By Dick Stark
Last Thursday I hosted a joint webinar with RightAnswers. The topic: “Knowledge is Power, IT Knowledge Management for your BMC Service Desk.” Surprisingly, Knowledge Management (KM) gets less than expected mindshare with most of the service desks that we support. This is undoubtedly due to the popularity of Google, other search engines, social media, and crowdsourcing, such as the friend who knows the answer. Why implement a KM system if Google has all the answers?
Several months ago we implemented a KM software add-on for a Remedy customer. After we finished, the customer remarked that the final outcome was not significantly different from Google. So, I asked the RightAnswers team to comment on how their system differed from Google. (The aforementioned KM system, by the way was not RightAnswers.) Here is what I gathered.
KM software and knowledge packs have been around for years and should be a critical success factor for all service desks. Most organizations have a raft of company specific information, not available on Google, which needs to be readily accessible to users with a need for that information. The return on a KM process and software investment pays dividends in terms of improved problem and incident resolution especially when offered to all users. Unfortunately, some KM projects fail because of poor user adoption making the data quickly outdated.
Nearly all service desks have implemented some sort of self-service portal in varying degrees of sophistication ranging from on-line ticket entry to knowledge bases to service requests to service catalogs (fix it, order it, or learn it). According to last Thursday’s webinar survey, 70% of service desks have self-service, but surprisingly 65% do not utilize any KM tools or processes.
Most commercial based service desk software is evolving such that the service request module, and not the agent screen is the centerpiece of the application. Software such as BMC’s Remedyforce even comes with a built in chat feature to allow for a rapid-fire response to any type of query. Also coming is integration to social networks. It’s a self-service world and the good news is that self-service knowledge management reduces the number and duration of calls, which allow service desks to do more with less.
Often overlooked, Problem Management must be a keystone habit of all service desks as the potential impact, especially when linked to incident, change and knowledge management is enormous. Identify, rank and make sure he problem and the resolution are readily accessible.
One thing is certain: IT is becoming more and not less complex so continuous service desk process and technology improvement will return significant value to the organization. The result: reduced costs, increased agent and employee productivity, and overall, improved customer satisfaction. If service desks can’t or don’t evolve to compete with Google or other crowdsourcing technologies, then then service desks will change significantly over the next several years.
It is interesting how Help Desk Software is in a state of evolution. These changes reflect the ever changing business environment. Remote access, voice recognition, and
integration with different social media outlets seem to be the impending wave of enhanced technology. One thing remains constant though, and that is choosing the right
piece of software to get the job done. Every company’s needs is as different as the software available. So selecting the software package that is just right for that company
is something that really needs to be investigated. Buying a piece of software that will grow or can grow with your company is crucial. Getting everyone on board for this change
may be challenging, so the last thing that is needed is changing over to a new system too quickly. As the staff gets used to the functions of the software, and how it can help
them to do a better job, they will not want to part with it, and for good reason. Help Desk Software can improve the overall efficiency of any office, and the customers will be
happy with the quick responses they receive, and they will get the level of service they deserve.