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How AI Can Reduce Service Desk Ticket Costs from $20 to $4 [Webinar Recap]

Author: Guy Nadivi

It’s the End of the IT Service Desk as We Know it (and We Feel Fine)

If you’ve been paying attention the last few years, you know Digital Transformation is a concept that’s sweeping through many organizations, and fundamentally changing how they operate and deliver value to customers.

There’s some very cool, but still somewhat emerging technologies underpinning this disruption, and you’re no doubt familiar with them. Things such as:

  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence

But in the last couple years, the emerging technology that seems to have garnered the most mindshare faster than any of them is chatbots. That’s right! Chatbots are the coolest kids on the digital transformation block, because they assimilate many of the benefits from data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence into a form that can be used today, and deliver value to your organization and customers right now. As a result, chatbots have emerged as perhaps the most familiar digital transformation experience for end users.

BTW – There isn’t any consensus yet on a single definition of “Digital Transformation”. One thing just about everyone can agree upon though is that shifting more of the laborious, repetitive tasks that people shouldn’t be doing in the first place over to chatbots is a good idea. This becomes especially true when you look at some numbers.

A the 2017 HDI show, Jeff Rumburg, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, an IT research and  advisory practice, delivered a presentation on the results of his research into the costs of different service desk access and communication channels. He discovered some amazing disparities.

Jeff found that incidents requiring Vendor Support cost on average a whopping $599 per incident.

If you needed to get IT Support involved (that’s level 3 support), the average cost was $104 per incident.

Desktop Support (level 2) was cheaper, but still relatively expensive at $69 per incident.

Incidents going through the Service Desk, your level 1 support tier, cost $20 per incident. Since level 1 tickets comprise by far the highest volume at most service desks, that’s a logical place to start applying chatbots.

If you can push out incident resolution for level 1 tickets to your end users, enabling them to initiate and remediate their own incidents with chatbots, the cost of support drops down to a very economical $4 per incident. Yeah, wow!

At this point, some more skeptical people in IT might be asking – are chatbots a passing fad or are they here to stay? Let’s look at the objective data on that, and see what direction the numbers point to.

Earlier this year, Salesforce.com released a major report entitled the “State of Service”. Nearly a quarter of their respondents (23%) said they currently use AI chatbots and nearly another third (31%) said they plan to use them within 18 months.

That represents a projected growth rate of 136% in the use of AI chatbots over the next year and a half. By any definition, that’s a viral trajectory.

Spiceworks published a report not long called “AI Chatbots and Intelligent Assistants in the Workplace”.

One question their survey asked was about utilization of intelligent assistants and chatbots by department. Guess which department uses chatbots more than any other? That’s right – IT.

Another question in that Spiceworks survey specifically asked IT professionals if they agree or strongly agree with a number of different statements. The statement IT professionals overwhelmingly agreed with more than any other was that AI will automate mundane tasks and enable more time to focus on strategic IT initiatives.

Those IT professionals Spiceworks surveyed were right. One of the biggest benefits of chatbots is that they automate many of the robotic, laborious tasks that humans shouldn’t be doing anyway. That frees up those IT professionals to work on more strategic and far more valuable IT initiatives. Which in turn makes those professionals more valuable to their organizations.

Why is offloading that tedious work from IT staff so important? Because Gartner has shown that the biggest budget item for IT Service Desks is personnel. Between 2012 and 2016, the average percentage of a service desk’s budget allocated to labor ranged from 84% – 88%. With digital transformations driving up the demand for IT support, there’s simply no way an organization can hire their way out of this situation, even if they wanted to.

The reality is that quality service desk personnel simply cost too much, and no matter how good those personnel are, they can only keep up with so much volume. At some point the laws of physics reassert themselves, reminding everyone that people simply don’t scale very well. Chatbots though, have infinite scalability.

That limited human capacity to scale, combined with the increased volume of requests for service desk support, is degrading end user experiences.

A 2016 Harvard Business Review Webinar titled “How to Fix Customer Service” revealed that:

  • 81% of consumers say it takes too long to reach a support agent.
  • 43% of customers try to self-serve before calling a contact center.

What that tells you is that waiting for human support has gotten so insufferable, end users are increasingly willing to remediate their own issues. All they need is for IT to enable a channel for them to do that.

What kinds of requests are keeping IT service desks so busy?

Well if you’ve attended any of our previous webinars you might’ve heard us cite a well-quoted statistic from Gartner that as much as 40% of an IT service desk’s call volume is nothing but password resets. 40%!

Another big drain on your service desk? Requests for ticket status updates. Those can comprise as much as 10% of a service desk’s call volume, and we’re citing ourselves (Ayehu) as the source on that.

How do we know? Well, Ayehu knows because our clients tell us which workflows have the biggest impact on reducing call volume to their service desks.

Therefore, if you can use a chatbot to automate just these two processes – password resets and ticket status updates – you could cut call volume to your service desk in half! That’s huge, and it will go a long way towards reducing your service desk ticket costs dramatically.

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It’s the End of the IT Service Desk as We Know it (and We Feel Fine)

Ayehu and Rulai team up to turn chatbots into workbots, enabling the self-driving IT service desk

San Jose, CA and Campbell, CA — October 29, 2019 — Ayehu, a leader in intelligent automation, and Rulai today announced a partnership to deliver a self-driving IT issue resolution offering powered by AI. The Rulai integration goes beyond the limitations of traditional chatbot communication capabilities to deliver virtual service agents (VSAs) that complete IT service desk work.

“Let’s face it, people hate calling the service desk, experiencing long waits on IVR and sometimes waiting hours just to get a password reset,” said Gabby Nizri, CEO of Ayehu. “Ayehu and Rulai are disrupting the entire way the IT service desk works in enterprises today. Using the integrated solution, we eliminate the need for employees to call and wait for IT to solve their problems. Our chatbot VSA will perform these tasks, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction.”

IT service desk operation is extremely resource-intensive, with as much as 85% of the cost being labor according to some studies. Most of this work involves menial, repetitive tasks, that could easily be automated. This has led to the rise of chatbots, which can reduce the amount of human interaction considerably.

However, chatbots are often limited to basic interactions such as pointing the user to non-actionable static information pages, or at best, creating a well-formatted request that is then sent to a human operator for execution. Most chatbots use rule-based decision trees, have poor natural language understanding and limited ability to manage an ongoing dialog or execute a task. As a result, they are easily confused, and customers can become frustrated.

To address both limitations, Ayehu and Rulai have joined forces to create a solution that actually does the work.

Combining Rulai’s Level 3 Conversational Computing Platform with Ayehu’s intelligent automation engine, companies can turn chatbots into a Virtual Service Agent (VSA) – a workbot that has the ability to not only receive and communicate requests but complete and resolve them as well.  

Rulai’s platform allows companies to build AI-based conversational chatbots that can manage non-linear dialogue, and that require no code to develop or deploy. Ayehu provides an intelligent automation engine that receives user intent from Rulai, and acts on it. No code is required to build workflows that integrate with the widest range of applications, changing the IT service desk experience for the end-users.

“Improving employee experience has become one of the top goals for CIOs,” said Marc Vanlerberghe, CEO of Rulai. “We live in an instant gratification economy. Like never before, employees demand fast, frictionless engagement with companies. The combination of our Level 3 Conversational Computing Platform and Ayehu’s intelligent automation platform creates a delightful and frictionless IT experience, available 24/7, 365 days a year, vastly improving the employee experience.”

By running the service desk autonomously customers can achieve as much as a 35% cost reduction, while reducing MTTR by 98% which makes the end user satisfaction higher than ever.

Ayehu’s Rulai integration is available immediately. Please contact sdr@ayehu.com.

For more information, register for the upcoming automation webinar on November 13th: 

Rulai and Ayehu Present: How to Create a Self-Driving IT Service Desk. Register here:

https://info.ayehu.com/how-ai-can-reduce-service-desk-ticket-costs-from-20-to-4

About Ayehu

Ayehu’s AI-powered automation and orchestration platform is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by hundreds of major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe. For more information, please visit www.ayehu.com and the company blog.  Follow Ayehu on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Rulai

Rulai is a new Enterprise Conversational Computing Platform provider. Rooted in academia, the founding team has a combined 200 years of experience in AI research, published over 400 research papers and filed over 80 patents in advanced AI-based dialog management. It is the only SaaS platform in the market capable of supporting business teams in building Level 3 Virtual Assistants .

Enterprises in banking, insurance, retail, telco, and life sciences increasingly rely on human-centered automation to augment the work of customer service agents, as well as increase customer self service capabilities across sales and support. Rulai’s easy-to-use platform allows business users to create and evolve virtual assistants with support from IT. Rulai has been recognized by Gartner, Forrester, and Bloomberg, and was named to the Forbes 2019 AI 50 list.

5 Ways the Service Desk can Use Chatbots

Pull up any IT related website and you’ll undoubtedly see dozens of headlines dedicated to artificial intelligence, machine learning and chatbots. Some of what’s being published relates to the threat of job replacement. And while that’s certainly true to some degree, AI isn’t something to fear – even for those who work in IT support. To the contrary, the service desk is ripe with opportunity to leverage chatbots to benefit both the end user as well as the support team. Let’s take a look at a few ways this technology can be used in tandem with the service desk.

Human Resource Optimization

Whether it’s resource planning or the redirection of work away from the service desk, AI can be used to make smarter use out of service desk personnel. For instance, machine learning algorithms are capable of analyzing patterns to predict future workload and plan staffing needs accordingly. Routine IT support tasks, such as password resets and remote restarts, can be shifted to chatbots, essentially supplementing (not replacing) help desk workers.

Improved Decision-Making

Decision support is another powerful way AI technology can aid the help desk. From low level automation of workflows to the prediction of future trends in the IT service realm, such as the demand for new or different IT services, the sky is really the limit with how this can be applied. Predictive analytics can even be used to forecast future customer satisfaction levels based on the impact of various factors that occurred in the past.

Self-Service IT Support

There are many different use cases, including intelligent search, through which machine learning algorithms apply meaning and context and draw from previous search successes to deliver more accurate search results. Intelligent autoresponders can provide automated resolution to service tickets without the need for human intervention. And, of course, the use of chatbots to provide a more engaging IT support interface using artificial intelligence and automated solutions. This not only takes much of the heat off of busy IT professionals, but it also empowers end-users and boosts productivity.

Proactive Service Improvement

In addition to identifying and addressing common IT problems that are occurring presently, predictive analytics can also be utilized to project possible high-impact issues that may occur in the future but have not yet been realized. This enables IT support staff to take proactive measures in reducing the risks of those possible future issues, often stopping them before they occur. And thanks to the technology’s advanced learning capabilities, it can improve on its own, getting better over time.

Improved Customer Experience

Each of the four points above contribute to a better customer – or in this case, end-user – experience. From better solutions to faster, more efficient support to self-service options (including chatbots and autoresponders) to proactive problem resolution and more. AI will undoubtedly continue to play a critical role in IT support’s customer experience journey, improving as time goes on.

These are, of course, just a handful of the many ways the service desk can leverage AI technology. There will be many other opportunities to use chatbots in the not-so-distant future. The most important thing to note is that artificial intelligence technology is already here and those in IT support that are currently using it will remain a step ahead of the competition.

Don’t get left behind. Schedule a free product demo of Ayehu today and learn how you can leverage chatbots to bring your service desk to the next level!

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3 Tasks Every Service Desk Should be Automating

3 Tasks Every Service Desk Should be AutomatingAnyone who has had the pleasure of working the service desk is familiar with the “Monday Morning Blues.” You know….when you come into the office to find a huge queue of tickets waiting for you – a queue that’s growing by the minute. Sadly, this scenario is the norm for many service desks. Even worse – these already resource-strapped departments face the daunting task of manually tagging,  categorizing and prioritizing those tickets by hand. That’s where service desk automation comes into play.

With the right tools and technology, automating routine help desk tasks is easy – from assigning tickets to appropriate team members to processing others electronically to tracking response metrics and more. Not only will service desk automation save your company tremendous man hours, which will improve your bottom line, but it’ll boost employee morale, helping with retention and creating an environment that breeds innovation.

Not sure where to start? Let’s take a look at a few key workflows through which service desk automation can produce immediate, measurable returns.

Processing incoming tickets

Think back to the days of telephone switchboards. One or a few individuals would have to sit there, manually answering incoming calls and re-routing them to the appropriate person. It wasn’t an efficient process by any stretch of the imagination.

Yet, the modern-day help desk is still set up much the same way, with support personnel tasked with going through each incoming ticket, assessing it and determining which person or department should be tapped for further action. It’s time consuming, inefficient and far too easy for things to slip through the cracks.

With service desk automation, software robots handle all incoming requests, automatically evaluating, prioritizing and assigning them to the appropriate party for processing. With smart automation, most, if not all of the incoming requests can actually be resolved without the need for human intervention.

Furthermore, integrations with existing systems and platforms, such as SolarWinds, ServiceNow and Cherwell, is also possible, streamlining the entire IT help desk environment.

Centralizing ticket metrics

Most help desks are measured by things like average response time and mean time to resolution. Obviously the goal is to deliver as close to 100% service as possible in the most timely and efficient manner possible. But tracking those metrics can become just as cumbersome as actually handling the tickets themselves.

With the right service desk automation platform, you can easily view and track all of your defined metrics in one central dashboard. Customized views can provide access to the data that’s relevant to each individual or team. For instance, front line managers can easily assess how team members performing in real-time while high-level executives can gain a broader overview.

Mobile ticket management

In today’s mobile age, the service desk no longer exists as a physical entity. Tickets will inevitably come in while the appropriate party is away from his or her desk or not logged in. In these instances, how can the help desk avoid costly bottlenecks and delays?

Quality service desk automation software removes the proverbial chains from the traditional help desk setup, making it possible for anyone, anywhere to receive and respond to notifications and escalations. So, when the server goes down at 2am, the person designated to handle the situation will be instantly notified via text and able to take appropriate action immediately.

Not only does service desk automation minimize downtime and speed mean time to resolution, but because it’s mobile-friendly, IT teams enjoy much more freedom and flexibility – the likes of which would have been virtually unheard of just a few years ago.

If you manage or even just work for a help desk that is still operating under manual operations, the time to take action and turn things around is now. Get started with a free, interactive demo and experience the Next Generation of IT Automation and Orchestration for yourself!

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

The Secret to Maximizing Service Desk Efficiency and Acccessibility

There’s no doubt that the IT world has seen some incredible advancements over the past couple decades, particularly in the area of the service desk. But while we’ve most certainly experienced a number of improvements over the years, the truth is that the real revolution is happening now – as you read these very words – and it’s coming in the way of service desk automation.

Any help desk professional who has been in the field long enough will tell you the job is wrought with bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Traditionally, the end user would contact the help desk upon experiencing some type of IT issue. The technician receiving the request would then have to place the caller on hold or keep the ticket open (depending on the method of contact), and complete a plethora of documentation to officially open a request. Only then could the issue be resolved and/or escalated. Once closed out (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours or sometimes even several days later), the end user would receive follow up confirmation.

The Secret to Maximum Service Desk Efficiency and AvailabilityDepending on the size of the organization, there might be additional steps added into this process. For instance, some larger enterprises with significant staffing numbers might have all tickets and/or calls initially fielded by Level 1 help desk representatives. From there, all requests are then escalated to Level 2 or higher. That meant that even something as simple as resetting a password could potentially take much more time than really necessary. Not only does this bog down IT, but the delays it causes to the end user can be incredibly costly to the business as a whole.

In this operational model, staff becomes bored and frustrated and efficiency levels are at their absolute lowest. There has to be a better way. Enter service desk automation. Thanks to ITIL combined with advanced, intuitive technology as a foundation of the help desk operation, everything from routine tasks to complex workflows can be structured, organized and standardized. Now, self-service portals provide the freedom and flexibility for end users to troubleshoot and resolve many of their IT issues, including system resets and password changes.

What this does for the IT help desk is it significantly reduces the workload and number of menial incoming requests. Service catalogs have been developed and introduced which deliver standard offerings and provide specific policies and procedures to better set SLAs and manage expectations. Meanwhile, internally, the barriers that once pigeon-holed workers by tier or level are being broken down and talent is being used much more effectively.

With service desk automation, companies are finding a long-sought after solution to the cost conundrum. When is the last time you heard of an IT department getting a big boost in budget? Yet the traditional way of working – with multiple tier levels handling the same issues – is both inefficient and costly. In fact, according to MetricNet, the average cost of a Level 1 service desk technician to manually work a ticket is $22. Escalating to Level 2 triples that cost, and further escalation to Level 3 triples it again. Multiply that by the number of incoming requests and it becomes abundantly clear that this methodology is not only a waste of valuable time, but it’s a terrible and unnecessary waste of funds, which impacts the bottom line.

Furthermore, now more than ever, IT leaders are faced with finding a way to produce maximum output at a minimum cost. Hiring additional staff isn’t usually an option, and burdening existing personnel with extra work will only lead to burnout and subsequent turnover. Shifting a good amount of the work to service desk automation, on the other hand, allows existing staff to handle what needs to get done without becoming overwhelmed. And with greater efficiency comes cost savings, so it’s a win-win.

Customer satisfaction levels also dramatically improve with service desk automation. Gone are the days when opening a ticket would require hours, days or weeks to resolve. Now, whether the end user chooses self-service automation or opens a request to the help desk, technology is there to do the majority of the heavy lifting, often without the need for any human intervention at all. Those issues that do require escalation can be handled much more quickly, ensuring a speedier turnaround. This equates to greater productivity across the board.

When you consider all of the many benefits of service desk automation, it’s clear to see that the tides have changed. With increasing competition and growing pressure to operate at the greatest level of efficiency and productivity while also keeping costs as low as possible, the only solution is automation, and the time to take action is not tomorrow – but today. Right now! Get your service desk started on the path to a more streamlined and profitable operation by launching your free product demo today.

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

5 Practical Ways to Use Service Desk Automation

Automation is certainly not a new concept. In fact, it’s been driving the advancement and adoption of technology since the cotton gin and the assembly line. Yet, even with such a tool available, many service desks still find themselves behind the times when it comes to managing their day to day tasks, and they’re suffering needlessly as a result. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common headaches these professionals face on a daily basis and how service desk automation can provide the solution.

New Employee On-Boarding

Bringing a new employee up to speed can take a lot of time and resources for IT, particularly for those organizations that have a high turnover rate or are experiencing explosive growth. Additionally, knowing what types of systems and access each employee needs can be challenging. A solution would be to integrate service desk automation with HR systems to bridge the gap and empower those who know the needs of the employee best to handl5 Practical Ways to Use Service Desk Automation e the necessary on-boarding tasks without the need for IT personnel to step in.

Password Resets

If you’re paying skilled IT professionals what they’re worth and they’re spending a good chunk of their time doing simple, repetitive tasks such as password resets, you’re wasting your money. Service desk automation offers the option of self-service. Not only does this free up your IT department to be able to focus on more important matters, but it makes the entire process faster and more satisfactory to the end-user who doesn’t have to waste time waiting for the help desk to respond to a ticket. From an organizational standpoint, self-service tasks make for more productive employees, so everybody wins.

Temporary Admin Access/Permission

In many instances, employees require that certain permissions be granted in order to access third-party applications. Typically, this would require a ticket to the help desk, which would in turn require someone from IT extending temporary admin privileges to the end-user. Not only is this a time-consuming process, but granting such access can open up the risk of potential security problems. With the right IT process automation tool, local admin rights (which are limited for security purposes) can be requested through a self-service portal.

Ad-Hoc Issues

No matter how good of a system a company has in place, there will be incidents in which certain unforeseen issues occur. Typically, these problems would be handled via the help desk. While the designated IT department employee works to identify, troubleshoot and resolve the issue, the end-user must wait. This can significantly impact productivity. It’s also a waste of time and resources for IT personnel. What’s more, in cases that require an entire workspace reset, end-users are forced to recreate their IT environments once they’re back up and running, another frustrating waste of time. Automation eliminates this by allowing employees to reset their profiles based on specific application without the need to wait or rebuild their workspace.

Employee Off-Boarding

Just as there is a process when new employees come onboard, there are certain steps that must take place whenever someone leaves a company or transitions to another position within. By integrating automation with the business’ identity system, the appropriate role/access changes or terminations can be handled in one central location.

Technology is supposed to make things easier for IT personnel, not more complicated. With the right service desk automation tool, your help desk can be transformed from a costly waste of time and resources to a highly-effective driver of ongoing internal success for your organization.

Not sure where to begin? You can start by checking out the top 10 automated processes. From there, simply download your free trial and start putting the power of IT process automation to work for your company.

 

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

How to Make Your Service Desk More Accessible and Efficient

How to Make Your Service Desk More Accessible and EfficientThere’s no doubt that the IT world has seen some incredible advancements over the past couple decades, particularly in the area of the service desk. But while we’ve most certainly experienced a number of improvements over the years, the truth is that the real revolution is happening now – as you read these very words – and it’s coming in the way of service desk automation.

Any help desk professional who has been in the field long enough will tell you the job is wrought with bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Traditionally, the end user would contact the help desk upon experiencing some type of IT issue. The technician receiving the request would then have to place the caller on hold or keep the ticket open (depending on the method of contact), and complete a plethora of documentation to officially open a request. Only then could the issue be resolved and/or escalated. Once closed out (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours or sometimes even several days later), the end user would receive follow up confirmation.

Depending on the size of the organization, there might be additional steps added into this process. For instance, some larger enterprises with significant staffing numbers might have all tickets and/or calls initially fielded by Level 1 help desk representatives. From there, all requests are then escalated to Level 2 or higher. That meant that even something as simple as resetting a password could potentially take much more time than really necessary. Not only does this bog down IT, but the delays it causes to the end user can be incredibly costly to the business as a whole.

In this operational model, staff becomes bored and frustrated and efficiency levels are at their absolute lowest. There has to be a better way. Enter service desk automation. Thanks to ITIL combined with advanced, intuitive technology as a foundation of the help desk operation, everything from routine tasks to complex workflows can be structured, organized and standardized. Now, self-service portals provide the freedom and flexibility for end users to troubleshoot and resolve many of their IT issues, including system resets and password changes.

What this does for the IT help desk is it significantly reduces the workload and number of menial incoming requests. Service catalogs have been developed and introduced which deliver standard offerings and provide specific policies and procedures to better set SLAs and manage expectations. Meanwhile, internally, the barriers that once pigeon-holed workers by tier or level are being broken down and talent is being used much more effectively.

With service desk automation, companies are finding a long-sought after solution to the cost conundrum. When is the last time you heard of an IT department getting a big boost in budget? Yet the traditional way of working – with multiple tier levels handling the same issues – is both inefficient and costly. In fact, according to MetricNet, the average cost of a Level 1 service desk technician to manually work a ticket is $22. Escalating to Level 2 triples that cost, and further escalation to Level 3 triples it again. Multiply that by the number of incoming requests and it becomes abundantly clear that this methodology is not only a waste of valuable time, but it’s a terrible and unnecessary waste of funds, which impacts the bottom line.

Furthermore, now more than ever, IT leaders are faced with finding a way to produce maximum output at a minimum cost. Hiring additional staff isn’t usually an option, and burdening existing personnel with extra work will only lead to burnout and subsequent turnover. Shifting a good amount of the work to service desk automation, on the other hand, allows existing staff to handle what needs to get done without becoming overwhelmed. And with greater efficiency comes cost savings, so it’s a win-win.

Customer satisfaction levels also dramatically improve with service desk automation. Gone are the days when opening a ticket would require hours, days or weeks to resolve. Now, whether the end user chooses self-service automation or opens a request to the help desk, technology is there to do the majority of the heavy lifting, often without the need for any human intervention at all. Those issues that do require escalation can be handled much more quickly, ensuring a speedier turnaround. This equates to greater productivity across the board.

When you consider all of the many benefits of service desk automation, it’s clear to see that the tides have changed. With increasing competition and growing pressure to operate at the greatest level of efficiency and productivity while also keeping costs as low as possible, the only solution is automation, and the time to take action is not tomorrow – but today. Right now!

Get your service desk started on the path to a more streamlined and profitable operation by downloading your free trial of eyeShare.



5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation