January 2013, Issue 1, Volume 15

TOPdesk 5.1
Coordinate your services: right people, right place, right time

More in this issue:

Boskalis bespoke work benefits from Scrum Exemplary e-government Streamline your configuration management with the barcode scanner module



I studied Communication Sciences. Not because I’m bad at communicating, but because I love to communicate – abundantly and about everything. This is why I’m rather bad at organizing surprises. I always manage expectations, which in my case means giving the secret away. I tried again recently, but even before I’d organized everything I blurted: “I feel like some spontaneous laser tag and pizza tonight, what about you?” Anti-climax. TOPdesk is also busy communicating, but also consciously not communicating some things. With each new release, we have to ask ourselves: what should we tell our customers about the new features? Do we keep it a secret or lay all our cards on the table? We actually do a bit of both: we test our ideas on a number of customers and use their input to adjust the product. Afterwards, we keep quiet for a while. It’s hard to strike a balance: we’re never quite sure what we can promise, and our customers want to know what to expect. As a blabbermouth, I would love to give everything away and proudly announce what we’re delivering in 5.1, as well as what we’re planning for future versions. However, we simply can’t guarantee what will be in future versions, so we might foster false expectations and ultimately disappoint our customers. The advantage to not communicating is that every release becomes a little surprise party. So far, the response has been wonderful. Maybe I ought to try keeping a surprise a surprise, and trust myself to know my audience well enough to make them happy – just like TOPdesk. Enjoy reading! Nienke Deuss, editor-in-chief


CONTENTS January ’13
Liesbet Vandriessche 1777 service coordinator

Continue reading on page 17

NEWS 6 TOPDESK 5.1 Coordinate your services: right people, right place, right time 10 BOSKALIS BESPOKE WORK BENEFITS FROM SCRUM 13 COLUMN
4 Old patterns get rusty

14 17 20

Streamline your configuration management with the barcode scanner module



Scrum at Boskalis
TOPdesk 5.1’s new Plan Board lets you coordinate your operators while they are on the road. Learn more about this new version in the article TOPdesk 5.1: coordinate your services: right people, right place, right time.



Want to stay up to date?
To stay on top of the latest TOPdesk news and service management developments, follow us on Twitter via @TOPdesk and @TOPdesk_UK.

TOPdesk at BETT show
TOPdesk will be exhibiting at the BETT Show at ExCel, London from 30 January to 2 February 2013. The BETT is the world’s largest educational technology event, featuring a range of presentations and exhibitions, the latest products and much more. Come along to stand C26 to discover how TOPdesk can support your institution’s service desk. For more information on the show, please visit www.bettshow.com

A selection of our recent tweets:

Viafrica: year’s most socially responsible IT organization
TOPdesk customer Viafrica was named the year’s most socially responsible IT organization at the 2012 Computable Awards. The jury described Viafrica as “an excellent sustainable IT solutions. Local Viafrica offices in Africa support education with hardware, training, course materials and maintenance. Viafrica also supplies IT services and products for local enterprises and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The jury also gave an honourable mention to the PC Donation campaign, which focused on Viafrica is a social organization that collecting and selling donated hardware to raise money for social IT projects in Africa.

@ronversteeg: Today #TOPdesk went live at #BMR #Windesheim. Time to celebrate. Welcome girls!

@TOPdesk: @ronversteeg That is definitely good news, congrats! Did you manage to celebrate?

example of combining people, planet and profit, with (semi-)commercial goals going hand in hand with corporate responsibility”.

@ronversteeg: @TOPdesk Of course we did. The best thing about this is that is carried by the team including their managers. This is the basis for success.

stimulates development in Africa through

@svenfranssen: @TOPdesk we had a couple of questions, but after contacting TOPdesk support, everything is solved. Great!

@rickklumper: Had another interesting interview at @TOPdesk about using social media. Thanks!


30 31 JAN JAN
BETT show ExCel, London

TOPdesk scores well in studies
This autumn saw TOPdesk featuring prominently in two studies: the Computable 100, published by IT magazine Computable, and the Main Software 50, a list compiled by private equity company Main Capital. The Main Software 50, compiled by private The Computable 100 is a list of the 100 most powerful IT companies in the Netherlands in 2012. Motivaction and Mazars Berenschot Corporate Finance have been performing this research for Computable for a number of years. TOPdesk made its first appearance on the list this year, entering at number 47. Contributing factors to TOPdesk’s inclusion equity company Main Capital, was recently published. This list includes the 50 most promising software companies in the Netherlands. However, these companies must be privately owned and develop package software (rather than bespoke work software). TOPdesk was listed eighth. were the solid financial results and the high scores in the image research into the ideal business partner. To view the entire list, please visit Computable’s website.




21 MAR
SDI Service Desk Showcase Digital World Centre, Manchester

21 FEB
FM demo afternoon TOPdesk Belgium bvba, Antwerp

05 MAR
e-HRM demo afternoon TOPdesk Belgium bvba, Antwerp

TOPdesk employee satisfaction
On 19 December 2012, nrc.next published the results of their research into ‘the Best Employer’, which was conducted by SatisAction. TOPdesk has scored well in this study for several years already. This year, TOPdesk was awarded second place for employee satisfaction. This study primarily focuses on the terms of employment and employee satisfaction. Attention to personal development, coaching and facilities for employees also play an important role in determining the final results. TOPdesk was commended for its recreational facilities, which help employees unwind during office hours.

14 MAR
itSMF conference Metropolis, Antwerp

20 21 MRT MRT
Tooling Event Brussels Expo

05 06 07 08 09 MAR MAR MAR MAR MAR
CEBIT Exhibition Grounds, Hannover

SaaS environments update to TOPdesk 5
In the second quarter of 2013, all SaaS environments will be updated to TOPdesk 5. TOPdesk 5 features a number of improvements and new functionalities, and the look and feel is also entirely different. TOPdesk not only provides documentation to support our SaaS customers in this process, but also a temporary test environment and a TOPdesk Consultancy update service. If you have any questions about this update, please contact your local Support department.


Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn


TOPdesk 5.1 beeld


Text: Milou Snaterse


Olga Reutelingsperger about the new Plan Board

TOPdesk 5.1 is specially designed for operators that perform tasks on location, such as repairing a customer’s printer or replacing an employee’s computer. The new Plan Board and TOPdesk Mobile let you schedule appointments with ease and process your incidents wherever you are.

TOPdesk 5.1 features a new Plan Board that lets you directly schedule appointments. These appointments and corresponding tasks appear in the operator’s Outlook calendar. Thanks to the new TOPdesk Mobile module, you can even process calls on location using your smartphone. And while you are on location, you can easily check and process all other calls.

Schedule appointments with the Plan Board
Managing your team’s schedule was already much easier in TOPdesk 5 thanks to the Plan Board for operators. TOPdesk 5.1’s new Plan Board lets you directly schedule appointments. Olga Reutelingsperger, Functional Designer at TOPdesk, explains the new feature. “Scheduling appointments in the Plan

Board is easy. You simply drag tasks from the Dispatch Panel to the right operator. You can also group these tasks in a single appointment by dragging several tasks to an appointment. Then you can click through to the task from the appointment. And if an operator calls in sick, you can reschedule the entire appointment to another day, or assign it to another operator. Appointments scheduled in the Plan Board automatically appear in the Task Board, granting the operator insight into his appointments and corresponding tasks.”

Appointments sent directly to your Outlook calendar
As an operator, you are often on the road. It would therefore be useful if you could keep track of your appointments and tasks on location. “Thanks to the TOPdesk Exchange server integration, appointments scheduled in the Plan Board are sent directly to your calendar. This grants insight into your appointments – wherever you are. Dispatchers only need to schedule appointments in one tool. What’s more, any changes are applied automatically, keeping the calendar up-to-date at all times,” says Reutelingsperger. The Plan Board lets you schedule tasks in a matter of clicks


The Availability Checker lets you immediately check your team’s availability

The start page is fully adjustable to meet your wishes

Text: Milou Snaterse


Request a demonstration
TOPdesk 5.1 is now available. To learn more about the new features, visit www.topdesk.co.uk/topdesk51 or www.topdesk.com/topdesk51. Here you can also request a free online demo. Please contact your account manager for further information.

Process calls on your smartphone
TOPdesk Mobile was developed with the flexible operator in mind. From now on, you can easily check and process your calls from any location. Willem Bottema, Functional Designer at TOPdesk, tells us more about this new module. “We have created a mobile version of the Task Board and optimized it for your smartphone’s display. Operators can view calls on their smartphone at a glance. All the details are readily at hand and you can even add actions, register time spent and process calls on location. Furthermore, you can filter your calls by branch, only displaying the tasks relevant to your current assignment. The Task Board not only displays calls, but also your current appointments. You will know exactly what needs to be done and when.”

Customize your start page
Your start page can now be customized to meet your wishes. Add the details most relevant to you and place important KPIs and reports on your start page. What’s more, you can collapse blocks to save room and even move, add and remove blocks. This way you can add the Modules button in the Start Pages block, letting you navigate to the overview page in a single click.

• Change Management now features a Change Calendar? It lets you keep track of critical moments in your schedule. • The user and operator have been merged and added to a single card? • You can customize your own Dashboard page? • The Progress Trail is now integrated with the Change Management, Problem Management, Operations Management, Project Management and Long-term Planning modules? • The Plan Board now also displays calls without a target date? • You can change the template in a Request for Change after the request is submitted? • You can refresh the Dashboard automatically? • From now on, non-mandatory fields in the Caller block are collapsed by default?

Check your team’s availability
As a coordinator, it is your job to keep track of your team’s schedule. But what if someone calls in sick or wants to go on holiday? Do you still have enough staff to answer the phone and speak with customers? “In TOPdesk 5.1, the Availability Checker lets you check your employees’ availability per hour and per role,” explains Reutelingsperger. “Once you set the required staffing levels for each day and role, you can easily check your operator group’s availability. This way you can rest assured that your service desk is sufficiently staffed. Is your team understaffed? Take immediate action by moving someone from the second line to the first line, for instance.” Process calls on your smartphone while on the go


Photography: Robin Kuijs


Text: Timme Hos


Walther Berk

Project coordinator Walther Berk and consultant Miriam van Kalsbeek used the Scrum method to implement Self Service Desk bespoke work at Boskalis. The Scrum method creates opportunities to adjust plans based on insights gained during the process. This flexibility has allowed Boskalis to reap the benefits of an SSD complete with tailormade forms.
Meeting unique needs with TOPdesk bespoke work
TOPdesk is a standardized application. However, some customers require bespoke work to meet their unique needs. Common bespoke work includes adjustments to the Self Service Desk to ensure it meets the customer’s requirements and matches the corporate identity. TOPdesk’s Bespoke Work department steps in when such custom software is needed. Bespoke work is usually created using the so-called waterfall method. First of all, a functional design is created. This design is then actualized and delivered. Once completed, the bespoke work is installed and accompanying instructions are provided. If new ideas, wishes or insights arise during the process, it is not unusual to return to the design phase. This is not necessarily a problem, but the Scrum method is an excellent alternative if you wish to optimally benefit from such insights during the process.

Walther Berk

each sprint. This means that the customer can immediately pass on any new wishes and requirements to be added to the backlog. Working in sprints also reduces the product’s error sensitivity. You can easily test intermediate products, thereby eliminating any incorrect assumptions. The products delivered are smaller, more manageable and easier to test.

The benefits of Scrum
The Scrum method has gained popularity among software developers in recent years. The method involves working in multidisciplinary teams for short periods (sprints) to deliver a functional product. The first step is formulating the wishes and requirements. These are added to a list (the Product Backlog) and created during the sprints. Advantages to sprints include the short duration, concrete goals and always having a functional end product (component). The new product is presented to the customer after

Scrum fans at Boskalis and TOPdesk
Once TOPdesk was successfully implemented at Boskalis, it was time for phase two, spearheaded by the new Self Service Desk. Boskalis required bespoke work comprising custom forms and adjustments to the look and feel. Walther Berk and Miriam van Kalsbeek collaborated with Boskalis’ manager of application management, Christiaan Kooijman, to implement the SSD bespoke work. The Self Service Desk’s standard options were not sufficient for Boskalis’ envisioned broad application of the module. TOPdesk decided to offer forms that would enable the users to log calls and request services. The decision to use Scrum for this project was soon made. “Christiaan Kooijman was a big fan of Scrum, so it was the customer taking the initiative,” explains Van Kalsbeek. “I had already worked according to Scrum at TOPdesk, so it seemed fun and challenging to use this approach.” Berk was responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. “TOPdesk had always

Boskalis’ SSD interface matches their corporate identity

used the basics of Scrum,” says Berk. “But


Photography: Robin Kuijs

now we really stuck to the principles, with a clear testing period and a comprehensive Boskalis project group providing continuous input.

Excellent results, more involvement
Boskalis now has a Self Service Desk with the desired look and feel, as well as the forms they need. “They use the TOPdesk bespoke work very intensively,” says Berk. “About half of all calls are logged via the new web interface. The results are great and meet the customer’s needs, thanks in part to the many feedback moments.” An additional advantage to using the Scrum method is the that there is a high degree of support and involvement among the Boskalis employees. “They invested a lot of time in this project and therefore had a lot of influence on the final results,” explains Berk. Van Kalsbeek agrees. “Three large departments were involved in the implementation. Two or three people from each department assessed the results and added new ideas to the backlog.” This resulted in a critical attitude, which attests to the customer’s involvement. “There were a number of tough meetings, but that just shows how important it was to them.”

Progressive insight
It initially took Van Kalsbeek and the team at Boskalis a lot of time to take stock of all the wishes for the new SSD. “It was a full-time job, but it left me well prepared,” says Van Kalsbeek. “The people involved at Boskalis used numbers to indicate a point’s importance. It turned out that things that were considered important on the first day did not need to be made after all due to shifting priorities.” Boskalis formulated the assignment based on paper forms to indicate which forms they wanted for the new SSD. These forms had to be processed in TOPdesk. “Many other forms were also made because we worked according to Scrum,” says Van Kalsbeek. “It turned out that those were the forms Boskalis really needed.” That is the great advantage to Scrum, as Berk explains. “After a sprint, Boskalis could see that something worked, and that they could use it for other processes. It really took off and gave the customer ideas for other forms.”

Miriam van Kalsbeek

Interested in TOPdesk bespoke work?
The Self Service Desk module uses the TOPdesk layout by default. However, you can use a look and feel adjustment to have the Self Service Desk match your intranet or website. It is also possible to adjust the terminology to match your organization’s preferences. Please contact your account manager for more information.

Miriam van Kalsbeek

Text: Jasmijn Moerman

Photography: Robin Kuijs


… is a service management consultant at TOPdesk. She combines her consultancy job with coordinating facilities within TOPdesk.

I moved last month. More room, a better view, a nicer building and a friendlier neighbourhood. I’m in the same city, only a mile away from my old home. Nevertheless, I’ve found myself outside my old house three times since moving, because I simply followed the familiar route home.
There are other things that prove I’m having trouble adjusting to my new home. I’ve bought two microwave meals, even though I no longer have a microwave. I had had one for five years, as part of my old kitchen. It turns out that using a bain marie somewhat defeats the purpose of an ‘instant’ meal. I like to think that I’m flexible and able to deal with change. Being able to quickly switch tracks is essential in a young and rapidly growing company like TOPdesk, especially in the dynamic field of IT. “Change is progress!” is one of my mottos. Unfortunately, my recent moving experience seems to prove otherwise. My problems with change appear to run deeper than I thought. It’s pretty clear that emotions are besting my reason. How else would I make the same mistake twice? Give the new situation some time and leave rusty habits to soak. With a little effort, they will loosen up eventually. Some people need more time than others. After all, even if everyone is motivated to change and can see that the new situation is better in every way, old patterns persist. A month after moving, I still need to remind myself as I approach certain crossroads: “Take the right turn!” It just goes to show that old habits can be tough. So tough, in fact, that it takes a lot of effort to break them. Bear this in mind when making a big change, whether in your professional or personal life. Introducing TOPdesk at your department is a great example of this. After years of planning reservations in Outlook or registering calls in a tool developed in-house, it is only natural that your colleagues have trouble adjusting to the new situation.


Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn

... is a consultant at TOPdesk. She supports TOPdesk implementations and gives training.

Text: Judith Lumbela


TOPdesk’s standard features simplify your process management. This helps you monitor and control the quality of your information systems.
Requirement 2: authorization and role management
Another requirement for a worthwhile audit is properly setting up roles and authorizations in your tool. You can reduce the chance of errors by only authorizing operators to use the components they need. The authorization granted must correspond with the operators´ everyday tasks and responsibilities. TOPdesk enables you to define several permission groups, to which you can link operators. This makes it easy to register per module who can adjust what, who has read, edit, create, archive and delete authorization, and who can grant authorization.

What is an audit?
There are several standards for development and management processes, including ITIL, ISO and Cobit. Sometimes organizations want to adhere to certain standards voluntarily, but customers may also demand specific certifications, such as ISAE 3402 and SAS 60. Standards may even be required by legislation, as is the case with SOx and Basel II. Formally testing processes based on standards such as these is called an audit. TOPdesk Consultancy sees many customers who are faced with an audit. This article outlines the tool requirements for worthwhile audits, and how to perform such an audit with TOPdesk.

TIP: Many customers only authorize the system administrator to delete registrations. This helps you maintain a manageable audit trail.

Requirement 1: registration
You cannot test or assess something unless it is recorded first. This is why proper registration (of calls, changes etc.) is an essential audit requirement. Consistent and unequivocal registration makes it much easier to perform tests. TOPdesk is the perfect tool for registering calls, actions, activities and authorizations. Information is organized in a practical manner, streamlining work processes and increasing the traceability of your data. Our software helps you implement unequivocal task categorization and grants insight into who is responsible for a certain call or activity.

Requirement 3: standardizing processes and authorizations
Managing authorizations within your registration tool is not enough. It is also important to consider who is able to grant authorization within change processes. Standardizing your change process steps increases the efficiency and transparency of your work processes, which in turn makes it easier to perform audits. TOPdesk’s Change Management module lets you create templates to define standardized process workflows, including authorization moments. You can assign each activity to an operator or operator group.

TIP: When setting up your tool, take into account the data you wish to use for benchmarking. You can do this by making certain fields mandatory and agreeing upon a specific processing method with your employees.

TIP: In TOPdesk, people who are not operators can also be registered as responsible for certain authorizations. Examples include managers, team leaders or process managers. These persons can grant authorization via the Self Service Desk.


Using TOPdesk for audits
The persons who carry final responsibility for processes such as change management and incident management are usually not the same people who perform the associated daily tasks. However, it is important that the managers have insight into the situation and can check the performed tasks. TOPdesk is ideal for such audits. TOPdesk lets you keep track of the audit trail for a specific registration (call, activity, reservation etc.). This includes the activity being assigned to another operator, or the priority changing. If the desired process is already clear, you can also automatically generate logs of deviations from the process. For instance, if the process manager who must authorize a test activity is on sick leave, they can email a colleague from home. The colleague then grants authorization in TOPdesk. This deviation from the standard process flow (including the linked email from the process manager) is saved in TOPdesk. If you wish to monitor a large number of registrations for anything unusual, you can use TOPdesk to filter for anomalies. To do this, simply

create an overview of relevant criteria. Regularly checking these overviews ensures that you can make any required adjustments in a timely manner. For instance, you can select registrations that were not processed on time, or have been assigned to another operator more than a certain number of times. TOPdesk’s reports can also provide valuable information. For instance, you can create reports on who has recently granted authorization in a few easy steps.

TIP: Use TOPdesk’s automatic emails to ensure that deviations from standard procedures are always reported. This eliminates the need for later audits and enables you to make timely adjustments, which can be an important part of meeting certification criteria.

Want to know more about TOPdesk audits?
You can use these tips to set up TOPdesk to better facilitate audits and make your processes easier to test. However, you can also ask a consultant to find set-up solutions for your specific situation.


How can I make Change activities dependent on each other
The question mark icon, featured on every process page, gives you access to the new Help & Support website. Here you can find the answer to all of your questions in the form of FAQs, manuals, Tips & Tricks and ‘Getting started’ instructions.

Text: Stefanie Klaassen

Photography: Jonas Mertens



Liesbet Vandriessche and Hans Verscheure - Kortrijk



e braved the first real storm of the autumn to visit a city that knows how to deal with calls about seasonal problems. The Dutch city of Kortrijk has set up a service point for its 75,000 citizens. Many other organizations have asked to take a look behind the scenes at Kortrijk – now it’s your turn.

From paperwork to 1777
Before implementing TOPdesk in 2004, Kortrijk city council’s service departments used paper forms. “The old system was basically a simple registration system without any follow-up. Feedback to citizens about the processing status depended on whether or not internal services returned a form,” explains Hans Verscheure, Head of Service Processes. Kortrijk city council set up an innovative citizen service point in 2010. Service point coordinator Liesbet Vandriessche tells us more. “Before the transition, we had a number of external complaints desks for various topics, such as roadwork. We wanted to keep things simple for our citizens, so we created 1777, a central portal.”

give feedback, whether the incident is already resolved or will take a while to process,” says Vandriessche. The 1777 staff can answer most incoming questions. “However, sometimes more expertise is required, such as for calls about pavement maintenance or tree pruning,” says Verscheure. “If activities relating to the call have already been added to the general plans, the actual response might not take place for anything from a few months to a year and a half.” It is easy to digitally forward such calls to the service in question. Afterwards, the service employee maintains contact with the citizen. Although their main tasks are quite technical, the portal encourages them to communicate directly with citizens. This is one of the ways that 1777 ensures that citizens stay up to date on the status of their incident.

incident reported twice, or are they in the same neighbourhood?” Incidents are now registered unequivocally, granting the council better insight into citizen questions. There is more structure, making it easier for them to detect problems. “For instance, if ten people call us to ask about our opening hours, there must be something wrong with how we communicate that information,” says Verscheure. “We’re trying to better recognize and address these problems. We also analyse problems per neighbourhood.” This is done with a link between TOPdesk and local population files. “If someone tells us their name, we can immediately look up where they live. When someone calls us, we can use all known data to provide better services, and it makes the contact much more personal.” TOPdesk is also linked to a GIS (geographical information system) application. This lets the employees see the incidents on a map, so they can better assess the situation and correlate activities. It is especially useful for those responsible for the follow-up, as they can check the (living) situation before they travel to the site.

One portal, 75,000 callers
All Kortrijk citizens can use 1777 to register incidents about anything happening in the city. They can do this via various channels, so there is always a method available that suits the citizen’s needs. “Incidents are registered telephonically, via emails, digital forms, or personally. We register all incoming incidents in TOPdesk, while the online contact form automatically transfers the information to TOPdesk,” explains Verscheure. Citizen service is a high priority for the council. “We always try to respond to incidents as quickly as possible. We always

Problem Management 2.0
Vandriessche and her team receive almost 50,000 telephone calls a year. Combined with digital registrations, this results in almost 15,000 incidents. The employees at 1777 now know that certain citizen incidents literally depend on which way the wind is blowing. “We are working hard to improve our assessment of seasonal incidents. Problems with leaves or slippery pavements – how do we handle this? If we receive the same incident several times, is there a structural problem? Is this the same

Transparent government services
Citizens can use the ‘My city’ portal to monitor the status of their incidents. All incidents can be tracked, regardless of how they were registered. “The citizen can see

Text: Stefanie Klaassen

Photography: Jonas Mertens


Liesbet Vandriessche 1777 service coordinator

the Request and Action fields, but also the operator, operator group and the operator’s telephone number,” says Verscheure. “They can also register a comment or ask a question. This is a huge improvement in our transparency.” The introduction of this system was a serious change for both citizens and city council employees. “It was a bit of a culture shock for the employees,” says Verscheure, laughing. “Starting in 2004, we were able

to register incidents and that worked wonderfully. All of a sudden citizens could do this too, and monitor every step. Making this internal information public took some getting used to.” However, transparency is not always desirable, as Verscheure explains. “When people complain about tree roots in the pavement, we discuss internally who will pick this up. However, who we assign the

task to isn’t relevant to citizens. This is why we decided to also create a Notes field that is invisible for callers. This keeps the services transparent, but callers can only see the information valuable to them.” The municipality of Kortrijk was honoured for its services at the last TOPdesk Symposium, but Verscheure and Vandriessche remain humble. “Everyone does their best, and we will keep working to spread the word about 1777 and improve our follow-ups.”

All Kortrijk citizens can use 1777 to register their calls or comments


Photography: Robin Kuiijs

…is an information coordinator at TOPdesk.

One of the challenges of configuration management is maintaining a reliable database (CMDB). Objects are moved around within your organization, or fall between the cracks during moves, transfers or write-offs. TOPdesk’s Barcode Scanner module simplifies and streamlines your configuration management process.

Benefits of an up-to-date CMDB
Regularly updating the whereabouts of your equipment helps you keep track of your available hardware. It can also help you see which equipment has not yet been written off. Furthermore, an up-to-date CMDB helps you process calls faster. With TOPdesk, you can quickly locate objects mentioned in calls, or access objects linked to a user or location. The information in your CMDB can also be a great help when making decisions. For example, organizations that allocate costs via the Site Card in TOPdesk can justify their budget distribution. You can use one or more barcode scanners to quickly create inventories for this purpose.

Static and dynamic information
Most of the information on an Object Card is static, such as the type, brand, serial number and financial information. System management software such as LANDesk, Microsoft System Center, Service Manager, ZENworks or Empirum can remotely scan PC software and hardware components. You can also do this with TOPsis, TOPdesk’s built-in inventory tool. Scanning barcodes lets you quickly determine the current location or owner of objects within your organization. The Barcode Scanner module can process all links in TOPdesk, making it easy to update links between objects, owners and locations. It is also possible to edit one

Text: Patrick Mackaaij


field on a card, such as the serial number. Equipment almost always comes with a barcode that includes the serial number, so there is no need to enter it manually. This helps you avoid unnecessary work and typing errors.

Processing incoming orders
You can enter new orders directly into TOPdesk, even before adding them to your inventory. The default ‘Copy Card’ feature lets you quickly create new cards for similar objects with the same general and financial data. Next, simply print the barcode labels via TOPdesk and attach them to your new objects. The barcode contains information such as the object ID. Scan each appliance’s object ID and serial number and import the data into TOPdesk.

Getting started with the Barcode Scanner module
Apply a barcode sticker to physical objects and rooms. The Barcode Scanner link lets you print not only barcodes, but also the modern 2D QRCode and DataMatrix variants. Your TOPdesk application manager will work together with a TOPdesk consultant to create your unique sticker key and develop the best strategy for labelling your objects. You can even use TrueType fonts to create barcodes to match your corporate identity.

The TOPdesk application manager uses roles to determine which operators can use the Barcode Scanner module and which menu options should be available. These operators also need read and write authorization for cards that are updated using the barcode link.

TIP: Add frequently used menu options to your operators’ Quick Launch Bar. Barcodes give you a clear overview of available hardware


Manual entry or scan?
If you are only setting up one PC, it is quicker to manually edit the location or user in TOPdesk. For larger relocations or when restocking an entire room, scan the room followed by all objects in the room. For the room name, scan the sticker applied to the entrance or on a separate sticker sheet. TOPdesk will display any changes in an audit report before importing the data.

Want to comment? Go to www.topdeskmagazine.com The TOPdesk Magazine covers subjects that are topical in the world of professional service desks in IT, facilities and other service providing organizations. TOPdesk Magazine is intended for managers, service desk employees, facilities organizations and electronic city councils – anyone who is involved

Scan all hardware Scan room Set up all hardware Review results in TOPdesk

with supporting clients on a daily basis. This concerns both the processes and the technology behind these services. TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk

Update CMDB

publication Tel: +44 (0) 207 803 4200 Email: editorial@topdesk.com Chief Editor: Nienke Deuss Editors: Nienke Deuss, Timme Hos, Stefanie Klaassen, Milou Snaterse Translators: Leah Clarke, Nicola van de Velde, Hazel Hollis Contributors: Judith Lumbela, Jasmijn Moerman, Patrick Mackaaij Layout: Louise van der Laak Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn, Robin Kuijs, Jonas Mertens Copy editor: Nicola van de Velde A print run of 6,000 Quarterly magazine Languages: Dutch, English

Periodic audit for updating the CMDB
To keep track of changing object locations, simply walk through your building with one or more scanners from time to time. If you have a location link between rooms and objects, scan the room name before scanning the objects in the room. Once you have visited every room, you can import the data into TOPdesk. The audit report displays discrepancies between the scanned data and the information in TOPdesk. You can use the pop-up to edit the data manually, then update all information. TOPdesk also updates each object’s scan date. Objects not scanned during an audit can be considered ‘missing’. In addition to the scan date, you can also see whether or not the object was changed during the last scan.

No Barcode Scanner?
When purchasing a barcode scanner, make sure to take the following features into account: • Batch memory (wireless memory) • Ability to process 2D for longer values, such as the UnIDs in TOPdesk 5 TOPdesk works well with the Metrologic and the Opticon OPN-2001. A TOPdesk consultant always helps with the Barcode Scanner module’s installation and initial set-up.


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tips + tricks
Refreshing the Dashboard automatically
If you have set up an information screen to monitor your department’s performance, you can use it to display a Dashboard. In TOPdesk 5.1 you can set up the Dashboard to refresh automatically, ensuring that the display remains up to date. Your application manager can set up the refresh period and the authorization groups to which this setting should apply. 1. Open the Technical Settings via the TOPdesk Menu > Settings. 2. Under Technical Settings, click on General. 3. Enter the refresh period in minutes at Update Dashboards. You can specify the groups to which the refresh applies as follows: 1. Open the Supporting Files overview page via the TOPdesk Menu > Modules > Supporting Files. 2. In the Overview block, click on Permission Groups. 3. Open the Permission Groups to which the automatic refresh should apply. 4. Expand the General block at the foot of the page. 5. Go to Update Dashboards and tick the Write column. 6. Save the card. Please note: we advise you not to refresh the Dashboard for all operators. Doing so could adversely affect TOPdesk’s performance. 1. Create a new operator and save the card. 2. In the TOPdesk login block, click on Copy user profile. 3. Select the operator whose profile you want to copy from the searchlist. 4. Click on OK. 5. Save the card.

Copying operator settings
In TOPdesk 5.1, you can copy the settings from an existing operator when creating a new operator. For example, when registering a new employee you may wish to copy the settings of a direct colleague. The following settings will be copied: authorizations, filters and settings for the Quick Launch Bar and Dashboards.

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