Traditional Service Desk vs. SaaS Service Desk

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Perhaps you have read about how the software-as-a-service, or SaaS service desk, works. But you’re probably wondering how, exactly, a cloud service desk would change boots-on-the-ground reality in the workplace. What differences would end-users notice if your company switched to an SaaS service desk from its traditional service desk?web based vs installed

Let’s pretend your public relations specialist, Kate, comes to work one day and notices her computer is running so slowly she can’t get any work done. Clearly something is wrong with her computer, and she needs to find out what. Here’s a comparison between Kate using a traditional service desk and using an SaaS service desk to solve the problem.

Traditional Service Desk: Reporting the Problem

Kate calls the service desk, and after about 10 rings, someone picks up. She reports that her computer is very sluggish, but no error messages or warnings have appeared. The service desk worker logs the incident, asks where the computer is located, and says someone will have a look, hopefully by lunchtime. Kate pretends to read annual reports while she waits.

SaaS Service Desk: Reporting the Problem

Since her computer is malfunctioning, Kate can’t log into the service desk self-help portal, but she can use the Salesforce Chatter app on her iPhone to report the incident. The SaaS service desk software logs the incident automatically and assigns it to the agent with the fewest incidents in her queue. A few moments later, the service desk contacts Kate through Chatter and asks her to scan the barcode on the front of her computer so they’ll know exactly which computer is faulty.

Traditional Service Desk: Dealing with the Problem

After putting out fires for three hours, a harried service desk technician is freed up and treks over to Kate’s desk to try a figure out what the problem is. Kate wonders if she should get another cup of coffee since it’s almost lunchtime anyway and she hasn’t got a lick of work done all morning.

SaaS Service Desk: Dealing with the Problem

After scanning the barcode for the service desk, Kate gets another message on Chatter. It’s from Steve in accounts, who has seen her request for help on Chatter: “Your computer probably has a virus, because it’s acting exactly like mine did last week. Our department’s new laptops got here before we off-loaded the old ones. I’ll see if we can loan you one while you’re waiting on the fix. They all have the Microsoft Office Suite, so you can use Word, PowerPoint, etc.”

Kate, knowing all her documents are backed up in the cloud, is pleased, but slightly wistful, because this means she can actually work while waiting on her computer to be fixed, rather than goofing off.

Traditional Service Desk: The Fix

The service desk technician, annoyed because three people stopped him on the way to Kate’s desk asking “just one quick question while you’re here,” starts the anti-virus software on Kate’s computer and wonders why she always slurps her coffee like that. He tells her not to touch the computer until he comes back after lunch and departs, his back radiating stress as he disappears down the hallway.

SaaS Service Desk: The Fix

The service desk technician, using remote desktop control, is able to “see” Kate’s computer just as she would, and starts running diagnostics remotely. She is eventually able to identify and quarantine the virus, and then remove it successfully. Just before 1:00, she returns from lunch and messages Kate that her computer should be working properly now.

At every phase of the process, an SaaS service desk works more efficiently, from reporting/recording incidents to delivery of the problem resolution. Good SaaS service desk is able to instantly log the incident, assign it to the best person for the job, and even allow other employees to collaborate (like with Steve offering Kate a loaner computer) to keep everyone as productive as possible. Headaches like illegible manual entries into a problem log, and technicians having to schlep over to malfunctioning machines, are minimized.

If your legacy service desk software causes as many problems as it solves, maybe it’s time for your company to switch to a cloud service desk and start enjoying the many benefits.

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About the Author


Doron Gordon

Doron is a successful entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Samanage. Prior to founding Samanage, Doron was a Co-Founder and VP of Sales and Marketing at Continuity Software, a leading provider of disaster recovery and high availability management solutions. Earlier, Doron was a senior manager at BMC Software, a global leader in IT management software. He was also the Founder and CEO at Always-On Software, an innovative application service provider. Previously, Doron held various technical and sales roles at Crystal Systems and IDF/Mamram. Doron holds a B.Sc from Mercy College and an M.B.A. from Touro University.


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