City of Boca Raton implements BOSSDesk for Efficient Onboarding and Improved Service Delivery

BOSSDesk Service CatalogThe City of Boca Raton is the southernmost city in Palm Beach County, Florida. With an estimated population of 98,150, it is one of the wealthiest communities in South Florida. There are more than 2,000 full-time and part-time employees that provide various services through seven departments. 

The City was looking to replace its ticketing system to make Employee Onboarding  and other processes for handling service requests across all departments highly efficient. The on-boarding process consisted of numerous steps requiring the creation of multiple tickets per new employee and technicians would have to create tickets for other IT staff members to perform their tasks. Many processes were manual and needed to be automated.

The City of Boca Raton replaced its ageing ticketing and asset management solution with BOSSDesk Service Management on the Cloud to get a better handle on their assets and also to improve their service delivery. They automated their complex employee Onboarding with workflows and approvals using the BOSSDesk Service Catalog. They also used the Service Catalog for handling service requests for all other departments.

Click below to view a webinar recording of the City of Boca Raton implementation

Webinar – IT Service Catalog – Process Improvements for Onboarding and more

 

The implementation process started with a detailed analysis of the current On Boarding processes to understand what applications were used, who installed, supported, created user accounts and assigned permissions to these applications. The role of Human Resources and the Hiring Manager was clearly defined as well as the permissions required for requesting hardware and software for new employees. Service requests would be generated by both HR and the hiring manager and some manual steps would need to be automated to improve efficiency.

End users were initially nervous about the change. Once they attended the BOSSDesk training they started using it the same day as it was very easy to use" says Frank Santiago - IT Operations Manager, City of Boca Raton

He shares some of the crucial details of the implementation and what was involved in getting it up and running:

"I developed a list of the applications we supported, and the different locations we supported.Then I developed a list of who installed, supported, and created accounts/permissions for those applications.  Once that process was complete, I began creating the Teams. During this process, it was quite clear that the most complex process was the On Boarding process.This process involved many people, in and outside of IT. 

The one important element I needed to consider when creating these tasks was the order in which the tasks were created.  I wanted to be able to allow the technicians to “at a glance” see if the prerequisite tasks had been completed.  Therefore, you need to be cognizant of the order of your routing rules.  

I limited visibility of the New Employee Request form to the HR Division to prevent others from being able to make requests for new employees.

For other departments like the Police, the requirements are different, so I created a New Employee Request form for Police.  However, I did incorporate the software portion on that Service Catalog Item as the requester from Police Services would know what software the new employee would require.  Again, I limited visibility of this Service Catalog Item to Police by the use of Active Directory Groups" 

 

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How Integrated Service Management can Improve Client Service

The global consulting company Pink Elephant has determined that 2018 is the “Year of Integrated Service Management” and highlighted the opportunity for real synergy between best practices, well configured tools and properly organized and motivated people. BOSS Solutions agrees with this direction. Our company specializes in integrated service management solutions, incorporates best practices, and provides customers the best level of support to achieve business value.

Forward thinking IT organizations have adopted this strategy to provide their clients with an exceptional level of service and process improvements. If your IT organization is struggling with fragmented insights, silos of automation or broken processes , Integrated Service Management solutions can help address these issues across the entire organization.

 

 BOSSDesk Integrated Service Management

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One way that this can be easily accomplished is by creating service catalogs that are integrated with other system resources. Services and requests can be automated and offered selectively from a single portal and no coding skills are needed to construct workflows; be they simple or complex. Service Catalogs can be integrated with routing rules, calendars, schedulers and other available resources to provide users with improved workflows.  

Many IT organizations provide their client departments with process improvements across a wide range of applications from providing Onboarding applications for Human Resources to simplifying Equipment Return requests for Operations, and scheduling Facility Requests for Public Service departments. These enhancements have generated proven results for the client organizations by reducing the time and cost of delivering services while greatly improving the user experience.

BOSS Solutions offers such integrated service management capability with BOSSDesk an ITIL Service Desk on the cloud. 

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Announcing General Availability of the New BOSS Support Central

Following a comprehensive Beta Trial program BOSS Solutions announced the General Availability of the new BOSS Support Central which takes on-premise IT Service Management to a new level and allows organizations to manage, track and keep control of their IT environment. The product is designed to ITIL standards, incorporates advanced capabilities, has an award winning user-friendly interface, and is closely aligned with BOSSDesk the company’s Service Desk on the cloud.BOSS Support Central graphic in Blog.png

The product has undergone a major upgrade to incorporate the latest technologies and major capabilities include advanced Help Desk Ticket Management and complete Asset Management capability. Reporting capabilities include a comprehensive array of standard reports and charts. The self-service web portal is easy to use and when combined with the Knowledge Base and Custom Forms can significantly improve efficiency of IT service delivery. Customizable widgets allow Dashboards to be modified to meet the need of all technicians using the system, and Mobile apps for iOS and Android allow for remote access.

 

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Service Catalog - the Modern way to deliver IT Services

In the modern era, the Service Catalog has redefined the way services are offered and delivered within an organization. The Service Catalog provides an easy means to improve operational efficiency and help keep service delivery costs low. All service offerings are delivered and managed using a single portal and this dramatically improves service delivery and user satisfaction. 

An ITIL based Service Catalog offers the ability to manage critical information in a central repository accessible by both the IT department and the business. The information contained within the Service Catalog relates to all Services provided by the IT department to the Business. The Service Catalog can be applied across all platforms, environments or geographical locations of any organization. ITIL V3 standards advocate service catalogs as a best practice requirement for service management.

Service Catalogs offer a customer facing view of all the service and product offerings for all the departments within an organization. They enable organizations to promote these offerings in a structured and easily navigable manner. A user friendly service catalog encourages and enhances customer self service .It allows you to empower your customers with Self-Service.

 

MULTIPLE SERVICES ON A SINGLE PORTAL

 

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A well thought out and managed service catalog provides a great self-service opportunity for customers. It offers a single portal to present all service and product offerings of the organization and a standardized approach to complete all requests . Services and requests can be offered selectively and efficiently from one portal. It allows customer expectations to be managed to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. 

The first step in developing an IT service catalog for an organization is to put together an inventory of all the services critical to the business. This includes incorporating services beyond IT like Employee Onboarding or Citizens Portals .

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BOSSDesk helps Streamline interactions and Transforms productivity for the City of Winterpark

 

Winter Park is a suburban city in Orange County, Florida, United States. Winter Park was founded as a resort community in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Located just three miles north of Orlando , the city is nine-square miles with over 28,000 residents. Winter Park is known for its Old World charm, elegant homes, quaint bricked streets, first-class shopping and dining experiences.

The  City of Winter Park, FL  has been streamlining interactions and transforming productivity not only in IT but in other areas like HR and Purchasing with the help of BOSSDesk, IT Service Management solution on the Cloud. The city moved from the TrackIT solution to BOSSDesk due to the need for a more intuitive, modern and user friendly solution.

In the words of Josh Panton, Senior Systems Analyst at City of Winterpark, BOSSDesk is an ITIL centric service desk solution with unlimited customization and a great clean, easy to navigate UI

Implementing BOSSDesk has resulted in users engaging well and recording issues through the portal increasing accountability and efficiency.  In addition to using the solution for managing incidents and requests, the IT department is also using BOSSDesk to manage the city assets (Cis). All the assets such as laptops, phones assigned to employees are tracked. This increases ROI through accountability and getting more utilization of the assets. This capability has been extended to other departments as well. The Purchasing Department processes all Purchase requests with the help of BOSSDesk. Automating Employee Onboarding and Offboarding through BOSSDesk service catalog, has resulted in tremendous savings of time and improved efficiency. Earlier, several exchange of emails were needed for completing simple tasks.This has now been replaced with one form that automates all the tasks with appropriate routing and approvals.  All the information is tracked and the task gets completed in a timely manner.

The use of Problem Management has helped identify and solve problems in a more organized way thereby avoiding recurrence of incidents. The automation associated with Problem management results in quick resolution of all incidents associated with a problem and users get updated and notified in a timely manner.

 Change Management has been put in place and has helped the city plan and implement changes in a more organized fashion. Better communication and automated approval processes has increased cooperation from stake holders and users. This ensures that the actions of the administrators does not affect any end users. The BOSSDesk Mobile app has benefitted the city in more ways than one. It is a big time saver as technicians can address issues on the go. The departments service multiple locations and technicians are out in the field a lot . The smart phone access is a time saver as it helps the techs resolve and update the tickets quickly and managers are able to monitor the tickets as needed.The availability of mobile app has improved efficiency and user satisfaction. 

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Considerations when choosing a new IT Service Management tool

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When it comes to deciding on a new IT Service Management solution for your organization, there’s a wide array of products to choose from. Whilst certain considerations such as size, budget and specific organizational needs will be different from one company to the next, there are some essential criteria areas that will be common among most during the ITSM tool selection process. Here, we examine the eight key elements that should to be considered during the decision making process.

1) Out of the box readiness

It’s obvious that choosing a tool that most suits your needs straight out of the box will always be more convenient to get set up and functioning compared to a tool that requires lots of early stage configuration. What is often less obvious during this stage of the selection process is checking to see if the product will require any additional software packages in order to operate as required and also deliver any specific requirements that the organization has. As well as this, considerations should be given and even tested as to the specific platforms the new product will support such as Windows operating systems, browser editions and mobile compatibilities.

2) Customization and flexibility

Many tools allow the flexibility to easily customize components of the product such as forms, fields, reports, workflows and permissions. The ability to customize these items is often a very important deciding factor when choosing a new ITSM product. Not having the ability to customize such areas of the product prevents you from being able to tailor the product to your organization’s needs now and in the future. Even if the product does allow for customization, consideration should be given as to how easily these changes can be made. Will it require a third party consultant or can the customizations be carried out by internal IT resource. Similarly, it’s important to check if future software updates will have any effect on both the customizations that have been made and on any third party integrations that work with the product such as remote desktop platforms.

3) On premise or hosted

For many organizations choosing a product that has the option of being hosted or being available via the cloud makes sense. Typically a hosted product requires little or no maintenance, has no additional cost in terms of hardware and can easily be accessed from anywhere using most web browsers. However, many organizations still prefer to keep such products hosted locally so that they can easily and securely access to the information that’s contained in its databases. The other advantage of having the data readily available is in a scenario of having to migrate the information to a different product at a later stage. As the data is hosted in your environment, it’s often easier to extract and move to a new database than it would be if the data resides in the cloud.

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Addressing the pains of systems migrations and infrastructure changes - Part 3

Blog_part_3.pngIn part one of this series, we examined the increasing security risks faced by organizations running outdated operating systems. While many businesses still rely on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 environments, the implications of unsupported architecture can have a major impact on business operations. In part two of the series, we explored the system requirements and configurations that should be considered as you to prepare your environment for operating system migrations.

In this final installment of the series, we will delve into the best practice considerations that should be applied to assist with the smooth and successful completion of operating system migrations.

As any IT professional or service desk technician knows, with changes to an organizations IT infrastructure, be it a new phone system, a new network or in this particular case new operating systems, comes the inevitable end user issues. To be fair this needs to be expected as these users have for the last few years been using systems they are familiar with navigating on a day to day basis. Then, the introduction of the new operating system that they are expected to use, with its increased functionality and alternative interfaces that many of these users have never worked with before now.

However, before the flood gates open of helpdesk tickets from end users requiring assistance with the new operating system, a proactive stance can easily lessen the burden on your IT department by providing training on the new systems before the upgrade. Often the simplest approach leading up to the new software roll out is to schedule a series of dedicated training sessions that are conducted by the IT team, where end users can learn about the new operating system and become familiar navigating the new interface of the product. Coordinating such training sessions in conjunction with your HR department will also assist in staff participation and reinforce the importance of the training.

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Addressing the pains of systems migrations and infrastructure changes - Part 2

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In part one of this blog series, we looked at the security risks faced by organizations running outdated operating systems. While many businesses still rely on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 environments, the implications of unsupported architecture can have a major impact on business operations.

In this part of the series, we will explore the system requirements and configurations that should be considered as you to prepare your environment for operating system migrations.

More often than not, when IT departments are conducting large operating system migrations or the roll out of new a new OS, the hardware requirements of the new software can be easily overlooked. This common oversight can lead to failure with installations of the new operating systems and result in disruption to business continuity. Poorly planned migrations often leave IT support technicians scrambling to resolve the system failures while end users are left without functioning machines. These impacts to productivity trigger a domino effect as IT gets inundated with incoming support issues from frustrated end users and critical departments such as accounting, finance or production facilities.

 

Not exactly the most efficient way of accomplishing the new operating system roll out or making friends! Additionally, who's going to take the flak when management starts asking some rather difficult questions?

So how do we prevent this situation - or more realistically - reduce the number of failures when conducting OS upgrades on a large scale? While some obstacles should be expected when migrating complex environments, appropriate planning can significantly reduce downtime and unnecessary stress on resources.

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Addressing the pains of systems migrations and infrastructure changes - Part 1

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One of the most daunting, challenging and time consuming projects for IT teams is the upgrade and roll out of a new operating system. Migrations drain resources and can be disruptive to business operations if not planned for in advance. That said, in today’s landscape of increasing security risks, it’s imperative that IT teams respond to these updates in a timely manner in order to prevent introducing unnecessary risk to corporate assets.

In the last year alone we have seen the end of life for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, and Microsoft has released a sunset date for Windows Vista in 2017 and Windows Server 2008 in 2020. Still, nearly 17% of internet users worldwide are using XP and they are dreading the impeding force to a new operating system. Governments, large corporations and health care systems have been clinging to their dying XP OS while they waited for the long anticipated Windows 10 release before investing the effort and cost into migration.

The resistance to migrations isn’t isolated to user machines. Windows Server 2003 houses millions of business applications. Gartner estimates that there are still 8 million of these servers in operation, most of them running mission critical infrastructure like ERP and CRM systems. Whilst the number of machines running Windows Server 2003 might be much smaller by comparison, taking the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” approach leaves companies exposed to the looming threat of security breaches.

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