Samanage is now SolarWinds® Service Desk.
Prior to using Samanage, UNIS Hanoi used a primarily manual support strategy for incident management. Users submitted tickets through email, and the technical staff would divide and resolve.
“Our strategy was to have a team of technical staff that received support emails via an email group,” said Adam Archer, Senior Manager of Information Technology. ”Then recurring maintenance was tracked and prioritized via a spreadsheet that was maintained by an IT manager.”
As the school, staff, and student body grew, the old method became increasingly burdensome and inefficient. With more than 2,800 devices logging on to the network daily, Archer and his team recognized that there was an opportunity to streamline incoming requests and inventory tracking in a more sophisticated manner.
As Archer looked for a better solution, user visibility was one main concern. He wanted users to know the statuses of issues, which they didn’t have through email support. He also wanted to provide some relief to the support staff from all the manual tracking.
“The reliance on spreadsheets created a high dependence on our Asset Manager and IT Manager who knew all the data within them,” Archer said.
The other concern was the number of walk in tickets the support team receives. Archer said they could miss up to 30% of tickets if they asked technicians to log every walk in incident. They needed an alternative for walk in support customers — an option that helped automate the documentation and organization process.
After assessing other IT service desk solutions and conducting research on review sites like G2 Crowd, the IT team at UNIS Hanoi decided to move forward with Samanage because of the user-friendly interface and flexible API.
In order to handle the increasing number of tickets (especially the walk ins) each month, the team leveraged the Samanage API into their PHP-based kiosk to create and update tickets. The kiosk helped to ensure that no ticket went missing, relieving that responsibility for the on-site technicians.
“With Samanage and our ability to have strong oversight, we have maintained over a 99% satisfaction survey result,” said Archer.
As a school, there are a lot of peripherals borrowed on an ongoing basis. Using the kiosk and API, the team created an automatic “return overdue” notification email, and enabled the ability for returns and ticket closure to be handled via the kiosk.
They have also utilized the change management feature for any changes that bear risk to customers or have security implications. With more than 260 changes logged to-date, including firewall changes, user password resets, and more, the audit trail and oversight Samanage has provided has proven very valuable.
Beyond the seamless integration of the API into the ticketing kiosk, the team has expanded its use of Samanage to departments beyond IT. The human resources department began using the system for booking travel and onboarding new hires. The workflow the IT team created for new staff hires will now trigger tickets for both IT and operations, allowing for a smarter, more seamless onboarding process.
The service catalog workflows have been increasingly adopted across other departments as well.
“A new employee is hired, HR makes the ticket, and the workflow can request more details,” said Archer. “The ability to add more data to a workflow item after the workflow is in progress is highly desirable.”
Supported integrations with Slack and Jira have also helped Archer and his team monitor potential SLA violations, new tickets, and escalating tickets to a problem, or in some cases, adding them to a project.
“We aggregate notifications into a single channel within Slack, and I monitor the Slack channel. It allows supervisors, management and upper management to see what’s coming into the department without monitoring it all day,” said Archer.
With Slack integration, the IT team can receive real-time notifications as tickets come in without having to constantly monitor the queue within the Samanage dashboard.