What is the best ITSM tool for integration
Reviews - the best IT Service Management (ITSM)
Companies are increasingly relying on technology in their day-to-day operations. That means IT teams need to provide first class service to keep everything running smoothly. To improve the quality of support, IT teams use a process called IT Service Management (ITSM) and associated software.
What is ITSM software? Much is unclear about this term. So I want to get things right in this post. In the following guide, I outline ITSM processes, their benefits for a business, and the best ITSM tools you should use for developing ITSM best practices.
My first choice of ITSM software solutions out there is SolarWinds® Service Desk, due to its combination of ease of use, intuitive features and premium functionality. More detailed reviews of the features of ITSM tools >>
What is IT Service Management?
ITSM software types
Benefits of ITSM
The best ITSM tools
Choosing the right ITSM solution
What is IT Service Management?
IT Service Management, or ITSM, refers to an activity that supports or manages the life cycle of IT services. It includes the management of people, processes and technology so that companies can get the most out of their IT resources.
ITSM is difficult to explain because it encompasses so much. This is because ITSM deals with so many aspects of business processes: end users and their experience, services (including applications, infrastructure, hardware and more), the nature of IT troubleshooting functions, costs and budget, and day-to-day operations and core business functions .
To understand the ITSM system, you need to know that IT teams are not always involved in every area of a company. A marketing team has different needs than a customer support team. An employee on a business trip needs a different computer than someone who works in the office. In order to better coordinate the requirements of employees (or customers) and the offerings of IT, companies need ITSM software. Without them, IT teams will not be able to provide purpose-driven support.
ITSM software types
ITSM tools are diverse, both in terms of their functions and the nature of these functions. For our purposes, I would like to introduce three tools that IT teams can use to improve their ITSM immediately: service desks, help desks and server / application monitors.
- Service desks are basically communication centers - the central point of contact for customers or employees of the company. Its main purpose is to optimize communication, both internally and externally.
- Help desks fall into a similar category. They help companies resolve customer problems by automating complaint handling procedures. This software is generally intended for a company's ticket management. A good help desk tool can greatly speed up the pace at which incidents are resolved - for both customers and employees.
- Application / Server Monitors monitor and manage the performance of application dependencies, transaction times, and overall user experience.
Benefits of ITSM
ITSM is an important element in optimizing your business activities. Effective ITSM eliminates disharmonies between end users and IT professionals, manages the entire relationship between the two, and resolves conflicts. ITSM offers countless advantages, which are briefly outlined here.
- Business alignment:One of the most notable benefits of ITSM is that it gives the IT team a broader and more accurate understanding of the needs of the business. This is also known as business alignment and ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. When ITSM is done right, processes become significantly more scalable. They can also be replicated, which saves time and resources.
- Higher productivity:One obvious benefit is that effective ITSM should lead to higher productivity in the IT team. This is partly because the roles and associated responsibilities of each team member are more clearly defined.
- Satisfied end users:A more productive team leads to greater end-user satisfaction, which is closely related to overall business success. ITSM ensures that end users receive the best service and have reasonable expectations.
- Improved problem solving:ITSM is also helpful for problem resolution as it reduces the time between incident identification and implementation of a solution. ITSM gives you access to detailed analysis so you can measure and improve your own performance. It helps you take a more proactive approach to incidents in order to take preventive action before the problem can cause damage. In addition, ITSM initially significantly simplifies the identification of problems and their recurrence.
It should be noted that advantages for IT also mean advantages for the company. For example, a more proactive IT team that solves problems faster is a team that keeps pace with market innovation. Because problem solving is more efficient and end users are generally happier, members of the IT team have more time to do other tasks. In other words, you can get more done.
- Compliance:Finally, ITSM ensures that your organization meets all relevant regulatory requirements. So there is no need to worry about compliance.
The best ITSM tools
- Service desk
SolarWinds Service Desk (formerly Samanage) is a cloud-based ITSM software that offers reliability and robustness. It includes many features that can be beneficial for IT teams: from tracking change management to generating knowledge bases themselves. In addition, SD enables users to manage service tickets and company assets via smartphones or tablets. This makes it an ideal tool for environments with many devices or for remote workers.
An important feature of Service Desk is its SSO functionality (Single Sign-On). Although many other service desks only support SSO through Google Apps or Microsoft Active Directory, SolarWinds Service Desk offers support for both. This simplifies integration with apps like Salesforce, OneLogin, etc.
One of the things I like most about Service Desk is how easy it is to install and customize. As the tool can be used immediately, administrators do not have to worry about the lengthy process of personalizing the software according to their requirements.
Service Desk is also highly scalable, which is a huge advantage. Because SolarWinds is billed per support agent and per monitored device, you only pay for what you need. This means that the tool can be used by any organization - large or small - regardless of the requirements.
Another interesting feature is the dashboard with an intuitive layout. It only provides important information and metrics so you don't have to navigate through irrelevant statistics. You will get an overview in which you also have access to more details. You can try the tool with a free 30-day version of SolarWinds Service Desk.
- Web Help Desk (WHD)
Both are effective ITSM solutions. Even so, there are some significant differences between the SolarWinds Service Desk and the SolarWinds Web Help Desk. For example, Service Desk is a cloud-based tool, while Web Help Desk is an on-premise solution.
In terms of features, both offer the following utilities: a knowledge base, ticketing, service portals, asset management, change management, and problem management. However, WHD does not include localization in multiple languages, no version management, no database software for configuration management and no service catalog.
Compared to Service Desk, WHD is a bit more minimalistic, but still gives you access to some powerful help desk ticket functions. Many companies use WHD as a ticket management utility, but it can also be used for highly efficient asset management.
The biggest advantage of WHD is the intuitive dashboard. Users can easily navigate between tabs and platforms when tracking a support ticket or checking to see if an asset is available. The dashboard has tabs for Calendar, Customers, Assets, Parts, FAQs, Reports, and News. The graphical representations are dynamic, which makes data interpretation very easy and even pleasant.
One of the interesting features of this tool is that it allows support agents to assign assets to customer tickets. This helps IT administrators keep track of what problems are being solved and what tools are being used. WHD can also be easily integrated into legacy systems, making it a viable solution for any industry. It can also be integrated with various other products to provide a comprehensive and well-functioning IT solution.
Web Help Desk is available for Windows, Windows Server, Linux and Mac OS with a free 14-day trial. Alternatively, you can try the free version of WHD, which has limited features.
Zabbix is a popular open source tool for IT server monitoring. It stands out from other open source ITSM tools because there is no separate version for commercial use. The complete product is open source and available free of charge. This makes it particularly suitable for managing configuration changes.
With Zabbix you can monitor almost anything. Among other things, networks, servers, clouds and applications. Zabbix is as flexible as possible. This tool even takes into account the needs of specific industries: retail, energy, banking, aviation, finance, education, government, marketing, healthcare, IT and telecommunications. Zabbix considers how the platform could best be used by each of these industries and discusses the proven benefits and uses. (Here's an example of how IT and telecommunications would use Zabbix.) While most of these industries won't be relevant to your business, the way Zabbix addresses each one is evidence of the company's focus on customer needs .
As much as I appreciate open source tools like this, I don't know if I'll jump on the Zabbix bandwagon. Due to the high learning curve, users will almost certainly reach their limits. Customizing the features to meet your needs takes more time and expertise, and even then, it may never be as reliable as a business needs.
- SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM)
SolarWinds offers an extensive portfolio of monitoring products, one of which is Server & Application Monitor. SAM is a state-of-the-art ITSM tool that can monitor more than 1,000 applications simultaneously.
Today, many organizations use cloud infrastructure in addition to physical servers. With this in mind, one of the main advantages of SAM is that it can be used to track and monitor applications in the cloud on Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. It is also easy to use. You can set it up in minutes and customize the dashboard, dependencies and alerts to suit your environment and needs.
There are many good things to say about SAM, including the ability to monitor the size of data and log files. This will keep you up to date on capacity and ensure that storage space is always available. I also like the dashboard. It unifies all metrics on server performance in a dynamic environment that is easy to navigate. One of the reasons SAM is so popular is that it does more than standard server monitoring: it also acts as a monitor for asset inventory, applications, operating systems, hardware, and virtualization.
It is a very versatile tool with many features for enterprise ITSM, with automatic detection of servers and databases and monitoring capacity without agents. A free trial is available.
- Atlassian Jira Service Desk
Atlassian's Jira Service Desk is a cloud-based and local ITSM solution. It is best known for its efficient self-service. Customers can solve problems themselves and answer inquiries by accessing the knowledge base. That makes the product customer-friendly.
It's an affordable solution with completely transparent pricing, which is refreshing. Thanks to configuration and setup without code, you are quickly ready to use. If you're looking for a solution that you can use right away, maybe this would be for you. The system is ready for use almost immediately. Once installed, you can customize it to suit your needs.
This tool can be integrated with other Atlassian programs, including Statuspage, Opsgenie, Confluence and Jira Software. By combining these tools, you can create a seamless solution. You can also add Atlassian Marketplace applications to Jira Service Desk. With 1,000+ applications and integrations available, Jira Service Desk is what you make of it.
The transparent pricing also helps Jira Service Desk to be highly scalable. You pay per user per month so you can easily upgrade as your business grows. With one to three support agents, Jira Service Desk is always free and you don't have to make any commitments.
Jira Service Desk also benefits from a popular community that provides extensive support. Jira offers a documentation website with a lot of content and an online community with “product champions”. The online forum is divided into questions, discussions and articles. For cloud customers there is even a special Jira Service Desk page for cloud support.
I would be delighted with this product if it weren't for the help desk feature. The dashboard is not really suitable for inexperienced users, especially due to its susceptibility to errors. Customer focus can be commendable, but this approach isn't suitable for every business. A 7-day free trial of Jira Service Desk is available.
- Zendesk Suite
Zendesk offers a cloud-based help desk management solution with customizable tools to build a customer service portal, knowledge base, and online communities. The best feature is undoubtedly the live chat. It is delivered through a centralized console that makes it easier for users to communicate with their customers.
Zendesk Suite is a widely used enterprise tool that provides subscription services. It is an easy-to-use program with maximum functionality that prioritizes the ability to interact across multiple channels. Customers can submit inquiries to the help desk via email, chat, phone, or a number of social media channels. All communication is contained in a centralized, unified console, which means that the support agent can respond to inquiries in an organized and efficient manner. Support agents don't have to switch platforms to see customer inquiries. It is also less likely that customer tickets will be overlooked.
Another useful feature of the Zendesk Suite is that your team is always optimally supported. Zendesk calls this "support for support". Your team will have access to detailed information to increase their productivity. Most tools prioritize simplifying the end-user experience. So it's refreshing that there is a program in place that takes into account the IT team providing the service.
Zendesk has also made the interface dynamic and appealing for your team. Your experience with the platform is just as important as the experience of the end user. The dashboard is simple and doesn't require time-consuming training. That means your team can get started quickly.
As mentioned earlier, Zendesk is a customizable tool. It allows you to personalize your own macros which can be shared by your support agents. You can also customize answers and log them as common answers. That means you don't have to keep rewriting content. This makes answering queries more efficient - especially since most questions are repetitive. Zendesk even allows you to choose how your requests are displayed - whether by group, ticket status, assigned person or other conditions.
Zendesk's artificial intelligence is also worth mentioning. The tool has a feature called Answer Bot. This bot can communicate with your customers while they are waiting for a support agent, or even help them solve problems without a support agent. The bot basically uses AI to respond to customer inquiries by sending useful information in the form of links to content.As with any AI, this may or may not be useful. In general, it is helpful and time-saving.
As strange as it sounds: Partly, this software felt like it wasto user-friendly and intuitive. I constantly felt like I was missing out on interesting features because everything was going so smoothly. Furthermore, not all settings can be adjusted on a form basis. This makes it difficult to personalize reporting and analytics. A free trial version of Zendesk Suite can be downloaded.
- ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is more than a simple help desk utility. It is also an effective ITSM tool, with features specially designed for ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) service operations. This tool manages change requests, SLAs, maintenance contracts, software licenses, availability and configuration. All of this revolves around the Help Desk utility, but is no less critical to the overall efficiency and scope of ServiceDesk Plus.
ManageEngine has a solid reputation for industry-leading IT products. In the area of development, the company is very reliable and has been extremely successful so far. All tools are designed intelligently. ServiceDesk Plus is no exception and offers the additional advantage of integration with other ManageEngine modules for managing IT assets. By combining these tools, you can achieve a unified and streamlined suite of infrastructure management and monitoring capabilities.
Like any competitive ITSM software with help desk functions, ServiceDesk Plus offers utilities for quick and easy forwarding of inquiries. Tickets can be created by customers via phone, email, or web form. You will then be automatically forwarded to support agents according to your personal settings and adjustments. If you want tickets of a certain type that are to be assigned to a specific group or a technician with expert knowledge, this can be done in the console. You can also define rules that allow you to categorize tickets and thus specify the user group, department or faulty device. By combining these settings and adjustments, you achieve a highly automated workflow that significantly reduces manual intervention required.
ServiceDesk Plus is available in three packages: Standard, Professional and Enterprise. The standard version gives you access to the help desk and tools for SLA management, while the professional package also includes IT asset detection, contract management and asset management. The Enterprise version contains more extensive ITSM functions. This package manages configuration, products and changes and includes all features of the Standard and Professional packages.
ServiceDesk Plus is available for Linux and Windows Server. You can use it as a local tool or hosted in the cloud. A free 30-day trial version is available for download. You can also schedule a demo.
- Freshworks Freshservice
Freshservice provides incident, asset, change and version management utilities and a service catalog. This tool is easy to use and quick to set up. No training is required and it can be personalized according to IT and non-IT needs.
Freshservice offers multi-channel support. This means that you can automate tasks and answer inquiries that you receive via e-mail, self-service portal, chat, telephone and in person - all via a unified platform. In my opinion, the best thing about this tool is, among other things, that it takes into account the use of support agents: Freshservice makes answering inquiries interesting and makes the experience playful, so that support agents have fun. Ultimately, happy support agents are more productive. It's a simple thing that other vendors often overlook, but it makes a huge difference in terms of support agent efficiency.
Freshservice's asset management utilities are located on your devices with their configurations to protect their settings from unauthorized or unwanted changes and to implement firmware patches. Version management, on the other hand, prioritizes that software version standards are installed company-wide and that updates take place automatically. This ensures that everything is up to date and working properly. This will avoid problems in the long term.
The mobile application, available for iOS and Android, is another great feature. With the app, your support agents always have access to Freshservice, so that they can answer important customer inquiries anywhere and anytime. The app itself has an intuitive design and, unlike many others, is well suited for the mobile format.
The Freshservice environment is cloud-based and therefore accessible from any device - provided there is internet access. You can also access the tool using the mobile application via mobile data. The problem with this feature is that some users prefer to run their programs locally. Cloud-based programs depend on the speed of the internet, which is not always reliable.
If you want to try Freshservice: There is a free 21-day trial version. The tool is available in four packages: Blossom, Garden, Estate and Forest. Forest is intended for enterprise use and offers the most in terms of features and utility.
Choosing the right ITSM solution
For companies that want to implement or improve ITSM processes, there are several tools on the market. Whether you want to focus on application monitoring or customer support, my goal is to use this guide to provide you with the information you need to make more informed decisions about managing IT services - including which tools will help you be more successful with ITSM to be. I recommend SolarWinds Service Desk to all companies, a high quality product with a range of functions to support a robust ITSM framework.
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