Streamlining IT processes with ITAM and knowledge management
Chances are, if you’re Canadian, you’ve heard of – or owned something from – Roots.
Over the past few years, TOPdesk Canada has helped Roots streamline processes within their IT department, implementing the ESM software to help with their service delivery.
In this customer story, you will learn how Roots implemented ITAM and knowledge management, used the TOPdesk reporting tool, and leveraged TOPdesk to create efficient processes within their IT department.
Jocelyn Hamilton, IT Coordinator of Roots Canada, shares her experience implementing TOPdesk, and the effect it has had within the organization.
It was very disorganized. It was very hard to keep track of tickets, and keep track of who was working on what. Once TOPdesk came in, before we even rolled it out to our end users, I was fascinated by it.
Jocelyn Hamilton, IT Coordinator of Roots Canada
Switching to TOPdesk from another tool: The importance of ITAM
Before implementing TOPdesk, Roots was using another ticketing software. It was very basic – users didn’t have any end access. Communication with the IT department was all through email.
“It was very disorganized. It was very hard to keep track of tickets, and keep track of who was working on what,” explains Hamilton. “Once TOPdesk came in, before we even rolled it out to our end users, I was fascinated by it.”
Through implementing TOPdesk, the IT team found the tool useful not only as a ticketing software, but in many other ways too. TOPdesk’s IT Asset Management and Configuration Management Database (CMDB) allows all assets to be tracked and controlled. If a server is down, everything linked to that server will be flagged, making it easier to find the problem and fix everything attached.
“There are so many different things you can use [the software] for besides the ticketing aspect, and I think a lot of people forget that,” says Hamilton. “I was excited to introduce Asset Management to our team. Because being an IT team, we do have a lot of hardware, which is really hard to keep track of, so that was a huge, HUGE bonus for us.”
Generating a clear overview of all valuables allowed the team at Roots to create reliable processes within the tool.
“Everything is much more organized now. We’re able to manage our time more efficiently when helping our end users, and I think that’s a big bonus for them, and not just for us as operators.”
Encouraging buy-in with a new software
“To this day, we still have our kinks we’re working out. The hardest thing for us was not only being virtual, but trying to get 400+ end users to be on board with this, and how to utilize that successfully,” explains Hamilton.
It’s no secret – implementing a new software comes with the challenge of buy-in from the whole organization. Thankfully, TOPdesk has ways to help with this. Once end users can experience the ease of the tool, and witness their incidents being resolved efficiently, it is widely accepted and used daily.
“I’ve always said it, ‘people are afraid of technology’ – especially when it comes to new things,” says Hamilton. “We implemented the self-service portal, but, at the same time, having that email option for users is also stopping them from using the SSP to its full potential. Like I said, with our previous ticketing system, it was very straight-forward. There was no access for the end users.”
Helping motivate end users comes with its challenges.
“Once or twice a month, you do have that person, who would say, ‘My phone’s not working’. But we try to inform them, ‘Hey, we have this form, which is specific to your issue’, and show them that they don’t have to email us back and forth for days to try and narrow down that their phone was unplugged.”
Knowledge items are a way end users can retain the information they need to solve their own issues. Roots has implemented a knowledge management system that end users have started to adapt. This saves time within the IT department.
How does the IT team do this?
“Encouraging [end users] and explaining that having these forms allows us to skip asking all these follow-up questions, and that the forms are designed to get the details we need for a fast and easy process,” explains Hamilton. “Not only for them, but for us as well.”
Biggest TOPdesk-Roots success
The IT team at Roots has already begun noticing positive changes in how the organization has adapted to the new way of working.
The Self-Service Portal (SSP) is a platform for end users to retrieve information to resolve their issues without having to contact the IT department. And if they can’t solve the issue on their own? There is a system, in which incidents can be generated through forms and organized in the back end, ensuring an efficient resolution time while tracking all updates.
Hamilton’s biggest win?
“Designing the SSP. There’s just so much you can put in there,” Hamilton explains. “Our consultant, Ray, he’s the best. He suggested, ‘Hey, you can use this function to post alerts, so if you’re having an issue with Outlook, instead of emailing everybody, you can post it on the SSP and notify them.’”
Major incidents help notify the company when disruptions affect multiple people.
“I think that was one of the coolest functions. Even though it’s so small, it’s a great way to interact with our end users without spamming their inboxes,” says Hamilton. “Personally, I can’t stand when things like that happen, especially if it’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect me. But that was a great find.”
Everything is much more organized now. We’re able to manage our time more efficiently when helping our end users, and I think that’s a big bonus for them, and not just for us as operators.
Jocelyn Hamilton, IT Coordinator of Roots Canada
Reporting in TOPdesk
With TOPdesk’s reporting function, managers can view the performance of different departments. This way, it is clear where there could be certain gaps.
“It’s something that’s been a learning curve for us – learning how to create reports – so, again, thank you, Ray,” shares Hamilton. “It allows our IT Managers to keep track of what’s happening; not only in their own teams, but with everybody else.”
With a large company like Roots, Hamilton explains how their IT department is relatively small.
“There are a lot of times where we need to step out of our individual roles and support other teams.”
With the reporting tool, Hamilton and her team have been able to find those gaps and help fill them, creating more efficient output.
“[It’s] having the ability to see that a certain team might be really struggling. They’ve got 60 tickets to our 10? Then here’s an opportunity to jump in and support. It not only benefits the managers, but users as well,” says Hamilton. “They can see what’s outstanding and what’s being worked on. It gives them the ability to keep track of their tasks and the urgency. This way, they can prioritize better. The end user is getting a response, and quickly so.”
Knowledge management: Sharing knowledge articles across different teams
With TOPdesk’s knowledge base, the IT department can create knowledge items. These knowledge items are a database of information helpful to end users. With access to this information, end users are not only empowered to solve their own issues, but it saves time in the back end for the IT department.
“We’ve been able to make multiple help documents, for us and for the end users,” explains Hamilton. “Having the ability to make this from a ticket, has really helped us. We can quickly be like, ‘OK… insert this ticket’, and boom! We have a knowledge item.”
Knowledge items are helpful, so tasks don’t become repetitive.
“If this issue happens again, especially if it is not common, we can reflect and be like, ‘This is how I solved it’. That way, other teams aren’t spending time trying to solve it themselves as well.”
Ultimately, the team saves time and money for the organization.