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Published on May 28th, 2010

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Proactive service impossible if you just log incidents says Dell KACE chief

IT service desks will never be proactive without a deeper understanding of, and integration with, the myriad business elements which affect the tasks it carries out.

Rob Meinhardt, president of systems management Dell KACE, told ServiceDesk360 that small service desks can survive because of the culture they work in. “Small businesses are fine because, if someone is doing maintenance, they just pop their head up and tell the support guys.  You can’t do this when a business starts to grow in size.”

Meinhardt says that most support teams and the software they use are too isolated from the rest of the business.  “There are many elements involved in the IT infrastructure and you can’t expect the support team to understand what is happening if they are just logging incidents.  A service desk that reacts to problems by logging them is still a helpdesk.”

Technology such as the Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance, which links asset and systems management to the service desk through a single, graphical dashboard, are needed if a proactive service is to become a reality.  “If the service desk could be alerted when a PC has less than 90 per cent of disc space left, they can call the user and help them fix the problem before they are even aware of it.”

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One Response to Proactive service impossible if you just log incidents says Dell KACE chief

  1. Noel Bruton says:

    What’s this self-contradictory nonsense? “A service desk that reacts to problems by logging them is still a helpdesk.”

    Rubbish. Betrays a complete misunderstanding of what a helpdesk is and historically ever was and an ignorance of why the servicedesk came into being.

    The key word is “help”. If it doesn’t help, it’s not a helpdesk. A desk that simply logs calls is not a helpdesk and never was. The very thing that makes the helpdesk superior to the upstart, committee-invented Servicedesk is that the Servicedesk attempts to take calls on any issue, with the primary intention not of resolving, but of passing the call to somebody else who can resolve it – that’s why the Servicedesk always was the “one stop shop”. But what the helpdesk does and always has done, despite recent attempts to rewrite its history, is to diagnose and resolve, the antithesis of the reason for the servicedesk.

    If the Servicedesk has come to perform that way latterly, I warrant it is because users have become fed up with the generalism, ignorance, fall in fix rates and cost-cutting wrought by the servicedesk’s invention and want a return to what the helpdesk used to do, which was provide a resolution, not an answering machine.

    Noel Bruton, author, ‘Effective User Support’ 1995, ‘How To Manage the IT Helpdesk’ 1997 & 2002, ‘Managing the IT Services Process’ 2004.

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