It's hard to believe that 2010 is coming to an end! This has been a truly incredible year here at SysAid. With two major releases, our first ever conference in Las Vegas, the opening of our first overseas branch in Australia, and the dramatic expansion of both our company and our products, our efforts have all been driven by a core vision: to make your experience with SysAid, and your life as an IT pro, better than ever. SysAid's developments in 2010 have really set the bar for our future endeavors, and 2011 promises to be even better. I can't wait to see what the coming year has in store for us all!
To help you prepare for 2011, we've prepared an end-of-year IT checklist with 5 simple tasks that will give you a hassle-free start to the New Year. It's as easy as running a few reports, setting some reminders, and reviewing your annual data. See how taking just a few extra moments with SysAid this December will gear you up for a successful and productive 2011!
On a lighter note and in the spirit of the holidays, we asked some CIOs and IT managers which books they'd recommend for other IT pros. Check out their IT book recommendations to get an idea of some last-minute items you'd might like to add to your holiday wish list!
Have a safe and happy holiday season, and here's to a great New Year!
Israel Lifshitz, CEO
End-of-Year IT Checklist Simple Ways to Start Off the New Year Right!
2011 is just around the corner, and with the New Year comes a fresh start to set new IT goals. This December gives you the opportunity to evaluate what your IT department accomplished in 2010, decide what you'd like to achieve in the coming year, and make all necessary preparations so that you can begin the New Year geared for success. To help you start off 2011 right, we've made you an IT checklist for you to think about this December. In classic SysAid spirit, these tasks are super simple, and they'll make all the difference once January 1 arrives!
1. Run End-of-Year Reports
Reports are of course relevant all year long, but December is a particularly great time to examine end-of-year reports. We recommend that with SysAid's Analyzer, you run the following reports using the date range December 2009 - December 2010:
Help Desk Workload: Opened/closed requests per period, opened/closed request distribution, help desk activity summary
Help Desk Service Quality: Service quality, satisfaction level by administrator, satisfaction level by category
Inventory: Software products, assets that were not updated
Highest Value Reports: Categories that contain the most SRs, categories with the longest SR time, administrators with the most SRs assigned to, end-users who submit the most service requests, assets with the most service requests
2. Review Your Annual Monitoring Graphs
As an important part of capacity management, it's important to review your monitoring data from a yearly perspective. How many times did your network activity peak? Are your resources being used to their maximum capacity? Reviewing your annual monitoring graphs will help you make plans for the coming year to maximize your availability and reduce incidents.
3. Check out your IT Benchmark yearly comparisons
Is your IT department closing service requests more quickly than it did in 2009? Has the end-user to admin ratio gone up or down? Find out these answers and more in the IT Benchmark module. Now would be a great time to look at your IT Benchmark results and compare your current measurements to those of last year. To make it even easier, the red and green visual indictors let you know if your current performance is better (or worse) than before.
4. Create reminders for the upcoming year
A great way to start 2011 worry-free is to create reminder notifications for your software support expiration dates, warranty expiration dates, supplier contract renewal dates, and more. Taking some time this December to create these reminders will let you relax for the rest of 2011: SysAid will open a service request when your action is required; otherwise you don't have to worry about it. Never again will a software license expiration date catch you by surprise!
5. Make new service quality goals
If you decide that a certain category, subcategory, level of urgency, level of priority, or company should receive top priority support, create or adjust due dates in your help desk to ensure that administrators respond to issues quickly. If you're really ready to step up your service quality in 2011, move to the next level of service management with SysAid SLA Management. Put processes in place so that your IT department can handle any and every issue that arises with speed and efficiency!
Accomplish these 5 simple tasks this December and you'll be off to a great start for 2011! Have any other ideas of your own to add to this checklist? Share your ideas here and have a fantastic New Year!
SysAid Recap of 2010 An Amazing Year Comes to an End!
What a year it has been here at SysAid! As we wrap up 2010, it's incredible to think how far we've come over the past twelve months. Just one year ago we were packing up our office to move to our current corporate headquarters, and with the extra space of our new location came incredible expansion. We've reached exciting new milestones and accomplished great new successes. So what made 2010 so special for SysAid?
Dramatic company growth: We experienced employee growth of nearly 41% and our customer base exceeded the 60,000 mark!
Two major new releases: SysAid 7.0 and SysAid 7.5 introduced features that took SysAid to a new level of simplicity and innovation. With SLA management, a new calendar, simpler customization, improved usability, tighter asset control and a lot more, these releases were our biggest and best to date!
First-ever SysAid Technology Conference: At the end of April, nearly 100 SysAiders joined in Las Vegas for the first ever SysAid Technology Conference. It was an unforgettable experience where participants learned how to maximize their everyday use of SysAid, got exceptional networking opportunities, and had a great time!
New SysAid branch in Australia: With an ever-growing international customer base, we opened our first overseas branch in Sydney, Australia this past summer to serve all SysAiders down under!
Launch of SysAid mobile app: SysAid launched SysAid Help Desk App earlier this year for your iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. The app is totally free and enables you to take SysAid with you on your smartphone.
On top of all that, a record number of participants successfully completed the SysAid Certification Program, thousands of SysAiders worldwide tuned in to our webinars, and we released an entirely new live chat product. If these developments are any indicator of what's to come in the future, then 2011 is sure to be a great year!
Italian User Conference: Meet SysAid SysAiders Learn How to Align IT with Business - in Venice!
On November 4, 2010, our Italian Partner Irimi held a special one-day conference, Meet SysAid, on the implementation of effective service desk methodologies with SysAid. SysAiders and would-be SysAiders from throughout Italy joined just outside of Venice for a busy day packed with tips, insights, and discussions on how to get more out of our newest release, SysAid 7.5. Leading the discussion was Stefano Paoletto, Irimi Support Director, who with 15 years of experience as an IT manager under his belt, shared his insights on the best ways to align IT process with your business goals.
Irimi Support Director Stefano Paoletto lectures on service desk methodologies
Cristiano Papa (IT Manager, Cavagna Group) and Luca Padovano (IT Manager, CMB) join Stefano to learn how to get more out of SysAid
The successful conference equipped all participants with a new IT toolbox to achieve IT excellence. We'd like to extend a special grazie to all who attended the conference and helped make it such a success!
The Books You Need for Better IT Management SysAiders and CIOs Give Us Their Top Recommendations!
While online journals and newsfeeds are essential to keeping up with the latest IT news and tech trends, you might be surprised to know that much of what you need to achieve better IT management is right around the corner in your local bookstore! We asked our CIO customers - and our own SysAid experts - about the books that have inspired and taught them about IT excellence. As the holidays approach, you may just want to add their recommendations below to your gift wish list!
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions
CEO and Chief Architect, SysAid Technologies
"Based on 20 years of research, economist Dan Ariely discusses the factors that influence our decision-making and why people tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. He explains how you can break out of these patterns to make smarter decisions every day - in business, in finance, and in your day-to-day life. It's a fun, fascinating, and entertaining read, and I think everyone - but especially managers, including everyone making important IT decisions - can benefit from it!"
First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
Chief Information Officer, Zanett Commercial Solutions
"As far as a leadership book written with a CIO in mind, I am a recent (and huge) fan of World Class IT by Peter High. This embodies nearly everything that an emissary to the business needs to know.
To be honest, the best IT management books I've read have little to do with IT. Two that I swear by are Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't (James C. Coolins) and First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently (Marcus Buckingham.) All too often, IT leadership is caught up in the technology they provide and lose sight of the non-technical issues in their company. Understanding these drivers is a pre-requisite to excelling as an IT leader."
ITIL V2 and V3 Books
CIO and Director of Product Management, SysAid Technologies
"Learning about ITIL is the first step towards implementing better IT practices in your organization. A lot of people tend to think that the ITIL books are high-level and intimidating, but they're actually quite readable. If you're serious about improving your IT performance, then reading the ITIL books is a must!"
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Chief Information Officer, iFreedom Direct
"While this isn't specially an IT-related book, I believe that Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done is a must read for any C level (and below, for that matter.) I found it extremely informative."
The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value
Director of Information Systems, AUDIOVISIONS
"I recommend The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value by Hunter and Westerman."
Have any book suggestions of your own? Share your recommendations on the Community and let us know what night-time reading has helped you achieve IT success!
SysAid Flash Tutorials Creating Administrator Groups
One of SysAid's simplest and most powerful features is the ability to create groups. Whether it's an administrator group for your first level technicians, an end-user group for certain members of your organization, or a combined group for both administrators and end-users, creating groups is a great way to stay organized and on track. This tutorial shows you how to create administrator groups, assign the group a support level, set permissions for the administrators in the group, and route service requests to the group based on category.
Want to see other SysAid features in action? Watch the other videos in our product tutorial series and learn how to get the most out of SysAid!
Poll of the Month Tablet v. Laptop: What's Your Choice?
They're sleek, they're small, and you can take them pretty much anywhere - but do they beat the laptop? Tablet PCs have gained a loyal following of tech enthusiasts who praise the tablet for their mobility and convenience, and 2010 has been quite the year for these portable devices. With Apple's launch of the enormously popular iPad in January, the demand for multi-touch tablets has skyrocketed. While tablets definitely make sense for the new need for "technology on-the-go," there are still plenty of people who prefer the power, enhanced features, and performance of the traditional laptop. So what's your choice - the tablet or the laptop?
Joke of the Month The Future of Technology: the Mactini