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The Future of Support: Holy Hologram???

Every now and then we come across a story at Helpdesk.com that really makes us appreciate the level of today’s available technology. When it comes to customer service and support automation, the future is literally here with the introduction of ‘Star Trek’ like hologram technology. This will truly bring the help desk and customer service to the next level. Good or bad thing? Let us know your thoughts. Enjoy the story, as featured in The Week:

Coming soon: Airport customer service reps… who are holograms? – The Week – Mozilla Firefox http://ow.ly/bcJRm

She can smile, point you to your gate, and even identify the nearest restroom. Just don’t ask this disturbingly perky virtual worker to carry your luggage

The video: First Coachella brought Tupac back from the dead, and now, airports are also employing holograms of humans to dazzle (and assist) frazzled travelers. This summer, fliers dragging luggage through JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York City and Newark airport in New Jersey will be treated to “computerized, hologram-like avatars” working alongside busy human employees. (Watch a demo below.) The peppy, freakishly selfless, two-dimensional projection “smiles, answers questions, and can guide you to the nearest restroom or to your connecting flight,” says The Associated Press. Each unit costs $250,000, but instead of making an outright purchase, The Port Authority of New York will spend $180,000 to rent five digi-helpers for a six-month period during the daunting summer travel season, when some tens of millions of people will pass through its three airports.

The reaction: This hologram is “more than just your average customer service representative,” says Matthew Rosenbaum at ABC. “She’s always ready with a smile, never needs a bathroom break or a shift change” and could easily give you “a lifetime of devoted service.” I guess, says Fox Van Allen at Tecca. But why would The Port Authority pay $180,000 to rent “fake humans when they could have paid half that to hire real people”? Well, perhaps this “cheery, two-dimensional lady” really will “make the agony of modern air travel a little easier,” says Eric Mack at CNET — “if she doesn’t totally creep you out, that is.” Take a look: Click here for video

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Now It’s Desktops To The Cloud! Impact on the Help Desk

May 24, 2012 2 comments

It’s getting very cloudy out there. And it’s not just the East coast weather these days. For the world of IT and the help desk, it’s still all about “the cloud”. And now there are new platforms and technologies that go beyond simply storing and sharing your documents and data in the cloud realm. Now you can manage your entire desktop in the cloud, which ultimately will help to usher in the new age of “dumb terminals” — drone clients that do little except provide end users a view to the cloud realm.

So what does this mean for the help desk in terms of providing end user support? How will cloud-based desktops change the requirements and stress on help desk staff and resource? One could argue that, with hosted desktop solutions, the help desk should see some (much needed) relief. On the other hand, users will still have many of the common issues they have today — lost passwords, vpn issues, and general tech issues with devices, etc. And the whole BYOD thing…well…this is a whole other story. Kind of. Now instead of  “Bring Your Own Device” it will be “Bring Your Own Desktop”.

See the article below from NetworkWorld, where they review 5 desktop cloud solutions. Enjoy.

Excerpt from NetworkWorld’s write-up:

Consider desktops in the cloud for BYOD

Five DaaS vendors deliver Windows desktops to any end user device

Desktop-as-a-Service is an interesting way for IT execs to provide cloud-based Windows desktop sessions, as well as shared resources such as storage. DaaS can help companies roll out new desktops and support Bring Your Own Device policies.

5 desktops in the cloud

DaaS or Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) providers offer a pristine, policy-controlled session (either persistent or ad hoc) that can be accessed by a wide variety of devices. If you have an iPad3 and a Bluetooth keyboard, you’re in. Mac? You’re in. An old and wheezing Windows XP patched-to-death machine? You’re in. The machine used to access a DaaS session is largely irrelevant to the session’s use, which can be for standard “office” functions, or as part of an application-specific setup.

The products we tested ranged from simple to comprehensive. All of the DaaS service providers in our test — Desktone, dinCloud, ICC Global Hosting, Applications2u, and Nivio — used a Citrix infrastructure to provide desktop sessions. But each of them arrived at their product offering from a different perspective, and sometimes, with a different attitude.

>> Click here for full article

 

Categories: Random Postings

If You Deny Them Thy Technology, Risk Setting Thy Workers Free

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Happy holidays everyone! Here at Helpdesk.com, we found the below story from Network World very interesting.  The ramifications for workplace productivity, talent retention (and acquisition), and especially the help desk are staggering.

An astounding 50% of workers polled stated they’d consider switching their present job to have a more technologically free work environment. In technology-restrictive environments, upward 17% of information workers said they’d use tools and software regardless of IT approval or support.

In today’s technology driven and dependent world, businesses rely increasingly on the help desk to service employee issues, problems and needs. Historically IT had far more control over the software and applications being used and deployed by its workers. As the average worker has grown more technologically “aware”, the proliferation of free and cheap software, apps, and gadgets poses an increasing challenge to providing support and controlling assets and software licensing.

Many of today’s help desk solutions are well equipped to handle software, hardware and application issues, but for known and officially “supported” technologies. With the ease and proliferation of ‘rogue’ software and applications, the help desk challenge — servicing the technology needs of the workforce efficiently and effectively — gets much more difficult.

Read the article below for more. And be sure to visit us at Helpdesk.com for the latest in industry news, vendor listings, upcoming industry events, white papers, and more!

http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/employees-aren%E2%80%99t-waiting-around-it-deliver-new-apps?source=NWWNLE_nlt_daily_am_2011-12-20

Article:

Employees aren’t waiting around for IT to deliver new apps

50% of information workers say they find their own tech solutions to business problems

By Ann Bednarz on Tue, 12/20/11 – 12:42am.

Today’s tech-savvy employees aren’t waiting around for IT to deliver new applications. They’re taking matters into their own hands, according to new survey data.

Intuit QuickBase found that among 900 information workers surveyed, nearly 20% have built or customized a Web app or software for work purposes without support from IT. In addition, 50% of workers said they use tools such as online databases, Web-based productivity apps, instant messaging, video chat and social networks to solve their own business problems.

The DIYers work pretty quickly: 68% of respondents who’ve built or customized an app said they completed the work in less than a week. The majority (82%) also said their DIY solution is still being used within their organization or team.

FAVE RAVES: 22 IT pros name their favorite products

DIY apps can increase productivity, enable better collaboration among employees, and improve customer service, according to Allison Mnookin, vice president and general manager of Intuit QuickBase, which makes business and financial management software for small and midsize enterprises.

“These motivated employees are taking advantage of easy-to-use, Web-based platforms to respond to the accelerating pace and increasing complexity of business demands,” Mnookin said in a statement. “With intimate knowledge of customer and workgroup needs and easy-to-use cloud tools, information workers solve their own problems faster than IT can accommodate them. IT departments that embrace and empower these employees can drive competitiveness for their businesses.”

Of course, not all companies see it that way. Despite the potential benefits of allowing employees to find their own tech solutions, many companies won’t sanction employee-developed apps: 35% of workers polled said their businesses do not enable or encourage employees to create solutions independently.

As expected, there are also a fair amount of employees who are determined to create their own apps regardless of corporate policy and don’t care a whit about getting permission. In technology-restrictive environments, 17% of information workers said they select tools and software to meet their needs without IT approval or support.

“These ‘rogue’ employees can be extremely beneficial in their motivation to solve business needs, but their energies are best harnessed if management supports them by providing the resources they need to succeed,” Mnookin said. “Otherwise, if they leave the company, IT will not necessarily know how to replicate or maintain the success.”

Intuit found the flight risk among rogue employees who feel technologically restricted at work is high: 50% said they’d consider switching jobs to have a more technologically free work environment. Among workers who feel empowered to solve customer and work process problems on their own, far fewer — just 26% — said they’re open to switching jobs.

Ann Bednarz covers IT careers, outsourcing and Internet culture for Network World. Follow Ann on Twitter at @annbednarz and check out her blog, Occupational Hazards. Her e-mail address is abednarz@nww.com.

Categories: Random Postings

The iHelpdesk? What if Steve Jobs Built Help Desk Software

October 7, 2011 1 comment

iPod. iPhone. iPad. iHelpdesk Software???? What??? Well…what if???

It would likely be a highly intuitive, user friendly platform that provided “just enough” of the basics required to run the business— call tracking, alerting, knowledgebase, self service — without convoluting the experience for the technicians or end users.

Just like all Apple products, elegance and art combined gracefully with technology, feature and functionality. Jobs was able to strike the perfect balance of usability, expectation and performance. Which is why Apple products simply rock. And why the iHelpdesk would reflect Jobs genius in providing “just enough” and not ‘too muchy’ — but to get the software done just right and strike that perfect balance between form and function.

Throw out the fancy mobile, social, and other ‘bell and whistle’ perks, buttons, levers, dials, radio buttons, and integration fudge that hallmarks our more ‘modern day’ help desk software. Just provide a simple, elegant software platform that does one thing, and one thing well — enable staff to quickly and easily satisfy the end user. Period.

Now, if Jobs got around to doing help desk software, well, who knows where the industry would be today. Perhaps the iHelpdesk will one day happen. It may not be Jobs that provides it…but that’s okay.  Steve has given us enough.

Thanks for reading.  For more about help desk and CRM software, please be sure to visit our web site – helpdesk.com

Categories: Random Postings

Help Desk Software TO THE CLOUD!

July 4, 2011 6 comments

The proliferation of “the cloud” has touched every major business function, including HR, Finance, Marketing, and of course internal and external IT Customer Support.

Most major — and not so major — help desk software and CRM vendors now offer cloud-based solutions.

The appeal of the cloud is simple to understand, with benefits including:

  • Remote hosting — no “messy” installations required
  • Affordability — at least in the shorter term, you’ll pay less for ‘cloud’ vs. ‘physical’ software
  • Scalability — the cloud makes this very easy!
  • Automatic updates/maintenance (you’ll always have the latest version at the ready,  if you opt into auto updates)
  • Newest technology — with cloud software, you’ll be getting the ‘latest and greatest’
  • Reduced staffing requirements — a big plus for leaner organizations

Of course, tangible ‘real world’ software also has its benefits. Cons of the ‘cloud’ include:

  • Less control — you won’t ‘own’ this software
  • Increased third-party dependencies — it’s up to the ‘cloud people’ to take care of you…to a certain extent
  • Performance — connectivity  and bandwidth issues can impede speed and program execution
  • Security concerns — a real concern, so be sure to check your cloud vendor carefully on this

Do cloud-based help desk and CRM packages include all the great things you need to manage your internal/external support requirements? Yes!  Ticketing, call tracking, remote alerting, backoffice integration, ITIL support, and more, are available through many cloud-based solutions.

But like with any business critical solution, be sure to do your homework and research the vendors on your shortlist carefully. The ‘cloud’ isn’t exactly a new technology or phenomena…thought IT marketers would like you to think otherwise! Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) has been around for years now, but only in the last few years has the ‘cloud’ emerged as a recognized and better understood and trusted ‘platform’ for serving critical business solutions.

For more help desk articles, news, vendor listings, and more, check out our website at helpdesk.com! Thanks for reading this, and we look forward to your feedback.

Looking to Build an Effective Help Desk? This Article Could Help.

This write-up appearing on TNW (authored by vendor GoToAssist) caught our eye this morning. It’s a good high-level read that covers the basics and bases in terms of what construes an effective support ecosystem.  See below for an excerpt.

Setting up a helpdesk for your startup can be a daunting task. Outside of enterprise circles, it’s not something that’s discussed very often — in fact, many startups don’t bother to go much further than services like Get Satisfaction to begin with.

But it’s not as difficult to set up a great helpdesk for your small business, and in an age of faceless startups who often seem more interesting in getting that next round of funding than making customers happy, one at a time, providing the best support experience you can is an easy way to get ahead.

Planning: Choose Your Software

The first thing you need to do is decide on the backbone that’ll be running your helpdesk. The software that every member of your support staff relies on needs to be top-notch, reliable and offer the features that your specific business needs to do a stellar job.

If you’re going to be running a call center, you’ll need to take a different approach to your completely digital brethren — tools from companies like NCH or Interactive Intelligence will prove useful.

Read the full article at below. Enjoy!

http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2011/05/31/how/

Categories: Random Postings

Welcome to the Helpdesk.com Blog!

January 26, 2011 6 comments

Welcome to the Helpdesk.com blog. This blog is dedicated to news, stories and insights on the service and support industry. Blog postings and news flashes address ITSM technologies, service desk management, help desk software, customer relationship management, IT asset management, and other areas related to ITSM and “best practice” customer and end user support.

Categories: Random Postings
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