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► Behind the scenes at FloraHolland’s HR department
In this edition:
All about TOPdesk on Tour Client in Focus: Reliance High-Tech/ What is 64-bit?/ TOPdesk Plus Part 2/
Want to comment? Go to www.topdeskmagazine.com
It’s Friday morning. You have a quick breakfast, put on your coat, jump into a brightly coloured bus with a bunch of colleagues and drive to the countryside. Upon your arrival, you eat a couple of sandwiches and then it’s time for a day filled with archery, quad bike relay and other fun activities. You and your colleagues then sit down for a meal, after which a bus filled with tired and somewhat tipsy colleagues heads back home. Team building days are always fun, but they are also necessary - working together successfully is one of the most challenging aspects within an organization. How do you ensure that each employee does his or her own job, but also collaborates well and achieves the best results? The theme of this year’s TOPdesk on Tour focuses exactly on this aspect: collaboration. From 18 May to 22 June, the TOPdesk on Tour bus will be travelling across Europe. You can join us for presentations that address successful collaboration between departments such as IT, Facilities and HR, but also between these departments and suppliers. For many HR departments, collaboration is a goal in itself; colleagues who collaborate often achieve better results. This magazine will illustrate how the HR department at one of the world’s largest flower auction organizations, FloraHolland, has managed a large reorganization of six of their branches, leading to a single HR Service Centre. In addition, we will provide you with a success story of how the UK government guarantees the safety of lone workers using innovative IT solutions.
The TOPdesk Magazine covers subjects that are topical in the world of professional service desks in IT, facilities and other service providing organizations. The TOPdesk Magazine is intended for managers, service desk employees, facilities organizations and electronic city councils – anyone who is involved with supporting clients on a daily basis. This concerns both the processes and the technology behind these services.
TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk publication tel: +31 15 270 09 00 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Editor Niek Steenhuis Editors Nienke Deuss, Clare Donald, Henrieke Korten, Nicola van de Velde Contributors Arjenne Bastiaansen, Kirsten Crown, Fenneke Gonggrijp, Carolien Kleijer, Annemarie Moeijes Layout Cathy van den Berg, Elise Kerner Dutch Designers Collective Photography Cathy van den Berg, Ted Erkkila, Carolien Kleijer, FloraHolland, Reliance High-Tech Website David Blom, Erik Pols, Ted Erkkila
Enjoy reading! Niek Steenhuis
Dutch Designers Collective
Part of the TOPdesk group of companies
Contents May ’10
4 News 6 10 12 15 16 20 24 HR department goes for efficiency TOPdesk on Tour Client in Focus: Reliance helps improve safety of NHS lone workers Column: Flow chart TOPdesk 64-bit version TOPdesk plus part 2 Tips + Tricks
TOPdesk SaaS team well-prepared
TOPdesk on Tour 18 May to 22 June ten cities across Europe
As the number of TOPdesk SaaS clients continues to grow, TOPdesk is placing increasing importance on developing the skills and experience of the SaaS team. On Saturday 6 March, a number of emergency drills were carried out, the purpose of which was to be able to guarantee the quality of the SaaS environment and to acquire insight into which points need to be improved. The intention of these drills was for the team to build up their knowledge regarding how to deal with technical malfunctions. All in all, they were able to resolve the issues quickly and effectively; repairing a corrupt database only took 12 minutes, for instance. A large-scale breakdown was also simulated, during which multiple malfunctions took place simultaneously, making the various client environments unavailable and limiting access to the SaaS hosting farm for the team. The team managed to resolve the problem in 1 hour and 28 minutes. Over the coming year, the TOPdesk SaaS team will be carrying out several more drills and tests to prepare themselves even better for all sorts of possible malfunctions and to ensure that they can respond quickly and effectively. The team will shortly be attending another training day as a follow up, which will help them to troubleshoot malfunctions more efficiently.
TOPdesk Demo Days in London
Since the commencement of this year, TOPdesk UK has been hosting demonstration days for clients on a monthly basis. The demo days are an excellent opportunity for clients interested in new modules and developments, and for potential clients who would like to learn more about TOPdesk the solution and the company. During the course of one afternoon, you will be given a demonstration of TOPdesk as well as the opportunity to ask questions to help assess how the software can best cater to your specific situation. Within only a few hours, you will have a detailed understanding of how TOPdesk can offer you and your company optimal support. TOPdesk demo days are held at our office in London Bridge. The next TOPdesk demo days will be held on 10 & 11 June and 15 & 16 July. Register today at: www.topdesk.com/en-gb/seminars/seminar-registration.
Onsite Application Management across the UK
Following the success of TOPdesk onsite application management in the Netherlands and Germany, TOPdesk UK is now offering onsite support for those clients who want to avoid the hassle of having to maintain TOPdesk themselves. The TOPdesk consultant will help you to fine-tune TOPdesk, install new updates and run customized reports. You are given the option to book blocks of 6 or 12 days, at a reduced rate, which will be spread throughout the course of a year. For more information, or to book your onsite support today, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7803 4200 or at email@example.com.
TOPdesk Presentation a great success at itSMF conference in Belgium
On 18 March, the annual itSMF conference took place in the Metropolis in Antwerp, the theme of which was ‘Yes we care!’. TOPdesk Belgium Branch Manager, Nancy van Elsacker’s presentation on the successful implementation of a suitable tool for a range of different business processes recorded one of the highest attendances at the conference. Attendance numbers at the conference, in general, were up this year; in particular, Nancy’s presentation generated a lot of interest. A large number of individuals wanted to learn more about why tool implementations often fail and what can be done to prevent this. During implementations, streamlining the various business processes and the tool appear to be the main factors that contribute to creating problems. Nancy explained how TOPdesk, in spite of this, has been making successful implementations a reality; in some cases for multiple departments within one organization, such as IT, facilities and HR.
Dedicated Support Specialist in the UK
TOPdesk UK will soon have a new support specialist. From May onwards, Consultant, Nadeem Mazhar, consultant, will be taking on his new role as TOPdesk UK’s dedicated support person. Nadeem has three years consultancy experience, during which he has managed to build up a wealth of knowledge about not only common (and obscure) issues that clients experience with TOPdesk, but also the best and quickest ways to resolve them. TOPdesk aims to offer a dedicated Support member at every branch. The idea behind the dedicated support team as a whole is to assure all our customers, regardless of their location, that TOPdesk specialists are ready and waiting at the end of the line to assist them with any software issues.
Shows & Exhibitions
TOPdesk UK Demo Days 10 & 11 June 15 & 16 July TOPdesk UK office, London Bridge SmartGov Live Show 15 & 16 June Excel Centre, London TOPdesk on Tour 22 June TOPdesk UK office, London Bridge
FloraHolland’s HR department goes for efficiency
TEXT: NIENKE DEUSS
Over the past year, the HR team at FloraHolland has experienced a lot of change. Following a company-wide reshuffling, the organization’s HR Service Centre has been a reality since November 2009, and the team now supports all 4400 employees across the six branches in the Netherlands, from the Head Office in Aalsmeer.
FloraHolland’s flower auction in Aalsmeer is impressive, to say the least. With an area of one million square metres (165 football fields) it is the largest commercial building in the world. Every morning, twenty million flowers and more than twenty million plants are traded. Trucks, filled to the brim with gerberas, tulips, roses and numerous other sorts of flowers and plants, drive in and out, making the auction hall resemble an ants’ nest of colourful activity. FloraHolland’s office building is situated next to the enormous halls. The smell of fresh flowers wafts through the corridors, paintings of flowers line the walls – even the rooms are named after flowers. In the room ‘Anemone’, Tim Holtkamp, Joeri Keevel and Bart Wijnen tell us all about the big changes that FloraHolland has been experiencing over the past few months, and which have since led to the new HR Service Centre (HSC).
own HR front desk with its own HR employees. Consequently, anything concerning the recruitment policy was dealt with locally,” explains Bart Wijnen. “Once regulations like the collective labour agreement were set up, we took the plunge and made the decision to set up one central HR department in Aalsmeer.”
needed a service management tool,” explains Tim Holtkamp. Indeed, the implementation of TOPdesk was very smooth, he continues. “The IT department already worked with TOPdesk. For this implementation, many aspects of the working processes were already set out. TOPdesk was familiar with how our organization
IF IT APPEARS IN TOPDESK THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PENSION SCHEME, THEN WE WILL DEVOTE A NEWSLETTER TO IT
HR must improve efficiency
Two years ago, the six large flower auctions in the Netherlands were united under the name FloraHolland, which now has 98 percent of the flower trade. “Getting all these branches to work in unison requires a lot of effort,” tells Bart Wijnen, Project Leader at HSC. “When all employees work for one organization, it is rather long-winded to have six different HR departments. We decided that it was vital for us to start working more efficiently.” In 2009, FloraHolland began reorganizing the HR department. “In the past, every branch had its
The reorganization of the HR department brought with it much upheaval. “Increasing the efficiency also means that fewer people are required. HR employees at other branches either looked for another job within FloraHolland or went looking for work elsewhere,” tells Tim Holtkamp, Application Manager at the HSC. Still, he finds the atmosphere among the employees positive. “FloraHolland is a social company and working at the HR department, in particular, is very enjoyable; there is a good, informal atmosphere.”
works, so we were able to follow on from the processes that had already been set up for IT. That saved a lot of time with this part of the implementation – and, as a result, we managed to make all deadlines.” The intensive collaboration with the TOPdesk consultant certainly also contributed to the smooth progress of the implementation, tells Bart Wijnen. “It was really nice to have one point of contact during the project – from start to finish.”
Everything central with TOPdesk
The process of starting up one central HR Service Centre took place in six parts, one of which was to centralize all the HR data. “In order to be able to manage all data in one location, we really
The HSC in practice
The HR team could not adopt the processes written for the IT department indiscriminately, as Bart Wijnen, Project Leader at the HSC, explains. “HR is a broad field, and the questions that you receive are not as easily to categorize as calls about defect printers, for
example. Generally, they’re questions that combine a number of different aspects, which you can’t always respond to with standard answers.” As a result, the HSC collects all questions in TOPdesk and then
area, such as the staff or salary records. The client is not aware of this subdivision; he or she only needs to send his or her queries to the HSC, where they will be forwarded to the right person.
restructuring is always difficult – and that also applies to the automation of HR processes. Many believe that, because HR concerns processes between people, it cannot operate using tools. Still, we’ve since discovered that certain things can be dealt with digitally.”
IT WAS REALLY NICE TO HAVE ONE POINT OF CONTACT DURING THE PROJECT – FROM START TO FINISH.
Everyone up to date
FloraHolland’s management team operates as intermediaries for their department. They forward all their employees’ queries and requests through to the HSC. “As a result, HR now operates on one level and there is more control over the complete process,” tells Bart Wijnen. “You are able to maintain an overview. If, for instance, it
distributes them across the various clusters. The current HR department comprises 12 clusters, each of which specializes in one
Not everyone was equally enthusiastic about the set-up of the HSC, as help desk employee, Joeri Keevel, tells. “Such a
The auction hall at FloraHolland
Joeri Keevel, Bart Wijnen and Tim Holtkamp
appears in TOPdesk that there are lots of questions about the pension scheme, then we will devote a newsletter to it.” TOPdesk also enables the management to remain up to date, as Tim Holtkamp explains. “Managers can see the status of their requests in TOPdesk. We have set it up in such a way, using authorizations and roles, that they are not able to modify their requests. They can’t access everything, but they are still able to remain up to date on what is important for them.”
MANY BELIEVE THAT, BECAUSE HR CONCERNS PROCESSES BETWEEN PEOPLE, IT CANNOT OPERATE USING TOOLS.
The next step
The restructuring of the HR department is, for the most
part, complete and, from May 2010, everything will have to be organized centrally. “Over the coming months, we are going to actually begin applying everything that we have recorded in the systems,” tells Joeri Keevel.
“We have attended two training sessions at TOPdesk in order to acquire a better insight into our processes and have recorded a number of standard solutions in the system. Now we can really get started.”
TOPdesk on Tour
TOPdesk on Tour is a mini symposium that will be travelling across Europe. During May and June 2010, you can visit us in no fewer than ten European cities. A TOPdesk on Tour bus will always be in your neighbourhood! The Road to Success
The theme of this year’s TOPdesk on Tour is collaboration. How can you use TOPdesk optimally to pave the ‘road to success’? Collaboration is key to any successful organization. During the course of one day, we will provide you with valuable and practical information, combining our expertise with customer references to show you how your organization can get the most out of TOPdesk. We will be addressing collaboration between departments such as IT, Facilities and HR, between these departments and the rest of the organization, and the communication among colleagues. We will also focus on the communication with external parties, whilst outsourcing services and the integration of various applications.
Below you will find the TOPdesk on Tour programme for both the Germany and UK.
10 June 2010 Bayern München stadium, Munich.
09.30 - 10.00 10.00 - 11.00 11.00 - 12.00 12.00 - 13.00 13.00 - 14.00 13.00 - 16.00 16.00 Meet and Greet Opening presentation with Wolter Smit, TOPdesk CEO Presentation: Collaboration for improved service quality Stadium Tour Lunch Workshops Conclusion & Drinks
For whom is TOPdesk on Tour intended?
TOPdesk on Tour is geared towards IT specialists such as team leaders, managers and help desk employees of IT, Facilities and HR departments.
TOPdesk CEO, Wolter Smit, will open with a presentation on TOPdesk’s vision on collaboration. In addition, he will present the new Change management module. This revolutionary module has vastly improved the support of numerous company-wide projects. You will be given a preview of the new version of TOPdesk, 4.3, as well as the new and improved Change management module.
22 June Arsenal stadium, London
10.00 - 10.30 10.30 - 10.30 10.35 - 11.15 11.15 - 11.30 11.30 - 12.10 12.10 - 12.20 12.10 - 13.00 13.00 - 14.00 14.00 - 15.00 15.00 - 15.30 15.30 - 16.30 16.30 Meet and Greet Official welcome with Leontine Dekker, TOPdesk UK Manager Opening presentation with Wolter Smit, TOPdesk CEO Break First Presentation: No more watching from the sidelines Break Second Presentation: Collaboration in one tool Lunch Stadium Tour or Breakout sessions Break Stadium Tour or Breakout sessions Conclusion & Drinks
alignment -- using tools, processes, SLAs and customer satisfaction surveys. This can lead to employees becoming fixated on the rules and procedures, without considering the underlying principle of their work. This presentation will offer you guidelines on how to bridge this gap, enabling you to support and contribute directly to company goals.
Collaboration in one tool
Collaboration between various departments is becoming increasingly important. When used correctly, a shared tool can be instrumental in improving the collaboration between support departments, leading to improved customer satisfaction. During this presentation, we will discuss the advantages of collaboration between departments, after which we will elaborate on further using customer references.
Collaboration for improved service quality
In keeping with the theme of collaboration, TOPdesk consultant, Sumeet Bhatia, will present several examples of improved collaboration at organizations, with the help of TOPdesk. The presentation will include methods for measuring customer satisfaction and quality management, cross-departmental request processing, integration with suppliers and communication with partners e.g. SAP. Using customer references, Sumeet will point out the pitfalls and potential for improvement.
No more watching from the sidelines
Over the past few years, organizations have become more focussed on tailoring their services towards the needs of the business -- also known as Business-IT
Client in focus
Reliance helps improve safety of NHS lone workers
TEXT: CLARE DONALD
Violence and threats against lone workers, such as nurses, physiotherapists and paramedics have increased dramatically across Europe over the past few years. In the United Kingdom, Reliance High-Tech has developed an award-winning system, using technical innovation and TOPdesk, which contributes to reducing the number of such incidents.
12 IN PRACTICE
Since May 2009, Reliance HighTech, part of the Reliance Security Group, has been using TOPdesk to help improve the safety of NHS lone workers, including district nurses, care workers, paramedics and physiotherapists. We spoke to Richard Martin, Head of Technology Customer Services at Reliance to find out more about this unique solution, called Reliance Protect, and why it was awarded ‘IT initiative of the year’ in 2009.
expensive within the timeframe. Users would also need to be trained to use the device. Having used TOPdesk at his previous employer, and knowing what it was capable of, Richard suggested purchasing TOPdesk for the project, because he knew it could record incidents and events with time scales. It also had the reporting requirements that he
stored in the SIM card, which are then populated in Sentinel. Reliance uses the source data as a mechanism for invoicing and runs reports to find out how many devices are being used. They also record the various status types of the devices in TOPdesk, including: warehouse, disused or broken, awaiting training and set to live.
A quick implementation
At the beginning of 2009, a tender was held to deliver the UK’s first fully managed solution, to help protect NHS lone workers from threats or attacks of intimidation, by recording information and providing assistance. Several companies tendered and, in April 2009, Reliance won the government-backed contract. Reliance needed to quickly develop an innovative solution to create and integrate all back office functions and a customer service desk with its Remote Monitoring Centre. The solution – Reliance Protect – was developed, tested and successfully implemented within nine weeks. Reliance had originally looked at a bespoke CRM application, but it quickly became apparent that it also needed proven workflow management functionality. In particular, they needed to track data and organize training as well as record the devices and SIM cards in two different contracts. Leading up to the winning bid, the central IT department wanted a closer look. The CRM application they were considering was growing increasingly complex and
TOPDESK REALLY IS OUT OF THE BOX
and his team were looking for. Confident that TOPdesk was the solution, Reliance ended up purchasing, building, testing and implementing the application, managing to deliver on time.
A unique solution
In order to safeguard lone workers, Reliance has developed a tailored tool that integrates TOPdesk with Microsoft SharePoint, to schedule training and appointments. The solution comprises a security device, SIM card, network connection, end-user training, 24/7 manned monitoring, customer service desk and full support. In the event of an incident, lone workers are able to discreetly activate an alert by means of a small, portable device, which they wear on their person. A member of staff at a 24-hour Remote Monitoring Centre is then notified and can summon assistance for the user from the police if necessary. Since the implementation of the solution, users have indicated that they feel a lot safer. The master data are recorded in TOPdesk, and the data of the individual using the device are
Another key benefit has been the ease with which other Microsoft applications can be integrated. By means of TOPdesk, NHS Trust customers themselves can access a secure web portal to view historic activity, remotely edit device owner details, escalate information and generate management reports. Besides his familiarity with TOPdesk, Richard ultimately chose TOPdesk because it is easy to install. “It really is out of the box. It was also simple to use for our employees, all of which were new, and very little additional training was required”.
And the award goes to…
In October 2009, Reliance HighTech, was awarded the ‘IT initiative of the year’ at the Security Excellence Awards in London. The project named Back-office and unified contact software solution won first prize for the most positive use of IT in the security sector. “This was a genuinely impressive – and speedy – use of technology to help provide genuine safety measure for the NHS’s lone workers”, commented one of the jury.
CLIENT IN FOCUS 13
WITH INCREASING LEGISLATION SUCH AS THE CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER ACT, THERE’S A GREATER NEED FOR COMPANIES TO EVALUATE TECHNOLOGY TO PROTECT LONE WORKERS
Indeed, the solution has been so successful that it is now being used as a best-practice model to improve customer care to existing Reliance customers and in the development of new services. Richard lists a number of possible scenarios for its future use in both the private and public sector, including protecting estate agents, retail staff, engineers, and local government employees. “Companies need to demonstrate duty of care by protecting staff
potentially exposed to harassment, intimidation or violence in the course of their working day. With increasing legislation such as the Corporate Manslaughter Act, there’s a greater need for companies to evaluate technology to protect lone workers”, he explains. Currently, Reliance is responsible for the NHS project within England, but has since won a contract with Wales. When asked the impact
that TOPdesk has had on the organization, Richard’s reply says it all. “Well, we’ve since purchased another instance of TOPdesk for the IT department, so, clearly, we’re pleased with it. We are also considering its use for the collection of operational and payroll queries by our shared service centre.”
14 CLIENT IN FOCUS
TEXT: ANNEMARIE MOEIJES The first step involves getting together with all parties involved and discussing who is responsible for what and within which timeframe, but also which factors they are dependent on. Although this might seem like an obvious solution, try to draw a flow chart. Don’t make it too hard for yourself, but ensure that you cover all the essential processes. You can easily log individual actions in TOPdesk’s Change Management, which can even be supported by a special digital ‘new employee’ form in which all information is easily presented by the new team leader. It is also important that you do not see the failure of the chain of activities as a failure of a certain department, but rather as a sign that it is vital to make specific agreements. “Mr. Smith, welcome to our organization! I will give your new team leader a call. He will escort you to the service desk to pick up your welcome pack. Were you able to park your car in the reserved spot? Here is your badge, and your login name is jsmith.” Would you call this utopian? I think not. You probably still have some past organizational issues, but try not to point the finger; instead, share another cup of coffee. Utopia is merely a flow chart away.
John is standing at the reception desk to report for his first day at work. The receptionist tries to get hold of the team leader, but he seems to be in a meeting, so she points him towards the coffee corner. In the meantime, she contacts the facilities department to check whether the welcome pack is ready, which should contain a badge, locker code, overview of lease cars, staff handbook and work clothing. “What?” asks the facilities manager. “For whom? We know of nothing!” The IT department hasn’t created a network account either, the laptop isn’t ready – not to mention a mobile phone. “But wasn’t he supposed to start next week?” Meanwhile, in the coffee corner, the new colleague is sipping his second cup of coffee and tapping his foot, waiting for what will come next. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you had to organize everything yourself on your first day of work, or were asked to perform a last-minute installation on a laptop that had to be taken to a meeting that very afternoon? Organizing all the necessities for a new employee is a challenging task. Many parties are involved and they all require certain information and have to perform different tasks. The HR department might not realize that, from a security point of view, it is very important to set up the correct authorization on the network, while the IT department doesn’t realize that the facilities department has to place orders for everything to be ready on time – they are still waiting for the completed ‘new employee’ form that is still lying on the system administrator’s desk. It doesn’t matter which role you play within this chain of events, you are always dependent on others and vice versa. If someone delays the process for whatever reason, it will result in the new employee having to organize his own badge, clothing and laptop. Although it might be a good way to get to know the company, it’s not the nicest. How do you solve such a problem? I have been to many organizations that have all come up with different solutions, including Excel forms, mail chains and internal memos. The best solution is to ensure that all necessary information is provided specifically and on time to the supporting departments. For organizations that work with a supporting system such as TOPdesk, it’s a relatively straight-forward process.
Annemarie Moeijes is a consultant at TOPdesk and has years of experience with implementations and changes within various organizations.
TRAVEL COLUMN REPORT 15
TOPdesk 64-bit version
Since the release of TOPdesk 4.2, a 64-bit version has been made available. That sounds interesting enough, but there appear to be a few questions on the subject. How does it differ from the 32-bit version? Is it faster? Is it worth switching over? Do you have to comply with certain conditions? This article will address a number of these questions. What is 64-bit?
The ‘64’ in the 64-bit refers to the word length used by a computer processor to perform calculations and address memory locations. In this case, numbers with a length of up to 64-bit can be processed simultaneously. For years now, the 32-bit version has been sufficient enough to address the maximum memory of approximately 4 GB (232). With the current applications, however, the
MSSQL 1.5 GB
JRE 1.5 GB
Windows 500 MB
TEXT: FENNEKE GONGGRIJP
maximum memory is no longer sufficient due to the increased capacity of 64-bit processors – about 16.3 exabyte (264) – which, in practice, boils down to almost an infinite amount of memory.
than you did for 32-bit, while addressing the same information. If there is insufficient memory available on the server, a 64-bit environment can then work to your disadvantage.
The main advantage of using 64-bit servers is that they can address larger amounts of memory. The disadvantage, however, is that you need more memory
Addressing more memory to an application does not always mean that it will increase the performance. You always require a certain amount of memory space to run the application. When sufficient memory is available, addressing more memory will not help you to work faster and it will take up unnecessary space in the system.
has increased due to plummeting prices and technical progression. The 64-bit version now offers the following possibilities: Running TOPdesk on a 32-bit Operating System (OS) A 32-bit OS can only run the regular 32-bit version of TOPdesk. The maximum memory that can be addressed to TOPdesk on a 32-bit OS is approximately 1.5 GB, which, due to limitations within Windows, cannot be increased, even if more memory is available. The majority of TOPdesk clients, however, will not experience any problems with this amount of memory. In the table, you can see the guidelines for selecting the optimal memory setting for your situation. Running TOPdesk on a 64-bit OS A 64-bit OS can run both a 32- and a 64-bit version of TOPdesk. The 32-bit TOPdesk runs well on a 64bit OS; however, because a 32-bit Java version is still used, there is a limit to how much memory can be addressed. This limit is approximately 1.3 GB for a 64-bit OS, which means that a 32-bit version of TOPdesk runs perfectly on a 64-bit environment, but does not reap the benefits that a 64-bit environment offers. As mentioned above, more memory can be addressed in a 64-bit environment, but it also uses a relatively larger amount of memory. Consequently, a TOPdesk version running on a 64-bit environment with a little over 2 GB of addressed memory will be able to support as many users as a TOPdesk version running on a 32-bit environment with 1.5 GB of addressed memory.
For a Java application like TOPdesk, the maximum amount of addressed memory is 32 GB (32768 MB) in a 64-bit environment. This amount of memory is not realistic for TOPdesk, so, in practice, approximately 3 to 5 GB will be used. This memory should be available on the system; otherwise, it will lead to performance loss.
How does this work in TOPdesk?
The amount of memory that TOPdesk requires to function properly, is strongly dependent on the number of persons simultaneously using the system, as well as the systems being used. For each user, TOPdesk keeps track of which screens are open and what is displayed in them. You could say that the amount of available memory for TOPdesk determines how many people can work in TOPdesk simultaneously. By the time the required memory approaches the limit of available space for TOPdesk, outdated information is more frequently disposed of. This disposal is at the expense of TOPdesk’s performance, and the user will notice that the response time of the system becomes slower. Indeed, this is the most frequent cause of performance problems within TOPdesk.
Guidelines for addressing memory
TOPdesk contains a setting that determines the maximum amount of memory that can be used, which you can read more about in the TOPdesk Management manual. In the table on the next page, you can view the guidelines for the memory setting for your TOPdesk environment, in relation to the number of simultaneously logged in and active users. If you notice that your TOPdesk environment is responding slower than you are used to, it is possible that the amount of memory addressed is not sufficient for your situation. When in doubt, you are more than welcome to contact the TOPdesk Support department.
Where can I get the TOPdesk 64-bit version?
The main advantage of a 64-bit TOPdesk is that more users can use TOPdesk simultaneously. However, this is only an advantage if you are approaching the 1.5 GB limit in your 32-bit environment. Installing a 64-bit version of TOPdesk could then be beneficial. For the transfer to the 64-bit version of TOPdesk 4.2, you will require sufficient available memory.
TOPdesk has developed a 64-bit version as a response to two changes. Firstly, more people are simultaneously using TOPdesk; secondly, the available memory
<20 <60 <100 <150 >150
32-bit OS/32-bit TOPdesk
512 MB 1024 MB 1536 MB -
64-bit OS/32-bit TOPdesk
512 MB 1024 MB 1340 MB -
64-bit OS/64-bit TOPdesk
2048 MB 3072 MB Consult TOPdesk Support
* This concerns the number of operators simultaneously using the system. In practice, this number is lower than the total number of operators. Table1: Indication for maximum memory with varying number of users.
In general, it is only useful if you have more than 2 GB of memory available for TOPdesk. You should also take the current imports via ODBC links into account. Microsoft no longer fully supports these links for 64-bit systems, which might result in a TOPdesk consultant having to transfer these links for you. This is why the 64-bit version is not available for download on the Extranet. Our TOPdesk Support department would be happy to help you fully comprehend the consequences of a switch between a 32-bit to a 64-bit version of TOPdesk. You can find the technical specifications in the knowledge base on the Extranet, under ‘64-bit: Can TOPdesk run on a 64-bit environment?’ For more information and access to the download of this version, please contact TOPdesk Support on + 44 (0)20 7803 4210.
Fenneke Gonggrijp is a support specialist at TOPdesk and has years of experience in her role as knowledge manager. She particularly enjoys the challenge of translating complex subject matter into comprehensible language.
An excellent result. Shame it’s three weeks late.
Planning the relocation of your office is not difficult in itself. But what if the carpet is delivered a week late? Or someone has forgotten to order it? TOPdesk’s Change Management module enables you to respond easily to unexpected disruptions like these.
Regardless of whether you are planning a large-scale relocation, application upgrades or preparing for a new employee, TOPdesk’s renewed Change Management module makes managing and carrying through changes in your organization easier than ever. Want to find out more? Join us for TOPdesk on Tour or visit: www.topdesk.co.uk
TOPdesk’s range of software products is easy to integrate, and we are continually forming new and resourceful links between our software and other tools on the market. In the previous edition of TOPdesk Magazine, we discussed a number of these integration possibilities in TOPdesk Plus Part 1. In this edition, we will continue this discussion, and examine the link between TOPdesk and Integrated Service Management, the Performance Monitor and the SAP Solution Manager.
TEXT: NIENKE DEUSS
Over the past few years, TOPdesk has entered into a number of sustainable partnerships with specialists in the area of business processes and technologies, with capabilities outside the realms of TOPdesk software. As a result, TOPdesk has acquired expertise in-house to create practical, new applications of the software. Accordingly, we have developed links that combine the best of TOPdesk with the expertise of other specialists, such as telecommunications providers and barcode specialists. This article discusses a number of these integrations, based on their daily application at TOPdesk clients.
it to level 3 of the 5 levels of the Capability Maturity Model. Two weeks later, they had moved up to level 4”. TOPdesk and BHVB offer a standard implementation of TOPdesk in the area of Integrated Service Management (ISM), the purpose of which is to support the processes as optimally as possible as well as increase awareness of the work process among employees. Every call or change is linked to a service in TOPdesk, making the service level measurable. Consequently, each department’s performance can be displayed in reports in TOPdesk. Uniformity at Eneco Eighteen months ago, all the small IT departments at Dutch energy company, Eneco, were combined. “Every department was used to its own way of doing things and, as a result, a number of divergent views, tools and processes existed,” tells Colinda van der Meij, Incident Manager at Eneco. To combat this, she began looking at ways to streamline these processes. “We looked for a way to create this uniformity and a tool to support them. We wanted to be able to record processes and implement them easily.”
Integrated Service Management (ISM)
Functional managers are primarily responsible for dealing with clients who log incidents; however, they also look after the smooth running of IT assets, as well as the tools that they use to manage hardware and software. Every department within any organization operates based on three components: people, process and tool. In collaboration with Bureau Hoving & Van Bon (BHVB), TOPdesk offers an out-of-the-box solution that enables you to streamline these processes. Indeed, the support that Integrated Service Management lends, simplifies process-based working. Process awareness Working on the basis of processes, and raising awareness of these, is vital to ensure that activities are delegated and standardized effectively, particularly when put into practice. In order to streamline these elements, BHVB has defined six processes based on ITIL. BHVB examines each client’s business processes and delivers just the right mix of people, process and tool. By developing a portal, the IT employee gains access to all the assets that he or she needs, allowing for insight into all process activities linked to the available functions, roles and departments, at all times. Improving the performance “The improvement in the performance is clearly visible”, tells Robert Wempe, Senior Consultant ISM at BHVB. “Within six weeks, one of our clients had made
Eneco soon made the decision to begin using BHVB and TOPdesk’s ISM application. “Once we had analyzed our processes, we had a guideline in place. We then drew up agreements within the existing process components, which matched the needs of our company.” The IT department has been using TOPdesk and working on the basis of the ISM model since December 2009. “We are now all able to agree on the service we provide, which is, of course, particularly beneficial for our clients.” But change is always difficult, as Colinda tells. “Most employees were not yet familiar with TOPdesk, and processes and tools are not exactly ‘exciting’. However, when employees are able to see all the possibilities they offer, it sparks their enthusiasm. Now we can look at how we can continue to improve our work processes.”
Acquiring graphic insight into the process The graphs and diagrams are formulated using data in TOPdesk. The Performance Monitor takes a snapshot of the processes, so to speak, and examines, for example, how many calls have been received and dealt with, and within what period. These data are then analyzed recurrently, creating a trend. Consequently, you acquire insight into which processes remain within the agreements or not. “You can then see in which areas you perhaps need to improve direction,” explains Karel van der Poel, from Mirror42. “Using the Performance Manager, you can see which percentage of calls or changes, for instance, are being handled within the target date, giving the IT and facilities departments insight into important information. You are then able to visualize the progress of a particular department or process, and can see how busy it is.”
TOPdesk, in collaboration with Mirror42, has developed the Performance Monitor, which offers a way to chart operational processes and trends. A dashboard appears in TOPdesk, in which around 30 KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) display the organization’s performance in graphic form. A new version of the Performance Monitor is currently available, which enables the set-up of the dashboard for both IT and facilities departments.
Set up various KPIs for each process
Specific performance Using a scorecard, you can also zoom in on individual KPIs in the graphs on the dashboard. “For example, you can acquire a close-up of the ‘moving average’ per time unit or conduct a sensitivity analysis,” tells Karel. “You can then see whether your service is improving”. You also have the option to compare groups or processes. “For example, you might notice that everything is going well at branch A, and that all calls are being dealt with effectively and efficiently, but that at branch B, there’s a huge backlog”, explains Karel. “In order to address this problem, you can try moving an employee from branch A to branch B temporarily to try to pinpoint the difference.” A unique feature of the Performance Monitor is the indexing of processes; for example, when you wish to find out how Incident management has performed compared with the previous month. You can then determine the index figure based on the KPIs that you have set up for this process. In this way, you can compare the current performance with the index figure of the previous month. “It is often difficult to prove that a department’s performance has improved”, explains Karel. “However, an index figure enables you to do this.”
Performance Monitor module
SAP Solution Manager
TOPdesk is often used to manage SAP and, since the beginning of this year, SAP clients are obliged to log incidents about SAP software via the SAP Solution Manager. Using the SAP Solution Manager link, you can also log such incidents in TOPdesk. “When you log an incident like this, you can indicate that it needs to be escalated to the Solution Manager,” tells TOPdesk Account Manager, Erik van de Wiel. “This incident then ends up with SAP’s support department, via the Solution Manager. As soon as someone responds to this incident, it ends up back in TOPdesk automatically. Once the incident is resolved, it is closed in TOPdesk and in the Solution Manager. The finishing touches are currently being added to this link. It has been running successfully in a test environment at one of our clients for some time now. SAP is in the process of validating the quality and performance of it, based on the SAP certification. The best of both SAP and TOPdesk TOPdesk has effected this link in collaboration with Uphantis, a consultancy and management organization that specializes in applied information technology and has years of experience in SAP service. TOPdesk and Uphantis are currently looking into the further linking possibilities with SAP.
Trend analysis created with Performance Monitor module
tips + tricks
Advanced searching from the process page
If you regularly use the process pages (the bumper pages or dashboard), then perhaps you will find it useful to be able to search immediately from here. All you need to do is add shortcuts. To find out what you need to enter to replace [card], go to the process page. Hover your mouse over a link to this card, for example, under ‘New’ or ‘Recently opened’, and you will see a URL at the bottom of your browser. Remember the word that you see next to the question mark; this could be ‘incident’ or ‘hardware’. Replace [card] with this word.
If you do not have a status bar, then you can also click with the right-mouse button on the link and choose ‘Shortcut’. Paste this in a Notepad file, for example, in order to see the URL. • If you are not permitted to do this, then you can add this shortcut directly for all users, by clicking on the link ‘For all users’ at the top of the page. Overviews of categories and subcategories In TOPdesk, it is possible to export the overview of categories and subcategories. This is a useful alternative to sending an overview or screenshots from settings management to the service desk, or having to copy everything. Add it to your favourites and refer to it any time you need. You simply need to execute an SQL query. SELECT Category.naam AS Category, Subcategory. naam AS Subcategory FROM classificatie AS Category LEFT OUTER JOIN classificatie AS Subcategory ON Category. unid = Subcategory.parentid WHERE Category.parentid IS NULL ORDER BY Category, Subcategory
Searching in the Configuration Management (Asset Management) process page
You can do this using the following steps: • Click on the link ‘Customize this page’ at the bottom of the process page • Click on the tab ‘Shortcuts’ • Add as many shortcuts as you like. Use the URL: /tas/secure/[card]?action=initsearch
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Copyright © 2010 TOPdesk UK Limited. Although this magazine has been produced with the utmost care and attention, the writers cannot be held responsible in any way for any damages that may occur due to errors and / or deficiencies in this publication.
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