SysAid September Newsletter
Dear SysAiders,

If you've already done a bit of your own ITIL research, chances are you've stumbled upon volumes of text in online libraries that give lengthy, theoretical explanations of ITIL best practice philosophy. While the intellectual rationale behind ITIL is indeed interesting and valuable, these conceptual discussions often ignore the bottom line: what does ITIL mean for you on a day-to-day basis? How do you get started? What's in it for you?

This September, our goal is to provide you with the information you need to better understand ITIL best practices and begin implementing them in your organization. To show you what ITIL is all about, we are happy to present you with a new video of Joe the IT Guy's latest adventures.

You may remember Joe from the Introduction Video to SysAid, the first movie of a series that features our animated hero. In the SysAid ITIL Change Management Video, we show you how the SysAid ITIL Package can reduce stress, prevent common problems, and ensure effective IT management. Watch the video to see how SysAid ITIL helps Joe save the day - again!

For a comprehensive overview of SysAid's ITIL Package, we've also prepared the SysAid ITIL Quick Guide. Learn more about ITIL best practices and find out how you can use SysAid to better manage IT incidents and problems. Step-by-step screenshots will show you how to track the connections between your network items and successfully implement organizational change.

As part of our ongoing Flash Tutorial Series, we are happy to present you with our latest tutorial: Working with the CMDB. Learn how to define your assets as Configuration Items, map the relationships between them, and predict how changes can impact your business.

When your organization follows a standardized set of processes, you can improve service quality, reduce costs, and ensure that your IT activities contribute to the overall success of your organization.

ITIL's that simple!


Israel Lifshitz

In this issue:

SysAid ITIL Change Management Video

Quick Guide to SysAid ITIL best practices

ITIL Success with Clayton Homes

SysAid Internal Campaign: the Achievement Diploma

SysAider of the Month: Joe the IT Guy

Know your Knowledgebase: ITIL

A Tip for Creating Satisfaction Surveys

How-to Flash Tutorial: Working with the CMDB

SysAid Community Facelift

Poll of the Month: Can your organization go 100% paperless?

Joke: I'm sure you can deal

Joe the IT Guy Saves the Day

SysAid ITIL Change Management Video

As part of the ongoing series of SysAid animation clips, we're excited to present you with our latest movie: SysAid ITIL Change Management Video. Over 24,000 SysAiders watched the Introduction Video to SysAid, and we've received fantastic feedback about its practical and helpful approach. Now, six months later, we've created a new video to reinforce the value of SysAid's ITIL Modules in your everyday life.

Featured once again is our hero Joe the IT guy, and in this episode, he learns valuable lessons about the importance of Change Management.

Joe video screenshot

SysAid's Sales and Marketing Director, Saar Bitner, served as the creative force behind Joe's latest adventures.

"It's important for us to present technical information in ways that are intuitive, simple, and funny. In this video, we show real-life scenarios that are based on the actual challenges that many IT professionals have faced over the years. I think that most SysAiders can probably relate to Joe's experiences."

Be sure to keep an eye out for the little details that provide insight into Joe's personal life. In this month's exclusive interview, Joe politely refuses to discuss his love life, but there just might be a blooming office romance!


SysAid ITIL Quick Guide

Interactive presentation for ITIL best practices

This month, we've cut to the chase of ITIL and provided with you with an interactive quick guide to SysAid's ITIL Package. With step-by-step screenshots, we show you how SysAid's Problem Management, Change Management, and CMDB Modules can help you identify the root causes of incidents, implement successful change processes in your organization, and predict the business impact of any and every change you make.

With a practical, hands-on approach, the SysAid ITIL Quick Guide gives you the information you need to get started now with ITIL best practices in your organization. ITIL has never been so intuitive and user-friendly - but of course, that's what SysAid is all about!


SysAid ITIL Success Story

Building Best Practices from the Ground Up

Brian Martin may consider himself a laidback person, but when it comes to working in IT at Clayton Homes, he upholds standards that are anything but relaxed. Brian has initiated the successful implementation of ITIL best practices with SysAid throughout Clayton Homes, and has since established himself as the "go-to" administrator for all things ITIL.

Brian Martin
clayton logo

Brian Martin
Network Engineer
Clayton Homes, USA

Vision for Change - and better Change Management
Clayton Homes is the leader of manufactured housing and modular homes in the United States. With 70 plus administrators logging in to SysAid daily, the Clayton Homes support team tracks over 5,000 assets and keep historical records for more than 5,000 end-users. Running a ratio of 375 end-users to 1 technician, the Clayton Homes support team faces challenging IT situations on a daily basis. As Brian explains, "Every day brings new challenges, and we used to find ourselves predominantly in reactive mode."

One particular goal has been finding the best change management solution. "Before the ITIL package, we had no standards for Change Management," Brian explains. "We would have emails flying to many distribution lists that eventually got buried in other email. We had no real way to track changes to make sure all went smoothly."

Brian knew that there had to be a better way to implement effective change management. The solution? SysAid ITIL.

PDF icon Learn about Brian's ITIL Success to maximize the benefits of SysAid's ITIL package in your organization

Do you have a SysAid ITIL Success Story of your own?
As the implementation of ITIL best practices gains steam in IT departments throughout the world, your success with SysAid ITIL can educate and inspire! Send us your story. If it's a good one, we just may send you some SysAid merchandise...

SysAid Internal Campaign

New Achievement Diploma Templates

For last month's Special Edition newsletter, we focused on the SysAid Internal Campaign in an effort to kick off the promotion of SysAid in your organization. It seems that many SysAiders around the world have been ready for such a move! Thousands of SysAiders downloaded the presentations we prepared, and your feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

  "I just wanted to say that your SysAid PowerPoint presentations and posters are fantastic! I really like them; please keep these fantastic ideas coming. You keep mentioning SysAid Diplomas. Could you create a template for us to send around to all our users?"

Nathan Holland
Network Engineer
PROGNOSIS - by Integrated Research

This month in response to Nathan's request, we've designed a template for the SysAid Achievement Diploma, an award to congratulate your end-users for using SysAid. This ingenious idea was originally developed by Morten Braüner of Elstock A/S as a way to make his end-users laugh while encouraging them to submit service requests.


Download the template in the updated Internal Campaign Quick Guide presentation to boost SysAid usage in your organization!

Have a good idea? Please contact us or visit the Community with your creative feedback!

SysAider of the Month Spotlight

Joe the IT Guy

We at SysAid are an open-minded crowd. When an IT pro is good, we feel obligated to recognize his achievements - even if he's a fictional animated character. This month, we have the honor of sitting down with Joe the IT Guy to ask him a few questions about his new and highly-acclaimed movie, the SysAid ITIL Change Management Video. Having risen to fame as the star of the Introduction Video to SysAid last October, Joe's latest film secures him a spot on Hollywood's prestigious A-list. Even more admirable than Joe's star-power is the fact that he successfully balances his celebrity status with his roots as an IT system administrator. In between filming, he still works the IT night shifts at GNS. With over 3 years of loyal service to GNS, Joe stays busy saving the day - one service request at a time!

Joe width Jennider Aniston
Joe the IT Guy
Actor by day, System Administrator by night

Q. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit with us today, Joe. This past weekend, I attended the premier of your new movie, the SysAid ITIL Change Management Video, and I just have to say: Wow. Fantastic.
A. Thanks.
Q. So tell me about the making of this movie.
A. Well, I had already worked with SysAid in the making of the Introduction Video to SysAid last October. I really enjoyed the experience, so when they approached me about working on a new project, I agreed right away. The plot is quite captivating, and I really had a chance to show off my range as an actor.
Q. Has your newfound fame changed you in any way?
A. Not really. Of course the extra perks and convenience of being a movie star are nice, but I really want to remain the same down-to-earth IT guy that I've always been. I've become successful by being helpful and friendly to others, and I have to stay loyal to that. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much money you make or how many movies you've starred in. The important thing is the satisfaction I get from wrapping up a difficult service request and knowing that I've made a difference in someone's life.
Q. Can you personally relate to the IT challenges that are depicted in the SysAid ITIL Change Management Video?
A. Absolutely. Prior to the implementation of the SysAid ITIL package, GNS had no standardized process of change management. Whenever we wanted to upgrade a server, everyone in the IT department would exchange literally dozens of emails to discuss the who, what, when, where, and why of the process. Even then, many people - even senior management - remained uninformed. We had a hard time identifying and communicating important information, and it was never clear how the approval process was supposed to work. The crisis you see in the movie, including angry phone calls in the middle of the night, was unfortunately very true to life.
Q. How has SysAid's ITIL package help you overcome these challenges?
A. It provides structure and organization to the entire change management process. We now have a centralized point of communication - SysAid - where we can all access information and see what is at stake with each change we make. Going through a chain of approval has become quite clear, and when it ultimately comes time to change the server, for example, we can do it confidently and without any unpleasant surprises. Although in the movie they say that I "save the day," I think that the point of SysAid Change Management is that nobody should have to save the day. You can actually prevent crises before they happen. My experiences at GNS have really been just like in the movie! I'm convinced that the screenwriters secretly spied on our IT department as they wrote the script - it's that realistic.
Q. Well, you know what they say - art imitates life. When not solving IT-related issues, what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. Once a week, no matter what, I find the time to practice with my band, Roar like a Wookie. We play mostly Star Wars punk, with me on the lead guitar. I also love watching movies - I'm pretty obsessed with the Matrix trilogy. I think I've seen 2001: A Space Odyssey at least 200 times!
Q. What are you plans for the future?
A. I want to continue with my acting career while following my true passion - IT. I was asked to be a judge in the latest season of Beauty and the Geek, but I passed because of scheduling conflicts. I wouldn't be able to continue my night shifts as GNS, and I wasn't ready to make that sacrifice. Filming starts soon for the next SysAid film on ITIL Incident Management, and this time, I'll be co-producing as well as acting! I'm excited to be moving up in the world of Hollywood, but I will always stay true to my roots as a system administrator. Just the other day, I helped Jennifer Aniston with her laptop configurations. She's a very nice girl.
Q. Speaking of women - anyone special in your life? We've heard some rumors about your colleague Jenny, who makes a cameo appearance in this film...
A. Jenny and I are just good friends. I'm trying to keep my private life private. That's one of the hardest parts about being a celebrity!

Don't miss the SysAid ITIL Change Management Video, and stay tuned for Joe's next project. He's the new "it" guy - or should we say, IT guy!

Know your Knowledgebase

Add these useful tips to your local SysAid Knowledgebase

Getting Started with ITIL Best Practices

So you've heard about ITIL and acknowledge the fact that you should start adopting the ITIL methodology. You are probably asking yourself: How do I start?

As the first set of a series of ITIL tips, here are some important points you need to consider when beginning to implement ITIL best practices in your organization.

Tip 1: Establish a Service Desk
Even if it is not manned full time, a service desk will help your users get used to the fact that there is a central point of contact. This will be your main building block for delivering quality service to your customers.

Tip 2: Start Using a CMDB
Even if your CDMB isn't complete or is limited only to certain topics in your organization, you should start linking incidents to CI's. When you create a Change or a Problem, make sure you link it to a CI. If your CMDB isn't complete, add CI's as you encounter incidents, problems, or changes.

This will ensure that you get an accurate picture of the state of each of your IT components and will allow you to better build and maintain the relationships between your IT elements and your business processes.

CMDB makes sure that all IT teams refer to IT elements in unique and non-ambiguous terms, and it will serve you well when you proceed with your ITIL implementation.

Tip 3: Manage Problems
Our day-to-day routine includes putting out lots of fires with Incident Management, but what about proactively preventing problems? Try to define the known issues that cause incidents as problems, and launch constant improvement processes to solve the problems. This will eliminate future incidents.

Tip 4: Use the Change Management Process
Manage all the changes in your production environment with the Change Management process. Even if you don't need approval processes that require a lot of "red tape," you still should keep a record of all element changes - when, by whom, who approved them, and other important details.

Remember that ITIL is a framework of guidelines and best practices. Adopt the framework to best fit your business needs. Good luck!

Visit the Knowledgebase forum in the Community to gain other important tips and information.

Customize Satisfaction Surveys to Increase User Satisfaction

From Sarah Lahav, Head of SysAid Customer Service and Support
Sarah Lahav
One of the core values of ITIL best practices is a commitment to better service. In the spirit of ITIL, I would like to discuss how you can create and customize a satisfaction survey to send to your end-users when you close a service request. This survey option, introduced in SysAid Release 6.0, gives end-users the opportunity to provide important feedback about the quality of your IT department's service.

By changing the survey on a regular basis, you can demonstrate your commitment to your end-users' input. It will also help you evaluate the speed of your service, your level of professionalism, and the general impression that your IT departments gives to your end-users.

Their responses can help you assess how your IT department can and should improve.

On a personal note, I would like to add that we at SysAid are always striving to provide SysAiders with an excellent service experience. We ourselves send out Satisfaction Surveys to SysAiders after we've closed service requests. This gives you the opportunity to express your feelings about your SysAid support experience.

When you receive an email notification that your service request has been closed, we would greatly appreciate it if you could fill out the quick survey we've provided. We constantly evaluate the quality of our service, and your feedback is the most important part of this process.

To create a customized user satisfaction survey:

STEP ONE: Change your survey question

  1. Under Preferences, go to Customize and choose the Translate tab.
  2. Download the "sysaid text" translate file. Open the text in an editing program like Microsoft Notepad.
  3. Open the "Find" box in the editing program, and search for "survey.question."
  4. Locate the line the begins with "survey.question="
  5. Enter the question you would like to ask your end-users, and then save the file.
  6. Back in SysAid interface, find "Upload Translation File." Click on "browse," and select your saved file.
  7. Click on upload.

STEP TWO: Change the answer options
  1. Under Preferences, go to Customize, and choose the Customized List tab.
  2. In the list dropdown box, find "Survey."
  3. In the available fields, enter the answer options you would like to provide.
  4. Save the options.

STEP THREE: Enable the new survey
  1. Under Preferences, go to Helpdesk Settings.
  2. Click on the General Settings tab.
  3. Click on the check box next to "Add a link to a survey question which will only be sent with a close incident notification."

STEP FOUR: View the results of the survey
  1. Under Analyzer, double click on Help Desk.
  2. Double click on Service Quality.
  3. You will see several links that refer to customer satisfaction: by administrator, category, and company. Click on any of them to view the survey results.
  4. To read comments that your end-users have added, you must click on "show comment detail."
  5. After specifying the information you want to view, click on Submit to see a graph and statistics of the survey results.

I wish an excellent service experience for both you and your end-users!

Visit the SysAid Community to comment about this tip

SysAid Flash Tutorials

Working with ITIL CMDB

In the spirit of ITIL, this September's SysAid ITIL Flash Tutorial shows you how to use SysAid CMDB to track the relationships between your assets and IT activities. Learn how to enter business processes as Configuration Items, map the relationships between different CI's and business processes, and evaluate potential business impacts. Stay organized, keep track of the complex interconnections of your organization's assets, and say goodbye to the headache of retroactively dealing with IT crises.


Check out this month's Hands-On Guide to ITIL to see how SysAid can help you get your organization on track with ITIL best practices. ITIL really is that easy!

Take a look at the previous tutorials to learn more about SysAid's functionalities, and stay tuned for the months to come!

Facelift for the SysAid Community!

This September, we've given the SysAid Community A festive facelift and added customizable profile options for your account. Your profile can now display more personalized information to get you in the SysAid spirit!

USA flag Your nationality as represented by your country's flag
version How long you've been using SysAid as represented by release milestone
pathfinder SysAid Pathfinder
certification SysAid certified

To personalize your details, edit your profile information under "Profile". Take the opportunity to connect with other SysAiders and IT professionals around the world!

SysAid Poll of the Month:
Do you think your organization could go 100% paperless?

These days, there's one thing that might be more fashionable than your new iPhone: the Green Movement. People all over the world are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon in an effort to keep our planet healthy. For some, this means eating organic fruit; for others it means driving a hybrid car. There is now more pressure than ever for organizations to conserve resources and reduce the amount of paper used around the office.

Do you think your organization could go 100% paperless? (That means no printers, no copies, no fax machines...) Tell us why or why not!

Take our poll and share your experiences with us.

Last month we asked:
What percentage of your service requests are submitted through the end-user portal?

For most SysAid organizations, the End-user Portal is an indispensable tool for the management of service requests. 24% of SysAiders report that 80% of their service requests are submitted via the end-user portal (impressive!), and another 53% report that 30-50% of their service requests come through this friendly user interface. For 24% of SysAiders, service requests are submitted only via phone call, face-to-face contact, or other means.

29% of SysAiders report... 50% of their service requests come through the End-user Portal
23% of SysAiders report... Their service requests are submitted via phone call, face-to-face contact, or other means
21% of SysAiders report... 80% of their service requests come through the End-user Portal
14% of SysAiders report... 30% of their service requests come though the End-user Portal
13% of SysAiders report... All service requests are submitted through the End-user Portal

Do you have ideas about how to encourage end-users to submit service requests with SysAid? Contact us or visit the Community, and let us know!

Joke: I'm sure you can deal

This is why you need change management processes!

Rate this joke or leave your comments.