A recent hardware failure on my home PC reminded me of a very important topic I wish to raise this June. Thankfully, my data was securely backed up, but the words 'data loss' are enough to send most IT Managers into a cold sweat I'm sure. That's why this month we feature an extended SysAid Tip dedicated to SysAid database backup and restore.
While here at SysAid, we have backup servers scattered throughout multiple locations in the U.S and Europe, not all services require such an extensive multi-geographical backup plan - which is all the more reason we've laid down a simple, step-by-step guide to achieving successful database backup in this edition.
On a lighter note, our annual SysAid survey results are now in. Without overdoing the number crunch, I'd like to point out a few interesting facts about our 2009 SysAid survey.
First up, some outstanding results! 97.24% of SysAiders surveyed are so satisfied with their SysAid experience, they would willingly recommend SysAid to other organizations, while 96.79% would adopt new SysAid modules in the future.
Our SysAid bug fixes have always been a high priority, and your feedback indicates the importance of reinforcing our efforts in this area. In response to your survey suggestions about our SysAid User Guides, we have just released our new SysAid Knowledgebase & FAQ Flash Tutorial.
Last but not least, less than a month and a half after general release, 61.29% of SysAiders surveyed have actively deployed the new SysAid 6.0. Overall, the highest rated SysAid qualities were both reliability and speed of implementation.
While it's said that true perfection does not exist, it's the continual self-reevaluation and progress in the quest for perfection that really counts. And here we get to the core of what SysAid is all about.
So whatever quest you're on this June, be it perfection, happiness, simplicity (or a robust database backup perhaps), enjoy it, or should I say, enjoy IT!
We received a truly incredible response to our annual SysAid survey last month, with over 912 SysAiders from 103 different countries completing the survey within the first day alone.
Congratulations to our three lucky SysAiders, drawn to receive $100 Amazon Giftcards for their survey contributions:
Françoise Fleury-Racine, GCSP, Switzerland Moreblessing Muchaka, African Banking Corporation, Zimbabwe Ron Shneor, Mobile Access, Israel
'It appears that being a SysAid customer pays off in many ways...'
Ron Shneor, Mobile Access, Israel
We're delighted to also be sending out limited edition SysAid notebooks to our first 100 respondents - so keep an eye out for yours in the post.
Thank you to all who participated in this year's SysAid Satisfaction survey. We've learned a great deal about SysAid through your eyes, and with the even spread of responses from SysAid newcomers and veterans alike, we'll be able to refine our continuous improvement processes to the benefit of all SysAid users in the future.
SysAider of the Month Spotlight
Flying High with Roberto Campagna
SysAid takes to the skies with leading airline interior designers Aviointeriors and Roberto Campagna, loyal SysAider of the Month. An IT veteran of 17 years and a SysAider for five, Roberto has watched SysAid grow over the years, and cites personalized support, simplicity of use, and the new SysAid 6.0 as his mile-high SysAid highlights.
System Administrator, Analyst & Programmer
You've been a loyal SysAider since SysAid 2.0! In your opinion, what has been the best SysAid release so far and why?
I would have to say SysAid 6.0 has been the most charming and intuitive of all releases, even if I still haven't had the chance to explore it completely. The highlight for me was the Asset Management and the Helpdesk enhancements, as they have allowed me to centrally control all PCs distributed on our sites with greater ease. Overall, the simplicity of use is certainly one of the key points in SysAid. It's crucial for us not to lose too much time in understanding and implementing things we need. I must say that after working with SysAid, it would be very difficult to do without it.
Could you describe what your day-to-day IT activities would be like without SysAid?
Our internal support desk would be extremely chaotic! Requests would overlap, with each claiming to have the highest priority - in short, the support team would have very little time to actually do work. SysAid functions as an effective barrier between end users and administrators, preventing time losses due to unnecessary problem explanations and follow-up calls. Our end users also benefit from better rationalization and management of their problems.
How do you usually approach learning new SysAid features, and what advice would you give to others?
In the past, I mainly consulted the SysAid User Guides. I also believe that participating in the SysAid Community Forum allows you to learn a lot.
How did you hear about SysAid?
While doing an internet search. It seemed simple and effective enough for both the end user and the administrator. The possibility to download a free version allowed me to demonstrate the benefits of SysAid to my colleagues, and it wasn't long before they agreed that SysAid suited our company's needs for managing service requests. What really stood out in the initial phase was Ilient's ability to provide individualized support, and the personalized, friendly relationship with Israel and Sarah.
How would you describe SysAid's growth over the years?
In recent years, the wealth of SysAid modules and features has grown significantly. The development team has also greatly improved the design and functionality.
What are the main benefits of SysAid in your organization?
Definitely greater efficiency and improved utilization of IT staff time. SysAid has also helped to significantly lower costs resulting from hardware and software failures on the machines. Because SysAid helps us manage a wide variety of problems, I plan to also deploy SysAid in our internal maintenance department.
On a lighter note, what is your favorite place in Italy and why?
I love being in nature, so personally, I'm most fascinated by 'The Dolomites' region in Trentino and the Sardinian sea. But it's hard not to mention many Italian cities, namely Rome, where it's possible to live and breathe such a rich past of history and art.
And finally, what are your hobbies?
Unfortunately, I have very little time for hobbies, but when I can, I get involved in informatics, electronics and air modeling.
Aviointeriors is a leading producer of seats and interiors for airline, railway companies and manufacturers. With specialist engineering, design and manufacturing teams, Aviointeriors offers custom made, technologically advanced products to meet the needs of each customer.
Win SysAider of the Month Prizes!
Now that the word is out about our hot new prizes featured in last month's column, we continue to receive fantastic SysAider applications from all around the world. All submitted applications are retained for future awards, so who knows, you could still be next!
Here's a sneak preview of what other SysAiders around the world are up to this month. We've sent along our hot new range of SysAid posters to help them out.
Check out the latest SysAid Internal Campaign shots, direct from SysAider offices in New York and Germany... Sven Nosse, ebro Electronic GmbH & Co., Ingolstadt, Germany
"I'm introducing SysAid to our company right now and I am conditioning (or at least trying) my users to hit the SysAid quick launch key. I also plan to install the posters during my keynote speech about the new SysAid Helpdesk system."
Lennox Alexander, M&M Brokerage Services Inc., New York, U.S.
"I'm a SysAider (and have never looked back). I want to promote the use of SysAid both internally and externally to our other branch offices. Exposing SysAid within our enterprise by visual identification will help push acceptance and 'The Future is Here' concepts."
Keep us posted!
We're anxious to hear your internal campaign ideas, no matter how big or small, so feel free to update us at SysAid Marketing Communications. We absolutely thrive on hearing your stories - and we'll even pitch in and lend a hand if you need!
Know Your Knowledgebase
SysAid Knowledgebase hits the big screen!
Hot off the trail of your recent survey suggestions, we've brought our SysAid User Guides to life, and straight to your screen, in our new SysAid Knowledgebase & Self Service Portal FAQ Flash Tutorial.
In the first of a series of online visual tutorials designed to help you get the most out of your SysAid, we'll show you how to convert a service request to a new SysAid Knowledgebase item and Self Service Portal FAQ, in just a few simple steps.
We know that IT can really be that simple. That's why we're always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to make your SysAid experience as user-friendly as it can be. So stay tuned for more!
Remember, sharing information that works with other IT professionals around the world is what the SysAid Knowledgebase is all about. So spread this hot new item around, and feel free to pick up or add more useful Knowledgebase tips.
A Tip for SysAid Database Backup & Restore
From Sarah Lahav, Head of SysAid Customer Service and Support
One of the best things about my job is knowing that I've made a difference to SysAiders around the world. So you can imagine what a truly rewarding experience it was to see the high service ratings our Customer Service and Support Team received in this year's SysAid survey.
Over the last year, we have expanded the support team and invested in new training and support methods - and it looks like some of the hard work has paid off! Our SysAider satisfaction rating has jumped by 20% since the last annual SysAid survey, especially in the areas of expertise, courtesy, and commitment to assist. So thank you all for your feedback, and to those who left a few kind words for the team.
We also discovered that 68% of SysAiders rarely contact SysAid Support team, which speaks volumes for the intuitiveness and ease-of-use of the software. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to remind you that should you encounter any hurdles along the way, we're always more than happy to assist.
This June, we cover quite a serious topic in IT. As IT personnel, we all know of the horror of data loss without a recovery option.
That's why building a backup and restore plan for SysAid is absolutely crucial to successful implementation. At times, we encounter users who have lost all their data due to a lack of a robust backup and restore plan. Such faults can result in real damage to your organization, not to mention the negative affect to your IT department's service reputation.
The key to success is not only to backup your data, but to also test the robustness of your backup by trying to restore the data.
You can ensure your SysAid server is securely backed up using our simple SysAid Backup plan as detailed below.
Step One: Backup your data. For those using the Derby database, SysAid comes with internal backup capabilities as detailed below:
Access the Backup configuration under Preferences -> Integration -> Backup
Check the 'Enabled' box to activate this feature
Now select the list of users who will receive backup notifications and information about backup success or failure
If you are using an external third party database, you should ensure that you have standard backup processes in place.
Step Two: Now it's time to test your backup data restore. If you are using our internal database, we recommend the following:
Install a new SysAid server
Stop the service of the current server
Locate the latest backup copy in the backup directory (SysAidServerbackup). You will find a folder for each day of the week with the day number (from 1 to 7) as the folder name. Rename that folder to "db".
Take the renamed "db" folder from the backup and replace it with the database folder under the new installation (SysAidServerrootWEB-INFdb)
Check that when uploading the new server, the information saved under the backup is indeed an updated snapshot of your information
Step Three: Confirm that you are receiving notifications every time the backup is run, to ensure that you have a current, up-to-date backup.
Step Four: Schedule periodic restoration checks to ensure that the backup is still running (e.g. every month). Use Reoccurring Events, available in our Task and Project module, to open a Service Request based on a pre-defined schedule to remind you to check and restore.
Step Five: If you're not sure that your backup has worked, please consult SysAid Support. Also, if you observe unusual functioning in your SysAid, or errors in the log about database connection, contact us immediately, as you may have corrupted the database.
Without sounding the alarm too much this month, it is worth remembering that just a few minutes of your time now could potentially save you a lot more than just time in the long run.
It's official. The SysAid Community is gaining ground as an indispensible source of SysAid knowledge. In our latest survey, the same number of SysAiders reported either contacting SysAid Support, or heading straight to the SysAid Community for SysAid-related issues.
The SysAid Community is the meeting place of choice for SysAid IT Professionals around the world to get together, ask questions and trade useful tips and suggestions.
With our new SysAid sub-forums, finding what you need and getting the right advice has never been easier. For those who are not yet active members, here's a quick guide to some of our latest SysAid Community sub-forums:
New to SysAid? You're not alone. Our SysAid Newcomers forum is especially for SysAid beginners, and those entering the SysAid community for the first time. It includes a range of 'getting-started' questions from other newbies like yourself, with no shortage of SysAid experts and experienced SysAiders willing to lend you a hand.
Not sure where to begin with ITIL? Check out our SysAid ITIL best practices forum, and find out how others are doing it, or simply pick up some useful 'best-practice' tips for improving your service management processes.
Looking for new ways to implement SysAid? You'll find them in our SysAid Next Level forum, which features success stories from SysAiders all around the world. It's also a great way to open up the tables and ask other SysAiders for advice. If you have a new idea, chances are, somebody else has already implemented it and can share the pitfalls and the secrets to success.
Got a module-specific question? Take a look at our separate module based forums, which include SysAid Helpdesk, Asset Management, Manager Portal, Monitoring, Tasks/Projects, Analyzer/Reporting and End User Portal & Knowledgebase.
And there's plenty more sub-forums! Visit our SysAid Community for more options. Remember, we're here to help each other, so feel free to browse our open SysAid support network at any time.
SysAid Poll of the Month: How many hours a day do you spend on a computer?
No longer that bulky old Macintosh in the corner of the room, computers have trimmed down, molded shape, size and even color to fit into every corner of our lives. PC by day, iphone by commute, laptop by night... for some, sleep is the only time of the day to really 'unplug'. Between working in IT, surfing the net, email, Skype, Facebook and more, have you ever stopped and wondered how many hours of your day are spent in front of the screen?
How many hours a day do you spend on a computer (on average)?
The majority of SysAiders continue to steer well clear of the latest web 2.0 phenomenon sweeping the globe. However, one quarter reported tweeting for personal reasons, compared to a mere 2% who tweet for business purposes.