Using Service Manager As A Complete Help Desk Solution

By Kurt Mayer| June 26, 2014

Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2012 R2 (SCSM) provides flexible self-service experiences and standardized datacenter processes that can help integrate people, workflows and knowledge across enterprise infrastructure and applications. Read my blog to learn more about the many benefits of Microsoft System Center Service Manager and how it can be used as a complete help desk solution for your organization.

One of the great things about Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2012 R2 (SCSM) is its ability to provide flexible self-service experiences and standardized data center processes. By using an IT Governance, Risk and Compliance (IT-GRC) Pack, IT managers can formalize certain processes to facilitate Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices. SCSM also consumes data generated by other Microsoft System Center products to generate IT help desk incidents, trend on problems, report statistics and offer services based upon the needs of an organization.

SCSM can serve as an integration hub, allowing user-driven Configuration Items (CIs) to be gathered via deployed agents and multiple connectors can be created into other products to extend SCSM. This streamlines alert channels across the entire Microsoft System Center suite, to meet designated SLOs and SLAs. For example, the Microsoft Exchange Server Connector provides an additional layer of support options by allowing IT staff to respond to and address incidents and close cases by using keywords, without even needing to open the SCSM console! Microsoft Lync integration is also provided in-box for IM and presence so that help desk staff can communicate with end-users in real time for support incidents, with all activities logged and timed for managers to review. Finally, the Active Directory connector pulls all associated user, computer and printer objects, further reducing the need to re-enter or track down technical information.

In more complex situations, SCSM can designate levels of urgency and initiate escalation if a larger problem has been detected or an SLA has been breached. Let’s say that ten incident tickets come into SCSM from different users, saying that they cannot access their files. An analyst realizes that all these files are located on the same server and thus identifies a cause – the file server must be down. The analysis can then group all of these incidents together, linking them under the root problem and assign it to the server administrator. Users can also keep track of the incident updates via the Microsoft SharePoint portal and once the server is fixed, the server administrator can then mark the problem as resolved, which triggers an automated cascade to notify affected users that access has been restored and close all related alerts in Microsoft System Center Operations Manager.

When you combine all of these actions with the self-service Microsoft SharePoint portal plug-in, you’ve got a complete help desk management solution. BDO Digital can also help your organization deploy and customize Microsoft SharePoint, or get all of the analytical data I described out of Microsoft SQL Server. Our Software Solutions group has vast experience writing SharePoint plug-ins and developing SQL Server business intelligence solutions. We also offer Managed IT Services to monitor and maintain it all.

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