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August , Volume 13, Issue 3 April / Mei 20112011 , nummer 2, jaargang 13

Simply working together

TOPdesk 4.4:

More in this issue:

Trendsetter in mental health care / Customer in focus: Managing monkeys / Change Management in the control room /


I have never considered myself someone who pays attention to trends. Still, here I am: my smartphone is practically glued to my hand and I am active in just about every form of social media you can think of. You follow trends without even realizing it. Even pensioners have digital television receivers and watch The Antiques Road Show on BBC iPlayer. My mother is on Facebook (to the great annoyance of me and my sister), and my father is always on the lookout for the latest Wii games. Trends are no longer the sole domain of gadget freaks, which means trendsetters devote all their time to coming up with the next big hype. I cannot keep up with the rapid technological developments of the last few years. When I finally took the plunge and got a smartphone, the iPad was released. As soon as I got my shiny new flat screen television, all the commercials were telling me that 3D television is the future. If only I had waited a while… The service management market is also awash with fastmoving trends. Groundbreaking frameworks are popping up left and right, and, thanks in part to new media, the New World of Work is on the up. Every company needs to start making choices: should we get a package for this? How should we position ourselves within the market? Do we even want communal working spaces? Every new development raises new questions. In this edition of TOPdesk Magazine, you can read more about the trends that we encounter with our customers, such as e-Mental Health. Not only that, but we can tell you about the next big hype for 2011: TOPdesk 4.4! I might not be a trendsetter, but if you work for TOPdesk, you are kept up to date on all the great features included in the next version. Above all, I was one of the first who was able to use the latest TOPdesk version. And that is something my mother cannot say! Enjoy the magazine, Nienke Deuss Editor in Chief, TOPdesk Magazine


CONTENTS August ’11

Margreet Zomerdijk - GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord


Continue reading on page 7

3 5 9 10 15

Trendsetter in mental health care The benefits of collaboration in TOPdesk

Simply working together

The collaboration growth model from chaos to efficiency



Managing monkeys

21 COLUMN: Backpacking for beginners 22 Change management in the control room 25 28

Creating your own Card report


▲▲ Creating your own Card report Continue reading on page 26


TOPdesk in the European FM market
This year, TOPdesk presented itself to the European Facility Management market at the European Facility Management Conference (EFMC) in Vienna. 500 experts from both corporate and scientific organizations were present at the exhibition, and TOPdesk shared its expertise both as a sponsor and exhibitor. The European Facility Management Conference is the most important and complete networking event for FM professionals in Europe. This year’s theme was ‘Cracking the Productivity Nut’: how can Facility Management contribute to a productive work environment? TOPdesk is very optimistic about strengthening its position in the European FM market, and will probably also be present at next year’s EFMC in Copenhagen. For more information, visit

Following @TOPdesk_UK keeps you up to date on upcoming events and in the know regarding interesting topics relating to TOPdesk and the service management sector.

Improved user training
TOPdesk’s user training has been revamped to bring it more in line with the trainees’ daily experience with the software. Research showed us that the customers required training that was more geared towards the processes within their own organization. The trainees also requested lessons on other modules used within their organization. As a result, we have expanded the possibilities when it comes to participating in TOPdesk user training: - - - attention paid to the trainee’s own processes and customer situations practising in their own (test) environment possibility to work with multiple modules

Aside from the user training, TOPdesk offers many other courses, both about the software itself (modules, reports, application management) and the topics discussed during the implementation process, such as Customer-oriented or Process-oriented methodologies. For more information, visit or

Hardware for Viafrica Even better SaaS support
Are you looking for a good place to donate your old hardware? TOPdesk partner Viafrica has started a PC donation project with PC processing company SiSo. Viafrica uses the proceeds from the old hardware to support IT education projects in Africa. The hardware is picked up free of charge and all data is wiped completely. It is also possible to donate servers, printers, switches and mobile phones. TOPdesk has made its software available to Viafrica, so that service centres in Tanzania and Kenya can support schools in their use of computer rooms. These rooms use hardware from sources including the PC donation initiative. Would you like to contribute to the initiative’s success? Visit projects/pc-donation for more nformation. The SaaS Disaster Recovery test was run by the SaaS team, part of TOPdesk’s Support department. This time around, the SaaS stand-by service resolved all the issues remotely, as they would do with any issue reported outside office hours. Various scenarios were accurately recreated in a test environment. This test environment was a copy of the SaaS production environment, using fictitious data and including all elements, such as proxies, database server, VMWare hosts, firewalls etc. On Sunday 8 May, TOPdesk upgraded more than 270 customers to the latest SaaS version. Due to the extensive preparations, the customers hardly noticed the work being done, and could get to work immediately with the new version the following day. On 6 June, we performed the second SaaS Disaster Recovery test. Just about every problem was traced down and resolved within twenty minutes.

20-22 IT & Business Trade fair Stuttgart, Germany 21 - 22 The Scottish Learning Festival SECC, Glasgow 27 - 28 IIR Servicedesk Forum The Hague, The Netherlands

12 - 13 Performa Utrecht, The Netherlands 13 Demo day TOPdesk Office, Antwerp, Belgium 25 itSMF Annual Congress The Netherlands

IT & Business trade fair in Stuttgart
From 20 to 22 September, TOPdesk will be present at ‘IT & Business’, the most important fair for software, infrastructure and IT services in Germany. Come to Stuttgart and talk to TOPdesk staff about our software and upcoming features. IT & Business is the IT trade fair for small and medium-sized businesses. Here, IT managers and commercial decision makers are presented with business IT solutions tailored to SMB requirements. You will find us in hall 5, stand B53 (5B53). Four TOPdesk Account Managers are looking forward to meeting you. We will be present for all three days. For more information, visit our website at

TOPdesk at Scottish Learning Festival
UniDesk and TOPdesk will be exhibiting together at the Scottish Learning Festival this September. UniDesk is a shared service using TOPdesk software, available over the web and tailored to Higher and Further Education institutions. UniDesk already supports over 50,000 staff and students in all areas of academic work. The Scottish Learning Festival, organized by Education Scotland, is the largest and most important IT for education fair in Scotland. This year it will be held in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow on 21 and 22 September. The UniDesk and TOPdesk partners will be there to discuss how UniDesk can help you better support your staff and students. Come and find us in Hall 4 at Stand D22. We look forward to meeting you there!


Text: Nienke Deuss

▲▲ Margreet Zomerdijk, GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord

Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn


In the Netherlands, GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord is considered one of the leaders when it comes to applying IT solutions to mental health care. The main office introduced the New World of Work in 2010 and is active in the e-Mental Health field. IT is also important within the internal service departments: IT services, Facilities, Finance and HR work together in TOPdesk.


nternet and IT are becoming steadily more important for services within the mental health care industry. Not only

care and cater to patients’ specific wishes. “EMRs (electronic medical records) make IT essential for mental health care,” explains Margreet Zomerdijk, TOPdesk application manager at GGZ NHN. “Our care is now tailored to the patient’s specific

with internet therapy, which offers chat and video contact. That would be more effective than a central point offering only regular methods. Of course, a lot depends on the treatment method and the specific situation, but these additional options

because they increase patient support options: the Dutch mental health sector is soon going to be subjected to substantial funding cuts, and is also expected to face staff shortages. More efficient methods are needed to safeguard the quality of care. GGZ NHN is aware of this and is investing in innovative IT solutions for both patient support and internal services accordingly.

Margreet Zomerdijk - GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord

e-Mental Health
Within the mental health care sector, the trend to use IT resources to help support patients is known as ‘e-Mental Health’. IT and internet resources are used to simplify wishes. For instance, the patient could need immediate support. In that case, they could have access to that support really improve the quality of care. GGZ NHN is starting to specialize in remote patient support. They have >>


patients that are able to live virtually independently with the help of digital support from Telezorg, or ‘Telecare’. Telecare involves patients being able to contact aid workers via a touch screen in their home. Margreet: “This makes our care assistance straightforward and fast, and available twenty-four hours a day. The patients can request assistance when they need it. This project, Home 2.0, is being extended to our whole region in 2011 and 2012.”

to and use, rooms where patients are treated, designated quiet spaces, a library and a gorgeous high-tech conference room. “I also give TOPdesk courses there,” says Margreet proudly. “If someone has a problem, I can put their monitor on the presentation screen and show the whole group how to resolve it.”

and that is why this collaboration is only the next logical step for us. This helps the various processes fit together better. Also, we were placed in the same building last January, which means we have been working together more than ever before.”

Easy for HR to join in
The HR department also started using

Central working space
No one in the building has a set work space; however, certain spaces are meant for specific activities. The help desk

TOPdesk this year. “And not just to handle incidents,” explains Margreet. “The HR department also needed a better overview of their own workload. Nurses are required to account for the hours they spend working, and it only makes sense to expect this from other departments as well. TOPdesk enables us to keep track of all this, and with a few clicks I can create and print a report on it.” A lot has changed in the central services department over the past year. Margreet tells us that the transition to a single TOPdesk application and the collaboration with HR went very smoothly. “It was a lot better than I expected, especially considering that in a short time, we implemented the New World of Work,

The New World of Work
GGZ NHN is also innovative when it comes to internal organization: two of their buildings have now been furnished according to the New World of Work. They have been using their main offices since 2010. It had to house both the aid workers and the central services department, and as such, the building’s design had to stimulate flexibility, openness and collaboration. This is obvious when one looks at the building: each space has its

agents sit together in the ‘phone space’, where they support about two thousand employees in over thirty branches. “This is where all the incidents are processed, from broken printers and washing machines to questions about pension agreements,” explains Margreet. “You have to sit together if you want to confer.” A few years ago, the IT and Facilities departments worked in different TOPdesk environments. “We noticed that seeing

Margreet Zomerdijk - GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord

we moved, and all departments started working together in a single application. Picking up working with TOPdesk in a single week was really quite fast!”

own theme, such as beach, heath or forest, and has been furnished to suit various working methods. The new interior also saves the GGZ main office a considerable amount of money. Although there are as many employees as before, they now require 30% less space. There are computers anyone can log in

each other’s data was really useful,” says Margreet, “as it allowed you to have all the details when an incident was logged. That is why we all started using a single TOPdesk together when we upgraded from Professional to Enterprise last year.” “Facilities and Automation have very similar processes for handling incidents,

Text: Rob Haaring

Photography: Ted Erkkila


…is an HR advisor at TOPdesk and a TOPdesk application manager.

More and more organizations are trying to make their cross-departmental processes more efficient. This edition of TOPdesk Magazine contains part two of the trilogy of practical examples of how an HR department can work together with other departments by using TOPdesk. In this edition: a single service point.


he Self Service Desk (SSD) is also known as the staff portal, service point or help desk. What it always

Desk. Then, based on the selected category or key words, the incident or request will be assigned automatically to the correct operator (group).

task is automatically forwarded to the Finance department.

boils down to is a webpage where staff can register their own requests or incidents. However, one aspect of these applications that is frequently overlooked, is their potential to facilitate simple, straightforward communication between departments, allowing organizations to offer better support to their employees.

Limited access to confidential data
Of course, there are always questions that

Automatic workflow
Some requests require multiple departments to perform tasks. When someone is given a pay-rise, for instance, HR needs to adjust the contract, while the Finance department has to make sure that the new amount is paid out

are considered confidential. This need not get in the way of using the Self Service Desk. After all, TOPdesk offers a vast array of filter possibilities. This enables staff to use the Self Service Desk to file requests that include confidential data. These requests will be assigned directly to the HR advisors, so that the confidential data is only visible to people who, depending on their job, are authorized to see it. This makes working with the Self Service Desk not only clear for the staff, but useful for the operators and the various service departments.

A single contact point
When multiple departments work together in a single Self Service Desk, the employee does not have to worry about sending their incident or request to the right person. He or she simply logs an incident or request from the Self Service

every month. It is not uncommon for templates to be created in the SSD for this type of workflow. If a team leader uses the template (in the shape of a form) to request a contract change, this request is then immediately sent to HR. Once they have completed their task, the following


Text: Nienke Deuss and Timme Hos

TOPdesk 4.4 is designed to make your job as care-free as possible, whether you need to reserve a meeting room or help a new employee get started. Working together with other departments is now even easier. In this article, we will highlight the changes to the Reservations and Change Management modules.


Photography: iStockphoto




In the graphic planner, you can see instantly which rooms or objects are available or have been reserved

Reservations Management
Planning a reservation is easier than ever. Reservations Management is one of the modules that was given a complete overhaul in TOPdesk 4.4. In a few simple steps, both you and your end users can reserve a meeting room for both staff and visitors, including lunch and technical services. The module will also give you an overview of your organization’s available rooms and assets – from meeting and conference rooms to projectors, laptops and company cars.

Self Service Desk: more user-friendly than ever before
The Reservations Management Self Service Desk has been further improved. Now, end users can make a reservation in just a few steps. TOPdesk will generate an overview of available rooms, based on capacity and when the room is needed. End users can now also make reservations for all their monthly team meetings, as well as schedule recurring reservations. You determine which services and reservations your end users can order.

The right room every time
With TOPdesk’s smart filtering system, you can find the meeting or conference room you need in no time. Are you looking for a meeting room for twenty people? TOPdesk will filter out all meeting rooms with a lower capacity. If you are looking for a meeting room with a projector in a specific branch, TOPdesk will display the availability of relevant rooms and assets in one overview.

Tea and coffee ordered with ease
A successful meeting or presentation requires more than just a suitable room. The Facilities department needs to arrange the layout beforehand, and you might require other services, such as tea and coffee or a projector. TOPdesk makes ordering these services effortless. What is more, you can determine whether a >>




End users can make a reservation in a few easy steps

service can be ordered per person or per reservation. Imagine that you are organizing a meeting for ten people. If you order lunch, the Catering department can see that they need to supply enough food for ten people, and the costs will be calculated automatically.

Additional options for recurring reservations
TOPdesk 4.4 offers even more options for planning recurring reservations, such as monthly team leader meetings. You can also set up irregular patterns, having a meeting take place on Wednesday one week, while arranging it on a Thursday the following week. Additionally, TOPdesk’s special detection system

Link visitors to reservations
Now that the TOPdesk modules for Reservations Management and Visitor Registration have been integrated, you will have an even better overview of your organization’s processes. In TOPdesk 4.4, you can now link a visitor to a reservation. That is not all – when making a reservation, you can easily add visitors to the guest list. Visitor information is always at your fingertips, and the reception knows exactly where the visitors are expected to go. You can even use the Event Management module to send all meeting attendees – including visitors – a detailed automatic reminder via email, including the date, time, location, guest list and services available.

allows you to select alternative services and rooms should reservations overlap. It is also easy to edit recurring reservations, allowing you to adjust the number of attendees or adding a service to future reservations in one go.




You can view the dependencies between activities in the Planner

Change Management
When your organization implements changes, interdepartmental cooperation is essential. The Change Management module helps you to request, plan, perform, monitor and complete both simple and extensive changes. For instance, if you need to upgrade a server, TOPdesk can help you start the various processes needed to get the job done. Everyone will know which tasks need to be completed, and when. TOPdesk 4.3 already saw a complete overhaul of Change Management, which included the addition of a handy planner, checklist and Change explorer. Based on customer feedback, we have implemented over a hundred changes, both large and small, making this module even more intuitive than before. Template activities are reusable, making it is easy to construct new templates from existing activities. All your templates will remain up-to-date; if you need to change a template activity, such as the default operator, you only need to do it once. All templates which include that activity will be updated automatically.

Improved communication through automatic emails
Often, one task needs to be completed before another can begin, such as the test phase before a new TOPdesk version goes live. In TOPdesk 4.4, you can send an automatic email when an activity can begin. When all activities in a single phase have been completed, the coordinator will receive an email informing him that the phase

Template use now even more intuitive
When dealing with recurring changes, such as server upgrades, templates can offer a practical solution. After creating a template once, subsequent upgrades can be set in motion with just a few clicks. The operator simply selects the activities required for each request. It is possible to view the planning as soon as a template is selected. If it turns out that another template is needed and the request has not been authorized, you can simply select another template.

is ready to be approved. Everyone is reminded of his or her tasks, right on time.

Extensive Self Service Desk possibilities
Employees can request and monitor changes using the Self Service Desk. Managers can approve phases and authorize requests before they are submitted. In the operator section, the managers’ Person cards indicate which requests they can approve. In the new >>



In the improved Change explorer, the status of activities can be seen immediately

version, the Self Service Desk can display changes on department, site and subsidiary level. This allows managers to see not only the changes they need to authorize, but all changes that affect their department.

Upgrading from TOPdesk 3 to 4.4 is cost-effective
TOPdesk 3 customers can upgrade to TOPdesk 4.4 at a low cost. This will grant you access to TOPdesk’s latest functionalities and possibilities. In addition to the Reservations and Change Management features mentioned in this article, a graphic overview has been added to Asset Management (Configuration Management), among other things. This overview displays your organization’s assets and their relationship to work stations, persons and sites. TOPdesk 4 also offers extensive Facilities Management options, with modules such as Property Management, Long Term Planning and Visitor Registration. TOPdesk 3 customers can take advantage of our special upgrade offer. Upgrade to TOPdesk 4 for a fixed low price, and all your current modules will be upgraded to the new version. Contact your account manager for more information.

Improved Planner and Change explorer
The 4.3 version of Change Management saw the addition of the Planner and Change explorer to the work environment. These work environments have been improved even further in TOPdesk 4.4. When working in the Planner, it seems only logical that the activities which need to be started first are displayed at the top. That is why activities were ordered by start date. In practice, however, it turned out that deadlines were more important. After all, what does it matter when an activity is started, as long as it is finished on time? This is why activities are now sorted by end date, so that the activity which needs to be finished first is displayed at the top. Additionally, it was not always easy to see in the Planner which activities were interdependent. Now, when an activity is selected, the Planner displays lines linking it to related activities. The Change explorer contains an overview of all active changes and requests for change. At a glance, you can see the status of a change, or whether there are any bottlenecks. The overview can show you if an activity has been delayed, or if a certain phase has not yet been authorized. Furthermore, you can also immediately see who you should contact regarding the problem.

Text: Robbert Petterson

Photography: Ted Erkkila


ROBBERT PETTERSON a consultant at TOPdesk and has extensive experience in leading large projects. He specializes in human interaction within service management.

When a manager hires a new employee, he has to arrange a multitude of things before the new worker can get to work. He needs to go to HR for staff details, to Facilities to arrange a work station, mobile phone and key card and to the IT department for a laptop and a network account. This is time-consuming and not very efficient. However, if supporting departments were to work together more closely, the end user would only have to send a single request.


hen different departments collaborate, money is saved and both efficiency and

departments’ work processes even better. Processes that currently overlap can be made much more efficient.

growth model, which describes this growth process in four phases. Phase 0 is characterized by the absence of collaboration, while phase 3 features complete process integration in the various

customer satisfaction increase. Costs for supporting tools can be cut and it is much easier for the various departments to share information with each other. This does not mean that a Facilities employee has to know everything about IT, but if he understands the basics, he can already be of more help to the end user. However, what is most important is that collaboration helps streamline the various

Collaboration growth model
As we have just seen, interdepartmental collaboration has many advantages; nevertheless, actually achieving such collaboration is easier said than done. We have noticed with a number of TOPdesk customers that interdepartmental collaboration is a growth process. That is why we have developed the collaboration


Phase 0: One chaos
In phase 0, there is no collaboration between departments. ‘Island culture’ reigns, with each department working in its own way, maintaining its own culture and processes. Often, each department >>


Robbert Petterson - TOPdesk

also uses different tools. In such situations, it is not unusual that new employees do not receive everything they need to get to work on the first day.

departments’ work. They will realize that they all serve a single customer: their colleagues. In order to make things as easy as possible for their colleagues, they will create a single contact point. This will save their colleagues from worrying about

to such events. The departments have to bring their own individual work processes together and integrate them into a single process. This will improve collaboration. A good example is the commencement of a new employee. HR will start this process by making a staff file with personal information. Using this information, the IT department can create a network account and the Facilities department will be able to supply a work station. As soon as this has been done, IT can arrange for a PC to be delivered to the new work station.

Phase 1: One tool
The first signs of interdepartmental collaboration become visible during the transition between phases 0 and 1. The departments realize that they share many processes. Whether they work for IT, Facilities, HR or Finance, they all have to process calls. Because the basic structure of their day-to-day activities is similar, the departments will start to realize that they can also work together in a single tool, such as TOPdesk. In this tool, each department maintains its own work environment, but agreements can be made regarding certain issues. Think, for instance, of basic settings, such as field naming conventions, or deciding which fields are required. The departments work individually within TOPdesk, but knowing that they all use the same tool will help them understand that they are basically doing the same type of work.

who they can turn to when they want to log an incident. This is especially useful for calls which seem to fall in between departments. For instance, if there is a problem with a printer or phone, the end user could be uncertain about whether to contact the IT or Facilities department. To set up a single service point, the departments will have to make agreements regarding potentially confusing calls. They need to determine who will be responsible for such incidents. When the end user logs an incident with the service point, they want to be sure that their call will be handled correctly. If this does not happen, the user will not be satisfied and, as a result, lose faith in the service point.

Collaboration can be further improved in phase 3. The process described above could be well-coordinated, but what about other cross-departmental processes? Current processes could also be optimized. For instance, other departments could be involved in the recruitment process; think of Property Management, a department often responsible for key cards.

Phase 3: One process
The collaboration between departments continues to grow in phase 3. The departments realize that some processes

Collaboration between departments develops in phases, and each phase can breed resistance among the department employees. Teams develop their own identities, with their own values and rituals. When teams start working

Phase 2: One customer
After phase 1, the departments will have gained more insight into the other

transcend departmental borders, such as an employee starting work or leaving the organization. Every department contributes


Robbert Petterson - TOPdesk

together, they have to consider each other. This means giving up some independence and old habits. The more the collaboration between departments increases, as described in the collaboration growth model, the more individual departments will have to give up independence. They will need to make further crossdepartmental agreements, and will become more co-dependent. In order to minimize resistance, it is important that all employees have a clear idea of the goals of collaboration. It is the manager’s job to clearly communicate these goals to the employees. He has to pay close attention to possible resistance in each phase. If collaboration is difficult at first, the manager has to pinpoint the cause and provide a solution. Furthermore, it is also important that he motivates his employees, for instance by keeping them updated on the progress towards achieving the communal goals. efficient work processes, improved end user satisfaction and, also not unimportant, to saving money. The various supporting departments’ work processes are really quite similar, and they can best learn how to streamline these processes by working together in one tool; however, this collaboration cannot be realized overnight. It is a step-by-step process.
▲▲ Service management extends across several supporting departments


Supporting departments


The practical benefits of collaboration
Interdepartmental collaboration has many advantages, the most important of which is high customer satisfaction. Many of our customers have already set up TOPdesk for IT, FM and HR, leading to much more

Which phase is your organization in? Would you like to know how you can integrate your various departments’ processes? To discuss the possibilities, contact us on: +44 (0) 207 8034200


Text: Timme Hos

▲▲ Rob Bloem, AAP Foundation

Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn


Due in part to a sponsorship deal, AAP Foundation’s Technical Service was able to get to work with TOPdesk recently. AAP Foundation uses CAFM for facility-related activities, such as maintenance work and repairing the animal enclosures. Rob Bloem, head of the Technical Service, tells us about the facility work at AAP Foundation and their plans to professionalize.


AP Foundation is a European rescue centre and sanctuary for exotic animals, with branches in the Netherlands and Spain (the permanent sanctuary Primadomus). The foundation

Technical Service, which has been lead by Rob Bloem for the past three years. His team comprises two foremen, who are responsible for the daily jobs. Then there are another ten volunteers, many of whom work there through social work initiatives. “We work with youngsters from difficult backgrounds, who have experience with addiction rehabilitation, the police, involuntary commitment or integration processes,” explains Rob. “On the other hand, retired vocational college teachers are also part of our team. It’s a mixed bunch. Everyone is very motivated.” The Technical Service department at AAP Foundation carries out extremely varied tasks. “People end up coming to us when they have nowhere else to go. We are mostly busy with buildings and plots. Like other organizations, we have offices that need taking care of: the heating and lights need to work, and we don’t want the desks and ceilings falling to pieces,” explains Rob. What makes the Technical Service’s work stand out, is that a lot of it is done by commission of the animal carers. The enclosures are

houses animals that are found in deplorable conditions, with the eventual goal of placing them in a more natural environment. ‘Aap’ means ‘monkey’ in Dutch, and indeed, primates are the foundation’s main focus: from chimpanzees to tiny white-eared marmosets. AAP Foundation also rescues other mammals, such as raccoons, degus and chinchillas. The animals come from circuses, or private owners who either won’t or are unable to care for them properly. AAP Foundation works with various authorities and often relies on tipsters in order to find the animals. The foundation does not just rescue animals; they also actively prevent animal abuse through education on proper care, and lobbying the Parliament to have related legislation adjusted accordingly.

A hundred and fifty vandals
At AAP Foundation in Almere, there is always plenty of work for the

always in need of adjustments or repairs, and are part of the daily workload, as Rob explains: “A hundred and fifty monkeys, that’s >>


basically a hundred and fifty vandals. Look at the chimpanzee complex. The other day, a chimp punched straight through some 18mm Trespa High Pressure Laminate. My colleagues went in to repair it, while the apes watched them through the window. The first thing they do after something has been repaired, is see if they can break it again. It is almost a game between the Technical Service and the animals. We try to make everything as strong and secure as possible, while they try to make our lives as difficult as possible in order to show us how creative they are.”

has already set up one department that handles all incidents and malfunctions. As we speak, they have forty persons and four operators registered in TOPdesk. Everyone who wants to put in a request with the Technical Service has to do this via TOPdesk. The CAFM is used to initiate and register most of the work done by Rob’s team, which means that the mess of work orders is now a thing of the past. Rob tells us about the activities registered in TOPdesk: “At AAP Foundation, we have a lot of hatches, to let the animals in and out. Some of the hatches give us some trouble from time to time. They

Never checking orders again
In order to keep up with the high volume of repairs and adjustments, the Technical Service had to professionalize. To accomplish this, Rob started his search for a CAFM last year to structure incidents and requests. He ended up at TOPdesk. Because AAP Foundation is dependent on donations, making investments isn’t easy for Rob: “We run on donations. You can become a contributor for 15 Euros, so for me to spend 1500 Euros, my colleagues need to find 100 contributors.” Thanks to a TOPdesk sponsorship deal, AAP Foundation was able to get to work with a comprehensive CAFM. The Technical Service’s previous approach had not been very efficient. They would create a separate work order for every repair or adjustment, making it difficult to stay on top of everything and keep files. “My predecessors would meet up with the carers and team leaders every month to check all the work orders,” Rob says. “They would sit down for an hour and a half to go through all the orders and check their progress. That cost a lot of man hours. It was impossible for the team leaders to keep track of all the tasks: was this repair job finished or not, or has it just broken again? Nothing was signed, there were no responses. There was no documentation that allowed us to see which problems kept cropping up, either.”

get dirty or stuck, which means they cannot open or close properly. We try to make these hatches as monkey-proof as we can, so we keep track of all the maintenance work in TOPdesk.” Now that he is reaping the new CAFM’s benefits, Rob is looking towards the future. Once the incidents and requests have been streamlined, the next interesting module for AAP foundation seems to be Reservations Management - not only for meetings, but also for housing interns. “Our interns often sleep here”, Rob explains. “We have two houses especially for this purpose; AAP Foundation is one of the most renowned organizations of its kind. We have about fifteen beds available, all of which have been registered in TOPdesk. My colleague can now reserve them in TOPdesk instead of using Excel.” Rob Bloem is optimistic about his department’s professionalization. “I’m very happy with how the system is currently running, as well the commitment from both TOPdesk and the consultants who visited. They really managed to see things through the eyes of AAP Foundation.”

From hatches to guest rooms
One month on from TOPdesk’s implementation, AAP Foundation

Rob Bloem - AAP Foundation

Text: Annemarie Moeijes

Photography: Ted Erkkila


…is a consultant at TOPdesk and has years of experience with implementations and changes within various organizations.

People are naturally conservative. No, wait, let me rephrase that. People are naturally inclined to do things in a certain way. Anyone who considers travelling through Nepal with nothing but a backpack would probably not consider themselves conservative.


e will not likely find someone who is into that kind of holiday in a mobile home in France.

moon when a reorganization or merger is announced: new colleagues, new tasks and having to look for the person who needs your metaphorical wad of cash to get things done. Over the past few years, TOPdesk implementations more frequently go hand in hand with reorganizations and fusions. Services are centralized and teams are consolidated. Even three years after a merge or reorganization, you can see the virtual borders from the previous situation: “Us and them.” It is only logical, as humans were not built for change. Nevertheless, such changes are great opportunities to develop as an employer. It is an employer’s job to create a safe environment for people to slowly change and develop. The employer also has to think about his own personal aims and how he can realize them within the new work situation. The other day, I saw a fantastic example of this in a merged organization. Instead of denying that two different company cultures were

now being brought together, the team leader gave these cultures the space they needed. He provided employees from both organizations with their own desk groups, but put the two groups in the same space. That way, the employees could gradually get to know their new colleagues at their own pace and retain their old work habits. Leave people alone long enough, and they will be getting each other coffee, conferring and exchanging ideas in no time. I am convinced that these people will eventually leave their metaphorical couches to go on adventure: they were not uprooted, just trimmed a little. If you find yourself reorganizing, respect the fact that people want to change, but crave safety and familiarity at the same time. Make sure that mobile home dwellers like me are not put on a plane to Nepal, but let us put our mobile homes somewhere closer to home. That way, everyone benefits.

And yet, I cannot think of anything better than cycling into town to buy a baguette, and would rather not think of sitting on some overcrowded train in Asia with a bunch of chickens on my lap. There are plenty of television shows that use this concept: from the safety of your own couch—a bowl of snacks within reach—you can watch your fellow countrymen pursue happiness overseas. That, and—let’s be honest—you can enjoy the drama of Mediterranean builders who miss deadlines, building permissions that are only approved with the help of strategically placed wads of cash and summer loves that turn out to be considerably less lovely after the first few romantic strolls on the beach. Jobs are a huge part of our lives—another area where we enjoy predictability. Most people are not exactly over the


Text: Sanne Brakel

On 9 May, TOPdesk organized an interactive session on Change Management, in cooperation with Brabant South-East control room’s Control Room and Communication Technology Department, aimed at the IT department managers from five other control rooms. During this afternoon session, TOPdesk consultant Carolien Kleijer demonstrated the latest version of Change Management, and there was a lively discussion on structuring change processes for control rooms.

Photography: Sanne Brakel and iStockphoto



hen emergency services employees want to log incidents related to control room systems or network equipment, they go to the control room’s IT

says Frans. “We want to use Change Management to help us structure these changes.”

department. The Control Room Brabant South-East, based in the Netherlands, uses TOPdesk to track these incidents and handle change requests. Every year, its staff process about 3600 incidents regarding system and equipment malfunctions.

Change Management in the control room
The afternoon started with a presentation, showcasing the module’s new features, followed by a discussion of two case studies. One of these cases covered missing equipment, as it is not uncommon for walkie-talkies and other devices to go missing.

Knowledge sharing for control rooms
The IT managers often meet to exchange ideas on equipment maintenance. They also discuss applications, including TOPdesk. During one such meeting, Gerben Jansen and Frans Smulders came up with the idea to organize a session on what Change Management can mean to control rooms. “I wanted to introduce my colleagues to the latest version of TOPdesk’s Change Management module,” explains Frans. After Gerben and Frans approached TOPdesk with the idea, consultant Carolien Kleijer got on board and helped organize the session.

This type of process requires multiple steps, such as deactivating the unit and informing the team leader. Change Management can help support workflows like these. Brabant South-East’s control room has created templates for its various processes. If an incident regarding lost equipment is logged, they simply select a template and all operators will automatically receive an email detailing the steps they need to take.

An instructive session
All attendees found the session very useful. There was a considerable knowledge gap between some individuals, which lead to many different questions: from specific functionalities to process design. At the end of the day, Gerben and Frans are

Carolien Kleijer - TOPdesk

satisfied with the results. “It was a successful afternoon” says Frans. “We are noticing that other control rooms are also using the Change Management module.”

Share your bright idea!
TOPdesk enjoys helping its customers with initiatives like this. If you have a great TOPdesk-related idea and want our help, we would be more than happy to assist.>>

Interactive afternoon at the police station
On 9 May, the local police station hosted the interactive session. The group comprised nine TOPdesk employees and control room managers. As the managers see each other quite often at their meetings, there was a relaxed, informal atmosphere which helped get the lively discussions going. Over the course of the afternoon, the Change Management module was discussed at length. Many control rooms have yet to adopt TOPdesk, and Gerben and Frans were eager to show their colleagues how the module would help them manage their change processes. “We deal with all sorts of changes, both big and small,”


Change Management Tips & Tricks
1. Make sure you have a good step-by-step plan. When a change is requested, which steps need to be taken? Who is responsible for these tasks, and what is the duration of an activity? When the steps for each process are outlined clearly, it is easy to turn them into a change template in TOPdesk. 2. Use the Change explorer. The Change explorer grants you an overview of the changes and the related activities. This provides you insight into where things are going wrong and when you need to intervene. 3. Use the mail import for change requests. If you use TOPdesk’s automatic mail import, you will not have to log a change request. What is more, the request or incident will be directed to the correct module automatically (Incident or Change Management). 4. Use the planner’s group overview. If you work with various groups, you can use the group overview to see who needs to perform which tasks when a change is requested. 5. Work with optional activities. It is possible to turn even the most extensive change scenario into a template and select which activities are applicable for each instance. In this way, you won’t have to create a template for every single exception to standard situations.

▲▲ Control room managers during the interactive session

Text: Patrick Mackaaij

Photography: Ted Erkkila


... is a consultant and team leader at TOPdesk. He specializes in technical issues and optimizing processes.

From TOPdesk 4.4, the Event Management module enables you to use data from linked cards. With the addition of lists, you can email or print a list of all objects linked to an employee, or a list of reserved services and facilities linked to a reservation.
4 Right-click on the field layout that has just been added (for example {Objects}{/}) and then add all desired data from the linked card for each field; 5 Right-click on the field layout; 6 In the pop-up screen, select Insert field...; 7 Search for the desired field (the fields are grouped per classification in the card) and click on the Insert icon. The result will appear as follows: {Objects}[Object_ID][Type][Make][Serial Number]{/} Please note: You can only choose fields that are used in all Object cards. These fields are summarized in the internal Objects table. You can not use optional fields.
▲▲ Fig. 1 Generating a card report in the Action explorer

Layout with HTML/CSS Adding lists using the Action explorer
Using the Event Management module, you can insert a list. You can find Events and Actions in TOPdesk's Settings Management. You can add a list as follows: <img src=”http://localhost/tas/tasimage/login/logo.gif”> 1 Right-click on the Action explorer in the messages field; 2 In the pop-up select: Insert list; 3 Select the desired link. <h1>Objects from[Compound_Name]</h1> <table border=”0”> <tr> >> When setting up this action, you can use HTML and CSS. This way, linked card details will be neatly illustrated in a table, such as in the example below:


<th>ObjectID</th> <th>Type</th> <th>Make</th> <th>Serial Number </th> </tr> {Objects} <tr> <td>[Object_ID]</td> <td>[Type]</td> <td>[Make]</td> <td>[Serial Number]</td> </tr> {/} </table> A good introduction to learning HTML and CSS is provided on the website http://www. To see a preview of the end result during editing HTML and CSS, you can use the website http://htmledit.

created in this way are not saved on the card itself, in contrast to documents created by the RTF Creator. As a result, this type of card report cannot be sent as an attachment in TOPdesk by just ticking a checkbox.

The card report in practice
In TOPdesk, the


Fig. 2 Retrieving a card report in the Action explorer

operator runs two Special events: one to create the report, and a second to open the report. The TOPdesk server creates the report file as a temporary text file with the Action settings in figure 1. The report file will be placed on the server in the temporary files folder. TOPdesk will then run the file

The GET field refers to the generated file with the following text: /tas/secure/TOPdesk-reports/\ U[Compound_Name] [-UNID-]\u.doc Please note: The text between \U and \u will be encoded by TOPdesk. This means that it is also possible to use a file name containing a space. If you want to be able to open the card report from any incident card, you must create the Action settings in a first line, second line and partial incident card. It is also possible to create an HTML file and open it in a web browser. The disadvantage of this is that when you print a web page, the header and footer text appears on the print-out by default. Deactivating this at each work station takes a lot of time and effort, but perhaps certain users will appreciate being able to do this.

Exporting the card report to Microsoft Word using HTML
It is of course useful to be able to send an overview of links by email. It is just as useful to be able to print this overview using Microsoft Word. In order to use the functionalities of the Event Management module in Microsoft Word, TOPdesk offers the RTF Creator addon. However, the TOPdesk RTF Creator addon cannot process the data from inserted lists. The add-on receives the data to be displayed from the Event Management module and places it in the corresponding fields in a previously created RTF template. All details of linked objects will then be placed in a single cell. With a certain level of technical skill, you can use the standard functionalities of TOPdesk to create a document which you can open in Microsoft Word and that contains all relevant details. Documents

MoveFile.cmd; a batch script with which the temporary file (variable %1) will be moved to a location from which the TOPdesk operator can access it through the TOPdesk server. This location is configured in the batch script. You can create the batch script in the TOPdesk installation master folder, using the following content: move %1 web\secure\TOPdesk-reports\%2. doc Before you do this, ensure that you have created the folder ‘TOPdesk-reports’ on the TOPdesk server in the folder ‘/web/secure’. Tip: You can easily copy the report to a different location and build up an archive by using the ‘copy’ command with appropriate switches on a separate line. The second Action setting makes it easy for operators to open the report that has been created via a context menu.

For previous tips on sending professional emails from TOPdesk, please refer to the TOPdesk Magazine from December 2010 (p24).

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The TOPdesk Magazine covers subjects that are topical in the world of professional service desks in IT, facilities and other service providing organizations. TOPdesk Magazine is intended for managers, service desk employees, facilities organizations and electronic city councils – anyone who is involved with supporting clients on a daily basis. This concerns both the processes and the technology behind these services.

No time for your colleagues?
Enhance the efficiency of your HR Services with TOPdesk

TOPdesk Magazine is a TOPdesk publication Tel: +31 (0)15 270 09 00 Email: Chief Editor: Nienke Deuss Editors: Nienke Deuss, Timme Hos, Niek Steenhuis Translators: Leah Clarke, Hazel Hollis, Nicola van de Velde Contributors: Rob Haaring, Robbert Petterson, Annemarie Moeijes, Sanne Brakel, Patrick Mackaaij Layout: Cathy van den Berg, Joost Knuit, DDC design agency Photography: Ted Erkkila, Aad Hoogendoorn, iStockphoto Website: Timme Hos A print run of 1,000 Quarterly magazine Languages: Dutch, English

HRM is the process of working with people, but often the administrative hassle leaves you with no time to spare. TOPdesk’s call and workflow system can improve your efficiency, giving you more time to focus on your colleagues.

Attend one of our seminars in London on 20 and 21 October or in Antwerp on 13 October to see what TOPdesk can do for your organization. For more information, call us on +44 (0)20 7803 4200 (UK) or +32 (0)3 292 32 90 (Belgium)

HR Services Simplified

tips + tricks
Scanning hardware and software with the TOPsis Visual Basic Script
From TOPdesk version 4.3 onwards, it is possible to use a Visual Basic Script to scan Windows servers and work stations in your network. This means that you will no longer have to use the TOPsis service. By using your start up or login script, you can use the Windows workstations to access topsis.vbs, which will then perform the scan on the hardware object. All scan result files are then saved in a central folder, to be determined by you. TOPdesk will import all these files at a set time every day and process the data on the Hardware Cards (Management tab). This new functionality also makes it possible to create new Hardware Cards when scanning. The latest TOPsis-VBScript is available from TOPdesk Support. You can generate reports about specific data, such as a certain category of incidents, or sorted by operator group. A number of customers use Selections to create these reports, but there is another way, which is particularly useful for lite customers. The filter option in the Report wizard can be used to adjust the report output. When compiling the report, click on the filter icon when you reach the third step, and you can immediately select the groups you want to use to filter your results.

Filtering report results
TOPdesk’s powerful reporting feature makes your services transparent and easy to manage. In four easy steps, you can compile all the data you need.

Online Help & Support
The Help & Support site is updated regularly. Use it to find manuals, or even tips to get the most out of your TOPdesk software. You can access the Help & Support site by clicking on the question mark on any TOPdesk process page, or the menu option Help > Help & Support.

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Copyright © 2011 TOPdesk UK limited. Although this magazine 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.