IBM Moves Service Desks to the Cloud

IBM has released the second Software as a Service offering in its Tivoli Live portfolio: its IT service desk. Called “Tivoli Live-service manager,” this release follows last year’s Tivoli Live-monitoring service, a SaaS app that manages the health and performance of IT resources.

The IT service desk SaaS is identical to its on-premise counterpart, in that it helps clients manage their internal or external help desks, Arthur Chiang, VP of end user services, told TechNewsWorld.

Its basic premise, he said, “is to log an item — say a client calls to say a PC is not working — as a ticket and then track the work.” In general, demand for such functionality is growing. IBM estimates that only 5 percent of service and support issues are resolved by self-service.

Why SaaS?

Using the SaaS model to deliver this functionality makes better sense for some companies, Chiang said.

“It is pay as you go, so that changes the purchase from a capital decision to an operating cost decision,” he pointed out. SaaS allows companies to scale up or down quickly, especially in support of seasonal help. With SaaS, users can transition more easily into other functional areas, such as change management, asset management and other IT management areas.

Service Manager Features

Delivered via the IBM cloud, Tivoli Live-service manager provides a portfolio of automated IT functions. There is an online service catalog to onboard a new employee, including setup of the employee’s office space, laptop, network access and email identification.

Another feature allows the service agent to rank a work request using application topology that is based on the business impact of a database or application going down.

Additional features:

  • Incident and problem management, which automates and manages service desk operations
  • IT asset management, which manages the lifecycle of IT assets, including software and hardware
  • Service catalog, which provides users with a single portal for requesting standard IT and non-IT services such as requesting a new laptop, change in benefits, resetting passwords, adding or removing an employee to a department, resetting printer toner, and so on

In the Pipeline

Service manager is the second Tivoli Live application that IBM has released in a SaaS format. Chiang was unable to discuss adoption rates of the first SaaS release in the portfolio, Tivoli Live-monitoring service.

He did say, however, that more such offerings will be coming: “We are constantly looking at the other applications in the portfolio.”

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