Samanage is now SolarWinds® Service Desk.
Getting a Handle on Incidents
GE Johnson Construction Company has grown very quickly over the past four years – in fact, it has nearly doubled its workforce. This growth impacted the information technology services (ITS) department, which doubled in size. Despite the department’s expansion, requests for support were piling up and the company needed a strategy to maximize efficiency in service delivery.
“It became impossible to track the requests for breaks and fixes, user ID and password resets, and lost cell phones [from] email and phone calls,” said Shannon Gwyn, applications administrator. “We went looking for a service desk solution, and Samanage made the most sense.”
Gwyn’s department started small with Samanage, using a support email address that automatically generates tickets for employees. They also implemented training for Support Specialists on how to manage tickets. Used to fielding support calls, writing on post-it notes, or other ways of manually tracking incidents, everyone in ITS quickly saw the benefits of creating and managing tickets. It was a good start to the service revamp, and the ability to collect and organize tickets was just the beginning.
Cutting Repetitive Tasks With a Solutions Database
Because so many of the tickets are repetitive, it makes little sense for Support Specialist to type up a detailed method for troubleshooting every time a new one comes in.
Gwyn said: “The first time someone asks you, it’s a three-paragraph answer with screenshots and arrows. The second time, maybe it’s a little shorter, and no arrows. By the tenth time, [they’ll] get a two-sentence answer because I’m tired of typing it over and over.”
Gwyn and her team realized early on that they could remove that burden from the Support Specialists and get answers to requesters more quickly if they leveraged the solutions database in Samanage.
“I love the fact that once our support specialist finds the solution, they can send it with the click of a button,” said Gwyn.
It’s been especially helpful as the staff has grown to scale with the organization. New GE Johnson Support Specialist can find solutions to incidents that the more experienced team members have already resolved. The ITS department even made some solutions available to employees, who can search knowledge articles before submitting a ticket if they want.
Gwyn said that her team can leverage the solutions database for 70 to 80 percent of tickets.
Service Catalog to Collect Information Up Front
“Sometimes you need certain information from the user to be able to complete a request,” Gwyn said. “The service catalog allows us to do that, and other departments have wanted to use that as well.”
ITS’s success with the service catalog has taken a leading role in helping other departments deliver services. Gwyn believes the key is to guide the education for the rest of the organization.
She elaborated: “You have to figure out who will own each process and make sure everyone agrees. It isn’t ITS’s job to make sure all of the tasks are completed, for example if the request is new assignment of a company vehicle. You have to meet with everybody to plan what each workflow will look like.”
Even more, GE Johnson Construction Company has found success in assigning different service tasks to groups rather than individuals. This way, if people leave or if departmental tasks change, they can change the membership of the groups without having to rebuild workflows.
They’ve already built service catalog items that travel across multiple departments. Payroll, accounting, and human resources have also built processes unique to their own departments.
“They’ve learned that through the service catalog, they can fill it out only once, and they don’t have to remember who to notify to get that employee’s request done from start to finish,” said Gwyn.