industry shift to enterprise Service Management, using ITSM outside of IT to drive other functions like HR, Finance and Facilities, it’s not hard to see why.

The EasyVista tool is run on service based apps and features codeless functionality meaning that you can customise it to fit your business without needing to write a single line of code. The portals are role based and EasyVista aim to have their customers achieve value realisation within 60 days of deployment.

The ITSM industry is certainly taking notice. Gartner placed EasyVista third behind ServiceNow and BMC in terms of digital workplace leadership; given the scale of both the BMC and ServiceNow offerings, EasyVista offers customers a real alternative. An alternative that’s agile, service based and a tool that used digital transformation as an enablement strategy rather than a reactive, defensive strategy.

Awesome services, proven power and over 1,000 happy customers? Deal us in!!

 

* Gartner, Recipe for Digital Workplace Execution: Transform the Employee Experience, March 2016.

 

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Newsflash: Using the new Facebook feature – '911 bot' might just save your life

Hi, I’m Vawns Murphy and I’m addicted to social media. I’m forever checking my phone, updating both my personal and my work Twitter feed and I do the annoying mammy thing of posting endless pictures of my kids. Sometimes it’s the three of them looking angelic in their school uniforms but more often than not, it’s to apologise to everyone who lives near me and reassure them that no, the cat isn’t being murdered and no, there isn’t some sort of human sacrifice taking place -it’s just the 3 of them playing. I also spend quite a lot of my time geeking out at how apps and gamification can super charge all things ITSM so I think it’s fairly safe to say, I have a bit of a social media habit. It turns out that might not be such a bad thing from reading this article from Techcrunch.

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A new Facebook feature called the 911 bot was developed at the Disrupt Hackathon in New York. The chat bot is designed to help users in the event of an emergency situation by allowing you to quickly report an incident to the emergency services. When bad things happen, all too often we tend to panic or freeze, this app is designed to keep you calm, whilst notifying the emergency services and giving you clear, concise instructions on what to do until they arrive.

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The messenger chat bot allows you to report an emergency in a few clicks and can pull your location enabling it to automatically notify the nearest emergency services. You can also add pictures from your camera and have the app put you on the line with a 999 / 911 operator. What really impressed me about the bot was that depending on the emergency it can give you directions on what to do next for example administering CPR. We all know that everyone should know how to do CPR but let’s face it in a life or death situation, it’s all too easy for your mind to go blank wasting valuable seconds. Having Facebook to prompt you and guide you through the process stops the delay and means that the person having the heart attack gets help in the fastest time possible. According to the Irish Heart Foundation (check out their fab video on how to do CPR here), rapid initiation of CPR can double a person’s chances of survival in the event of a cardiac arrest so those few seconds or minutes saved could literally be the difference between life and death.

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So using my Facebook habit for the forces of good? Deal me in!! For more information on the 911 bot check out their website here.

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Service Desk Rockstars – Retail Assist wins SDI Best Managed Service Desk Award

Nottingham based company Retail Assist, has won the globally recognised ‘Best Managed Service Desk’ Award at the Service Desk Institute’s (SDI) Annual IT Service and Support Awards. If you’ve not heard of Retail Assist before, they provide managed services for the retail sector and some of the brands they support are Pizza Hut, Vue Cinemas, Cath Kidston, Karen Millen, White Stuff and Oasis.

The Service Desk Institute Awards

Winner-Best-Managed-Service-Desk

The SDI annual Awards identify the excellence of outstanding service desk teams and individuals, and celebrates their success.

After reaching the Final 3 last year, Retail Assist was keen to re-enter with a host of fresh innovations to its service desk provision. ‘Best Managed Service Desk’ was a tough category – in the Final 3 were SCC based in Romania, and  Maersk Group headquartered in Denmark. However, Retail Assist impressed the judges with the level of investment demonstrated in their Help Desk, and focus on the customer; providing a proactive, quality service to enable them to reach their goals.

Dan Smith, CEO of Retail Assist, commented on the achievement:

“We are extremely proud to have won the award, and to claim the title as the World’s ‘Best Managed Service Desk’.  We have progressed significantly over the last 17 years to support many of the leading retail and hospitality brands, but this really gives the team the recognition they deserve for all their hard work and dedication to providing the best possible service to over 8000 global locations around the clock.”

The Retail Assist Help Desk team enjoyed an impressive gala dinner event, receiving the award along with winners in each of the awards categories, at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole last night. The £1000 prize for winning the award will be donated to Emmanuel House, Retail Assist’s chosen charity for the financial year.

Worthy Winners

The SDI IT Service Awards 2016
The SDI IT Service Awards 2016

 


 

I caught up with Dan this week to find out more about Retail Assist and how much the win meant to his team.  The Retail Assist Service Desk provides IT support services to 8,000 locations across the globe 24 x 7 x 365 in 8 different languages – that’s a lot of tech support! The Service Desk is made up of 50 – 55 analysts with over 3,000 procedures to ensure that all the essentials are covered and that the team always have something to refer to.

From speaking to Dan it was clear that a fantastic customer experience was the objective of every single person in the team. As Dan explained it; the Service Desk had two main objectives:

  1. Fix the issue quickly and effectively (no nightmare automated menu systems for RA customers; it takes just 40 seconds from calling their number to connect with a Service Desk analyst)
  2. Look after the customer so that even if the Incident can’t be resolved at first line; the customer has a workaround, information or an escalation to second line support and is in a much happier position.

So often in the Service Desk world we get so hung up on measurements, metrics and statistics that we forget about what’s important – the customer – so it’s brilliant to see Retail Assist putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. The attention to detail is fantastic, RA will work with their customers to provide proactive support as well as world class Incident Management.

One of the examples Dan shared with me was that when the latest Star Wars film came out (seriously – how awesome was The Force Awakens? All three of my children sat through it, completely entranced from beginning to end – even my 3 year old which is nothing short of a miracle I can tell you) not only did the RA desk ensure that extra team members were on shift, they also made provided extra wrap around support for early in the morning and late at night, as well as working with Vue to ensure all tills were tested and fully operational prior to the premier date.

Another example Dan talked about was for a retail customer in central London. A fire at a local BT exchange effectively took out their card systems during the weekend. The RA analysts were able to remotely dial in and set a £50 floor limit to enable the customer to be able to take debit and credit card payments of up to £50 so they could continue to trade. As someone who worked in retail all the way through college (Hi Tesco & Easons!) being unable to take card payments at the weekend is the stuff of nightmares so all power to the Retail Assist guys for being able to come up with a workaround.

One of the things that really impressed me about the Retail Assist Service Desk was its commitment to it’s people. There are two permanent trainers on the team, there is an Application Academy for further reading and all team leaders go on the ITIL foundation training. The Service Desk supports career progression, some examples of next roles include second line support, project management and analyst programmers. The procedures and work instructions are there to support rather than limit the analysts who are encouraged to use their judgement and skill to look after each caller.

A big well done to the Retail Assist team for their win and fair play for donating their winnings to charity – you rock!

To find out more about Retail Assist you can check out their website here. For more about the Service Desk Institute you can get to their website by clicking this link.

Has the Retail Assist win inspired you to enter your Service Desk into next year’s SDI awards? Let us know in the comments!