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Spiceworks Cloud-Based Help Desk Application Goes Mobile

April 28, 2016 Comments off

SpiceworksAUSTIN, Texas — April 28, 2016 — Spiceworks, the professional network for IT, today announced IT professionals can deploy and manage its cloud-based help desk solution on smartphones and tablets via the Spiceworks Help Desk mobile app. Today’s announcement also includes new features to the cloud-based help desk, including service level agreement (SLA) ticket alerting, an IT Knowledge Base, and Spiceworks App Center integration. Collectively, Spiceworks provides a feature-rich help desk solution that can be deployed and managed in a way that works best for the IT professional.

 

“The IT professionals in my department are often running around the office supporting employees so it’s historically been difficult to address urgent user requests when we’re not at our desks,” said Brad Everts, IT supervisor at TW Garner Food Company. “The mobile app for Spiceworks’ cloud-based help desk gives us the flexibility to open, respond to, and close tickets from wherever we may be.”

 

Mobile support for Spiceworks’ cloud-based help desk builds on existing capabilities for the on-premises version and provides the same capabilities IT professionals need to support their growing businesses, including unlimited admin and end-user seats, no hosting or storage costs, ongoing updates, and free support. With the mobile app, IT professionals can also receive push notifications on their mobile devices to stay on top of help desk tickets while on the go.

 

In addition to the push notifications, new features for the cloud-based help desk solution include:

 

  • SLA ticket alerting allows IT professionals to create rules that will notify them when tickets are not responded to in a timely manner or closed in a pre-determined amount of time.
  • User portal updates include Active Directory integration to automatically add end users, authenticate users in the portal, and tag them to tickets.
  • IT Knowledge Base integration with the Spiceworks Community will be available soon for the cloud-based help desk, enabling IT professionals to easily access and share critical how-tos and tech tips with their colleagues.
  • Spiceworks App Center integration enables IT professionals to customize and extend their help desk with more than 150 third-party apps to add new features and functionality.

 

“We’re focused on helping IT professionals become more efficient by enabling them to run their help desk entirely from their phones or tablets,” said Sanjay Castelino, VP of Marketing at Spiceworks. “With a tool that’s easy to deploy and use on the go, IT professionals can now support their growing business in a way that works best for them.”

 

The Spiceworks Help Desk mobile app is available for download today on iOS- and Android-based smartphones and tablets.

 

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About Spiceworks

Spiceworks is the professional network millions of IT professionals use to connect with one another and thousands of technology brands. The company simplifies how IT professionals discover, buy, and manage an estimated $600 billion in technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Austin Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Goldman Sachs, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital. For more information, visit http://www.spiceworks.com.

 

Follow Spiceworks on Twitter: http://twitter.com/spiceworks and connect with Spiceworks on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/Spiceworks.

 

Spiceworks is a registered trademark of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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MSPs and you: When service levels meet requirements

March 2, 2015 Comments off

“Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” –Mr. Spock, The Wrath of Khan

Managed ServicesAs Managed Service Providers (MSPs) move more into the mainstream, business customers will have to learn to strike a balance between service requests, service levels, and service requirements. There doesn’t have to be a communication breakdown between parties, but there often is when service levels collide with requirements. Most MSPs distinguish themselves from standard hosting companies by providing several avenues for the business customer to submit requests, troubleshoot problems, and resolve outages that affect business continuity.

Most MSPs have Network Operations Centers (NOCs) that monitor and manage outages and alerts on a 24x7x365 basis as part of their overall service level agreement with the customer. Many have Help Desks that are staffed around the clock or during extended business hours. And in the case of maintenance windows, planned outages, and patching, MSPs notify customers in advance. However, emergency patching, unplanned outages, and loss of service are part of any IT-related business.

The MSP Alliance defines managed services in the following way:

“Managed Services is the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades.”

As stated in the definition, it is the proactive service delivery that often creates problems between MSPs and their customers. Proactive delivery can mean downtime for customers to apply critical patches or to perform required maintenance.

This post uses the following definitions for service requests, service levels, and service requirements:

  • Service requests – requests by the customer for some type of service from the MSP.
  • Service levels – expected, and agreed to, response times and activities that are part of the paid for service.
  • Service requirements – regular maintenance, planned down times, patching, security requirements, regulatory compliance, and confidentiality.

For example, if your service experiences a security breach, the MSP may take your service offline until the situation is resolved. Typically the MSP will notify you of the breach and of the in-progress repair. The MSP has other business customers that can’t be put at risk by your compromised service.

The MSP has a service agreement with every customer and you have to realize that your service is no more or less critical than any other, that is, unless you’re paying for a premium level of service with guaranteed response and delivery. Does this all mean that the MSP can ignore your needs or service requests? Certainly not, but you have to understand that the MSP is your business ally, your business partner, and your business advocate. But, they also work for the good of all their customers.

When comparing MSPs, find out which upstream partnerships they’ve formed. In other words, educate yourself on who’s responsible for assisting your MSP with their infrastructure. Who are their partners? What are their service levels? What is their guaranteed response time from vendors during an outage?

Whether you’re looking for Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, or Software-as-a-Service, find the right partner for you.
IBM_logoThis post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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