Enterprise Service Management

Much has changed since the time IT departments first began setting up their help desks.  At that time the goal was simple:  Make sure that employees with an IT question or issue are able to get back to work as quickly as possible.  Nowadays other departments supporting the business (such as HR, procurement, facility management, etc.)  also see the advantages of this approach.  Do not expect them to set up a traditional help desk however.

A modern employee does not necessarily want to call or email a help desk.  Grabbing her smartphone, she expects to quickly find the answer to her question, or an option for assistance if required.

Cor Winkler Prins - CEO at 4me, Inc.Most organizations are still not doing enough to make their employees successful.  Modern cloud-based technologies and smartphone apps offer great opportunities to improve the support for enterprise employees.  This results in increased employee satisfaction and improved efficiency.

Cor Winkler Prins – CEO at 4me

Employees struggle to understand why they can simply submit a request when the WiFi stops working, but that this is not possible when they have a question about a payslip, a contract that needs to be reviewed by the legal department, or a dashboard warning light indicates that something is wrong with a company car.

Digital Enterprise

4me mobile app-with multiple support domainsThe expectation within the digital enterprise is that a support app is available on every employee’s smartphone.  Employees can use that app for all questions without having to know whether it is an IT question or an HR question.  This is referred to as enterprise service management (ESM).  Help can be obtained this way for all services the enterprise makes available to its employees.

The Challenge

When trying to improve staff support across multiple domains, an organization has two options:

  1. Set up individual service management environments for each support domain
    This allows the IT department to set up its environment to satisfy its needs, while the HR department can configure its environment to its own requirements.
  2. Provide a single place for employees to get help
    Employees do not need to know which self-service portal to access in order to obtain support from the legal department versus facility management.  A single solution provides access to support when required, whether on a PC, tablet or smartphone, regardless of the department from which the support is needed.

Naturally, organizations want to have the advantage of both options; they want to make things easy for their employees, while also giving each department the ability to customize their environment without negatively affecting each other.

This is a challenge for most service management solutions.  They cannot easily ensure employee privacy when requests are related to sensitive HR topics such as illness, salaries, dismissal, etc.  Transparency for the individual employee must be assured.  He must be able to monitor the progress of all his requests, whether they land with the IT department or with HR.  At the same time, the IT specialists must not be allowed to see the HR requests of the employee.

Eliminating the Complexity

4me supports these enterprise service management requirements with its unique account structure.  Each organization starts by setting up its directory account.  The directory account is where all employees, departments and sites are stored.  It is also where the design of the self-service portal for the employees is maintained.  Next, each support domain wanting to allow employees to contact them for support via self service gets its own support domain account.  Each support domain account can be configured individually.  For example, the HR departments may want to use 4me’s project management functionality, while the IT department may want to activate and customize 4me’s CMDB features.

Each support domain account can make its own standard service requests and knowledge articles available for the enterprise employees they support.  When they do, this does not affect the other support domains in any way.

ESM structure with 4me directory account and multiple support domain accounts

Over time, most organizations see more and more departments ask for a support domain.  Setting up an additional support domain account is easy in 4me.  All the employee, department and site data is already available in the directory account, as well as the self service design and single sign-on configuration.  What also helps to overcome a significant obstacle in the introduction of ESM is the fact that setting up a 4me support domain does not cost anything.

All that a support domain needs to do to allow employees to submit requests to them is:

  • register their support teams, and
  • register the services that these teams support

Thanks to 4me’s account structure, the setup of an additional support domain is typically only a 2-day exercise.

Collaboration Between Support Domains

Once multiple support domains are in use, they can agree to allow collaboration between their 4me accounts on requests, changes, projects and/or assets.  Think for example of a request for onboarding a new hire.  Such requests may trigger a change workflow with tasks for the HR department to set up payroll and benefits, for IT to provide a laptop and an email account, and for facilities to make a desk available.

This is how modern organizations transition smoothly from IT service management (ITSM) to enterprise service management (ESM).