Thursday, September 23, 2010

The road to Self Service goes via Automation

Many companies strive to implement Self Service (service orchestration) in order to streamline IT and give a better service to the end-users. This way the IT services can be delivered consistent, secure and automatic. The I and T of IT is put back in order. Information is the responsibility of the organisation and the IT department is responsible for the Technology.

In order to be able to implement any kind of self service system, there has to be task automation in place. Daily routine tasks such as adding an Active Directory account, creating an Exchange mailbox, changing a phone number or installing an application must be automated and delegated back to the organisation. Without automation, no self-service!

The basic concept of a self service solution consists of three elements:

1. Qualification
2. Delivery
3. Return

A user qualifies for a service based on categories such as an identification. There should also be restrictions and dependencies tied to any service. A user allowed to create purchase orders should not be able to approve them i.e. a restriction. In order to have a mailbox you have to have an user account i.e. a dependency.

When a user qualifies for a service the delivery of the service is initiated either automatically or triggered by the user.

And when the user no longer qualifies, the service is returned.

Delivery of a service might also involve manual tasks such as order a new laptop or purchase an additional application license or an approval process, showing a message or asking for input.

Service orchestration is very useful for self service but also for employee onboarding and offboarding. Other areas of use is employee role change, application decommissioning, self paced migration and requesting a service for someone else.

You get better control, lower TCO, increased security and more productive users.

So if you are thinking of self service - make sure you start with automating your daily IT tasks!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Zero Profile Technology

User Profiles in Microsoft Windows environments causes a lot of headaches. Why? In short, user profiles are device and OS dependent and grow large.

Zero Profile Technology from RES Software takes care of any profile problem by simply copying user specific settings out of the user profile.

The first time a user starts an application Zero Profile Technology will grab the current application settings, copy it outside of the profile, and subsequently only specific changes are managed.

By doing this, a user can move between any computer and OS (Windows of course) and all settings will be preserved. IT will have control of the profile size and content. No more silo management of policy's. Only happy users and drastically simplified management.

Look at this video from RES Software Support to get a glimpse on how it works:

And here it is explained in more detail:

Note that Zero Profile Technology is only a small, but very important, part of  RES PowerFuse capabilities.