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Benefits Of Automated Ticket Routing; Getting to a Faster Response Time

IT teams are overwhelmed, the great resignation has not helped and the increased demand for technology and support is compounding the resource drain organizations have been struggling with for the last few years.

For IT service desk teams, this often means they are struggling with high ticket volumes and more often than not can’t meet SLAs (service level agreements) for the tickets they are working on.

It’s not just a matter of resources available to work on tickets, many organizations are stuck with technology debt and trying to use older legacy systems or homegrown IT ticketing tools to manage service delivery.

Instead, organizations should be looking to migrate to IT Service Management (ITSM) software that can enhance available resources and provide automation to make up for the resources they lack.

Leveling Up Ticket Triage & Automation

A pain point we hear often from IT is that the IT help desk can’t triage tickets appropriately in these older systems – often all IT tickets are going into one queue, and sometimes this is happening via email which means that things like ticket categories are not in use.

Ultimately teams need to sift through all of the tickets manually and decide where to put them – this activity alone is draining valuable resource time and causing massive delays for end-users.

Many of these older IT service management software systems don’t offer automation, or maybe they do but it was never implemented correctly, so now the IT service desk is left spending hours each day reviewing tickets and assigning them manually.

So why are so many teams still moving tickets manually?

There are really two reasons. One is that their current ITSM platform doesn’t have automation or workflow capabilities; and the other is that while it does, it may be complicated to implement, maybe even requiring technical resources or programming to build the automation. And with resources already hard to come by, it’s likely not going to be utilized.

“Our previous tool worked great, but it was very limiting when it came to scaling our IT services and growing what we wanted to do,” Keyon Farrier, service desk manager at Legacy Supply Chain Services, said. “We really needed an ITSM tool that was an extension of our current IT infrastructure team. We wanted a system that could be self-sufficient and really act like an added member of our team.”

Farrier said they began their search for a better, more structured tool using the services of Info-Tech, a technology consulting and research firm.

“We started our search with Info-Tech looking at just change management tool to add to our existing ITSM tool at the time, then realized we also wanted to find a tool that could help us automate processes,” he said. “Info-Tech provided us with some great options, so we started the vetting process and found that TeamDynamix really fit our needs – not just for change management and automation, but for everything.”

“We were blown away by all that TeamDynamix offers, and our renewal was up with our former ITSM tool so we decided to just replace it all,” Farrier said. “We were really excited about the out-of-the-box features from TeamDynamix and knew the tool would help not just with change management and automation, but with some of the other challenges we were facing as well.” 

As a result of the switch to TeamDynamix “we’ve become a lot more efficient as a team because we’re getting the right tickets to the right people faster,” said Farrier. “We can now respond to service requests quicker as well. And we have a lot more visibility in terms of reporting.”

In TeamDynamix, automation and workflows are created using drag-and-drop functionality so there is no programming or coding required to set up automations. Anyone with access to the tool can start building out automated workflows for a variety of tasks.

When building out automation, there are many different methods that can be used:

  • Approval Step – The Approval Step allows a workflow to notify one or more approvers and wait for them to decide how the workflow should proceed.
  • Branch Step – The Branch step allows administrators to manage branches more easily in workflows with multiple paths.
  • Choice Step – The Choice step allows a workflow to present a user or group with multiple choices in order to progress through a workflow.
  • Collector Step – The Collector Step joins several paths of a workflow and waits for ALL of the paths preceding it to complete.
  • Condition Step – The Condition Step allows a workflow to automatically route, one way or another, based on the values on the ticket.
  • Notification Step – The Notification step allows a workflow to automatically notify one or more recipients.
  • Task Step – The Task Step adds a Ticket Task to the ticket, with settings defined in the workflow.
  • Timer Step – The Timer Step causes the workflow to wait until a specified time passes.
  • Web Service Step – The Web Service Step allows organizations to automate processes by calling an external RESTful web service.

Reducing Complexity and Overhead at SUNY Brockport

With SUNY Brockport’s old ITSM system, changes to the service catalog, workflows and permissions had to be programmed. Integration with third-party software tools required the university to hire an outside consultant. Even the end-user interface was complicated, making it hard for users to check on the status of service requests.

“When we looked at our costs over time, we realized we were spending the equivalent of an entire full-time employee just managing our old system and making changes as needed,” Stephen Cook, Director of Information Technology Services, said.

In searching for alternatives, SUNY Brockport discovered that TeamDynamix would cost less to license and operate over time.

“We realized our ‘super’ users could actually make changes quickly for themselves because it’s more agile, with a graphical user interface,” he said. “That would allow us to make changes on the fly.”

As a testament to the system’s ease of use, implementation began in April 2019 with a team of four people. By July 1, 2019 SUNY Brockport had completed Phase 1 of the implementation process, which included launching the ticketing system, service portal, and knowledge base.

“We had a service catalog and knowledge base already, but we had to recreate these within TeamDynamix,” Cook said. “We did all of that in less than three months.”

Improving Response Time At City of Avondale

The City of Avondale, Arizona wanted to respond to citizens’ needs faster and more effectively. By leveraging a single portal with automated request routing and workflows, the team can be more responsive and transparent with citizens.

The government office consists of 14 departments serving nearly 100,000 residents. Its use of TeamDynamix (TDX) began within the IT department, which was looking for a better way to support employees’ use of technology through ITSM.

“Before, people would have to call or email our help desk with their service requests,” said CIO Jeff Scheetz. “However, now with the portal, IT has been able to create workflows and automation, rather than managing the many email and ticket requests. The workflow ensures that the requests are handled efficiently and provides additional reporting capabilities. Before, it was hard to prioritize tasks without a full view of what was going on.”

In just a little over a year, Scheetz and his staff transformed the delivery of IT service for the city using the TeamDynamix platform.

Looking to learn more about ITSM best practices? Read this: 5 Ways to Improve IT Service Management.