In a highly commoditized market, ABS needed a way to differentiate itself from other outsourced service desk providers. They found that their clients did not want to deal with integrating or acquiring multiple tools and favored a single platform for all their IT service management (ITSM) needs. They were looking for a partner that took a more holistic approach.
"The new hosted ITSM system seamlessly integrates with our client's existing systems on premises."
ABS serves clients throughout North America and in 14 countries around the world with a full range of outsourced service desk, desktop, managed hosting, and network support and services. For more than 30 years, its U.S.- based certified professionals have advised and assisted both large and mid-sized businesses in how best to address their technical issues and interests.
ABS had previously employed Micro Focus TeamTrack, the predecessor of the process management platform that powers the Micro Focus ITSM solution, to streamline incident management. At one point the company considered the possibility of developing its own problem and change management modules using the system. “The system is extremely flexible,” says Stefan Schurman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ABS. “However it didn’t make good business sense for us to develop a solution ourselves when Serena (now part of Micro Focus) had already done all the work with its development of Service Manager and Request Center.”
ABS evaluated ITSM solutions from Micro Focus as well as other vendors, such as Service Now, and chose Micro Focus for three key reasons. First, although ABS offers its service desk solution as a SaaS-based offering, it wanted the comfort an on-premises installation affords—complete control over the data and the implementation. Second, Micro Focus Service Manager is a multi-tenanted solution. This gives ABS the ability to host multiple clients as separate “tenants” within the same environment and then pass on the cost savings to its customers. The multi-tenanted architecture also makes it easier for ABS to rapidly push out new features and updates to its clients. Third, ABS wanted a solution that not only incorporated ITIL v3 best practices, but was also intuitive and easy to use. Says Mr. Schurman, “From a usability standpoint, Micro Focus Request Center was miles ahead of the competition.”
As part of its new ITSM offering, ABS now hosts a Service Manager-based service desk solution. Each client is managed as a separate “tenant” with full data and application privacy as well as security. The new hosted ITSM system can seamlessly integrate with a client’s existing systems on premises. ABS has carefully rebranded Request Center and Service Manager to match each client’s corporate branding guidelines. Very often, its customers’ employees do not even know that their service desk has been outsourced. A client’s employees simply submit their tickets—for instance, requests for assistance with account lockouts, Microsoft Outlook issues, and printer issues— via an intuitive portal. These tickets get fast tracked to ABS’ IT analysts who then work to resolve the tickets and provide their customers with updates on the status of their requests. Request Center serves as the single point of contact with the service desk and comes with a rich catalog of prepackaged services that ABS’ clients can now easily leverage within their organizations.
ABS has now fully deployed Service Manager and Request Center within its SAS 70 certified data center. The combination of an award-winning ITSM system with a U.S.-based service desk practice that excels in ITIL consulting and training services helps ABS clients transform their IT service delivery. Many companies that choose to partner with ABS are interested in adopting industry best practices such as ITIL to look beyond their help desk and improve their overall IT operations. Unfortunately, this can be a daunting task that organizations often fail at because they either don’t know where to start or lack the necessary resources and supporting technology. “With our complete ITSM solution, we can provide our clients with a detailed and long-term roadmap along with the people, process and technology to get there”, says Mr. Schurman. “A robust and flexible ITSM platform like Service Manager is a key ingredient of that solution.”