With the cost of responding to a help desk request averaging $38 US or more per call, it's imperative that help desk management constantly strives to maximize productivity to improve service levels and lower costs.
Whenever employee output is impeded by a failure in IT, the help desk is usually the single point of contact for end-users who need assistance, regardless of whether the employee is sitting at an office desk, on the road or telecommuting. Even though most IT dependent organizations have help desk centers, the strategic advantage of the help desk is not well understood by senior management.
Those in the role of IT user support over the past few years have seen a profound organizational shift to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of the help desk.
The ITIL is essentially a library of documents used to aid in the implementation of a framework for IT service management.
By utilizing ZENworks not only for simplifying the life cycle management of IT assets, but also as a powerful component in your IT service desk strategy, your organization will reap the benefits of greatly improved processes and control. Most IT departments have recognized the tactical importance of the help desk role in an IT-dependent organization. The help desk function, in most IT departments, has become the most process-driven part of the IT department. In the past, the help desk was typically a loose group of technicians, running around solving issues as they developed.
Traditionally, the help desk support center stood alone typically as a reactive function with a relatively focused set of responsibilities: solve all reported problems as soon as possible after they are reported. In addition, traditional help desk staffing practices generally did not take into account that many help desks were not staffed to cope with the capacity of calls outside of day-to-day problems, such as virus or worm attacks. The need to manage this risk is becoming a key contributing factor in the way IT services have changed help desk functions to be more focused on procedural and work-flow-based operations. For an IT services department to function well, the help desk support center needs to integrate well with other elements in the IT service's portfolio. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library has already considered what may be the main processes of IT services and how these link together.
The idea of a centralized inventory database of hardware and software assets is represented in a configuration management process.
The deployment is, of course, a change in itself: one of absence to presence of a product, software program or service. The benefits of integrating asset management software with help desk software are centered on increasing agent productivity.
The amount of time saved on incident handling depends on having the right set of tools in place to support the help desk process.
ZENworks hardware and software inventory management data that is integrated with Help Desk software streamlines agent flows. Having complete asset information available driving each help desk incident allows granular reporting on root-cause analysis and failure rates for different assets and asset types. In addition to hardware scanning, ZENworks 6.5 has numerous enhancements in the software scanning agent which allows it to identify more types of software and collect additional data. A primary benefit of integrating asset tracking with help desk software is increased agent productivity, not only for level-one agents, but also for technicians gathering information by preparing for desk-side visits. Service Support is an operational methodology for supporting the delivery process of IT services. ITIL introduces a process framework for better managing IT focused on delivering high quality and guaranteed IT servces to the IT customer. Integrating the ZENworks imaging feature, image restoration, allows help desk agents to completely restore a desktop to the desired machine state. The IT help desk is similar to a production line, providing a complex range of service products for a wide, varied and demanding customer base. Description:This is an process maturity, tools usage, and organizational structure assessment guide for Change Management. This questionnaire will allow for an assessment to be performed using a hybrid of the Capability Maturity Model for Service Management and the ITIL Best Practices for Service Support and Service Delivery. This assessment questionnaire can serve your organization as one of the most efficient tools to understand Change Management throughout your enterprise, business unit or a single support group within your organization.

This document will be updated within the next 30 days to align even more closely to ITILv3.
The ITIL Best Practice Maps for Change Management are a great way to help jumpstart your ITILA® projects. An electronic copy of the Microsoft Word Change Management best practices document that was used to develop the TaskMaps. Change Management Review Process: ITIL guided process that includes optional paths show review priority, change priority level, update change log, and send RFC to approval process. Change Advisory Board Process: select CAB Members, send meeting notification, define voting logic for CAB approval, update change log, Ensure required quorum of voters present, reschedule RFC review, Present RFC at CAB meeting, update change log, set RFC status to pending, vote on RFC approval, and update change log.
IT-dependent organizations must focus on establishing better control over servicing the customers of the IT department.
Most private and public organizations are under real pressures to increase productivity in order to gain a competitive edge. Without this single point of contact an organization would face major losses in time spent looking for ways to fix issues and get help generating substantial financial risks.
They often see the help desk budget as a black hole without any real benefit to the organization because it does not generate revenue.
Since the end of the 90's, the traditional help desk role has been shifting from an almost isolated, reactive technical support function into the center of a new, integrated IT services management group. This customizable framework defines how service management is applied within an organization. Although, the help desk is considered very important and requires a skilled work staff, it is still a labor-intensive function and therefore costly to maintain.
Policies are put in place for each help desk function to increase the efficiency and productivity of the help desk employee. But in today's highly competitive marketplace, companies are relying on refined processes for IT service delivery and well-defined work flows for help desk support. The help desk is often in a position of playing catch-up, building its skills just in time, going from one problem to the next and never being able to provide adequate IT services to all employees that need it. In addition many IT service departments have begun negotiating service level contracts with departments consuming IT services and charging for services rendered. The portfolio of services may include supplying the computer and guaranteeing the availability and capacity of the network to which it is attached.
Organizations are looking at the ITIL process framework as a method to better address IT management.
Change management then covers how an item of technology may be considered and approved for procurement or creation and then deployed. Integrating ZENworks into your help desk processes and workflow provide features such as remote diagnostics, remote control, asset management, application distribution and system recovery each streamlining the problem resolution process for agents. Help desk agents can use ZENworks remote management tools on desktops and even over the Internet through NAT-and double-NAT-routed networks.
Reduced incident handling time is the most obvious benefit, since agents have all of the information about the employee's desktop hardware, software and peripherals available throughout incident resolution. Other benefits include incident-handling time and increased first-call resolution because agents have all of the information about the employee's desktop hardware, software and peripherals available through the whole incident-management process.
Service support contains six process models that enable IT services to be delivered effectively. This can be a last resort for incident resolution, but can be useful when a machine's operating system is beyond functional repair.
For it to work properly, the help desk must have processes that are understood by all members of staff. ITIL is a straight forward process framework that can help you establish methodologies to better align IT services and service support responsibilities.
While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity. Harvard Computing Group offers this package of ITIL Change Management TaskMapsA® that covers all aspects of these important processes.

As a result, help desk managers, like everyone else supporting the technology-enabling initiatives of the enterprise, continually face the challenge of accomplishing more with fewer resources.
This shift is due in part to software vendors supplying mature desktop and help desk management software, and also industry-wide initiatives to standardize "best practices" for better managing the processes and work flows required to streamline help desk center activities. This creates a financial risk for IT organizations as budget planning and potential service downtime is not controlled.
Also, financial pressures of getting better management of IT assets to reduce costs and justify expenditures is driving many IT organizations to broaden their focus by looking at managing the life cycle of user computing from end to end instead of just reacting to daily changes. They may also have specified the computer configuration in the first place, designed the operational standards with which the hardware and software must comply, and ensured the user was adequately trained to use the system. Under ITIL service management the parameters of preset service levels may also function as IT staff productivity targets. For instance, the ZENworks 6.5 hardware scanning agent even collects data about the system chassis. Custom-defined suites allow you to define a specific set of files that make up an application that can be scanned on the systems.
The five models; Configuration Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Release Management, (See Figure 1) and Service Desk, (See Figure 2) provide standards for managing dayto- day operations for IT customers. There are too many variables to leave things to the old ways of relying on the goodwill and enthusiasm of the staff, which characterized the help desk in its earlier, less mature days. The ZENworks policy-based approach for managing the full lifecycle of your IT assets along with the workflow nature of Help Desk management software can comprise the hub of a more efficient and productive ITIL-compliant IT Service Desk.
In addition, if you wish to distribute these maps in their current form or modified versions of your ITIL TaskMaps within your organization, please refer to the organization license (TMITIL04) below.
One of these industry standards initiatives is the IT Infrastructure Library, commonly known as ITIL. Traditional help desk management roles are being divided to better address the responsibilities within the IT services management group. The majority of new help desk tools, such as those from Remedy and Touchpaper Software, focus on providing "best practice" methodology and procedures for maintaining IT systems. Ideally, the IT services department does not see these as a loose collection of services, but as part of an integrated process. ITIL goes further with its problem management process, by looking at how repeated incidents may point to a deeper problem.
Adding ZENworks inventory can improve the accuracy and relevancy of IT asset data for many IT service processes involving change and configuration management. This can help you identify systems that are getting out of date or might be incompatible with future upgrades. ZENworks enhances the ITIL models by automating many of the day-to-day tasks required for supporting and maintaining the IT customer's desktops, servers and handheld devices. The risks are too great of a handover not taking place and job ownership being lost, or of insufficient value being added at some stage of the production line.
Help desks and desktop support teams need to ensure that their services are clearly defined and aligned with the business requirements.
IT organizations have divided into two separate roles: one considers the future of computing in the organization and the other looks after the present.
When rectified, can make a significant improvement to the usability of the computer systems. Any software or configuration changes on the desktop are automatically updated to the inventory database. All such delays impede the delivery of IT into the business, thus putting profits and corporate goals in jeopardy.

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