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March 2016, issue 1, volume 18

Putting your
customer first

In this issue:
How our latest version helps you
put your customers first
Is SaaS the most smart, flexible
and cost-effective solution for your


Easy does it
The other day my debit card broke. If you’re like me, and don’t
have much cash at hand, this can lead to an awkward situation
when you’re next in line at the supermarket. Of course I
wanted to order a new card as quickly as possible. But sadly
it was already 8 p.m. and outside my bank’s regular office
hours. Luckily you can do a lot of stuff online nowadays. I used
my smartphone to log into my bank’s website, and directly
requested a replacement card, which I received two days later.
This experience clearly shows how the internet has changed
the way we work. Nowadays customers expect that they can
solve their own problems where, whenever and how they
want. I’ve even come to the point that I’ll think twice to take
my business to organizations whose services don’t meet
these expectations.

Ramon van Leeuwen
Commercial director ,TOPdesk

Read more on page 13

In this magazine you can read how self-service can help you
make customers more self-sufficient and happy. You can also
read how to manage your own organization with suppliers.
This is becoming more important, because the customer
expects the exact same service, whether they deal with you
or your suppliers.
Enjoy your read!
Nicola van de Velde & Milou Snaterse


CONTENTS March '16











Put your customer first with our latest
TOPdesk version





More knowledge sharing, less work





Official TOPdesk partners:
3Fifty • AskRoger! • Bomgar • Design agency DDC • Delta-N • IBIS
Software • Mavim • Nexthink • OGD • Okta • Partners in Technology
RES Software • Servitect • Scope4mation • Snow Software • Testersuite
The Backbone • TimeTell • Tools4ever • Victa


Stay up-to-date
To stay up-to-date with the latest
TOPdesk news and service

TOPdesk releases new version

management developments,
follow us via these channels.

TOPdesk has released a new version of its software. The highlight is the new Self-Service Portal,
which improves customer self-sufficiency. It offers a knowledge base, service catalogue and a

TOPdesk Newsletter

place to log and track requests – all in one. The portal is fully customizable, making it possible to
create a simple, familiar interface for end users. What’s more, the search functionality lets users

@TOPdesk @TOPdesk _UK

find exactly what they need without having to contact your service desk. Read more about the

new version in the article ‘The best service is self-service’ on page 16 of this magazine.

SaaS customers can benefit from all the new features at the end . Are you an on-premises
customer and interested in the new version? Visit for
more information or contact your account manager.

Nancy Van Elsacker
Thanks for joining us in celebrating
the new @TOPdesk USA office!
@Bomgar @PCConnection
@ThinkHDI @MetroOrlandoEDC

Terrific news from @sdi_institute
for our work alongside the
amazing @britishlibrary IT dept!

The new knowledge base is live on TOPdesk
Did you know that you can consult our knowledge items at any time of day? Our new
knowledge base features answers to more than a thousand questions received by our
support department. Here you can also find tips and tricks to use your TOPdesk better,
as well as clever solutions.
What’s more, our knowledge base gives you suggestions when you log a call. It is likely
that your question is answered before you even asked it. Discover the new knowledge base




Sign up now for SEE 2016
TOPdesk is organizing its first edition of SEE: the international Service Excellence Experience.

itSMF conference
Clarion Hotel, Oslo

SEE is an event that looks beyond the current trends in service management and shows a sharp
vision of the future. Be inspired by international experts, join interesting round table discussions,



and meet industry peers.
SEE will take place in different countries.

Service Desk & Service
Management World

On 19 May you can visit the event in London,
and on 1 June in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
For more information about the programme


and speakers, visit

Best Management Practice Kongress



Service Desk Conference


gear change for ITSM’. Learn more about the shift-left strategy, what it means to the business,
and which steps should be taken to reap the benefits.
Hannah Price and Sumit De, TOPdesk consultants, will host a seminar on ‘Customer satisfaction


measurements made more human’. Attendees will learn how to communicate survey results to

BIFM Conference


customers and measure their satisfaction. They will also discover how to make their service desk
more human by taking customers seriously.
For more information about these seminars, visit

Service Excellence Experience (SEE)


On 8 and 9 June, TOPdesk will be hosting a number of presentations at the SITS in London.
Wolter Smit, co-founder and CEO of TOPdesk, will give a presentation about ‘Shift-left: the next



TOPdesk presenting at SITS London



SITS, Service Desk & IT Support Show

Facilities Management Show

shift-left-the-next-gear-change-for-itsm/ and




Arcus College has been located in its new, modern school building for a
year now. Since their move, Arcus has used TOPdesk to streamline all their
internal processes. Both IT and Facilities processes are set up in TOPdesk.


Michel van den Berg
Functional application manager, Arcus College

Arcus College
Arcus College is a regional training centre for intermediate

from there. The consultant was really involved and

vocational education. The school has 8,000 students, 900

offered good solutions. And if he didn’t have an immediate

employees and many volunteers. Arcus offers over 200

answer, he logged a call or called a colleague to work

different courses, adult education and company trainings.

out a solution. Thanks to this collaboration, I have the

Education at Arcus is practical and future-oriented, with

feeling that I know the application inside and out,”

a large variety of courses. The school has a lot of training

says Van den Berg.

rooms. There is a soundproof studio where music students
can practice, a kitchen for cookery class students and
computer rooms where IT students can work.
Arcus college is a lively place. As you walk through the

The common thread in the organization
Arcus College uses Call and Reservations Management.

halls, you can see theatre students practicing their acting.

“Functional managers, timetablers, the Facilities

People from the neighbourhood visit the in-school store

department, services team, the central service desk, the

that sells bread from the student bakery. These neighbours

registrar’s office, Finance and STIP (student information

can also reserve a table in the restaurant where students

point) all work in TOPdesk, as well as our external caterer,”

both make and serve the food.

says Van den Berg. “Employees can use TOPdesk to reserve
coffee, tea and lunch. The caterer receives a reservation

A new school, a good tool set-up

request via TOPdesk and makes sure the reservation is
delivered. The same goes for Facilities. When needed, the

When the new building opened, the internal processes

caretakers can prepare reserved objects or set up rooms as

were also reorganized. The IT department at Arcus

requested. I can say that TOPdesk is the common thread in

already had TOPdesk running for ten years, but the tool

the organization.”

was not used to its full potential. With the arrival of a

Van den Berg works in the tool on a daily basis. “I believe

new building, they decided to start using TOPdesk more

that TOPdesk is a very accessible application to work with.

actively and implement it at the facilities departments.

The tool offers enough possibilities and the lay-out is truly

Michel van den Berg, TOPdesk functional application

user-friendly. When something does not work, I contact

manager at Arcus College, became the project’s

TOPdesk’s service desk and they always manage to help me.”

coordinator and worked together with a TOPdesk
consultant to implement TOPdesk.

Step-by-step implementation

All calls in TOPdesk
Van den Berg would like to have a TOPdesk registration
for all incoming calls to replace emails or requests in the

Van den Berg received a lot of help from the TOPdesk

hallways – something that still happens a lot. “When a

consultant during the tool implementation. “We first

call is registered in TOPdesk, everybody can see how this

needed to clear our entire TOPdesk environment,” says van

call is processed.” Another big advantage of TOPdesk is the

den Berg. “We then set up the basics and started working

extensive solution database, says Van den Berg. “When


Michel van den Berg
Functional application manager, Arcus College

I receive a recurring question, I can easily find all calls in
TOPdesk that already have an answer to this question.
I use standard solutions to process calls, which saves me
a lot of time.”

The future
Van den Berg sees a number of specific points for
improvement for the future. “We have a service desk
where you can get notebooks, pens, batteries etc. We
would like employees to request these items via the
TOPdesk Self-Service Portal and not walk into the stock
room and grab what they need. The moment a request is
made in TOPdesk, a desk employee can directly prepare the
items. This way we also gain insight into what people use.”
Students can log calls and reserve rooms in TOPdesk,
but they do not do this actively yet because they are
not familiar with the tool. This is also something that
Arcus wants to work on. Finally, Van den Berg would like
to monitor more in the future. TOPdesk’s reports are
very suitable for this. “We currently lack incident and
change managers who can monitor things,” says van den
Berg. “I make a lot of reports myself to try to educate
management and my colleagues, but it would be even
more ideal when the operator’s team leads would focus
on this entirely.”


Renske van der Heide
… Renske van der Heide is a product manager for
TOPdesk and a team leader at the start-up Worcade.

“Outsourcing services can save costs in most cases.” This is a well-known argument, but
is it true? Your organization can still have a lot of hidden costs, and you might introduce
new challenges. Still, there are plenty of good reasons to outsource activities. Worcade
team lead Renske van der Heide tells about the perks and drawbacks of keeping your
organization operating with help of suppliers.
Outsourcing is the latest trend. But it’s not

It doesn’t matter who does it

It is important to keep the organization’s goals

always the best choice. Services that are

Services or products that can be standardized,

in mind and what contributes to achieving

essential to your core business are best kept

and for which you can make clear agreements

them. When your organization wants to

in-house. It’s nice for nursing home residents

on the supplied quality, can easily be

distinguish itself with excellent services and

that the kitchen knows who would like a piece

outsourced. These are often services that do

strives for good customer relations, your

of fish on Fridays, and that the cooks know

not directly affect your core business. Think

service desk is extremely important. It is not

that Mrs. Smith wants less salt in her food. In

of your building’s security or the monthly visit

logical to outsource

this case you want to stay on top of the food

from the window-cleaner. These activities

in this case.

and drinks quality. Nursing homes often see

need to be performed correctly, but not

catering as part of their primary processes

necessarily by people who are committed

and that is why they usually choose to keep

to your company alone.

it in-house.
When saving costs is an argument to

In this situation it is probably best

Hiring external expertise
When you need specialist, often technical,

when the person is not too involved in the

knowledge for a task, it can be advisable to

outsource your services, you should always

organization so they can fully focus on their

hire external experts. They are up to date

ask yourself to what extent the experience of

tasks. Receptionists often feel responsible and

on the latest developments in their area of

your own product will be harmed by it. After

therefore perform more tasks. These tasks can

expertise and often make smarter decision

all, your own employees are more involved

be logging disruptions, or placing an order

because of this. Sometimes small changes

in the organization and often put their heart

for one of their colleagues. This can be very

can have an unexpected large impact. By

and soul into the company. There are however

helpful, but not always desirable. A supplier

making a small change to the settings of your

enough arguments in favour of outsourcing

is probably more efficient when performing

climate control system you can drastically

certain activities within your organization.

these tasks.

reduce your energy use, for example. You


also need extended expertise and up-to-date

Flexibility in staff can ensure that there are

knowledge for managing something like

fewer problems when employees are off sick

Oracle databases. A specialized third party can

or on holiday. Your supplier will make sure

make sure that the impact of disruptions and

that there are enough people present, making

changes is limited.

your organization less dependent on available

Sometimes your organization only needs

internal staff.

specialist knowledge for a short period of
time, for an Exchange migration for example.
Here, it is not worth hiring someone to do the
task. An in-house Exchange specialist should
always be up to date on all developments in
his area of expertise in order for his work to
remain intuitive. This leaves him with little
time for other developments. If you only hire
an Exchange specialist when you need the

Supplier portal Worcade

knowledge, you will hire someone who can

At TOPdesk we are currently working hard on developing Worcade: an

focus full-time on keeping his or her Exchange

online platform that enables easy and quick communication between

knowledge up-to-date.

your TOPdesk environment and your suppliers. You can directly update
your suppliers via Worcade when you need additional employees or

Effectively scheduling your staff

other things. To make this process easier, you can also share certain
data from a TOPdesk call. This potentially confidential conversation is

Working with suppliers is a good idea

at all times separate from your own TOPdesk environment. You decide

when your organization experiences large

what you want to share.

fluctuations in required capacity. A high
school’s IT department is often busy in

To make Worcade as easy as possible, we have added a Worcade

September: everyone starts school again,

tab to all call cards in the new TOPdesk version. On this tab you can

many people lose their (new) password and it

communicate with your supplier and share call information. Your

can take a while before everything is up and

supplier then receives a notification email and can reply by clicking

running. Peak seasons in the hotel branch and

the direct link. He does not have to log into your organization’s

a continuously changing demand for lease

TOPdesk environment.

cars are good examples of fluctuating needs.
An external party can supply you with these
additional resources when needed.
When your HR department cannot match
the occupancy needed in the organization, it
is a good – hopefully temporary – solution to
hire extra staff. It’s important to understand
that these temporary workers cannot
immediately carry out your organization’s
culture and vision. It’s a feeling that needs
to grow.

Want to know more about Worcade?
Worcade is currently being tested by a number of TOPdesk
customers. Want to participate in this test? Please contact us via


Planning & TimeSheet

TimeTell - The solution for planning and time registration
TimeTell is an extensive system for planning and registration of time,
hours, leave and absence. One of the characteristics is the ease of use; it
is important that people do not hesitate to work with the timesheet. It is a
complete and powerful solution, which can interface with other systems
like TOPdesk or other HR, ERP and financial systems.

To support the management, TimeTell offers a dashboard with a summary
of the most important information.

Furthermore, you can plan staff and projects. Staff planning can be used
to allocate people to a specific job and project. The TimeTell project
planning functionality helps you make Gantt charts in order to gain more
insight into the process structure and progress. Both planning and
realisation of spent hours can be registered in TimeTell, which makes it
easy to control and manage projects.
The solution is available both online and on-premise. This can be
combined with the TimeTell App, enabling you to work anywhere with
Every organisation – large or small, profit or non-profit – can work with
TimeTell. Users around the world are Bosch Security Systems, Bayer,
DB Schenker and the Rail Safety and Standard Board.
Like TOPdesk, the TimeTell software is developed in the Netherlands.
It is used by more than 500 clients worldwide, and is available in English,
German and Dutch.

If you would like to know more about our
solution, please visit our website:
+31 (0)70 311 48 11


Ramon van Leeuwen
Ramon van Leeuwen has been working at
TOPdesk for over twenty years and became
Sales manager in 2005. In this position he
is responsible for all the organization’s sales
and marketing activities, including business
partnerships and new business development.
Ramon is a member of management and

More and more suppliers offer their software as a
service in the cloud. But why do they do this? And
what are the big advantages for users? We asked two
service management software experts their opinions
on Software as a Service.

holds a seat in the Change Advisory Board
where he helps determine the strategic


direction of the TOPdesk product.

Over the last few years, software suppliers have all been switching from the traditional
perpetual licence model to the Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription. With SaaS,
customers pay for software via a subscription according to use instead of making a
one-off purchase. Instead of installing the software on the organization’s servers,
it will now be in the supplier’s cloud. Organizations can then access it through the
internet. There is a worldwide proliferation of suppliers with this business model.
These are new suppliers who only offer software in the cloud, like Google and, and suppliers who already offered software packages. Ramon van
Leeuwen and Ludo Bergkamp have, as TOPdesk’s Sales manager and Sales team leader,
supported a myriad of organizations in the field of service management. What is their
vision on this trend?

Ludo Bergkamp
Where does this growth of subscriptions come from?
Ludo Bergkamp is Sales team leader and has

LB: This is a logical consequence of the shortcomings of the traditional licence.

been working at TOPdesk for over three years.

Organizations want their software costs evenly distributed, manageable and insightful.

In this position he works, among other things,

Perpetual licences do not meet these requirements: large one-off costs, long-term

on the switch to subscription models. He has

maintenance contracts, all followed by upgrade costs of which the amount and

twenty years work experience, of which he

payment date are unclear. A subscription removes all these uncertainties with a

spent almost ten years with international

monthly fee.

software companies who serve their
customers entirely with SaaS.

RvL: A licence also makes your bookkeeping less flexible. Just imagine if you are forced
to cut back, while you just invested in a new tool six months ago. Of course you won’t


get part of your money back. But if you pay per user, it is easy to align your costs with
your new occupancy.


RvL: If you take a look at the total costs of

dust for years. This is very unwise from

There are however organizations that choose

ownership, it shows that SaaS is simply

a financial point of view and it puts your

for a subscription, but still run the software on

less expensive over a period of four to five

customers behind on new innovations.

their own servers.

costs for maintenance, staff, hardware and

LB: With SaaS, managing the software is

LB: Some organizations still have an anti-SaaS

implementation that add up to a number

entirely in the supplier’s hands. They can

policy or have hardware that is not yet written

higher than the subscription costs for SaaS.

choose to perform daily updates. That’s how

off. That’s why they cannot completely go for

As far as I’m concerned, choosing SaaS is

suppliers can continuously improve their

Software as a Service. But, at the same time,

smarter, and more flexible and profitable

software, leading to a better product with

it pays for these organizations to not commit

for most organizations. The same goes for

higher customer satisfaction. Customers can

themselves to a software purchase now.

the supplier. They would also rather have a

also give feedback on new functionalities

Because who knows what the policy will be

predictable monthly fee than large expenses

more quickly, which the supplier can get to

in two years?

for each new version.

work with.

LB: For suppliers, the classical perpetual

Users reap the benefits of SaaS because they

already reap the financial benefits without

licence model is also a perverse incentive to

always have the most up-to-date software.

making long-term commitments.

LB: Exactly. This is also true for maintenance,

LB: But the difference is that the customer

bug fixes and the safety and reliability of

remains responsible for updates and technical

RvL: That’s right. After each new version

the data. The entire technical management

management. They do not benefit from the

the suppliers directly start working on the

is the supplier’s responsibility. As a result,

biggest advantages of SaaS. I notice that these

development and innovation of their product.

organizations will have more manpower left

parties often make a full transition when

But these new pieces of software can gather

to perform core tasks.

opportunity arises.

years. With a perpetual licence you have

RvL: By choosing a subscription they can

save up innovations until they can release
a proper new version, with matching price tag.


Choosing the supplier’s cloud does
require organizations to hand over the
control of important themes such as
safety and reliability.
RvL: That’s true. But if you ask me, I think
these responsibilities should lie with the
supplier. After all, a software supplier’s

Ludo Bergkamp
Sales team leader, TOPdesk

reputation depends on the level of safety and
responsibility of his services, while for most
companies it is only one of many tasks.
LB: In spite of good intentions, we see this

data after termination of a contract, even

RvL: As far as I am concerned, the only

difference in practice as well. Of all customers

though the data with SaaS is the customer’s

tangible fear to make the switch is that

on TOPdesk SaaS we have about 95% on

property at all times.

not all software suppliers offer SaaS. As
an organization you will have to deal with

the newest version. They use a safer version
of TOPdesk with all security updates. All

LB: Or suppliers where it’s unclear how to

hybrid environments. If TOPdesk is the first

customer that host – or let others host –

access the data.

application in your organization to run in
the cloud, you will need to make links to all

TOPdesk this percentage is below fifty. More
than 30% of them are even behind by 18

RvL: You should not want that. The coming

local systems, for example. Otherwise all

months or more.

years the sector will have to work hard to get

these links can be lost during an automatic

over these teething problems.

software update.

Does the switch to SaaS require a change

LB: At TOPdesk we are currently working

in culture?

on the development of an application

RvL: This irrefutably has consequences for the
safety and reliability of the software.

programming interface or API. This is a

LB: SaaS suppliers are specialists when it
comes to their own software. In practice, this

RvL: The switch to a different market

standardized documentation link method

focus always benefits the safety and reliability.

approach and revenue model does of course

that is version-independent. If you use this

not happen overnight and asks for a certain

to build a link, it will remain intact with new

change in attitude.

software versions.

hand over control of their management. To

LB: Even though end users barely notice the

thin air over the next few years. I expect

take their away fears I always advise them

switch, it is different for application managers.

that everything will be available in the cloud

to thoroughly prepare and ask potential

The functional application management does

sooner than we think. Software as a Service

suppliers many questions about themes

not change, but the supplier does take over

will slowly become a standard in the world.

they’re unsure about.

the technical part. This could be an argument

RvL: I do understand why organizations

I imagine these issues will vanish into

without SaaS experience are hesitant to

for them to dig in their heels. But organization
LB: A question that should always be at the

that made the step towards SaaS tells me

tip of your tongue when you talk to suppliers

that in practice it is often considered more

is how economically stable they are. You are

as a chance than as a threat. Because a part

after all a lot more vulnerable for the collapse

of their tasks disappears, there is more room

of a SaaS supplier than when the software is

to create added value for the organization.

on your own server.

By learning how to better work with the
software, for example.

RvL: SaaS hasn’t left its childhood behind
when it comes to this. For example, there are
parties that make it difficult to retrieve your



Every service department wants to deliver excellent service. We believe that self-service
is the best service you can offer your customers. This is now possible thanks to the SelfService Portal in TOPdesk’s new version. After all, a self-sufficient customer is a happy
customer – the most important goal of any service department.
Our newest version helps you put the customer first, making them as

to being self-sufficient in their daily lives: they shop online, book plane

self-sufficient as possible. Your customers will be happier if they know

tickets and find answers to their questions. And they also expect this

what to expect, for instance if you let them find the answers to their

service from their service provider. If your customer has a problem

questions. Moreover, a self-sufficient customer saves the operator time

that prevents them from doing their job, both the business and the

– time they can better spend on resolving more complex tasks. In the

customer benefits from resolving this issue as quickly as possible.

end, this improves all customer support.

The self-sufficient customer

New self-service experience
TOPdesk’s new Self-Service Portal features a WYSIWYG (what you see

Forrester research has shown that customers expect to resolve their

is what you get) editor that lets you customize the portal. After all, you

own problems*. This is only natural, because your customers are used

know what your customers need most. You can easily publish forms


and services and display overviews. The editor also helps you fully
adjust the look and feel to match your organization, helping you create
a simple, familiar interface for your customers. What’s more, you can
personalize the interface per person group. For instance, you can allow
the ‘secretary’ group to reserve rooms directly from their home page,
and the ‘management’ group to make authorizations.

Meeting expectations
The latest version focuses on services: they are the building blocks of
the Self-Service Portal. You can turn the portal into your own services

The new Self-Service Portal’s home page

catalogue, and the new editor makes it easy to publish and set up
services. For instance, you can add a description to the service and
explain how to order it, answer frequently asked questions about the
service and link forms related to the service. In short: you create one
location where you customers can find all information about a service.

Shift left (left)
The new TOPdesk version enables you to perform your tasks
more easily thanks to the shift left principle. Shift left means that
experienced operators offer their solutions to less experienced
colleagues through, for instance, a knowledge base. It helps these
colleagues easily answer difficult customer questions, which were
previously asked and answered by their experienced colleague.

All information about your services in

The next step is making this knowledge available to the customers

one location

themselves, which is called shift left left. This lets customers
independently find the answer to their questions.
TOPdesk’s new version gives your customers the tools to become
more self-sufficient. This version displays suggestions on forms. When
a customer starts typing in a form, to report a broken printer for
instance, the form directly displays possible solutions. These solutions
are knowledge items related to the topic. If a solution is offered, the
customer won’t even have to submit the form. Moreover, the search
bar lets your customers find anything that was previously published,
such as: knowledge items, services, forms and submitted requests.
All solutions immediately visible

Would you like to learn more about
our new version?
Visit for
details about the new TOPdesk version or contact
* Forrester’s BT Devices & Security Workforce Q1 2014

your account manager.



Ad Huige
… is a consultant at TOPdesk and works two
days a week as a functional manager at a
semi-public organization.

The new application is live and you think you’ve got everything under control. But have
you considered the advantages of managing a tool properly? Good management can help
you take full advantage of a tool like TOPdesk. And once you’ve actually got everything
under control, you’ll know exactly which parties to work with to achieve optimal results.

In the last issue of TOPdesk Magazine,

solution groups include the operational

I explained which tasks a functional manager

departments. In the tool managed by the

Building bridges between
operational and tactical issues

should or could perform. In this article I

functional manager, the processes of multiple

A manager asks different questions

will talk about when these tasks should be

departments meet. Bringing together

than people working at the operational

performed and which parties you should

different solution groups makes the functional

department. A manager is often more

collaborate with. As a functional manager you

manager transcend departments. He or she is

focused on costs, long-term vision and the

translate the business’s wishes to different

involved with streamlining all processes. It can

department’s performance. They use reports

solution groups. The business includes

be difficult for many functional managers to

to gain more insight into these matters. The

people in the organization that might have

manage different groups and simultaneously

operational departments on the other hand

a question and external customers. The

not touch on any sore points.

are more practical. They want their daily tasks


to be as easy as possible. They can achieve this

After talking to the facilities department

functional manager’s message to their

by gaining insight into manager agreements,

employees, it turns out they only work with

constituencies in their own words. This

or by learning tips and tricks about TOPdesk.

second line calls, resulting in them not seeing

way, the message remains personal and the

I’ve mentioned before that the functional

and working on the assigned calls. By making

functional manager no longer needs to visit

manager deals with multiple communication

good work agreements, you can prevent these

all the organization’s end users. For instance,

parties, which the example above also

issues and keep the customer happy.

if a printer is broken, all end users can read in
the service catalogue that it should be fixed

illustrates. Below I’ll discuss who these parties
actually are. There are hundreds of examples
discuss one per section. I will also discuss how

The operator groups’ policy

functional managers can deal with this.

How are the different solution groups divided?

of frequent questions per group, but I will

The operator groups’ policy makers are the IT

Unit managers and general

within three hours. If it hasn’t been fixed
by then, they can submit a complaint to the
responsible department.

manager, facilities manager or HR manager,

The functional manager

for instance. These managers all have their

Which requested change has the highest

own reporting wishes and process choices. For


Where can I find the agreed upon SLAs and

instance, IT doesn’t need a service catalogue,

The functional manager’s most important

how do we present these SLAs?

but facilities does. As a functional manager,

task is to process all the different types

SLAs are management-level agreements made

you then focus on how these differences can

of requests in the form of wishes and

between a unit manager and an operational

be set up in TOPdesk and how this can be

requests. This can be done by collecting,

department manager. For instance, they can

communicated logically to the business.

specifying, prioritizing, solving and assigning.

decide that when someone can’t log into

A possible solution is that IT, HR and

The questions are sent in by different

their account, IT has to resolve this within two

FM start collaborating. A number of the

departments. Once the questions are clear, it

hours. The functional manager is responsible

processes are similar, so why couldn’t

is up to the functional manager to prioritize

for communicating these SLAs. In TOPdesk,

these departments learn from each other’s

them. For instance: will he first set up the key

for instance, this is possible via a services

mistakes? This is a topic that a functional

management process, or rather focus more

catalogue, by sharing a knowledge item or by

manager of TOPdesk could discuss, and that

on the process of employee commencement?

sending a newsletter.

is why he or she organizes a key user meeting

The functional manager determines these

with the different departments. They are one

priorities together with his manager, the

of the few people within the organization

process owners and the information manager

who understands how the different processes

(or these are determined within the functional

‘really’ work. In this meeting, the functional

managers team). They receive input from unit

The functional manager’s
manager, process owners and
information manager

manager should have a leading role, because

managers, general managers and the

Which tooling and/or reports do I need to
manage the processes?

they have knowledge of the tool and the

operational department managers. The wish

underlying processes. He also knows what

or need is initially communicated to the

Imagine that the first line IT service desk

the possibilities are.

functional manager.

service desk employees however indicate

The end users and the key users

The (key) operators

that the unresolved call cue isn’t long, and

Which services can we expect from facilities

Can we create and manage our own standard

that they don’t understand the complaint.

management, IT and HR?


The functional manager can use reports to

A key user is assigned per service department

The (key) operators are people that work in

grant insight into this complaint. They can

who, together with the functional manager,

TOPdesk. They receive the requests and solve

see that the calls IT assigns to the facilities

looks for a solution to answer frequently-

them, for instance a support department or

helpdesk are not being picked up properly.

asked questions. They can explain the

facilities management. It is the functional

receives many complaints about the
resolution time of a number of calls. The


manager’s task to explain to these

Maintaining communication

departments how to use standard solutions.

If you want to do a good job as a functional

He or she has to adopt a straightforward

manager, it is important that you can

approach for this. Similar to the key users’

translate the business’s wishes to the

situation, it can be useful for the functional

different solution groups. This translation runs

manager to communicate sensitive issues via

more smoothly if you know exactly which

a key operator. The key operator can deliver

parties you have to deal with. How do you find

the message personally to the different

out? By maintaining communication with all

solution groups.

parties, meaning the people at both tactical
and operational level. This ensures that you
don’t leave anyone out, and you help both

The suppliers

the manager with reports and the people

Can we receive the calls using a standard

in the workplace by communicating what is


expected of them. As a functional manager,

If a standard format is required for calls, the

you can bridge the gap between both parties,

functional manager needs to facilitate this.

helping you make sure that everyone can

Of course the functional manager should

perform their tasks in the right way.

also continue to communicate with the tool’s
supplier. He can send them a feature request
or ask the support department questions.

Service delivery

Functional management

Operator groups

Unit managers and
general managers

The functional manager’s
manager, process owners and
information manager

The operator groups’
policy makers

The end users and
the key users

The functional managers

The (key) operators



The business






Experience the future of
service excellence

1 June
19 May
Royal College of
Physicians, London

SEE is an event that looks beyond the current trends in service management
and shows a sharp vision for the future. Meet international experts and share
insights with interesting peers.
Discover service excellence at SEE: the international service management event.


SEE is powered by

Wolter Smit, CEO of TOPdesk

“What would it be like if we could reduce the call duration by 25%
and the time spent on calls by 15%?”
Well, if someone were to ask me such a question, I could say
nothing but: “Sounds great. Let’s go for it!”
Reducing the duration makes our customers happier, and a shorter
time spent results in more time for structurally improving other
things. But I don’t believe in miracles. So here’s my next question:
“How do you think you’ll achieve this?”
The answer is surprisingly simple: by recycling knowledge.

You yourself should also check the knowledge base before
answering a customer question. Thanks to your colleagues’

A service desk receives all types of questions. Some things are

keywords your search can be quick. Is the knowledge item what

requested a lot and have similar answers. These questions, logged

you’re looking for? Great! You get to quickly answer that question.

by email or via the self-service portal are answered by someone

Is it not exactly what you’re looking for? Quickly improve it. This

from first line support. That answer – as soon as it’s written in an

helps your other colleagues who receive similar questions.

email or response to a call – is in fact useful knowledge. Knowledge
that you can re-use to answer a similar question.

The difficulty in this is not finding a good knowledge manager.
Rather, it’s the challenge of getting everyone used to writing

Now you’ll hear a lot people say: “Ah! We need a knowledge base!”

everything in the knowledge base. The percentages I mentioned

That’s right, but not quite like you’d expect. Once it’s decided you

before are actual improvements we achieved at our service desk.

need a knowledge base, you’ll often have to assign a knowledge

And the best thing about it is: my colleagues enjoy creating

manager. He’ll design a handy structure – which takes time – and

knowledge. It lets them actively contribute to making everyone’s

write the first articles – which also takes time. But five meetings on

work easier.

and you still haven’t answered any actual customer questions.
At TOPdesk we like to go against the grain, so we gave this method
That’s how not to do it.

a trendy name: Best Practice Knowledge Management. With a
great new TOPdesk version on the way, we’re also going to make

It’s much better if you get everyone who works with customers to

sure that end users can find knowledge via the self-service portal’s

share knowledge. Do you think the answer to a customer question

knowledge base, before they even have to ask a question to the

is useful to other colleagues? Put it in the knowledge base. Even if

service desk. This will not only reduce the call duration, but even the

the answer isn’t perfect or complete, or if it doesn’t fit in a certain

total number of calls.

structure. It doesn’t matter. Most importantly: it should be useful.
Also make sure you use a number of good keywords.

Here’s to a great 2016!


Patrick Mackaaij
… is a marketeer at team Worcade.

You might use TOPdesk to process personal data such as name, email address and login
data. Depending on how you make use of TOPdesk, this can include sensitive information.
It is therefore required that your TOPdesk is secured properly. You can do this with good
login settings, HTTPS, setting up permissions and filters and by limiting export options.

Data Protection Law and data breach notification

Moreover, the DPA was recently extended with guidelines on ‘data

Personal data is data that can be uniquely retraced to an individual. A

breach notification’. These guidelines obligate organizations to report

full name, email address or login data are some examples. These data

lost personal data or the (possible) unlawful processing of this data.

can most likely be found on a person card in TOPdesk.
In December 2007, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA)

When you work with personal data of a sensitive nature, you do not
only have to directly notify the authority in case of a data leak. You also

already wrote that they expect you to secure personal data sent via

need to notify the parties involved because the data leak could have

public internet connections in their article ‘Publication of personal data

negative effects on their personal life.

on the internet’. “Ensure that data transfer is secure by means of the

Whether you record sensitive personal data strongly depends on

SSL protocol,” is a literal statement in the article, which you can read

the application of your TOPdesk. Does your HR department work with


TOPdesk? If so, it’s likely that you have this data on person cards or in

In 2012, the EU also proposed a comprehensive reform of data
protection rules. This resulted in a General Data Protection Regulation,
which, from 2016, can impose fines of up to 4% in case of data breach.

calls. Do you use TOPdesk to support groups of vulnerable people? You
then also process sensitive data.


Image 1. Padlock icon in the address bar

Accessing TOPdesk via HTTPS?
Many TOPdesk environments are connected to the internet so callers

It is not always clear how the traffic is carried between the caller’s/

and operators worldwide can work with each other. In practice this

operator’s computer and TOPdesk. That is why it’s important to secure

means working from home or using TOPdesk to support consumers or

this connection. It is expected that web browsers will soon warn users

other organizations.

about websites without HTTPS. The warning shown to these visitors

Do you have TOPdesk SaaS? We have already ensured that you access
TOPdesk via HTTPS.
Do you have TOPdesk on-premises? You can easily check whether

will resemble the one shown when the HTTPS of websites is
not correct (anymore). For instance, the certificate might be expired.
I would personally secure TOPdesk on your internal network to

you access your environment via HTTPS. Open your web browser

make sure you do not forget this when you make TOPdesk available via

and navigate to TOPdesk. If the connection is secured you will see a

internet later on.

pictogram of a padlock in your address bar.


Your TOPdesk on HTTPS, no problem!
Is your TOPdesk environment not available via HTTPS yet? Please

HTTPS, TLS and SSL are related concepts that are often used

contact your TOPdesk application manager. The manager can check

interchangeably. This is not a problem when it comes to the goal

whether a certificate is available within the organization.

of websites.
Websites can be accessed via the HTTP protocol. The ‘S’ in HTTPS

When there is no certificate available, you can get one plus the
required digital signature within a couple of minutes. Certificate

stands for secure. HTTPS is possible if the websites can be accessed via

supplier Comodo offers free certificates for a ninety-day trial period.

SSL or TS (SSL’s successor). SSL/TS is a technical foundation that can be

You can extend this period afterwards and periodically.

used for a protocol to erase email messages, for example.

We have recently updated our HTTPS documentation, using Comodo
as an example. With this documentation you can install your first

SSL/TLS looks after:

certificate on TOPdesk within half an hour. Read more about this on our

Authentication: an authority uses a certificate to ensure


communication with the correct party.

The ninety days provide sufficient time to request a certificate for

Data integrity: messages have control numbers so no one can change

which Comodo performs more checks. An example is the extended

the data unnoticed.

validation of your organization where your web browser shows a green

Encryption: the data is encrypted so no one can listen to them.

bar to visitors on your website.


Download this issue and more at

Functional security measures

The TOPdesk Magazine covers subjects that
are topical in the world of professional

There is a data breach when personal data was lost during a security

service desks in IT, facilities and other

incident, or when you cannot reasonably exclude the unlawful

service providing organizations. TOPdesk

processing of personal data. A security incident could be a lost USB,

Magazine is intended for managers, service

theft of a laptop or a hacker attack.

desk employees, facilities organizations and

In the December 2014 issue of TOPdesk Magazine I listed technical

electronic city councils — anyone who is

measures aimed at logging on and keeping your software up-to-date.

involved with supporting clients on a daily

You can read ‘Protecting your TOPdesk environment’ on our scribd page:

basis. This concerns both the processes and

the technology behind these services.

You can also use functional settings to prevent people from getting
access to or changing data. Besides setting up access permissions

TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk publication,

on all cards of a specific type, you can also create filters in TOPdesk.

+44 (0) 207 803 4200,

Via Modules > Supporting Files you can create branch, category and
operator filters that provide operators with access to only a subset

Editors-in-chief: Milou Snaterse, Nicola

of cards.

van de Velde

Instead of using the operator’s filter to provide suppliers direct

Editors: Nicola van de Velde

access to your TOPdesk environment, you can communicate more

Translators: Laura van Rosenberg, Nicola van

safely and efficiently via supplier platform Worcade. See

de Velde

tdm-worcade for more information.

Contributors: Renske van der Heide, Ad Huige,

Finally, from TOPdesk 5.7 on you can avoid the export of lists (such as

Fiona IJkema, Patrick Mackaaij, Wolter Smit

customer and person cards) by taking away this permission from the

Layout: Denise van Rijst

operator via Modules > Supporting Files > Permission Groups > General

Illustration: Frank van Klink

> Export lists.

Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn, Menno van
der Bijl
Copy editor: Nicola van de Velde
A print run of 10,000
Quarterly magazine
Languages: Dutch, English
Copyright © 2016 TOPdesk. Although this
publication 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.

To get the most our of this software, it is important to motivate and educate
your employees in it’s use. Use professional and effective communication by
employing Bureau DDC.
Through professional communication advice, Bureau DDC will increase the
number of successful support transactions, and will take care of change
management support.
Visit to learn more about DDC
services. Or contact one of the communication advisors at +31(0) 88 012 02 50.
We are at your service.
See us at the SEE event!
1st June 2016 •




C O M M U N I C AT I E .

W W W. B U R E AU D D C . N L


tips + tricks
Resetting your password

Copying email actions

Self-Service Portal users can reset their own password when

Existing email actions can be copied. With this, you can easily

they have forgotten it. You can activate this functionality

set up new email actions based on these existing ones.

as follows:
1. Go to Settings > Functional settings > Login settings.

Copying an email action:

2. Click ‘Self-Service Portal’.

1. Go to Modules > Action Management > Action Explorer.

3. Under the TOPdesk authentication heading tick the

2. Open the email action you wish to copy.

‘Password resetting’ box.

3. Click the ‘Copy email action’ icon (image 2).

4. Indicate the minimal number of characters the password
needs to contain in the ‘Minimum Self-Service Portal
password length’ field.
> The login screen now shows the ‘Forgot your password?’
link. (Image 1)
The link opens a screen where the user needs to enter their
login name. They will then receive an email with instructions
on how to reset their password.
Image 2 – Copying an email action

Setting up sender

1. Choose in the next screen:

Under Settings > Functional settings > Login settings >

a. What information from the existing email action needs

General you can indicate the sender of the instruction email.

to be copied.
b. For which card you want to create the new email action.

Operator’s Section

Pay attention: when you copy an email action to use on

Under Settings > Functional settings > Login settings >

another card (from a first line call to a simple change,

Operator’s Section you can activate the functionality for users

for example), you need to check the email action on the

who forgot their password for the Operator’s Section.

correctness of the used insertion fields and distribution lists.
Every card type has specific insertion fields and distributions
fields that do not work from other cards.
Visit our Help & Support website for more information on
insertion fields and distribution lists.

Image 1 – Login screen with ‘Forgot your password?’ link