What to Look for When Shopping for a New ESM Tool

As an IT leader, your role isn’t just about maintaining the status quo—it’s about driving innovation and transformation. Investing in a new Enterprise Service Management (ESM) tool can be a critical step towards achieving this goal. But it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

With the right ESM tool in place, you can streamline workflows, enhance service delivery and drive significant improvements in overall business performance. But with a myriad of options available in the market, how do you select the one that perfectly aligns with your company’s unique needs and goals?

In this blog, we’ll break down key factors to consider, from functionality and scalability to user experience and vendor support. We’ll also share testimonials from industry experts and give some best practices for successfully implementing an ESM strategy.

Understanding ESM and Its Benefits

Enterprise Service Management is an approach to business operations that puts the end-user experience at the heart of decision-making. While it’s been around for a while it hasn’t been as popular at IT Service Management. However, in the age of digital transformation, ESM has been gaining in popularity.

Combined with modern technology and data analytics, ESM seeks to improve proactive issue resolution and empower employees to create memorable user experiences.

ESM aims to streamline processes, allow employees to quickly understand how decisions are made and provide customers and employees with better outcomes. By optimizing employee services through departmental portals, businesses can increase productivity and accuracy while providing top-notch customer service.

In short, ESM is an invaluable tool for businesses seeking the highest quality customer experience possible.

To successfully implement an ESM platform throughout an organization, you need to think through use cases for each department, NOT just IT, and not assume everyone uses the same language and processes.

To be successful, each group or department needs a purpose-built solution. Simply taking your ITSM platform and trying to duplicate it across your organization won’t work. Each department needs to be able to ideate and configure its own service solution WITHOUT dependency on IT. For this, you likely need a codeless ESM platform.

For example, if marketing wants to add a new service to their catalog, add a new request type or create new content in the knowledge base – they should be able to do so without needing to use IT resources for the updates. The goal of a good ESM platform is to be easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate.

Must-Have ESM Basics

To be effective, the ESM platform you select must have the following basic features:

  • Service Catalog Management – A service catalog helps customers choose relevant services and supports your service SLAs. Ensure the ESM tool offers service catalog management features.
  • Service Desk and Incident/Problem Management – Look for an ESM tool that supports efficient handling of service requests and problems/incidents. It should have integrated workflows, automation, self-service capabilities and Service Level Agreement (SLA) management.
  • Change Management – The ESM tool should offer change management capabilities. This way, IT teams can plan, control and manage changes systematically.
  • Reporting and Analytics – The ESM tool should offer reporting and analytics capabilities. This will enable you to monitor performance, track trends and identify areas for improvement.

In addition, when selecting the right ESM tool for your business consider the following:

  1. Pricing Model: ESM tools come with various pricing models. Some are subscription-based, while others offer a one-time license fee. It’s important to choose a model that aligns with your budget and expected return on investment.
  2. Scalability: As your business grows, so will your service management needs. Ensure that the ESM tool you choose can scale up as needed without compromising performance or usability.
  3. Ease of Use: User-friendly interfaces and intuitive functionalities are crucial. If the tool is too complicated, it may hinder adoption and efficiency.
  4. Integrations: Your ESM tool should seamlessly integrate with other software and tools used in your organization. This ensures smooth data flow and process automation.
  5. Compliance and Security: Depending on your industry, you may need to comply with specific regulations. Look for tools that meet these standards and provide robust security features to protect sensitive data.
  6. Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential. You need a provider who can quickly resolve issues and provide guidance when needed.

Finally, one of the most crucial components of ESM is using a no-code ESM platform that allows businesses to streamline their operations and automate their service delivery processes effectively.

As mentioned previously, codeless ESM platforms empower departments to spin up their own service portals without the need for IT assistance. And with codeless integration and automation non-IT personnel can configure workflows, create custom forms and automatically route requests, among other functions.

No-code ESM platforms can be utilized by departments beyond IT, such as HRfacilities, legal, marketing and finance, ensuring that services and departmental requirements are coordinated in one place effectively. Every department can manage incoming requests more efficiently, route tickets to the appropriate department and track progress from beginning to end.

How to Successfully Adopt ESM

While ESM is growing in popularity, it can still be hard to get buy-in for a new tool. For departments outside of IT, implementing ESM can seem like a daunting change. However, there are a few things you can do to help ease the transition:

  • Don’t just take an IT Service Management platform being used within your IT department and try to scale it across each group. It won’t work.
  • Do meet with each department or group prior to implementing an ESM solution and settle on the processes and functionalities they need.
  • Don’t assume that each department has the same language as IT for each process. Marketing might not use the terminology “submit a ticket” for example.
  • Do ask each group or department for a list of their commonly used terms and how they correspond to the actions they’ll be taking when using the ESM platform.
  • Don’t overcomplicate or try to over-process the ESM platform.
  • Do make your ESM accessible and easy to use. For an ESM implementation to be successful, you’ll want departments and groups to be able to fully utilize the platform WITHOUT reliance on IT for support. Implementing a codeless ESM platform can be a great way to free up IT resources and empower departments to manage their own portals.

ESM’s Role in Digital Transformation

Expansion to ESM can be a critical part of digital transformation for an organization. Especially when you invest in an ESM platform that includes automation and integration capabilities.

Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort, has been using ESM for years and just recently switched to TeamDynamix ESM after outgrowing their previous ESM solution.

Independently owned and operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona, these casino and resort properties employ about 3,500 people altogether. For more than a decade, they’ve benefited from having a “one-stop” service portal that employees could use to request everything from housekeeping services to clean a room before a special event, to the purchase and provisioning of new technology or a security badge for a visiting vendor. 

However, the legacy ESM solution these properties were using had serious limitations. For instance, there wasn’t a way for employees to log into the system remotely from a smartphone or other mobile device to track or make service requests on the go. What’s more, making changes to the system’s configuration involved expensive updates to the software’s code. 

“Our legacy platform didn’t have the flexibility to grow along with us as our needs evolved,” Program Manager, Adam Dunn, said.

In looking for a new ESM platform, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort wanted the ability to configure the system easily and make changes flexibly and dynamically. “We looked at a number of systems,” Dunn said. “In TeamDynamix, we found the one that was most user-friendly.” 

With its “low-code, no-code” design, TeamDynamix is highly configurable, allowing organizations to create personalized service categories (both simple and complex) and build customized workflows for managing multistep processes.  

In addition, the platform’s enterprise Integration and automation capabilities allow IT staff to create customized integrations between TeamDynamix and other software programs using a simple, drag-and-drop flow builder. And because TeamDynamix is easy to use and configure, it lends itself nicely to ESM and can be easily adopted by departments outside of IT. 

Phase one of the properties’ implementation of TeamDynamix has involved the IT and AV departments. Phase two includes housekeeping and security.  

In housekeeping, for example, one of the areas the tool will be used to help with is resource capacity planning around events. 

“We have an event space where we host a variety of different things,” Dunn said. “We’ll be using the tool to get out in front of these and schedule housekeeping for room cleanings before and after these events. All of these housekeeping requests can be scheduled and managed through a ticket. This allows our housekeeping department to see what events are upcoming that they need to plan for and staff appropriately. And if we have a performer coming into our nightclubs, a lot of times housekeeping is tasked with clearing space, so they can see when those requests come in and make sure the right resources are available.” 

With more than 1 million residents living in Pima County, top-notch service delivery is essential for the Pima County government, and that means investing in the right tools and retaining employees as the county moves through its digital transformation.

For Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, much of the digital transformation work starts in IT, “TeamDynamix is a place where we are really trying to kickstart and accelerate the ideology that automation with the right tools can bring value not just to IT, but to other departments within our organization. We’re starting in IT, so that they can see the possibilities as we move forward with our digital transformation and expand outside of IT.”

Pima County made the switch to TeamDynamix for ITSM after using a different system for the last 10 years. Traditionally, the county has taken in tickets through email, phone and a service catalog with base-level triage, but with TeamDynamix in place, they will be able to leverage self-service and automation to better serve its citizens and reduce the drain on employees and resources.

“Prior to TeamDynamix, we didn’t have the ability to automate things and build workflows to do things that eliminate toil and redundancy for our employees,” Hayes said.

And with many organizations struggling to maintain or hire new talent, especially in IT, this was critical for the county, “People feel so much more empowered and have so much more worth when they are doing things that are intellectually rigorous and challenging versus when they are just repeating the same mechanical actions over and over and over with very little thought,” Haye said.

Beyond automating ITSM tasks and processes, Pima County is also investing in TeamDynamix iPaaS. With iPaaS, the county is looking to integrate systems beyond just IT to automate processes like onboarding and offboarding employees.

“We are starting small, hoping to use automation to take tickets and automatically deploy software to endpoints, to onboard and offboard users with Active Directory and distribution groups,” Hayes said.

When it comes to onboarding new hires, the county’s goal is to have new employees arrive on day one with everything they need to get to work, “You don’t need to waste so much time when it comes to onboarding,” Hayes said. “It really is such a sour experience for a new hire to come in, in this day and age, and sit around for three days waiting on their computer to show up. We need to get out of that mode and iPaaS is going to help us do that.”

In addition, using iPaaS to automate offboarding will save countless hours for a process that is normally very manual and heavily audited as Pima County is a government entity.

“As a government organization we get audited by the state every year and they want to know what these stale accounts are doing sitting here,” Hayes said. “Offboarding is currently a very manual process – having to review the list from HR of people who are no longer employed with us and manually revoking their privileges from all the different systems and software and disabling their accounts. There’s absolutely no reason for that to not be automated. iPaaS is going to help us a lot with this and save us time.”

While the digital transformation journey is starting in IT at Pima County, there are plans for TeamDynamix to expand outside of IT for true ESM.

“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”

Want to learn more about how other businesses are using Enterprise Service Management? Read TeamDynamix’s most recent market study with InformationWeek: State of Enterprise Service Management.

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