06/03/2024 |

Service Management Software – Key Purchase Considerations

Digital, secure, cost-saving, efficient, ... there are many important adjectives to describe the perfect service management software. Choosing the right one is a major challenge for service providers and other companies. With the high demand to deliver quality services on the one hand and cost pressure plus a shortage of skilled professionals on the other, companies are forced to use their existing resources as efficiently as possible.

A suitable tool must cover several needs at once: 

  • The company’s own processes and the ability to optimize these over time,
  • Integrated IT service management (ITSM) standards,
  • Digitized and highly secure data, and
  • Accessibility from anywhere, such as with cloud solutions and apps.

But, what service management software actually does, where ITSM begins and processes end and which functionalities really help, can be difficult to sort through. The answers are found in the following passages.

Service Management Software – Definition

Service management software is a software solution that helps companies in any industry plan, provide, oversee and optimize service delivery from the moment a service or product is sold. This is often done in combination with the automation of business processes and workflows. 

Particularly good solutions also include analysis functions that are used to identify performance gaps and opportunities. They may also include pre-defined and ready-to-use process automations for commonly requested areas, as is common in IT service management (ITSM).

Solutions of this type are used to enable efficient service offerings, support the customer lifecycle, and promote customer loyalty. 

Functions Required for Managing Services

When selecting the right service management software, attention should be paid to the following functions:

Ticket system

Tasks, changes, requests and customer communication can be handled easily and efficiently using a proper ticketing system. A ticket system also helps with work prioritization, assignment and group replies and templates. It keeps customer communication costs to a minimum.

Resource planning

Whether materials, time, employees, equipment or other resources, using them in a cost-saving manner requires accurate planning and a tool that provides precisely these functionalities. A calendar function (see below) must be augmented with precise documentation of the available resources. 

Workflow automation

To speed up typical tasks and processes, workflow automation or management is an absolute must. It can reduce errors and save costs. Work is simply processed systematically. 

Knowledge management

A knowledge base makes important information accessible to everyone –  specific departments, the entire company or customers. Solutions and answers can be available at one’s fingertips, thereby speeding up resolution and reducing support team workloads.

Statistics and reports

Statistics and reports help pinpoint possible optimization opportunities in recurring processes and can help to save money. 

Appointment and calendar management

Important for planning various external services, such as maintenance or repair work as well as internal appointments, an appointment and calendar function should be a basic component of any service management tool.

Customer portal

A customer portal simplifies service enquiries and offers self-service functions. It makes it easier for customers to communicate with support teams and enables them to check the status of their enquiries. 

Service level management

Service level agreement (SLA) establishes an understanding between those providing services and those receiving services. It’s important that the service provider deliver as specified in this agreement. Tracking the agreement and notifying the right people of potential breaches to it are important to teams so that they can meet customer expectations. Service level management (SLM) enables this.

Asset management

Asset management functions can be used to manage a company’s IT inventory, facilities, fleets, warehouses and other key assets. In the best case scenario, a notification function is integrated here, which provides information about future maintenance dates or contracts that are about to expire.

Omnichannel communication

Collecting customer enquiries from various channels and managing them on one interface is among the most important functions of service management software. Customers appreciate replies on whatever platform makes most sense to them: This gives teams the chance to communicate in the preferred way while keeping all of the communication tied together under a single umbrella.

Connection of third-party providers

Interfaces and the connection to other systems are important in order to integrate service management software into your overall IT landscape and guarantee smooth workflows.

Compliance and security

Complying with regulations and ensuring necessary security measures are critical. These are represented in service management software most commonly as access and rights management functions as well as the audit-ready storage of all data. 

Mobile support

Managing services via mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, is a must in service management today. Employees and customers are able to access and use service functions regardless of their location or the hardware used. Mobile support enables organizations to work more flexibly, increase efficiency and improve customer service by processing service requests faster and facilitating communication between different stakeholders while on the go.

Service Management Software Usage

Service management software is used in various business areas. Basically, any company that provides services – either to other internal teams or to external customers – can benefit from service management software. 

Areas with specific requirements can also use service management software profitably. Here are a few examples:

IT Service Management

IT service management focuses primarily on the processes and business requirements of IT services and tasks. IT workflows in particular are scrutinized and optimized with the help of ITSM tools. IT service providers in particular, but also any company with its own IT department, benefit from the use of specialized IT service management software.

Enterprise Service Management

As an extension of ITSM, Enterprise Service Management looks at all processes in the company and ensures that all departments are on the same page. This is achieved through a company-wide service desk that is used by all departments. This also includes, for example, departments that do not necessarily provide services to customers, such as Human Resources, Marketing and Finance.

Field Service Management

Repairs, maintenance work and all services that take place directly at the customer’s premises or outside the company are covered by field service management. In this situation, there is heavy reliance on calendar and appointment setting functionality. 

Customer Service Management

In this area, all customer enquiries are processed and, in the best case, fulfilled quickly and to the customer’s complete satisfaction. With customer loyalty as the ultimate goal, customer service management helps teams and leaders pay meticulous attention to keeping processing times efficient.

OTRS – The Flexible Service Management Solution for Your Company

OTRS is a service management solution that can be used as-is or customized to meet the unique needs of your teams. It offers hundreds of features that service owners seek, including:

Omnichannel communication:

From enquiry to resolution and reporting – with OTRS you can manage all service tasks centrally and efficiently. Say goodbye to siloed systems and hello to a unified service ecosystem that your employees will love.

Efficient service delivery through ticketing:

Minimize downtime and maximize productivity with our robust service management capabilities. Our solution quickly identifies, prioritizes and processes requests to keep your service running smoothly.

User-friendly self-service portals:

Give your users more options with user-friendly self-service portals. Take the pressure off your support team at the same time. OTRS allows users to submit requests, check their status, access knowledge bases and find solutions to problems on their own.

Performance analysis and reporting:

Make data-driven decisions with our powerful analytics and reporting tools. Gain insight into service performance, identify areas for improvement and track key metrics to continuously improve your services.

Various integration and connection options: 

OTRS integrates perfectly into any IT environment. Whether through one of the many existing interfaces or a customized interface or integration, OTRS users benefit from smooth operation. 

As a direct software manufacturer, OTRS has been helping service teams deliver excellence for over 20 years. Whether you plan to work in the cloud and as an on-premises solution, we’re here to support you.

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