Article | July 19, 2018

The 3 Pillars Of Service Management Solutions

By Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord, TOPdesk USA

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Identifying the three pillars that explain a service management’s solutions strength can be found in three simple principles: it’s standard and simple; it provides a shared service solution; and it provides for service chain integration. These are the pillars in which service management solutions excel, that should be part of its DNA for the benefit of its users and the organizations that employ it.

A goal of any service management solution should be to become an essential internal service management platform for organizations worldwide, their managed service providers and suppliers.

Standard And Simple

In my humble opinion, I believe service management solutions should be easy and quick to use. That seems an obvious statement, but the two concepts of this pillar are an extension of each other: because the software is standard and users don’t have to spend a lot of time on bespoke work. Ultimately, this should lead to a more user-friendly and intuitive experience, a service management pillar that is the definition of service management simplified.

When customers select a service management solution, they are actually selecting a way of thinking and processes that are similar between organizations. Therefore, standardized software is the way to go and means a shorter implementation period at a lower price, while still being able to deliver excellent services to your customer. Standardization means maintainability of the solution.

Shared Service Management

Collaborating with different service departments in one service management tool is the future. End users don’t want to wonder whether to contact IT or facilities about their question. They simply want a single point of contact for all their questions and request, and expect the combined service departments to deliver. Implementing a shared tool for your service departments is the answer for more satisfied end users, and fewer tools means lower costs for the entire organization.

The focus on shared service management means improved processes between IT, facilities managers and HR. An example of this is the commencement of a new employee. Several departments need to pitch in to arrange everything for their first day. Working together in one tool makes these tasks a lot easier.

Service Chain Integration

Service delivery isn’t confined to the walls of your organization. In a world where we are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, it is essential to collaborate with your suppliers to offer the best service experience possible. This is the idea behind the service chain integration pillar.

More and more organizations work with freelancers or outsource their services to suppliers; for example, IT security or catering. This trend will continue and will happen more in the future. Organizations and companies focus more and more on their own business activities and leave the service management activities to the experts. Let people, departments and companies do what they do best.

Subsequently, service departments still want to be in control of the quality of the delivered services to their customers. The transparent collaboration with suppliers is the next step in professionalization. Service shouldn’t end at your office’s front door. Instead, everyone involved in the chain should be integrated in the process, from customer to supplier.

Self-Explanatory Software

First impressions matter. Any person logging into service management solution for the first time should be able to understand what is expected. These solutions are a means to an end: improving your service management. The only software that is extremely easy will survive in the end and is worthy of implementation within your organization. Likewise, the solutions should be out-of-the-box ready. A standard and simple tool benefits customers in many ways. To be standard and simple, the tool should be easy to use and implement – meaning the need for tool consultancy is kept to a minimum, so time can be spent on process improvements and soft skill training of the people involved.

Workflow Management

Service organizations fulfill every task needed to deliver the right service to their customers. Workflows are a way of achieving a consistent level of service by standardizing these tasks in workflows. Service management solutions should make it easy to get started and set up these workflows. Any service organization can easily grow from reactive in which they solve calls to proactive delivery based services.

Asset Management

Keep track of assets for all processes within your service organization. Store the information you think is relevant with ultimate flexibility and directly get your data when registering a call, for example. Focusing on the impact of an object, it’s always visible which services and processes will be affected by a change or disruption for your assets.

Service Excellence

Being in control of processes like ticketing or changes is basic service management. The next step is to deliver service excellence. It is the first step towards achieving employee delight; exceeding expectations and going the extra mile. Striving for employee delight through service excellence will give your employees purpose, which will result in happy employees. In turn, this leads to more productivity and increased customer satisfaction. Service delivery is often the only differentiator and, therefore, an important advantage over the competition.

Managed Service Providers

More and more organizations are focusing on delivering those services that contribute to their own business; business toward citizens, patients, students. The content-specific IT, facility and HR services are being outsourced and handed over to the experts. When this logical step in the maturation of companies happens, the logical choice is to help them by delivering software that supports this. Managed service providers are at the core of the transition to a more outsourced market.

Customer Collaboration

The network is about creating value based on the connections between users, regardless of the installation that they happen to be working in. Collaborating with other users should be simple, and value put into the service management solution should be sharable between not only colleagues, but all users of the service management software. This value should be shared on a central platform, where users are enabled by sharing knowledge about service management accumulated over the years.

About The Author

Nancy Van Elsacker Louisnord is the president TOPdesk USA. She’s also a public speaker, a contributor to dozens of leading industry publications, and a service management expert. @NancyVElsacker; @TOPdesk