The Provance Blog will provide you with expert advice, insights and opinions in regard to IT Service Management, Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft System Center.
The world has been forced to confront COVID-19 and our hearts go out to all the people who have been affected by this terrible virus and the medical professionals who are on the frontlines. Many businesses have responded to government’s call for social distancing by incorporating remote work whenever possible. We’re lucky here at Provance as we are a Cloud first company and our teams were able to transition quickly.
It really hit home for us recently how a small change to a business process could make a difference. One of our Technical Solution Specialists, Chris Mahanes, was helping to implement Provance ITSM for a new customer who is in the healthcare industry in the United States. This customer had a process in which a business administrator would take incoming email questions, copy and paste them into an Excel spreadsheet, prioritize the questions and then ensure that internal experts answered the questions. This was a labor-intensive process, which grew exponentially, more than they had ever anticipated.
Our client mentioned the issue to Chris. That day, Chris was able to suggest and implement a process whereby the emails come into Provance ITSM then get prioritized and routed to the experts—all without IT having to get involved in the process. The data also has confidentiality considerations, so being able to apply a security layer was critical. This new process is now helping them to handle the increased volume of requests and more quickly answer those who need assistance because of this crisis.
Whether you’re a current customer or not, we wanted to share with you 5 top ways Provance ITSM—powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365—can help employees work from home:
#1. Cloud-Based Solution
Many of you reading this already use Dynamics 365, and you already benefit from using the Microsoft Clouds, but for those who don’t, Dynamics 365 lets you run your entire operations in the Cloud, including IT service management with Provance ITSM. We have all heard of the challenges organizations are facing as they scramble to provide remote workers with secure and scalable access to on premise based applications. This is a tough challenge and highlights the need and value of having your core business applications in the Cloud.
Since opening their first datacenter in 1989, Microsoft has spent $15 Billion in Cloud Infrastructure. They also spend about $1 Billion on cyber security every year. Of course, Dynamics 365 isn’t the only SaaS solution they offer, and if you’d like to read about the investments Microsoft makes, we’ve gathered quite a bit of information here. Clearly, Cloud investments have helped many of you be more nimble as you mobilize your workforces.
#2. Self-Service Portal
A Self-Service portal is always working and always available. Whether your organization is local or global, employees can get assistance no matter where they are, even if right now they are all working from home. A Self-Service portal can empower employees to find answers fast, as well as access knowledge, receive important notifications and, of course, log an issue no matter the time or the day. We like to say that the Provance ITSM portal informs employees through notifications and knowledgebase articles, while also deflecting work for IT. It’s a great way to inform your employees and keep them up-to-date in these rapidly changing times.
#3 The Service Catalog
The Service Catalog is available through the Provance ITSM self-service portal, but we think it’s an important enough capability to support employees working from home that we’ve given it its own space. The Provance ITSM Service Catalog can make it easy for employees to know what services they can use, while for IT, it lets you give service and asset options and helps you maintain accurate information. Since there may be new services or changes to existing services due to people now working from home, the ability to quickly and dynamically update those services can be an important aspect of supporting your teams.
#4 Asset Management
There have been lots of discussions in the business world whether work will forever be changed, and more employees will work from home in the future. We don’t have an answer for that, but keeping track of your assets as they go home with employees can be a challenge. Our built-in Provance ITSM Azure Intune Gateway supports a remote and mobile workforce by bringing in Microsoft InTune® device data and associating that information with a person. This allows for better management of people, assets and their locations. Whether employees will continue to work remotely or not, effective asset management in a fast paced and ever-changing situation can be a challenge, but is nonetheless important. You may not have the time or resources to properly manage these assets in the beginning, but it is still a valuable investment later on.
#5 Microsoft Teams
The hub for teamwork in Office 365®, Microsoft Teams®, lets you easily take advantage of instant messaging, video and audio conferencing, and screen sharing, which will help employees and colleagues feel as though they are right in the same room even though they might be far apart. So important to the effectiveness of employees working at home, Microsoft made Teams available for free as part of its commitment to customers during COVID-19. Teams is a great way for IT to connect with employees, see the issue they are experiencing, record sessions for rewind and to provide exceptional IT service.
Microsoft also released a blog post detailing the top 9 ways Microsoft IT is enabling remote work for its employees.
If you’re in the midst of trying to set up employees to work from home, Microsoft Fastrack is a program whereby Microsoft will give free assistance to customers who already have Microsoft 365, Azure or Dynamics 365, so they can more smoothly transition employees into remote work.
Sometimes we need to be facing big challenges to drive change. This is one of those times. As a native Microsoft Cloud company and product, we see the value every day, and in these times those with a healthy approach to Cloud utilization are better able to support their employees and the fine work they do. If there is anything Provance can do to help you to optimize Provance ITSM to support your home workers, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.