Frank Droogsma

and Wolter
Smit, TOPdesk’s
TOPDESK
MAGAZINE
- JUNEco-founders
2016 11

THE FUTURE OF SERVICE
MANAGEMENT
The world of service management is changing. The role of the end user is becoming more
important. New technologies bring new opportunities, but also pitfalls. The question for
many organizations is how they should deal with this and what the future will hold for
our business. At TOPdesk we have clear vision on this. In this article I will list the most
important trends and developments.
TEXT: WOLTER SMIT PHOTOGRAPHY: AAD HOOGENDOORN

Software should be standard and simple

for end users to come first. Consumers have grown accustomed to

At TOPdesk we believe that software should be simple if you want users

ease of use, and we expect nothing less as professional users. Service

to actually start using it. Service management software was previously

management should therefore be accessible, easy to understand and

focused on operator usability. Since this target group works with the

suitable for several devices. Moreover, companies want to be able to

software the most, it offered the most room for improvement.

customize the user interface to meet their needs.

In 2016 user experience is not limited to the operator. Now it’s time

At TOPdesk we took all these expectations into account when

12 TOPDESK MAGAZINE - JUNE 2016

developing our new self-service portal. The start page features an

Shift left left takes this a step further: it lets customers find answers

intuitive editor, helping organizations adjust the look and feel to

to their questions by making knowledge available to end users.

match their style and person group. This way you can for instance

TOPdesk’s new Self-Service Portal is a knowledge base with a powerful

let the ‘secretary’ group reserve rooms from their start page, and

search bar, making it easy to share and find knowledge. When a user

‘management’ can directly authorize requests.

fills out a form, they are immediately shown the relevant knowledge

More importantly, the self-service portal enables organizations to

items, manuals or FAQs. This lets them quickly solve their own

easily create forms that help them retrieve all the information they

problems and help each other, without having to call the service desk.

need to resolve calls, and lets users easily find the right forms. This is

It gives operators more time for other tasks as well.

how we bring users and operators closer together, ensuring calls are
resolved as quickly as possible.

Knowledge is shifted left

Automatic software updates
At the start of this century, releasing a new software version meant
not being able to improve it once it left the building. That’s why the

Making it easy to resolve problems can help you relieve a lot of

software world introduced large, time-consuming test programmes.

frustration. But it’s even better if you can resolve problems before

The releases on floppy disk are history, but many organizations

they’re even logged. In the years to come, more and more organizations

nowadays still think in terms of releases. In the years to come, more

will invest in what we call shift left and shift left left.

and more organizations will change their mindset and make the

Shift left means that experienced operators make their solutions

switch to continuous deployment. The advantage is that it is easier and

available to less experienced colleagues, by using a knowledge base

cheaper for both software suppliers and users to make small changes

for instance. This helps them answer more difficult customer

on a daily basis.

questions: the answer is shifted left in the chain. We’ve used this

At TOPdesk we introduced continuous deployment for our product

strategy for a while now and have noticed that it does save time

development this year. We consider this new method as the next step

and makes users happier.

in user-friendliness: users don’t have to wait a year for an update, but

TOPDESK MAGAZINE - JUNE 2016 13

WE WANT A PLATFORM WHERE ORGANIZATIONS
CAN COLLABORATE EFFORTLESSLY AND SECURELY

can always use the newest technology. They don’t have to spend time

track the current status of their calls. In the future, organizations will

on technical management, but can focus on their core tasks – like

no longer accept this. Instead they’ll expect their supply chain to grant

helping customers.

them insight into their services.
At TOPdesk we’re currently working on Worcade: an online platform

Supporting departments working together

that enables quick and easy communication between a TOPdesk
environment and the supplier. It lets organizations communicate with

Supporting departments like HR, IT and FM are constantly trying to

suppliers directly from their service management system. Suppliers

professionalize their services. But they don’t do this together. That’s

– with or without a service management system – can respond

why the organization’s application landscape is now fragmented, and

immediately as well.

doesn’t meet the user’s expectations.

It is our mission to develop Worcade into a platform where different

End users don’t want to think about where they can find their services.

organizations can easily and securely work together to help the

Instead they expect to find an answer to their question easily, quickly

end user. This helps us connect the entire chain, from end user to

and in a central location – like they do with Google.

manufacturer, across organizational borders. As a result, the end user

Supporting departments can’t live up to these expectations alone.

doesn’t have to repeat their question, the supplier can respond more

That’s why organizations will have to focus more and more on shared

easily, and the manufacturer can share relevant knowledge.

service management: combining the efforts of support departments

These five developments – standard & simple, shift left, continuous

to improve their service quality. You don’t necessarily need to integrate

delivery, shared service management and supply chain integration –

the back office in this process, but you do need to offer end users one

will determine the future of service management and together they

starting point.

form the roadmap to TOPdesk’s future. The services that organizations

In addition to facilities and IT departments, we’ve noticed that

provide will have to respond to the changing wishes and expectations

many organizations improve their services when departments like HR,

of the end user. They have to offer one integrated service across the

property management and catering also standardize their services. We

entire chain, be easy to use, and include a custom interface that lets

believe that collaborating in one service management tool is the future

end users independently solve as many of their problems as possible.

and we fully support this development. In the next years, we will make

The common factor in this is using the right service management

TOPdesk’s developments available to the entire organization. The new

tool. TOPdesk strives to help organizations optimally focus on the

Self-Service Portal also contributes to this effectively, because it gives

end users’ needs.

you one portal for creating a service portfolio that is relevant to several
user groups.

Supply Chain Integration is crucial
More and more organizations are outsourcing part of their services
to other organizations. For this reason it’s becoming increasingly
important that these services are well organized.
The challenge in this is that suppliers’ service management systems
aren’t often transparent, making it impossible for organizations to

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