July 2008, Issue 2, Volume 10

Green IT for everyone

The Greening of the IT sector / Processes, applications and people / Green IT for everyone / Module in the spotlight: Visitor registration / Trends

Green wave
Many organizations try to gain commercial advantages by surfing the green wave. Any company that is even remotely associated with ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco-efficient’ policies, may appear to be a frontrunner of the green generation. But behind the facade of plants, flowers and blue skies, lies a less appealing reality. Reducing CO2 emissions, improving recycling procedures and promoting sustainable production methods are not always a top priority. Yet there is hope. Due to much media attention for this topic and growing concern about the intentions of many organizations, things are actually changing. Green policy can bring profit to an organization: it saves money and provides the company with a positive image (which in the end is also a financial matter). For an innovative sector such as IT, this is an opportunity for many organizations to set the trend. In this issue of TOPdesk Magazine, we investigate the ways in which the IT sector can reduce its carbon footprint. Find out how your organization can instantly start saving energy and money with our useful tips in ‘Trends’. Here at TOPdesk, we too try to comply with these guidelines on a daily basis. In addition, TOPdesk announces the coming release of TOPdesk 4, for Enterprise and Professional! Read about all this and more in this green edition of TOPdesk Magazine. Amanda Dirkse, editor-in-chief

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TOPdesk Magazine, service management platform, discusses 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 desks employees, facilities organizations and electronic city councils - anyone who is involved with supporting customers 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: editorial@topdesk.com. Editorial board Gerben Bloemendal, Amanda Dirkse Editors Carrie Brandt, Johanna Kirn, Henrieke Korten, Niek Steenhuis. Translators Carrie Brandt, Clare Donald, Fred Epe, Niek Steenhuis Lay-out Cathy van der Berg, Joost Knuit Website Erik Pols, Glen Young This magazine is printed on FSC-certified paper, using an eco press with cadmium-free ink for all colours and distilled water instead of alcohol.


10 14


Contents July ’08
4 News 6 The Greening of the IT sector 9 In the spotlight: Visitor registration 10 Green IT for everyone 13 Client in focus: Meander Medisch Centrum 14 Trends: Seven tips for reducing the carbon
footprint of your office


16 Processes, applications and people:
A glimpse in the kitchen

19 TOPdesk Community 20 Tips + Tricks



Reaching out to our Dutch customers
Over the past few months, TOPdesk Netherlands has organized various customer events. In March, for instance, the TOPdesk Clinic was launched. Held periodically throughout the year, the clinics offer an alternative to clients who do not require an entire day of consultancy, but do have questions about TOPdesk or service management in general. The sessions take place at the TOPdesk office in Delft, the Netherlands, during which clients are given the opportunity to pose questions, free of obligation, to an experienced TOPdesk consultant. TOPdesk Netherlands also organized TOPdesk on Tour 2008 (27 May – 19 June). This mobile convention travels to various cities in the Netherlands and it provides a platform for TOPdesk clients to exchange experiences and tips on TOPdesk, service management and beyond. There are presentations about IT trends, as well as opportunities for clients to brush up on their technical knowledge of TOPdesk. TOPdesk Clinics and TOPdesk on Tour are currently only organized for clients in the Netherlands. However, as TOPdesk’s international customer base continues to grow, you may one day be able to find the TOPdesk Clinic or the TOPdesk on Tour at a location closer to you. Until then, do not hesitate to get in contact with your local office so that we can tailor a solution to fit your needs.

TOPdesk consultants co-author international itSMF book
At the ‘Best Practices in IT Management’ conference on 22 April, the book IT Service Management, Global Best Practices was launched. This book contains articles on the current status and future developments of IT Service Management, and is written by leading experts from many countries, from the UK and the USA to Spain and the Netherlands. TOPdesk consultants Ivo Kristelijn and Sander Jerphanion contributed an article to this book and held a presentation at the itSMF conference, on behalf of TOPdesk. The subject of both the article and their presentation was: How can the concepts of the learning organization help to improve the quality of service delivery? The starting point of their arguement is that the quality of service delivery is determined by three main factors: processes, technology and people. Kristelijn and Jerphanion observe that ITIL and tools such as TOPdesk cover the first two elements. However, in their experience as consultants they have observed that insufficient attention is paid to the people in this process. The article shows how the concepts of the learning organization can offer solutions to this matter. IT Service Management, Global Best Practices is now available.

Release TOPdesk 4.1
In the coming weeks, the newest version of TOPdesk will be released. This release, version 4.1, will include both TOPdesk Enterprise and the new Professional version. TOPdesk Professional 4 had been announced some time ago, and will be available alongside the familiar TOPdesk Professional 3 for Windows. TOPdesk Professional is an interesting option for customers who are now using TOPdesk lite, or only the Incident and Configuration management modules of TOPdesk Professional 3. Just as Enterprise, Professional 4 will be fully web-based and supported by an SQL or Oracle database.

For customers that use more processes in TOPdesk 3 than just Incident and Configuration management, an upgrade to TOPdesk Enterprise 4 is a logical step. TOPdesk 4 will be gradually extended with the remaining processes. In addition, we will continue to develop and support TOPdesk 3. News tip! If you wish to be kept up to date on developments within TOPdesk, you can always visit our Extranet. It is also possible to subscribe to the news on the Extranet by means of an RSS-feed. The URL for this is: extranet.topdesk.com/rssnews.jsp.

4 news

A warm reception at the Customer symposium in Frankfurt
More than fifty customers of TOPdesk Germany attended the first German symposium. Director Wolter Smit and consultant Steffen Groß held a presentation in which they took the participants on a journey through the past and into the future of TOPdesk. A lot of time was spent discussing the numerous possibilities of MANGO, a framework developed by TOPdesk. Furthermore, the improvements of ITIL version 3 were selected as a central theme. Visitors were extremely positive about the workshop during the second part of the show. Together with consultants and developers from TOPdesk in Germany and the Netherlands, participants sat around the table and discussed possible applications of TOPdesk. They were also given the opportunity to see how TOPdesk is utilized outside their own organization and, along with TOPdesk consultants, were able to exchange and collect tips and suggestions regarding the application of the software. At the end of the afternoon, the results of the TOPdesk quiz were announced, which was held during the lunch break. The three winners each won an iPod.

TOPdesk UK further improving services
TOPdesk UK is always looking to further improve its services. One part of this improvement process concerns boosting TOPdesk’s Consultancy department. During the past few months, new consultants have been hired and trained for the UK office to better support its customers. To guarantee consistency of the quality of services worldwide, an international Consultancy meeting was recently organized. Consultants from TOPdesk branches in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium met to exchange ideas about implementing and supporting TOPdesk. This enabled the Consultancy departments to learn from each other and extend the range of courses and services that each branch offers to its clients. In addition, the UK Help desk is currently being restructured in order to further optimize its service delivery. Customers in the UK who have questions about the software or the implementation or use of TOPdesk, can direct them to the Help desk. Questions can be sent by email and will be resolved as quickly as possible; however, a phone call is recommended for urgent issues. The UK Help desk can be reached on +44 (0)20 8846 8516 and is available from Monday to Thursday from 8;30 AM to 5:30 PM GMT and on Fridays from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM GMT.

Respond to a news item? magazine@topdesk.com

news 5

The Greening of the IT Sector
Incorporating environmental values into an already innovative sector


Following the issuing of a plethora of regulations, the Dutch IT sector has been forced to face up to its environmental responsibilities. The aim of ICT~Milieu is not only to assist its members in this cause, but also to anticipate the upcoming regulations regarding energy saving and CO2 reduction. Jan Vlak from ICT~Milieu explains how an innately innovative sector can apply its ingenuity to the environmental arena.
A sector with a turnover of 30 billion euros, 250,000 employees, 20 million kilos of waste and 7 percent of the total energy consumption of the Netherlands: that is the Dutch IT sector. The ICT~Milieu Foundation assists IT manufacturers and importers in collecting their waste. The IT collection system is a logistical system for collecting, sorting and processing used IT equipment. ICT~Milieu is a subsidiary of ICT~Office, a trade association of over 500 IT, Telecom, Internet and Office companies in the Netherlands. the nationwide collection service in the Netherlands. He explains: “Since 2005, manufacturers and importers of electronic goods are required to organize and finance the collection and recycling of these goods. This has been established by the Resolution on Electronic Goods, which regulates the processing of discarded electronic goods, as well as the use of certain chemicals in equipment. We take care of the entire recycling process for our affiliated companies.” Does that mean that consumers can approach manufacturers when they want to get rid of their old equipment? Vlak: “That’s right. Businesses can go to corporate waste collectors, who will in turn pass on the costs of collecting and recycling to the manufacturer. We coordinate the collection of discarded equipment via the corporate waste collector. Consumers can bring their discarded equipment to stores and municipal collection points. In 2007, we collected 20.5 million kilograms in total of electronic waste – up from 18 million in 2006.” What else does ICT~Milieu do for its members? Vlak: “We promote environmental consciousness in our member organizations. Furthermore, we handle financial and administrative matters and the yearly monitoring

Nationwide collection
Jan Vlak is the General Director of ICT~Milieu and coordinates


and reporting for the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in the Netherlands.”

Green accountability
How do you stimulate attention for environmental accountability? Vlak: “We want to exceed the set standards. The IT sector has always been an innovative one. For that reason, we present the case to our affiliates as a matter of business. ICT~Milieu shows that recycling is not only feasible, it is considered the norm. In addition,

continuing our strive for social and environmental resolve.”

Recycling and Reusing
What happens to the waste that is collected? Vlak: “The used IT equipment is recycled. After processing, 97 percent ends up being reused. In so doing, ICT~Milieu more

Does that mean that your knowledge and expertise go beyond just recycling matters? Vlak: “Yes. An example of an opportunity that is yet to be seized lies within the municipalities. Our IT knowledge could prove

“We need to investigate how we can generate new business, while at the same time continuing our strive for social and environmental accountability.”

than satisfies the 75 percent requirement by law. The equipment is milled into so-called e-scrap. This e-scrap is sent to the refinery, where precious metals are extracted. And because oil prices are so high, it is also worthwhile to remove the synthetic materials. These can be added to new synthetics in the form of granules.”

new materials are created in the process, including metals, raw materials and fuels. And all this is available at a very attractive price. Such factors serve as a very effective form of encouragement for the sector. To us, corporate social responsibility (CSR) means that we need to investigate how we can generate new business, while at the same time

to be helpful in developing their environmental policy. Energy can be saved by employing innovative techniques. This includes energy saving measures for data centres, as well as IT applications that contribute to energy savings in other sectors. We view IT as a sort of enabling technology.’’ “On 28 May, we will sign a


covenant with Dutch State Secretary Heemskerk that entails what we, as the IT sector, can achieve in the future. In collaboration with the government, we will decide on a plan that details where we want to be in 2020/2030. The purpose is to transform the IT sector into a green sector. Our members will need to contribute ideas for this purpose. To give further recognition to what we do, we have created an ICT~Milieu Award. Some excellent ideas have been submitted to us for this competition.”

be more energy efficient, but attention is also being paid to making materials more recyclable. A computer manufactured ten years ago, for example, contained 35 different types of synthetic material; today, that number is six. On a granule level, the sorting could be even more efficient.”

Vlak: “For example, we have conducted research about used IT hardware that disappears from rubbish bins and ends up as unintended e-waste in Africa. Based on this data, the Ministry is able to reconsider its policy.” So the trick then is to integrate environmental objectives with innovation policies? Vlak: “The IT sector is an innovative one. To maintain this reputation, we need to be ambitious in the environmental arena and surpass the regulations issued by the government.”

Taking initiative
Who must take the initiative in environmental affairs: the government or the business world? Vlak: “A bit of both. We have recently chosen, in collaboration with the government, to create a covenant in which these sorts of issues are decided upon. Almost all environmental regulations come from the European government, which form the basis of our own decisions and resolutions. For our part, we contribute our own advice and viewpoints, and those of our members, to the Ministries of Economic Affairs and of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in particular. ” What sort of advice do you give to the ministries?

In which areas can profit be gained in the coming years? Vlak: “Well, for example, in the manner in which we handle the cooling of data centres and product design. In other countries we see that much thought goes into choosing the location of data centres. For example, by placing these next to a river, water power can be employed. There is also a lot already happening in the field of product design. Not only is hardware being designed to


Visitor registration
Each day, visitors walk in and out of your office. The reception cannot always keep pace with all these comings and goings, which makes it difficult to comply with safety requirements and maintain a clear record of visitors to your organization. With these concerns in mind, TOPdesk has developed a new module: Visitor registration.
Text: AmANDA DiRKse

The Visitor Registration module is a user-friendly module in which all necessary information about your visitors, such as arrival and departure times, can be easily registered. The module enables you to regulate reception procedures, improve services and ensure the safety of your property and employees.

TOPdesk has devoted much attention to simplifying the process of registering visitors. Registration is quickly achieved because TOPdesk uses existing data from other programmes, such as staff databases. Visitors can be easily linked to a host or hostess in these staff databases, while a group of visitors can be registered at once. There is also a search function which provides quick access to important information. Finally, the lists of persons are adjustable and can be printed or exported on demand.

- Calamities & Safety - Communication - Catering


Checked In

Checked out

- Preparations - Reserving a parking space, room, etc. - Communication

- Reports

Facility Management Simplified

Safety & Communication
By registering your visitors, you will always know exactly how many people are currently on your premises. In case of emergency, an overview of current occupancy can quickly be printed. This simplifies the duties of emergency personnel. Alerts can also be set up to automatically notify the service desk each time a visitor enters or leaves the building.

TOPdesk can be used to keep hosts up to date with relevant information regarding visitor regulations and appointments. For example, you can include arrival times of visitors, parking allocations and route descriptions in your emails. You will always be able to keep your employees and their visitors well-informed.


Green IT for everyone
Green IT has become a trend. Preceded by households and individuals, it is now up to the world of IT to become environmentally conscious. Every year, the IT sector is responsible for twenty million kilograms of waste material and produces as much CO2 as the aviation industry. However, a lot of good can be achieved with cooling systems, virtualization and recycling. The question is whether IT managers are actually willing to reduce the size of their organization’s ecological footprint? Is green IT just hype or are green ideals beginning to influence our decisions?
TeXt: jOhANNA KiRN & HeNRieKe KORteN

Current situation
Green IT has been all over the media for two years now. At the Cebit 2008 exhibition in Hannover, Germany, Green IT was the central theme. Companies are currently interested in green IT mainly because of cost savings, and toxic substances are only given minor attention. Companies with an

active green IT policy focus on server and data centre cooling. Green IT revolves around two things: reducing CO2 emissions in IT (consider emissions produced from manufacturing and power consumption) and decreasing the amount of toxic substances in hardware components. It is

estimated that two percent of all global CO2 emissions are caused by the IT sector. Two-thirds of these emissions arise from the actual use of IT, while 25 percent of them are the result of data centres. The remaining emissions are generated during the actual production of hardware and the processing of IT waste materials.


Profits for companies that choose green IT
IBM estimated a 40 percent decrease of power consumption in data centres that utilize green measures. Replacing 50 old computers with more efficient PCs, printers and screens in a company with 200 work stations amounts to around 6000 euros in savings. By building a large data centre in the vicinity of a cost-effective, durable power plant, such as a hydroelectric power station, companies can save money on IT. After all, transferring data is more efficient than transferring electricity. However, this saving measure is only of interest to big IT service providers. Green measures not only affect the electricity bill, but also the company image of a company. Indeed, IT companies can use green IT as a marketing tool. A good example of this is Strato, a large European hosting provider that has recently gained more publicity by winning the ‘Berliner Umweltpreis’ (Berlin Award for Environmentalism). However, growing attention for green IT can also have a negative impact on some companies. Every year, Greenpeace publishes its ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’, which contains a list of IT companies, ranked according to their ecofriendly policies. And every year, Apple - typically a company with an innovative image - ranks low on that list. In 2006, Greenpeace kicked-off their ‘Green my Apple, to the core’ campaign to encourage Apple to use fewer toxins in their product line. This appears to have had an effect on the company as Apple has promised to make amends and has been

communicating more openly about its environmental policy ever since.

additional peripherals are required, power consumption is reduced. Cooling systems Free cooling means that a ‘super cooling device’ is installed on the roof of the office building, which uses external air to control the temperature of the computer room. With a capacity of 600 kW on the roof, it can cool down a computer room of 2000 m2 in outdoor temperatures of up to 9˚C . Above 9˚C, a compressor is activated to provide additional cooling power. Because the heat exchange is always pre-cooled, less electricity is needed. Another cooling method is cold corridor, in which servers are lined-up and cold air is drawn from a ‘cold corridor’. The heat exchange takes place via a ‘warm corridor’ directly above the ‘cold corridor’. The two air currents are closed off from one another using wind shields, preventing the warm and cold air streams from coming into contact. This method reduces power consumption by 20%.

Quick wins
What is the best way for a company to make a green ‘profit’? Popular methods, which have been used many times already, include thin clients, virtualization and improved cooling systems. Thin clients Thin clients are advanced terminals that do not have any processing power; their sole purpose is to transfer data from one server to another. By using thin clients instead of desktops, a company with 175 work stations can save 660 euros per work station in energy consumption and administrative costs over a period of five years (Frauenhofer Institut UMSICHT). Furthermore, CO2 emissions are reduced by 54 percent per work station, because thin clients require less power during the production, assembly and distribution phases.

Virtualization The already popularised use of server visualization is another way to reduce the electricity bill. In this process, the hard drive is partitioned. Because every virtual hard drive has its own operating system and since no


Why no green IT (yet)?
There are certainly enough energysaving measures for IT available, and it seems so easy to put these measures into practise: why not buy a more power-efficient PC if the old one needs to be replaced anyway? Still, only a few companies have become involved with green IT. There must be a good explanation. Hesitant IT managers German IT magazine Computerwoche has surveyed 264 IT managers about energy conservation. More than 50 percent have noticed an increase in their energy costs. Despite this, only 7 percent consider these rising costs to play an important role in their investments. 35 percent of these IT managers are aware that there are ways to cut down costs but have not taken the next step. It appears that there is too little energy is invested in green IT. Forrester Research, an American research company, is another bearer of bad news: many American IT companies are still on the fence when it comes to green IT investments. Researchers have also detected a noticeable rise in power consumption caused by IT departments: from 1 percent of all company energy costs to 7 percent. Only one-third of all interviewees considered conservation of energy a part of their future plans. Such companies are reluctant to invest if they cannot make a profit immediately, and would rather stick to their old ways. Dirty green Some green solutions are subject to criticism. Transporting recycled computers is anything but clean

and reusing them is powerconsuming all the same. In many cases, processing unserviceable hardware is environmentally harmful. In particular, environmental pollution is a problem in China and other Asian countries, where western countries often dump their used hardware.

Go Green with TOPdesk
TOPdesk can help your company to go green. In Object cards, the ‘Attention’ field can be used to indicate toxic substances in objects (which is the case with most hardware items). You can then create an event for archiving toxic objects, followed by an email stating that the object needs to be delivered to the recycling company. Both the telephone number and the address of the nearest recycling company can be included in the message. The Operations management module allows you to create checklists. A checklist for air conditioner maintenance can make a significant contribution to the inside temperature, ensuring that a relatively even temperature is maintained through the building. Energy is wasted when the building becomes too warm or too cold. The same goes for cooling system maintenance in server rooms. Regular inspections of these systems can lead to considerably lower power consumption. Such measures will you help to reduce the amount of energy being used and save you money. Use the memo field on the Supplier cards to make notes on the ecofriendliness of your supplier. Try to find out what steps your suppliers are taking to reduce the size of their ecological footprint. For example, what are their production methods? How do they process waste materials? Do they supply non-polluting cleaning agents? Do they offer any catering options with organic food? These green considerations can be kept in mind when choosing a supplier.

Greening your office
Green IT is not as widespread as it could be. There are plenty of reasons for this, from lack of drive or interest to anxiety to invest more. And many green solutions leave a lot to be desired. But does green IT really deserve all this attention? Since many green measures go hand in hand with cost savings, IT managers will eventually reconsider and make more of an effort to cut back on power consumption. Not every IT department will run on durable energy, but a super cooling device here and there should be possible.


Client in focus
Meander Medisch Centrum, a hospital with four different sites across the Netherlands, employs 1000 nursing staff, 200 medical specialists and 2000 other employees. Folkert Deelstra and Bert Verlinden work in the IT department at one of these locations and use TOPdesk on a daily basis.
TeXt: HeNRieKe KORteN

What are your roles?
Deelstra: I am the TOPdesk system administrator and keep myself occupied with the use and setup of the application. Verlinden: As service manager, I am responsible for coordinating the IT department.

With which aims in mind did you decide to start using TOPdesk?
The system that we used to use was expensive, impractical and unappealing. Moreover, we had to change from terminals to PCs, which involved us having to implement an entire new system. Two people from a business partner of TOPdesk happened to be installing Windows NT at the time, and referred us to TOPdesk. Both the implementation and the updates went very smoothly. Every employee who was going to be working with TOPdesk was given training, so everyone could begin using it immediately.

Which TOPdesk version and modules do you use?
Our department has been using TOPdesk since 1999, and now we use it in collaboration with the Purchasing team and the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory. We support four locations with the modules Incident management, Problem management, Change management and Contract management & SLM. We began using Professional, and have continued to grow with TOPdesk. After having attended Roel Spilker’s presentation at the symposium in 2005, we decided to upgrade to Enterprise. We also try to update to the newest version every time there is a release.

requests – can ever get lost, which is something that used to happen quite often. Particularly when you want to report something as having been stolen, it is useful to know the serial number and from where the object was stolen. TOPdesk also helps prevent the time-consuming process of calling around for information. We are now always up to date on the status of a project or call. On the TOPdesk Community, we noticed that another TOPdesk client was using an evaluation tab. We thought that this would be a good way to improve our service, and have since incorporated this system and adjusted it to suit our needs. We now have insight into the satisfaction of our callers.

What is an example of a frequently occurring call?
The incidents that we get range from ‘slow computer’ and ‘request for new account’ to orders for new PCs. The Clinical Chemistry Laboratory uses Incident management to log calls about their analysis methods, while the Purchasing department creates activities for orders in Change management.

How many callers do you support and how large is the service desk?
We have two thousand callers, distributed across four locations. 35 people work in our department, eight of whom work at the service desk.

What do you like best about TOPdesk?
The best thing about TOPdesk is that nothing – complaints,

client in focus 13

Seven tips for reducing the carbon footprint of your office
We hear it often enough: the climate is changing and we need to do something about it. These days, the barrage of warnings can sometimes seem frustrating because it is often not clear what role we should be playing in this process. One thing is sure: the IT sector has a clear responsibility to do something. So what exactly can we do to help alleviate this problem in our offices?

Here are a few practical tips to help you reduce the carbon footprint of your office, one step at a time. Purchase renewable energy if possible. Using solar, wind or other sources of renewable energy is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to reduce the carbon footprint of your office. Buy energy efficient equipment when replacing irreparable or obsolete items. And make sure that the new version is durable and long-lasting to prevent more unnecessary waste from being created in the near future. Whether it is a table, a computer, or a new company car, ensure that energy efficiency and durability play a role in the decision making process. When travelling is necessary, promote green

commuting: car sharing, public transport, cycling, walking. Turn off computers and other electronic equipment at night and during the weekend. Use energy-saving settings when in use. Go digital whenever possible: store copies of important documents in network databases rather than on paper. Support software programmes such as TOPdesk reduce the need for paper by making paper filing obsolete - take advantage of such paperless solutions. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We have all heard this mantra before, but a quick glance around most offices will demonstrate that the potential for this mantra to effect change has not been fully maximized. Make a point of really incorporating it into your work habits. (Do you really

need to print that email? If so, can you turn that print-out into scrap paper when you are done using it? And after you have used it as scrap paper, make sure it ends up in the recycling bin). Be creative and innovative. Recently, a town in Switzerland began redirecting waste heat from a server farm to heat a local swimming pool. Each organization has different purposes, limits and requirements, so obviously such a project is not feasible for everyone, but a little creativity can go a long way. Something as small as designing a few stickers that can be placed on computers reminding users to switch them off when not in use can make a big difference overall. Keep in mind that the advantages of going green are threefold: in addition to doing your part to combat climate change, you will

14 Trends

also be reducing costs as well as improving your corporate image in the face of a growing populace of environmentally conscious consumers. Furthermore, the initially higher costs associated with some green initiatives (for example, hybrid cars, green design buildings, and energysaving light bulbs) are often offset

by subsequent reductions in energy expenditures and/or by government rebates. Want to calculate your carbon footprint? Visit the TOPdesk magazine website at www. topdeskmagazine.com and click on the link. You will also find more tips on how to green your office.

Sources: http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/ event_detail.aspx?eid=2696e0e0-28fe4121-bd36-3670c02eda49 http://www.bellmicro.eu/goingreen/ pass_buck.aspx http://www.engadge.com/2008/ 04/03/heat-from-data-center-used-towarm-swiss-swimming-pool/

Trends 15

Processes, applications and people
A look at what is cooking in the kitchen

TeXt: Jochem Broekhuizen, ARjeN DiRKs & JORDi RecAseNs

Simon Walters has been running a restaurant in London for years now. He has employed a chef and two waiters. He has recently noticed a significant decrease in turnover and intends to find out what is causing it. After several conversations with customers he finds out the answer to his question: a couple of new restaurants recently opened in the vicinity, which are not much more expensive, but offer tastier and more diverse meal options. Moreover, they offer better service. Simon thinks that it is time for a change and comes up with a plan to put his own business in a better position. He spent 40,000 euros on a new kitchen to win back his customer base. Anyone who reads this is well aware that Simon’s solution is not going to solve all his problems. A new kitchen will not add more diversity to his dishes or make them any tastier, nor will the service improve. Preparing food, on the other hand, will be made easier.

Applications do not solve all problems
Similar situations often occur in the IT market. Service management applications such as TOPdesk are utilized as solutions for inefficient IT departments. Expectations are that, by implementing TOPdesk, the department will operate more efficiently, the motivation of staff will increase and satisfaction of customers will increase. In other words, applications are the answer to everything! Simon’s new kitchen will undoubtedly tickle the fancy of his chef. However, to find a realistic solution to his problem, he needs to come up with a strategy to improve his entire business plan. He should aim towards satisfying his clientele, ensuring that they leave with a smile on their faces as well as training and motivating his personnel. Processes, applications and personnel need to be harmonised in order for IT departments to operate properly. You might think this is a matter of course... Well, think again.

Process-oriented work with frameworks such as ITIL, ASL and BiSL receive a lot of attention in the IT world. They provide the foundation on which organizations can build their own specific implementation. Well-arranged processes result in clear working methods. The processes lead to defined working instructions, which mean that employees can take on their specific roles and know their position in the service management chain. Setting up these procedures and working instructions is quite a challenge for many organizations. However, implementing the framework too literally should also be avoided. Doing so usually results in unnecessary steps being taken and an overly complex implementation process. The final results of such configured processes no longer fit into the organizational structure and become unusable. In some cases, an external consultant is hired to provide the procedures. Both methods result in a collection of

16 TOPdesk

unreadable and incomprehensible documents, which are eventually left to collect dust, leaving the creators as the only people that are actually informed about these procedures. When implementing processes, it is important to create a foundation. One way to do this is to encourage your colleagues to attend introduction courses like ITIL Awareness, and involve them in the development of the processes. After all, they know the hiatuses in the process. Working with them to improve the process can help to increase motivation. Also, work does not stop after the implementation. This is where the proccess coordinators’ work begins: they maintain and promote the organizational processes. Also, they are the ones to make sure that employees receive training on a regular basis and that new employees get to know these procedures. Furthermore, working conditions may change, in which case procedures (and above all,

working instructions) have to be readjusted.

Usable application
TOPdesk is a well renowned tool used to support IT departments, service and help desks. Because of its versatility, TOPdesk can meet the demands of many different kinds of customers. In order to be able to make the right decisions regarding configuration and needed modules, an organization needs to know what exactly they are going to use TOPdesk for. During the implementation of TOPdesk, two elements are of the utmost importance. First of all, it is important to keep a usable, operational situation in mind. If using TOPdesk results in overly complex work procedures, it is not going to be of much added value. If, however, the configuration adds to the created procedures, TOPdesk will make your work easier. Secondly, there is the provision of tactical information. In order to

retrieve the required information from TOPdesk using reports, correct registration of data in the application is important. In some cases, extensive registration is at the expense of usability. That is why the challenge of configuring TOPdesk lies in uniting these two - sometimes conflicting - needs. Registration is often done for the purpose of reports when, in many cases, it is unclear as to what the registered information will be used for. One example is creating an overview of how much time is spent on different kinds of incidents in TOPdesk by registering this information. If, in reality, only a few reports are generated, registering this information means unnecessary work.

Motivated people
What would services be without people? People are even more crucial for a service than processes and applications. Perhaps it is a little cliché, but everyone knows what would happen if the entire IT department was to be unmanned for a few days.

TOPdesk 17

For any service, it is important that employees are well-trained and that they know enough about their tasks. Because they make a significant contribution to their company targets, it is also important that employees know and understand the organization and the role their tasks play. Once employees truly realise this and become aware of their role, and if they are rightfully appreciated, their attitude will change for the better. They will be able to take on more responsibility and continue to develop, allowing them to enjoy their work more and evolve into motivated, dependable and proactive employees. Appreciation, responsibility, openness and communication are keywords in this matter.

is appreciated, your personnel will improve much faster and develop the right feel for the business. People will be able to enjoy their work to a much greater extent. Last but not least, the kitchen has to fit the type of restaurant that Simon is aiming for. His kitchen requires a different interior than that of a fast-food diner, but also needs to be different than that of an exclusive restaurant.

satisfied customers. Implementing such integrated solutions takes time and often requires taking one small step at a time towards improvement. It means that both those in charge and their employees have to adjust their mindset. After all, it is the organization as a whole that makes the change.

Small steps of improvement
Just like Simon’s kitchen, the implementation of a service management application can lead to an improved functioning of the IT department. However, to boost the department to a substantially higher level of functioning and service, an integrated approach to process, application and people will have a much bigger impact. This will lead to a department that, even in its learning stage, consistently aims for perfect results, and that is able to enjoy its work even more and serve

Quality of your services Your company processes

Fitting solution
Simon’s new kitchen is not going to solve his problems. He is going to have to choose an integrated solution, in which not only is his new kitchen (Application) is evaluated, but one in which his employees (People) and his work methods (Process) are also reviewed. It is important that the chosen solution also fits the organization. Serving your customers is a process that starts by drawing attention to the restaurant (marketing), ensuring a friendly reception, creating a pleasant ambiance, taking orders efficiently, serving dinner, bringing the bill and ending with helping customers into their coats. As a part of this process, all employees must be aware of their respective roles and communicate with each other. If there is room for taking more responsibility and if it

TOPdesk Consultancy has had the chance to take a look at what is cooking in the kitchen of more than 2500 customers. The consultants have encountered many situations in which the aspects of people, process and application were not optimized as a whole. Fueled by this knowledge, TOPdesk Consultancy helps organizations to improve their service management processes on a daily basis. TOPdesk Consultancy offers several services to support and improve the different aspects of service management. Organizations are able to take both small and large steps to improve their services. Besides implementing the TOPdesk application, the consultants also help organizations by offering TOPdesk training sessions such as ‘customer-oriented work’, ITIL Awareness training sessions and coaching courses. If you are interested in the services that TOPdesk Consultancy has to offer, please contact us on +44 20 8846 8516 or visit our website at www.topdesk.com.

18 TOPdesk

www.topdeskmagazine.com: platform for service management
Over the past few years, we have spent a lot of effort on the content of our magazine, and we thought it would be a shame to keep all that content to ourselves. That is why TOPdesk Magazine is now also available online, for everyone who wishes to stay up to date on the latest developments in the field of service management.

TOPdesk Magazine Online offers a wide range of articles, interviews, case studies and trend features.

Search through all articles from past years.

The main categories provide you with direct access to the articles of your interest.

Online articles allow for more interaction, by means of polls, for instance.

Of course the printed edition will continue to appear. Request a free subscription here.

You have the option to comment on each article. Let us know what you think!

Stay up to date by means of RSS or email notification.

TOPdesk Magazine online offers the same articles as in the printed version, optimized for the web, as well as additional content. Displaying the most popular pages, editor’s choices and links, we try to offer broad insight into the trends and issues of professional service desks.

TOPdesk 19

tips + tricks
Shortcut to frequently used cards
Applies in: TOPdesk Enterprise In Internet Explorer it is possible to create a shortcut to a frequently used card in TOPdesk. You can, for instance, create a shortcut to a new First line incident card or a report that is used often, so they are always available at the click of a button. Imagine that you wish to create a shortcut to a First line incident card. From the overview page of Incident management in TOPdesk, right click on ‘First line incident’ in the ‘New’ block in the top right corner of the screen. Select ‘Copy Link Location’. Paste this URL in the navigation toolbar of Internet Explorer. The URL will then look more or less like this: http://[yourserver]/tas/secure/ incident?action=new&status=1 Click on the TOPdesk icon to the left of the URL in the navigation bar and drag it to the Links bar of the browser. (This bar may not yet be visible; this can be activated via View > Toolbars > Links.) When you click on this shortcut, TOPdesk will directly open a new First line incident card. This card will be displayed full-screen, without the TOPdesk frameset that is used for navigation. If you do wish to include the frameset in the browser, you can paste a piece of text in the URL, after http://[yourserver]: /tas/secure/index.jsp?jspurl= This can be done by right clicking on the shortcut in the Links bar and selecting ‘Properties’. On the ‘Web Document’ tab you will see the URL that can be edited. After you have pasted the piece of code above in that URL, the entire URL will look like this: http://[yourserver]/tas/secure/index.jsp?jspurl=/tas/ secure/incident&action=new&status=1 When you then click on the shortcut, TOPdesk will open the First line incident card in the familiar TOPdesk environment. This trick is of course also applicable to other cards in TOPdesk, and can be configured in a similar way as described above.

TOPdesk UK limited t +44 (0)20 8846 8516 e info@topdesk.co.uk w www.topdesk.co.uk

TOPdesk Netherlands t +31 (0)15 270 09 00 e info@topdesk.nl w www.topdesk.nl

TOPdesk Deutschland GmbH t +49 (0)631 624 00 0 e info@topdesk.de w www.topdesk.de

TOPdesk Belgium t +32 (0)3 292 32 90 e info@topdesk.be w www.topdesk.be

Copyright © 2008 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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