Mobility

The future of the enterprise service desk is mobile

After reviewing MyIT from BMC Software, Will Kelly sees a mobile future for the staid enterprise service desk.

After spending some time checking out MyIT from BMC Software, I've seen the future of the enterprise service desk and it's mobile. MyIT offers a mobile front end for the Remedy Service Desk solution, a standard for service desks in both the federal and commercial sectors. Recognizing that navigating the service desk can be confusing, BMC created MyIT that brings together a updated formless interface to common service desk tasks, integrated alerts about service health, an enterprise app store, and self-service support tools.

After getting a demo of MyIT from Jason Frye, senior director, office of the CTO, BMC Software, I got setup with a demo environment and the MyIT iOS App.

Currently, MyIT has client apps for iOS and Android. For purposes of this article, I'm testing the MyIT app on an iPad Air. However, you could run MyIT on an iPhone or Android Smartphone. The below figure shows an example of MyIT Home:

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MyIT Home

Using MyIT

MyIT doesn't require VPN access for login. It adds an element of presence to service desk interaction handy for mobile workers who may visit one or more of their employer's facilities during the course of their work. You can see the Twitter/Facebook/enterprise social tools influence in MyIT.

Perhaps the penultimate achievement of MyIT is "formless IT." You input requests into what BMC calls the Superbox, a simple box where you write posts and input service desk requests Dealing with enterprise service desks is traditionally dealing with complex forms. I've seen my share of clumsy and obscure Remedy service desk front ends so the dramatic change that MyIT brings to end users who need to file a service desk wasn't lost on me during the demo or when I was testing the app myself. This figure shows an example for how you input requests using the Superbox:

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Request for VPN access input into MyIT

MyIT translates that post automatically into requests, incidents, and appointments that the service desk software can understand. All requests appear on your timelines and you can tap on the request to see full details. This is a nice enterprise social touch and doesn't require user divination like some old school service desk interfaces and tickets require. Service desk agents still see any requests submitted via MyIT as they normally would in the backend service desk system.

MyIT also supports message broadcasts to communicate system outage information and important facility information that users need to know.

Social tools and support communities

MyIT includes social tools and support for internal support communities. I've been an advocate on internal support communities for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and even Microsoft Office to get users to help one another all the while capturing knowledge that may be lost to other users because it all happened during a hallway discussion. Figure C shows an example of a MyIT support community:

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MyIT support community

AppZone

MyIT includes AppZone, which Frye calls "ITunes for IT", BMC's take on an enterprise app store. Organizations can populate AppZone with mobile apps, PC/Mac Apps, and even expand AppZone beyond apps to include hardware. This shows an example of the AppZone:

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AppZone

The mobile interface to AppZone follows consumer app store standards. It even offers managers an approval queue to approve their employees downloading fee-based software.

Self Service Support

MyIT can also be setup with support content to walk users through common support tasks without having to call the service desk. The demo environment had self-service support for problem resolution, IT requests, how-to resolutions, and making service desk requests. This shows the start of Guest Wi-Fi Request:

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Self-Service Support in MyIT

Settings

The settings for MyIT give you control over notifications for your feed activity (email & device) and My Requests (email & device).

MyIT and BYOD

The thing that grabbed is how a MyIT could serve as a self-service tool in support of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative. Users onboarding their device could download the MyIT app upon direction from their employer. MyIT with its backend could support the following:

  • Requesting to onboard a personal mobile device
  • Accessing corporate approved/mandated mobile apps via AppZone
  • Access to self service BYOD user community

MyIT and other business functions

While I'm an enterprise mobility and IT guy, Frye explained to me the potential for MyIT to manage smart offices, office hoteling and conference rooms for users by enabling reservations and check ins. Organizations using the application have the option to upload floor maps. It even lets you import floor maps from Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) systems.

MyIT can even link to network monitoring solutions from BMC. I'd be interested in seeing more of an API for this use case after writing about growth of mobile apps in the data center. BMC Software

Pricing

Frye wasn't specific with me about MyIT pricing. My advice is to ask your BMC Representative about MyIT pricing for your organization. The platform does require some setup by BMC Software, but the good news is MyIT is compatible with recent versions of the BMC Remedy.

Conclusion

MyIT delivers a superior user experience in a business area not known for pleasing users. I see the future of the IT service desk in MyIT and I don't say that lightly. Putting MyIT between end users and your service desk means more self-sufficient users and that's a good thing because it can help businesses refocus service desk personnel and other IT staff on more business critical (and "billable") tasks.

Disclosure: Will Kelly worked on two short-term writing contracts for BMC Software in 2011 and 2012.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

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