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December 2010, Volume 12, Issue 4

From rail card to organic coffee
CSR in practice

In this edition: More than just support: From expense to strategic partner / Client in focus: At the service desk of Ordina Belgium / All about TOPdesk 4.3 / Professionalizing your emails /

Editorial
Want to comment? Go to www.topdeskmagazine.com

Empathy
Last summer I went on holiday to France and, while I was relaxing in front of my tent, I saw two boys walking by holding ice creams - brothers of about four and eight years old. They noticed me watching them, at which point the little one stuck out his tongue and said “We’ve got an ice cream and you haven’t”. With that, the older boy slapped his little brother on the back of the head and said “You can’t say that!” Startled, the little boy looked up at his brother and started to cry. He didn’t understand why he had been slapped. The reason why he was so surprised, I later realized, was that he didn’t understand what he’d done wrong. Children develop empathy during their early childhood; they learn how to sympathize with others and show consideration for them. They will start doing certain things – or not – for others, because they realize that it makes the other person happy. Developing empathy, however, is still no guarantee for good behaviour. This applies to both children and adults, as we all saw the adult smash-and-grab culture when the big banks collapsed. These days, a sense of ethical standards and social involvement seems very much alive, especially when we look at the huge interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The message is straightforward: show consideration for the world around you. In this edition of TOPdesk Magazine, you can read more about what CSR can do for your organization and how others put it into practice in their daily activities. But that’s not all. In this magazine, consultant Jordi Recasens will explain how supporting departments can contribute directly to profits, you will be taken behind the scenes at Ordina Belgium’s service desk and you can learn all about our latest software version: TOPdesk 4.3. Enjoy reading! Niek Steenhuis

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

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Contents November ’10
4 News 6 11 12 17 21 24 28 Trends: From rail card to organic coffee: CSR in practice Column: We’re working on it More than just support From expense to strategic partner TOPdesk in the spotlight: All about TOPdesk 4.3 Client in focus: At the service desk of Ordina Belgium Work smarter: Professionalizing your emails Tips + Tricks

eDItoRIAL
TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk publication Tel: +31 15 270 09 00 Email: editorial@topdesk.com Chief Editor Niek Steenhuis Editors Nienke Deuss, Timme Hos Translators Nicola van de Velde, Clare Donald, Hazel Hollis Contributors Kirsten Crown, Patrick Mackaaij, Annemarie Moeijes, Jordi Recasens Layout Cathy van den Berg, Elise Kerner, Joost Knuit, Dutch Designers Collective Photography Ordina, Ted Erkkila, stock.xchng Website David Blom, Ted Erkkila

Dutch Designers Collective
Part of the TOPdesk group of companies

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TOPdesk Calendar

News
TOPdesk attends UK Service Management Conference
On 8 & 9 November, TOPdesk attended the itSMF UK Conference in London. This show focuses on the latest Service Management technologies and provides visitors with networking opportunities, informative sessions and exciting keynotes. Members of the TOPdesk team took the opportunity to talk to visitors about the concept of a Shared Service Centre and to showcase the new 4.3 Change Management module, which was very well received. If you missed seeing TOPdesk at this year’s shows, make sure you attend next years’ to find out the latest in the world of service management.

United Kingdom
December

The Netherlands
December
Focus on Demand 8th ASL BiSL Jaarcongres 09 December - Spant! Bussum

Germany
January Bonding 18 & 19 January - Technische Universität, Kaiserslautern

TOPdesk Demo Days
TOPdesk is celebrating yet another year of successful demonstration days, or demo days. The interest in demo days in 2010 has again been substantial, with demo days being held monthly in the UK and once per year in Belgium. Various departments can benefit from working with TOPdesk and interest from participants - not just in professional support of the IT help desk, but also in the application of TOPdesk for the facilities service desk or the HR department - has as such been varied. TOPdesk demo days are an excellent way for both potential and existing clients to discover more about the features and modules of the software. In the course of an afternoon, you will be introduced TOPdesk the company and the software, through presentations, demonstrations and an assessment of your individual needs. The theme of ‘collaberation’ is central to TOPdesk, and was this year’s hot topic for the Belgian demo day. Thirty-one attendees from 19 different companies were encouraged to ask questions, and special attention was given to how TOPdesk can provide specific help to every organization. After another eventful demo day in Edegem, Belgium, the next TOPdesk demo days are being held at our office in London Bridge, on 16 & 17 December. Registration is free at: www.topdesk.com/en-gb/seminar-registration.

Demo Days, London 16 & 17 December – TOPdesk Office, London Bridge

January
BETT show 12-15 January – Olympia, London

January
Facilities Business Fair 19, 20 & 21 January – Brabanthallen, Den Bosch

February
DiKOM Nord 16 & 17 February - Congress Centrum, Hannover

ADVERTISEMENT

TOPdesk CEO Finalist in Entrepreneur of the Year 2010
TOPdesk CEO, Wolter Smit, was one of the finalists for the title of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2010’ in the Netherlands, a title awarded annually by Ernst & Young. Wolter was nominated for his entrepreneurship in the ‘Accelerating’ category, for which Thijs van Heuvel of Olympic Food Group went on to claim the prize. The candidates all proved that they can run a durable and successful company, despite the current economic situation. “This nomination shows that successful entrepreneurship can be rewarded in both good and bad times.” explains Wolfgang Paardekooper, partner at Ernst & Young. The finalists, he claims, demonstrate the complete package of a good entrepreneur. “It’s about substance, drive and passion.” The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year title is a prestigious award for entrepreneurs, and is awarded annually in around fifty countries. The programme is meant to place successful entrepreneurship in the lime light. The finalists were chosen from a selection of nearly one hundred participating entrepreneurs.

TOPdesk is brightening up your winter
Receive 25% discount off any additional modules until the new year

For more information, please visit www.topdesk.co.uk

Service Management Simplified

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NEWS 5

Trends

FRoM RAIL cARD to oRGAnIc coffee
CSR in practice
TeXt: NIeK SteenHUIS

Mention ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and the first thing anyone thinks about is the environment: saving energy, fuel efficiency and walking or taking public transport to work. Yet CSR is much broader, as two experts in the areas of IT and Facilities explain.

An increasing number of organizations are hearing that, when compiling a tender, they need to meet a number of requirements with regard to Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. Yet it isn’t always clear what exactly is being asked of you or how you can best respond. The CEO at our company cycles to and from work each day – is that CSR? And organic food is served in the canteen. We also re-use the

heat from our server room to heat other rooms. Is that considered CSR?

People, Planet, Profit
Many people have no real idea as to what CSR actually entails. “You see that everyone is looking for answers,” tells Mechtild Kuijpers, Sustainability Manager at Centric. “People are trying to find out what CSR exactly involves and how your company can give it its

own personal stamp.” Yet this lack of clarity is not surprising. The CSR concept is so broad that you can interpret it in all sorts of ways. The guidelines drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) mention no less than nine themes on which companies can focus. These range from human rights and the environment, to technology and consumer interests. In summary

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CSR involves: conducting business with thought for Profit (economy), Planet (environment) and People (individuals within and outside of the organization).

from other organizations. This is possible with CSR, and this has since caught on at many companies.” “In addition, the growing awareness of social involvement is most likely a response to individualization and the shortterm thinking of society. This is generally seen as the cause of the crisis of two years ago, and individuals were in need of a different outlook on life – one that was more geared to sustainability in the long term,” tells Mechtild. “The crisis has got people thinking. Organizations were forced to review their operational management and to go looking for new, sustainable solutions.”

Performance ladders and USPs
Where does this attention for CSR stem from? In the Netherlands, one reason for the increasing awareness of CSR is due to an initiative of ProRail, the government task organization that looks after the maintenance of the railway network infrastructure. Several years ago, ProRail established the CO2 performance ladder to stimulate suppliers to operate more sustainably, both in the area of production and operational management. Those organizations that can demonstrably lower their CO2 emissions have a better chance of getting the contract or tender. “Following this, a chain reaction of sorts began to occur,” tells Mechtild. “Companies with connections to ProRail began operating an identical system for their own suppliers. And their suppliers then did so for their suppliers. Consequently, the demand for CSR has been increasing considerably since autumn 2009. The economic crisis also brought CSR to the attention of many. Maybrit Admiraal, who has visited many different organizations in her work at Humanagement, has also noticed this. “In this difficult market, organizations are looking for new Unique Selling Propositions, or USPs. They’re looking for that certain something with which they can distinguish themselves

Maybrit also thinks that a practical approach is the only one that works. “It is important not to view CSR as too black and white. There is no use in suddenly forcing all employees to begin driving in an energy-efficient company car. Instead, it is better that you make available company cars and public transport passes. Employees can then make their own choices, but you do encourage them to leave the car behind at home every so often.”

subject. I give them the required information and encourage them to think critically. I don’t want them to just make do with what they’ve got, but instead look at what can be done better in their daily work.”

you’re blowing your own trumpet, which actually has the opposite effect.” Moreover, it is no longer so easy to score points with CSR, Maybrit remarks. “We’re now at the point where CSR is becoming a requisite. You don’t necessarily score points if you have a certain attribute, but you are looked upon negatively if your don’t do something.”

Humanagement & CSR
“CSR is of course nothing new,” claims Maybrit. “Ten years ago, it was already the annual theme of FMN (the Facilities Management union in the Netherlands), in which we are active, and it still has our attention.” “CSR is interesting for us for two reasons. The first is commercial – we move in the facilities market, and therefore must be up to date on all the latest trends. CSR is one of those. We try to acquire this knowledge and share it by organizing knowledge sessions, strategy days, articles and guest lectures. The second reason is that the values of CSR are in keeping with the objectives of our organization. We are very focused on sustainability and the long term. In view of this, we look at how the ambitions of our employees can fit with our policy. Personal and professional ambitions can be combined very well - from using cartridges intelligently to taking the train more often. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that these measures are attainable.

Sharing knowledge
There is still a lot to learn about Corporate Social Responsibility, which is why conferences and knowledge days are organized where companies can share their

Get them thinking
It’s not about large-scale projects directed by the management; indeed, CSR initiatives generally come from the employees themselves. “The responsibility to offer an interpretation to CSR should not lie with one department,” finds Maybrit. “It should be a component of integral management – you have to get employees thinking in terms of CSR. However, the management should certainly set an example. It’s difficult to encourage your employees to cycle to work every day when you’re flying between cities every week.”

THERE IS NO USE IN FORCING EMPLOYEES TO DRIVE AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT COMPANY CAR
Maybrit Admiraal, Humanagement

Practical approach
Certainly remarkable is the fact that most company initiatives are modest by nature. For example, establishing a bike plan for employees, using organic coffee in the coffee machine or asking the boss to sponsor a project you’re doing for charity.

YOU SEE THAT EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
Mechtild Kuijpers, Centric

experiences and exchange ideas. Sharing knowledge is essential, as Mechtild explains. “We often give presentations at schools and universities. As a knowledge organization, you shouldn’t be afraid to make your knowledge of CSR public because you always get something back in return, such as good ideas or enthusiastic new colleagues.” Knowledge sharing between organizations is also encouraged, but you should be more careful with what you reveal as an organization. “The difficult thing with the communication surrounding CSR is that you are split,” tells Mechtild. “On the one hand, it’s good marketing – if you do business sustainably, then it’s good for your image to reveal that. But, if you do that too often, it might come across as though

Ferraris in the car park
CSR should then become the norm, as there is still a lot of profit to be made. “In the future, the CSR theme will have to be seen in all different areas,” Maybrit explains. Currently, we are focusing on strengthening requirements for suppliers. But why shouldn’t we also set these same requirements for clients? And, of course, first and foremost also for our own organization. Still, this approach is still somewhat limited. A supplier once told me ‘In a tender, we received a long list of requirements about what we had to do in terms of CSR. And we arrived at the company only to find SUVs and Ferrari parked outside the door.’ That is, of course, remarkable. Every company should be made to look critically at its own activities.”

Centric & CSR
‘Sharing Innovation’ is the theme at Centric with regard to CSR: innovating and exchanging ideas. An important component of this is that success ‘is no longer equal to growth, return and status, but is instead related to stability, sustainability and social added value.’ This year, Centric became partner of MVO Nederland and signed the agreement between the Dutch government, companies and institutions to use energy more efficiently. “The aim of this

This small-scale approach is good, finds the OECD. In the OECD code of conduct, companies are advised not to bite off more than they can chew and are better off beginning with one or two guidelines than trying to change the policy on all points.

But how do you get employees to start thinking about CSR? Mechtild does this by organizing a ‘roadshow’ at her company. “I visit various departments in order to create internal realization of CSR because I want to ensure that there is more discussion on the

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agreement is to reduce energy use each year by two percent,” explains Mechtild. That will be easy in the first year, but each year, it will become an increasingly greater challenge. Participating is a good way to share knowledge about CSR; we can also learn about initiatives from other companies” As an IT service provider, you also help other companies to operate more sustainably, tells Mechtild. “Software is of course pre-eminently a means of saving energy. We develop and implement software that helps companies to plan their transport activities more efficiently, resulting in fewer vehicle mileage and empty rides. Wholesalers can also send their invoices electronically using ‘e-invoicing’ and therefore use considerably less paper. And with network standards like Wake-on Lan, retailers can switch off their cash register hardware – which has already become more energy efficient in the past two years – or turn off sleeping mode.

TOPdesk & CSR
At TOPdesk, the initiatives come primarily from the employees themselves. No strict policy has been established for CSR, and employees have the freedom to put forward their ideas. Over the past few years, this has led to various projects. Software has been donated and support given to foundations in Africa. Participants in running and cycling competitions have also been sponsored to raise money for charities. In addition, a team of TOPdesk employees does voluntary work each year at a foundation for learning disabilities. One initiative that TOPdesk sponsored this year was the participation in ‘Alpe d’Huez’, an event during which participants cycle de Alpe d’Huez in France six times in one day to raise money in the fight against Cancer. One of the members of the TOPdesk team is consultant Jordi Recasens. “Two colleagues and I really wanted to participate in the event from our own personal motivation. We came up with a plan of how

to best prepare ourselves for the event and raise as much money as possible. We went to management and told them of our plan, and they ended up sponsoring us.” Annemarie Moeijes is a consultant at TOPdesk and has years of experience with implementations and changes within various organizations.

Column
TEXT: ANNEMARIE MOEIJES

We’re working on it
we must give a response. This gives us a few hours to a week to come up with a solution, depending on the request.’ ‘Are there often times when you don’t meet that deadline?’ I asked. ‘Quite often, actually,’ they answered reluctantly, ‘because the problems are sometimes really complicated’. ‘What do you do in these situations?’ ‘We send an email which states that we are working on it. Our terms and conditions also include that we must keep our customers informed on the progress of their request at set intervals. Nowadays, it’s all done by automatic emails; however, our help desk is finding it increasingly difficult. More often, we are getting angry customers on the line, who want to know what the situation is, concerning their request, which, in turn, is something we don’t understand, because we tell them that we are working on it, don’t we?’ Without realizing it, these suppliers had not met their own requirements. The fact is that the customer has a right to know how their order or request is progressing, not that you’re working on it. Sometimes, it might seem scary to give your customers a look into what’s actually going on behind the scenes. They could then see how a certain request is being bounced between various departments like a ping-pong ball. Or that there is a bug in the system. Or that a help desk worker has simply not understood the request properly. But if you let them see what’s really happening, customers will at least know where they are at. They can then give feedback, or take action if they see that the offered solution will not be the right one. What if the large online bookstore had not only told me that they were working on my request, but also that they had contacted the seller of the book, and that he had lost it? Then I would have – according to their terms – asked for my money back a lot earlier. I wouldn’t have had to sit on the sofa for weeks, waiting for the book to finally land on my doormat, and I’d have happily gone to that second-hand bookstore in town to have a look for it myself.

“You don’t have to have an established policy in order for CSR to work,” remarks Jordi, “because everything is open for discussion within TOPdesk, there is room for such initiatives. Every proposal is taken seriously. And if you then put a lot of energy into a project like this, it’s a good feeling to know that the organization is behind you.”

I was once on an industrious hunt for a second-hand book, which was no longer in print. The search lasted months, until I finally saw the book on sale - a seller was offering it through a large online bookstore. I jumped for joy and ordered the book; undoubtedly an old, crumpled and well-thumbed copy, but I took that as a sign that it was much-loved. I could see online that the book had been sent. Day after day, I waited on the sofa with baited breath, eager with anticipation, until I would hear the ‘thud’ of a book falling through the letterbox. But the thud didn’t come, not in the first week, nor the second. It was time to send the shop an email. ‘It says on your site that my book has been sent, but I haven’t received anything.’ I got an email back: ‘We have received your complaint, and we’re working on it.’ A week later I received a second email. ‘We are still working on it.’ Three weeks later: ‘We are still working on it.’ And one month later: ‘Sorry. The book has been misplaced. Here’s your money back.’ Service like this leaves customers with a bitter taste in their mouth. In the role of consultant, I have often visited suppliers of products or services where this kind of situation – despite their best intentions – is waiting to happen. This reminds me of the time when a number of people enthusiastically scribbled timelines on a whiteboard. ‘According to our terms and conditions, we have a response time of five minutes for every incoming request,’ they announced. ‘Within those five minutes,

Maybrit Admiraal, Humanagement

Mechtild Kuijpers, Centric

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COLUMN 11

More than just support
From expense to strategic partner

An IT employee of the National Rail is sitting in the train, when he notices the train slowly come to a halt. He looks up from his paper. The train has stopped in the middle of a field, miles from any station. Around him, people begin mumbling – about the National Rail, about delays and about how this is the umpteenth time... They hear an announcement that the train has stopped at a red signal and that they will continue as soon as they have a green light. An old man next to him heaves a deep sigh and shakes his head.

ideas – not only for their own department, but also for the organization and its clients.

The client’s clients
If we, as consultants, look at the current supporting services, we see that the focus of the majority of department employees is directed internally, when it comes to carrying through improvements. This is certainly logical; department employees already spend enough time and energy on their own duties and tasks and, moreover, do not always understand why certain procedures and methods are introduced. Eventually, they only hear which procedures they are obliged to follow and which tools they should be using. This ‘department focus’ is, of course, necessary, and ensures professionalization within the department. However, the department should never lose sight of the end objective of this improvement, i.e. offering the client’s client a better service. This can be even better explained using an example.

TEXT: JORDI RECASENS

Supporting departments are traditionally seen as an expense and are thus an easy target when cutbacks need to be made. Yet some departments have been successful in making themselves indispensible and end up contributing directly to the operating profits. But how? Below, you will find nine tips to help your department advance from just an expense to a strategic partner.

‘How can we please these people?’ the IT employee wonders. Problems and delays can never be entirely avoided, but you can certainly help relieve passengers’ frustration by offering them coffee or a newspaper – or free wireless internet. Then everyone could surf the internet or work during delays and they will be less inconvenienced as a result.

DEPARTMENT FOCUS

With a department focus, you only see those people who are near you.

Put yourself in the client’s shoes
In a few years’ time, most trains will be equipped with wireless internet, perhaps because a National Rail employee once had a bright idea. He simply put himself in his employer’s clients’ shoes, and considered ways to improve service. The result? The employee contributes directly to the operating profits and is thus doing more than just his supportive tasks. Traditionally, supporting departments are seen as an expense, which, in times like these, also often means an easy target of cutbacks. A solution to this would be for the supporting service to move from the role of expense to functioning as more of a strategic partner. One solution would be for the employees of IT or Facilities departments, for example, to bring in their knowledge of their field of expertise to contribute new CLIENT FOCUS

With a client focus you look towards others on the playing field.

CLIENT’S CLIENT FOCUS

With a client’s client focus you can also see the department’s shared objective.

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By drawing a parallel with a football team, and comparing the employee to a goalkeeper, one can see that with a department focus, you only see those people who sit near you, i.e. your own team members. With a client focus, however, you look towards others on the playing field and you have a better overview of the rest of the organization. Yet with a client’s client focus, you can also envisage your department’s shared objective and the rest of the organization, symbolized by your opponent’s objective: the client that serves your organization.

Moving away from the role of ‘expense’
As consultants, we often see that the majority of supporting departments function very well, but remain an expense. If you want this to change, employees should familiarize themselves with everything that is happening within the organization (Who are my colleagues? Which primary processes are important?) as well as with the client’s client (What is our market? What is it waiting for?). Only then can the supporting department bring about improvements for its clients and for its client’s client, as well as create added value for the company and mature from the role of expense.

Involve the department in the organiZation – and vice versa
EStABLISH An eXtenSIVe tRAInInG pRoGRAMMe
Ensure that every new employee follows an extensive training programme. This means not only spending several days working with other departments, but also attending a number of sessions where the history, traditions and culture of the organization are discussed together with one of the managing diractors. Many organizations already do this — we do at TOPdesk. During these sessions, our new employees are given an impression of what TOPdesk considers important, as well as the aims of the organization and how we try to achieve these.

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Improve collaboration with clients
CoMpILe A coLLABoRAtIon DocUMent

Jordi Recasens is a consultant and team leader at TOPdesk and, focuses on the role of supporting departments within organizations, among other things.

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An increasing number of supporting departments are making agreements with their clients. This in itself is a good development; however, such agreements are often very one-sided and detailed. Although they may cover what is expected of the supporting service, they often fail to state what may be expected of the client. In our experience, a better strategy is for both parties to agree on a combined objective, and their expectations of one another, without becoming bogged down in details. Also, put down in writing whom to consult when the caller and the service desk employee don’t agree. Agreements like these are easy to record in TOPdesk’s Contract Management & SLM module.

SpenD tIMe wItH otHeR DepARtMentS

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In addition to a good training programme, it is important that employees refresh their knowledge of the organization on a regular basis. Colleagues come and go, and company objectives and processes change. By encouraging employees to spend a day or two looking over the shoulder of colleagues in other departments, they will have a better idea of what is going on and, in this way, remain involved with the organization. At one waste-disposal company, for instance, the IT employees have the opportunity to ride in the garbage trucks and, consequently, they develop more of an understanding of how the organization operates and what it is all about.

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MeASURe tHe SAtISfActIon of YoUR cLIentS

Conducting a client satisfaction survey periodically will enable you to find out what clients think of your department. Alternate multiple choice questions with open questions such as: ‘How would you describe the communication with the Facilities department?’. An ideal way to measure the satisfaction of your clients is using TOPdesk’s Survey module. It’s essential, however, to show clients that you’re doing something with their feedback. You could publish the results or use them in order to compile the collaboration document.

BUt How Do YoU Go ABoUt tHIS? How Do YoU cReAte An enVIRonMent In wHIcH tHe eMpLoYeeS of A SUppoRtInG DepARtMent cAn BeGIn DIRectLY contRIBUtInG

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BRInG IMpoRtAnt KnowLeDGe In HoUSe

to tHe coMpAnY ReSULtS? We VISIt HUnDReDS of oRGAnIZAtIonS on A ReGULAR BASIS, AnD HAVe GAtHeReD toGetHeR tHe BeSt pRActIceS of coMpAnIeS tHAt HAVe enJoYeD SUcceSS wItH tHIS. ReAD oUR nIne SUGGeStIonS foR MoVInG fRoM eXpenSe to StRAteGIc pARtneR.

Encourage colleagues to spend a day or two with the supporting department. They can supply valuable information, which the supporting department can use towards improving its service. One medical centre encourages nurses to spend time working with the IT department. The nurses then know exactly what is going on within the medical centre and can make a much better assessment of how important a call from a doctor is as soon as it arrives. There is also the guarantee that the IT department will better respond to what is ultimately important for the client.

IntRoDUce An eLectRonIc SUGGeStIoN BoX
Another way to improve the collaboration with clients is by introducing a suggestion box; you will find that employees will be more likely to share their ideas. One government body uses TOPdesk’s Incident Management to do just this. You could use the Problem Management module to group and evaluate employees’ suggestions. But remember to actually do something with suggestions, for example, by publishing a ‘suggestion of the month’ and then actually carrying it through.

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Offer the department and its clients more insight into the work being done

TOPdesk in the spotlight
HoLD A StARt-Up MeetInG eVeRY MoRnInG
Supporting departments are often too big for every team member to know exactly what every other team member is working on, and this can lead to irritation and communication problems. Yet this is easy to resolve by beginning each day with a start-up meeting. During this meeting, the most important ongoing items on the agenda are discussed, as well as who is working on what. There will no longer be misunderstandings about who will be dealing with the calls of that important client.

MAKe KPIS AVAILABLe to tHe entIRe DepARtMent
Often only the (process) manager uses reports and KPIs in TOPdesk to monitor the department’s performance. Yet at TOPdesk, the support employees also use KPIs. Consequently, they can see how things have gone before – they can recognize urgent situations and take action as soon as they consider it necessary. You’ll give employees more responsibility for the performance of the department, which usually leads to a better overall result.

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MAKe A SeLf SeRVIce DeSK poRtAL AVAILABLe

Not only employees, but also clients of supporting departments should be given more insight into the state of affairs. Simply giving clients the opportunity to see the progress of their calls can boost the cooperation between department and client, and the Self Service Desk is the ideal platform for this. In this way, clients can track the status of their calls themselves – you can also make a services catalogue available for them. Your clients will always know what they can expect from the supporting department.

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TEXt: NIenKe DeUSS

All about TOPdesk 4.3
This autumn, TOPdesk 4.3 will be released. During TOPdesk on Tour, many of you will have been lucky enough to have had a sneak preview of the new Change Management module. In this article, you will find out all you need to know about Change Management and the newest version of TOPdesk.

New interface improves user-friendliness
In previous versions of the software, you will already have had the opportunity to become acquainted with Mango, the new technology that TOPdesk has developed to display cards. Mango has increased the userfriendliness of the TOPdesk interface and the technology has been even further advanced in version 4.3. In version 4.3, the Change Management, Operations Management, Contract Management and Survey modules have all been rewritten in the ‘New Style’. Incident Management, Problem Management, Visitor Registration, Long-term Planning, Property Management, Supporting Files and the settings, however, were all converted into the new style in earlier versions.

The welcome page of the Self Service Desk offers clients a clear overview of the available options.

Self Service Desk look and feel improved
In order to improve the user-friendliness of the Self Service Desk, the look and feel has been updated. On the welcome page, you will now find a prominent welcome text, which you can easily adjust to suit the unique procedures of your Self Service Desk. Beneath this you will find a number of icons that indicate the various options that are available for the Self Service Desk user. In addition to the improved look and feel, a number of features have been added, such as the change catalogue of standard changes.

Enhanced time registration
The time registration system has been enhanced for the Incident Management, Problem Management and Operational Management modules, and the updated Change Management module. One of the improvements is the option to look up exactly when an individual has logged the time spent, considerably increasing the accuracy of reports that you run on the time spent. You can then acquire an insight into exactly when a significant period of time has been spent on an incident or change during the course of a certain procedure.

TOPdesk IN THE SPOTLIGHT 17

However, you also have a number of other opportunities to log the time spent. While this can take place automatically for the logged in user, you can now also log the time for another operator. If required, you can even correct these registrations yourself at a later stage.

Help & Support
TOPdesk version 4.3 is equipped with an online Help & Support feature. On the site you will find Getting Starteds, manuals, FAQs and tips & tricks. Consequently, the documentation is more readily available and users can easily search for topics.

Change Management totally redesigned
The Change Management module has been totally redesigned. The Planner, the Activities checklist and the Change Explorer have all been updated and improved in the 4.3 version, for planning, carrying out and monitoring changes. You now also have the option to register both simple changes (comprising just one activity) and extensive changes. Careful attention has also been paid to authorization moments and the use of change templates. The templates are incredibly flexible. When using one, you can choose which activities you wish to include. You can also make these templates available in the change catalogue of the Self Service Desk. Users can then submit standard change requests directly in the Self Service Desk. Because of the extent of the changes in Change Management, the module will not be updated automatically during the upgrade to TOPdesk version 4.3. You simply decide when you wish to update to the new version.
The graphic overview of Configuration Management provides a clear overview of how company assets are linked to each other. TOPdesk version 4.3 is equipped with an online Help & Support feature; here you will find Getting Starteds, manuals, FAQs and tips.

Graphic overview of Configuration Management
In TOPdesk 4.3, the Configuration Management module has been enhanced with a graphic overview, considerably improving the convenience of your configuration management. The overview graphically displays how objects and configurations are linked to each other, or to other cards, such as persons, locations and branches, enabling you to easily see which employees are in possession of which objects or which software programs have been installed on a particular computer. Moreover, in the case of a server failure, you will be able to see exactly the consequences in the overview of objects that are linked.

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Scheduling periodic reports
Users of TOPdesk Enterprise now have the option to schedule reports. You can easily run a report and save the PDF or Excel file at regular intervals, enabling you to view it when it suits you. Furthermore, you can email this saved file to operators, operator groups or Self Service Desk users.

How can I make Change activities dependent on each other
The question mark icon, featured on every process page in TOPdesk 4.3, 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.

TOPdesk lite 4
TOPdesk lite is now entirely web-based and, due to the new look and feel, the user-friendliness of this TOPdesk version has improved considerably. A free field has been added and reporting options have been improved. What is more, you can now also set up the columns of the personal to-do lists yourself.

When an individual logs the time spent, you can look up exactly on which date and at which time it was logged in TOPdesk.

18 TOPDESK IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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Client in Trends focus

At the service desk of Ordina Belgium
Ordina is one of the larger IT players in Belgium and is a subsidiary of a Dutch company. As an integrator, Ordina offers a diverse range of services, from ERP implementation to solutions for delivery chains, enterprise content management, business intelligence, applications and infrastructure management. It’s this diversity that makes Ordina’s service desk the flagship of the handling and allocation of customer queries – for both external customers and its own employees. to put the SLA reports together for customers, and to organize the billing service. The methodology was incredibly time-consuming and unmanageable due to the rising numer of callers. Ordina made the decision to develop a tool using its own software experts, as Yves explains. “It’s not that simple. Even when the product is finished, you still have to continue developing and maintaining it, which is very time-consuming and costly. One of the reasons to choose this particular tool, was that TOPdesk further develops and supports the tool. Additionally, because Ordina has a competence centre based on IT

TeXt: NIenKe DeUSS

Close to the motorway stands an office building with company Minis lined up in front of it. The illuminated lobby presents a welcoming feel and an austere design. The Ordina office breathes IT. Various types of workspaces offer flexibility and room for every occasion. There are hotspot desks for a short stay at the office, or to quickly check your emails, lounge areas for informal meetings or brainstorming sessions, focus booths for tasks that demand concentration and privacy, and meeting rooms of all shapes and sizes for teamwork. No one has a set workspace. This setup illustrates perfectly what is meant by “Ordina gives you room”: room for ideas, creativity and solutions.

Solutions for time-consuming operating procedures
Ordina has grown extensively during the past few years. The outsourcing of help desk and application management is gaining ground and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are becoming ever more important in IT. That has consequences for the following up of customer queries and problems, which must run smoothly and remain traceable. The acquisition of a comparable tool for service management was thus not an option, but rather a necessity. “Previously, our customers and employees could register their incidents by mail, telephone or in person at the service desk,” explains Yves Thomas, internal IT manager at Ordina. “Two employees registered all the calls and the action undertaken in a separate application. They sent individual emails to the operators, and they entered the feeback from the operators in the system. Operators and customers had no access to the system. You can imagine the consequences: the never-ending copy-pasting of emails to the application and vice versa. Above all, at the end of the month it cost the service manager days of work

OrganiZation: Ordina Belgium NV Works with: TOPdesk Enterprise 4.2 For: Internal IT help desk and clients Callers: 2100

20

CLIENT IN FOCUS 21

22 PERCENT OF ALL CALLS ARE REGISTERED THROUGH THE SELF SERVICE DESK. THE NUMBER OF PHONE CALLS HAS DECLINED DRAMATICALLY

For every call, the operater can log how much time he or she has spent on it. “This is automatically transferred through to our time registration system,” explains Yves. “The monthly SLA reports still require a quick check, while key performance indicators help the coordinators with the monitoring and follow up of the queues by their team members”

Ordina set up a connection between the reports in TOPdesk and the time registration system themselves. “The operator logs the time he or she has spent on a call in TOPdesk, which is then passed through a background connection to the time registration system, and subsequently to the billing department,” he explains.

coffee machine is reported to the facilities managment in TOPdesk. Our HR department also receives calls about staff details which need to be updated.”

Along with new versions
Yves is already looking forward to the release of TOPdesk 4.3. “Ordina always goes along with the newest releases and service packs. It’s reassuring that the software is developed, without you having had to look into it. The web community for TOPdesk users is also useful because you can discuss the possibilities of the package, and hear from other users how they have set up the application. In this way you discover new ways to use it, which can be helpful in your own operating environment.”

Far fewer calls about the status of incidents
Yves talks eagerly about the use of the Self Service Desk, thanks to the strong email culture in the company. “We refer to the Self Service Desk in all of our communication. Fifty-three percent of the calls are still registered by email, but now an additional 22 percent also come through the Self Service Desk. Customers register incidents themselves, and can keep track of the progress. As a result, the number of calls about the status of incidents has declined dramatically.” Ordina’s clients receive a report periodically, detailing the support services which have been undertaken, as Yves explains. “In the past, an employee dedicated literally days each month to the reports for customers. With nearly 1000 calls per month, it’s convenient that SLAs and the current state of affairs are virtually generated automatically and sent to the customer in TOPdesk.”

Also for Facilitites Management and HR
Ordina’s customers and employees use TOPdesk, among other things, to register incidents concerning their applications. All malfunctions and faults come to the attention of the service desk. The IT department is, however, not the only department that works with TOPdesk. “Initially, TOPdesk was only used for calls concerning the applications and IT infrastructure,” as Yves explains. “Now, even a leaking tap or defective

Service Management and ITIL, choosing TOPdesk was logical. TOPdesk supports the best practices of ITIL, and because of this, we can set up our service management processes according to the recommendations of ITIL”

Streamlined Implementation
In June 2007, TOPdesk was launched at Ordina. “Together with a TOPdesk consultant, we assessed whether our processes are in keeping ¬with the software, and vice versa. We set up our processes all over again, and at the same time configured the application together with TOPdesk. Between the sessions with the consultant, we did our ‘homework’ and prepared for the next one. In this way we gained in-depth knowledge of the tool and we are now able to carry out the managment and configuration ourselves.” When TOPdesk went live, the service desk and the operators certainly had to get used to it, but the advantages of using TOPdesk soon came to light, Yves explains. “Copy-pasting is now a thing of the past thanks to the automatic mail import. Calls are now read out automatically through email and set up as incidents in the service desk queue. Operators follow a very straightforward process, and log the action taken. Subsequently, callers are kept informed via automatic emails and, most importantly, they can follow the calls themselves in the Self Service Desk.”

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WITH NEARLY 1000 CALLS PER MONTH, IT’S CONVENIENT THAT SLAS ARE VIRTUALLY GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY FROM TOPDESK

How do I link calls to one another
The question mark icon, featured on every process page in TOPdesk 4.3, 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.

22 CLIENT IN FOCUS

CLIENT IN FOCUS 23

Work smarter PROFESSIONALIZING YOUR EMAILS
TEXT: PATRICK MACKAAIJ
Patrick Mackaaij is a consultant and team leader at TOPdesk and specializes in technical issues and process optimization.

TOPdesk enables you to create professional, standardized messages using a template feature which incorporates fixed details. As a result, paying a bit of extra attention to detail when composing these messages will ensure a smoother communication flow, and work will less frequently grind to a halt. The tips in this article will give you the boost to get to work on your own; however, you could also invite a consultant to help you, and, in doing so, make great progress within just a day.

Most of our customers have access to the Events Management module, which enables you to professionalize your emails. This module can also initiate HTTP requests, carry out file commands and take care of additional logging. Although the module is not available for TOPdesk lite, you can still professionalize your emails in TOPdesk.

The information needs of the recipient
An ever-growing number of organizations are using an information system to deal with their communication processes. In most cases, such systems use email notifications to alert the relevant individuals to alterations in the system. In order to deal with these emails efficiently, it is of practical benefit that they contain useful information. When sending an email

The ability to send customized emails is one of the most powerful and popular features in TOPdesk. But are you really getting the most out of what TOPdesk has to offer?

from TOPdesk, you can add a reference to relevant cards so that these cards can be opened directly from within the email, via both the Self Service Desk and the operator’s section. In addition, you can attach

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How do I make a recurrent reservation
TOPdesk enables you to create professional, standardized messages using fixed details.

When you examine this template, would you say that the information needs of the email recipient have been taken into account? Is the recipient able to click through to the relevant cards in TOPdesk? Is the font easy to read, and is it in keeping with your house style? Can the user quickly process the emails in the way they want?

The question mark icon, featured on every process page in TOPdesk 4.3, 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.

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content from the card itself to the email; for example, information retrieved from the ‘Request’ field of an Incident Card.

Contact details in your email footer
It is useful for the recipient to have your contact details at hand. For this reason, you will probably place your organization’s signature at the bottom of your emails. You can reuse the details you include in this signature in future emails, which means that for a change in the name of your organization, for example, you don’t have to alter every single email. To set this up, you should refer to a specific Site Card, such as ‘Own Site’. You can do this in System Settings > Functional settings > General tab. In this Site Card, you can enter which information should be repeated in the ‘Notes’ field or other fields. It is possible that you share your TOPdesk Enterprise installation with other supporting departments, such as IT, Facilities or HR, which all have their own contact details. In that case, you can record the repeated information in the ‘Notes’ field of the corresponding user group card.

You can refer to these specific fields from within the emails, which are summarized under System > System fields. You can easily change the address of the TOPdesk server by calling it up in the same way. This is useful if you use an acceptance and production environment for TOPdesk.

To view the layout options for a field, first left-click on the name of the merged field. Subsequently, right-click the mouse and choose ‘Layout’. It’s possible to do more; the presentation of date stamps in memo fields in TOPdesk, starting from version 4.2, can be adjusted in this way. In addition, you can display merged fields entirely in either lower case or UPPER CASE. To do this, encase the merged field with \a and \A or \A and \a respectively. To ensure that emails are in keeping with your house style, you can incorporate a logo. Technically speaking, you can make the logo available via a server on the internet, and then create a reference to it from the HTML layout in the email. You can also send the image as an attachment with the email, and refer to it as follows: <img src=”cid:[ image name ]”> Upon receipt of an email, most email programs display at least the name of the sender and the subject heading. If you wish to display not only your own email address, but also your company name (for example ‘TOPdesk Support’), under your email, you can set the sender’s address as follows: “TOPdesk Support” support@TOPdesk.com.

Do you use TOPdesk SAAS? Very soon, you will be able to fine-tune your emails yourself. Until then, it’s a good idea to prepare for the adjustments, and to then implement them together with a TOPdesk consultant on location.

Readability and corporate identity
Emails sent through TOPdesk can be set up in such a way, that they are enjoyable to read, and in keeping with your corporate identity. You can do this in Settings Management > Action explorer. You can enhance the readability of an email using HTML formatting. Important sections of text can be amplified by making them bold, italic or by presenting them in another colour. Furthermore, you can summarize information or present it in a table. To make sentences more enjoyable to read, you can use the various options to enrich date fields. You can choose, for example, to display the date field in full with the name of the month or the day of the week. By merging and creating date fields more than once, you can transform the standard ‘14-7-2009 11:30’ into ‘Tuesday 14 July, at 11:30’.

Accessible for operators
Using actions, you can set up TOPdesk emails to appear and/or be sent automatically, when it suits you; for example, when you log or close an incident. In addition, emails can be recorded under the context menu of a field. These can then be activated manually by an operator or end user. In this way, you can specify a standard email message for the request of additional information, such as a database or log files, or you can inform the caller of the status of a call in addition to a telephone call. With this kind of email, you can define one or more fields under ‘Special Events’. To follow up on exactly which emails you have sent to the caller, you can save emails sent by TOPdesk. To enable this option, go to the (technical) System Settings, and under ‘Email module’ choose the option ‘Save sent emails’. You will subsequently find all sent messages under the Notes tab of the card from which the messages were sent.

ENSURE THAT EMAILS ARE IN KEEPING WITH YOUR CORPORATE IDENTITY BY INCORPORATING A LOGO

In TOPdesk you can send an email from various cards; you can set up these standardized emails yourself.

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tips + tricks
A festive Self Service Desk!
The holiday season is fast approaching, and to celebrate this merry occasion, TOPdesk has designed a wintry look and feel for your Self Service Desk interface. You can download this bespoke work for your Self Service Desk from the TOPdesk Extranet.

TOPdesk UK limited t +44 (0)20 7803 4200 e info@topdesk.co.uk w www.topdesk.co.uk TOPdesk Germany 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 TOPdesk Netherlands t +31 (0)15 270 09 00 e info@topdesk.nl w www.topdesk.nl

TOPdesk France t +33 1 4222 2314 e info.topdesk.fr w www.topdesk.fr TOPdesk Hungary t +36 1 301 0190 e info@topdesk.hu w www.topdesk.hu

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.